NASA iPhone Sensors Like Tricorder

NASA showed off prototypes of cell phone chemical sensors last week at San Diego State University.

(Chemical sensor circuit board inserted into iPhone)

Jing Li, a physical scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., along with other researchers working under the Cell-All program in the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate, will demonstrate their proofs of concept. Li has developed a device, designed to be plugged in to an iPhone, which collects sensor data and sends it to another phone or a computer via telephone communication network or Wi-Fi.

Cell-All is designed to provide greater chemical detection capabilities in cell phones. Cell phone owners could use their phone's GPS to provide sensor location information to emergency operation centers. While still years from implementation, researchers are working on the proof of concept in cell phones and will provide a look at the state-of-the-science to date.

SF fans are starting to turn gray in their wait for Star Trek tricorders; but, if we're patient, we'll see them in our lifetime.

(Spock's Tricorder - Detail)

From NASA via NASA Watch; thanks to Winchell Chung for the tip.

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