Sunday, October 03, 2010

Hardware apps (smartphone peripherals)

Apps are not just software anymore! The interesting new field of hardware apps, or smartphone peripherals, is under development.

One example is the iPhly iPhone-based radio controller. Radar detectors and dashboard car-surveillance cams could follow. Earthquake sensors are another obvious application, as accelerometer chips for sensing earthquakes have already been used in laptops.

Miniaturized modules could snap onto smartphones for many different applications. Scientific instruments could be an interesting application area, giving any individual the opportunity to have a mobile lab. Ultrasound and portable microscopes have already been demonstrated (iPhone attachment, cell phone attachment).

Portable personal sensing modules for biodefense (iPhone biodefense app spec) and health optimization could be a killer app. Microneedle arrays could continuously or periodically perform a sampling of hundreds of blood-based data points like Orsense does for continuous glucose monitoring. Mass spectrometer attachments could identify any substance chemically. Miniaturized genome sequencers and RNA sequencers could identify the underlying DNA and expression profiles of samples.

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