From void into vision, from vision to mind, from mind into speech, from speech to the tribe, from the tribe into din.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Smart Phones to Tricorders

The Tricorder XPrize ( is a $10 million contest 

"to bring healthcare to the palm of your hand.
Imagine a portable, wireless device in the palm of your hand that monitors and diagnoses your health conditions. That’s the technology envisioned by this competition, and it will allow unprecedented access to personal health metrics."

22 teams have paid the $5000 entry fee, 10 finalists will be chosen, up to 10 models will be tested by consumers May-October 2015, and the winning entry will be announced by December 2015.

One of the entries is Scanadu which seems to have a “$150 tricorder" already on the market 

"The Scanadu SCOUT is incredibly easy to use--just raise the handheld device (connected by Bluetooth to a smartphone) to your temple, and wait 10 seconds for it to scan your vital signs, including temperature, ECG, SPO2, heart rate, breathing rate, and pulse transit time (that helps measure blood pressure). 'It lets the consumer explore all the diagnostic possibilities of an emergency room,' explains co-founder Walter De Brouwer, a Belgian futurist and entrepreneur who first prototyped a backpack-sized tricorder-like device in the late 1990s.”

University of Florida’s wireless and remote vital signs monitoring system may be available (for pets) as early as 2016:

Another smart phone environmental monitoring system on the market now is Sensordrone, a successful Kickstarter project (

"Packing more than 11 sensors into one tiny package, Sensordrone turns your smartphone into a carbon monoxide detector, non-contact thermometer, gas leak detector, lux meter, weather station, diagnostic tool & more.

Sensordrone is an open platform for a variety of sensors and Bluetooth peripheral device apps with 11 Android apps available now for free.

Sensordrone Video:

SafeCast, the people who built the bGeigie Geiger counter that enables citizens' monitoring of radiation in Japan  since the destruction of the Fukushima nuclear reactors, are now expanding their work to other environmental issues:

Jack Andraka, the HS student who developed a “cheap, accurate" pancreatic cancer test a year or so ago, has been working with a group of International Science and Engineering Fair students on 

"a handheld device (known as a raman spectrometer) that can be used to detect explosives, environmental contaminants, and cancer in the human body. Today, raman spectrometers are extremely delicate, can be as large as a small car, and cost up to $100,000. Andraka’s model costs $15 and is the size of a cell phone."
These hand-held raman spectrometers are already in industrial use:

RAPIDID fits in the palm of your hand yet delivers fast, highly accurate results wherever and whenever testing is needed. The compact Raman spectrometer addresses the growing need for non-destructive analysis of raw, intermediate and finished products in a range of industrial areas.
The rugged design, clear LED display and push button control makes RAPIDID suitable for the busiest operations. Material identification is carried out by comparing the unique molecular fingerprint to that of known reference materials stored in a pre-loaded spectral library. Additional reference materials can be added in less than a minute.

Thermo Scientific TruScan is a rugged, handheld, lightweight Raman system for rapid raw material verification. Non-destructive point-and-shoot operation enables verification through sealed packaging to minimize risk of exposure and contamination. Its embedded analysis software delivers a PASS/FAIL decision verifying the identity of a sample typically within 30 seconds.

Spectroscopic analysis of just about anything in the palm of your hand is not the future.  It's now.

Methane Cell Phone Sniffers