Google wants your Android phone to be a portable science lab

Something interesting and largely untapped from a world where smartphones were a niche purchase to being ever present is the ridiculous amount of sensors nearly everyone in the UK carries around with them in their pocket. This can be used in a global sense with everyone dedicating processing power to help find a cure for cancer, for example, or detecting earthquakes before they happen, but there’s also a lot of power for individuals, if they can only harness it.

Google wants your Android phone to be a portable science lab

Google wants to help with that. In a post on its

Google for Education blog, the search giant announced Science Journal, a new app that gives access to smartphone sensors and allows budding scientists to do their own simple experiments with their device. It can measure and record data from smartphone sensors in real time, and then plot them on to charts and graphs.walkthrough_welcome_02.1080x1140.0.gif

With this app, you can record data from sensors on your Android phone (or connected via an Arduino), take notes, observe, interpret and predict. Fundamentally, we think this application will help you learn how to think like a scientist,” explains Chris DiBona, director of Making & Science on the blog post.

Right now, you’re pretty limited in the number of things you can track – ambient light, sound intensity and the accelerometer, but Google says it’s looking to work with the science community to improve things over time.

If nothing else, this is a great tool for getting young minds thinking about the scientific process. To that end, Google has also teamed up with San Francisco’s Exploratorium to develop learning kits to accompany the app, though sadly they’re US only for now.

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