Google's New Science Journal App Turns Your Android Phone Into a Lab Full of Sensors

Illustration for article titled Googles New Science Journal App Turns Your Android Phone Into a Lab Full of Sensors

If you’re working on a rocket destined for Mars, Google’s new Science Journal app might be a bit limited. But if you’re an aspiring scientist, the free app will turn an Android smartphone or tablet into laboratory full of experiments by grabbing data from the device’s various sound, light, and motion sensors.

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Illustration for article titled Googles New Science Journal App Turns Your Android Phone Into a Lab Full of Sensors

At its core, the Science Journal app is essentially a data logger that can record measurements taken by the device’s built-in microphone, ambient light sensor, gyroscope, or external sensors connected over Bluetooth to expand its capabilities.

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The data can not only be recorded over a given time, it can be plotted on a graph for easier visual analysis, annotated with notes and photos of a given experiment, and compared against other measurements taken at a different time. If your kid has a science fair on the horizon, this could make monitoring an experiment a less agonizing prospect. It’s also a great way to spark an interest in science, showing kids that a smartphone isn’t all about games and Snapchat.

[Google Play Store via Android Police]

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DISCUSSION

I’ve wondered if the touchscreen could be used as a sensor for . . . something or other (aside from touch). Also, can the camera measure specific wavelengths, or digitally filter its input for measurements? Can the microphone pick up ultrasonic frequencies? Can the light’s output be tuned? Can the camera sense out to infrared or ultraviolet?

Someone once made a sonar app for the iPAQ. I wonder if a phone can be made to do something similar?