One of the most exciting things that the iPhone and other smartphones has brought to us is a new way to be citizen scientists. From apps that let us document plants and animals we spot out in nature and then submit those findings for research to accessories that let us perform our own analysis. A new project that builds upon that idea is LabStrip, a combination of accessories and an app that let you perform scientific tests anywhere.
The LabStrip kit includes chemical test strips, a meter accessory and an iOS app that delivers precise results and corresponding information using data sets and algorithms in the Anywhere Science Cloud. LabStrip is currently on Kickstarter with the goal of raising $50,000 to start producing the kits.The meter accessory uses the iPhone's flash and camera to read the test strips and then compares the results to information in the Anywhere Science Cloud to give numeric results instead of having to interpret colors. The Anywhere Science Cloud also pairs those results with data like temperature, time and location and offers guidance and next steps based on the results.
To ensure accuracy, the LabStrip team says "We calibrate every new lot of test strips with samples of known value on our own in-house LabStrip meters. Simply link your iPhone to this calibration by scanning the QR code provided with the labeling on each new box of strips."
The kit can be used by citizen scientists to carry out chemical tests (pH, alkalinity, lead, glucose, iron and many, many more) while out exploring, by educators to do hands on experiments with students like testing for acid rain and by anyone needing to find out chemical information around the house like testing fish tank levels.
Watch the video below for the creators' explanation of the project.