Last year we saw a Windows Phone being used to detect malaria parasites in blood samples, and continuing this trend of addressing major real world issues, one of this years Imagine Cup entrants is using the magnatometer in a Windows Phone 7 handset to detect landmines.
The students from the Military University of Technology in Warsaw developed their SAPER technology, which stands for â€œSensor Amplified Perception For Explosives Recognitionâ€, which uses the magnetometer – normally responsible for your phoneâ€™s digital compass- to detect minute disturbances in the magnetic field around an explosive material. Forty different kinds of explosive materials can be sniffed out from 30 cm (11.8 inches) away.
All that needs to be done is wave the phone in a grid-like pattern 30 cm away from the suspected explosive.
The app connects to a cloud-based server and compares the recorded magnetic disturbance signature with other signatures in the database. If a threat is detected, the app returns a warning message and identifies the likelihood of there being a certain type of explosive material in the sampled area. GPS connectivity is used to pinpoint the site and to immediately alert the authorities. The threat alert message can also be automatically pushed to social networks.
â€œWe do not intend for SAPER to replace mine detection devices, but only to provide additional help when none are availableâ€, says Mariusz Chmielewski, the mentor of the student team behind the app.
A bit closer to home for most of us, the team suggests the app could also be used to detect wires within a wall.
Read more at Gizmag.com here.
Thanks Bernard for the tip.