There are several emerging technology efforts in using the mobile phone platform for data acquisition. Saelig
uses the PIC microcontroller to create a 14 channel I/O board for measuring analog and digital signals. It comes with a digital temperature sensor. Handheld Design
offers free software for analyzing data collected with a mobile phone. It works on devices using Microsoft Pocket PC 2003, and provides basic graphs of collected data. They use a series of CompactFlash cards
to collect the data. Pico Technology
leverages the mobile phone to upload data. They even have a version of their EnviroMon software running on the iPhone already. Datastick
has a nice campaign on its mobile phone data acquisition product for vibration analysis. They promote their solution with the tag line: “measure, transmit it, and then talk about it. “
The academic world also makes use of the mobile phone. In this paper
researchers use the mobile phone to create a gamma ray spectrometer.
Of course physiological data has long been a target of the mobile phone as a data collection device as most people have one and are used to carrying it with them. In this example
an Austrian research institute outfits patients with monitoring systems that use the mobile phone for collection, analysis, and transmission.
The mobile phone continues to grow as a platform and while not fully capable as a PC is fast closing the gap between the two not only with increased processor, memory, and display capability, but also by leverage servers through Wi-Fi, and the web.