Now there’s an iPhone accessory for chemical attack
Apple’s introduction of ECG and fall detection sensors in the Apple Watch got people talking, but for an even bigger sense of how iOS devices and advances in sensor development and artificial intelligence may make incredibly complex technologies more available, think about EzLab.
About the size of a cable-free car battery charger, EzLab connects to an iPhone running its smartphone app and links up with cloud services to deliver fast and 90 percent accurate tests of things like:
- Pathogen samples.
- Air quality.
- Contaminants in water and food supplies.
- Biological attack.
He system consists of the smartphone app, a field microscope, a neural network in the cloud that does the analysis and an online dashboard that lets results be shared.
Here’s the promo video:
How it works
The people behind this solution say it has been built to be tough enough to handle use in a war zone, and that it will deliver accurate results within just three minutes.
It uses built-in micro-sensing optics and it’s connected to a Cloud based image analyzing neural network (AI). Now tests that normally take days are done in a matter of minutes!
That’s significant because most existing systems for testing such contaminants demand that samples be sent to a lab, meaning it can take days to get results. It’s also easy to use, which means anyone can use it to perform microbiology tests – useful for first responders.
The product has been in development for seven years, the company claims. “We have proven and tested with three key bacteria so far, but many more will be added over time,” they say.
The Portuguese-based company sees implications in military and defence, health and supply chain management for the product.
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EzLab is by no means the only iPhone-compatible external sensor I’ve heard about. There’s a fast-growing number of these solutions, offering a wide range of testing and analysis tools most with a particular focus on health: Butterfly IQ, Healthy.io and Bloomlife to name but three.
I anticipate we’ll see solutions such as and including these become more widely used in the next couple of years, as regulatory and testing hurdles are accomplished and practitioners in these industries choose to use these solutions.
However, what is important to recognise is that all of these devices use sensors in combination with machine intelligence, data analytics and (often) machine imaging. Where third party innovators go today, mass market application may debut tomorrow.