Far from being just an accessory, mobile phones are starting to be used to collect data in an increasing number of disciplines.
When Martin Lukac felt a small earthquake rattle his Los Angeles apartment, he immediately thought of the mobile phone lying on his desk. Two weeks earlier, he had programmed the phone to capture readings from its built-in accelerometer, a sensor originally intended to support features such as games. Now, Lukac — a doctoral student in computer science at the University of California, Los Angeles — transferred the phone’s data to his computer and saw the readings plotted as a series of tell-tale spikes. Success! His phone had become a mobile seismometer.
Read the whole article on Nature, here.