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Homeland Security Developing Smartphone Tech That Sniffs Deadly Chemicals

Posted By Ariel Schwartz On April 12, 2010 @ 3:00 pm In Design,Design for Health,green gadgets,Innovation | 1 Comment

sustainable design, green design, green gadget, green technology, design for health, chemicals, sensor, iphone

Recently we reported that U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Cell-All [1] had developed a chemical-sniffing [2] iPhone add-on that can potentially offer early information on a chemical attack, confirm suspicions of methane emissions, and give users information about the chemicals present in their everyday environments. Now Cell-All has announced that it wants to integrate its technology directly into smartphones — much like GPS sensors, cameras, and MP3 players are embedded into our phones. The stamp-sized chemical sensor can sniff small amounts of chemicals like methane [3], ammonia, and chlorine gas.

sustainable design, green design, green gadget, green technology, design for health, chemicals, sensor, iphone [4]

Imagine this: a terrorist is carrying hazardous chemicals through a train station. However thanks to new technology, everyone standing in the station has smartphones equipped with chemical-sniffing sensors [2]. As soon as one person’s chemical sensor is triggered, their cell phone automatically alerts the police within 60 seconds, saving everyone in sight from a chemical attack. Such a scenario is closer to becoming reality than you might think thanks to Cell-All [1]‘s chemical-sniffing iPhone chip.

The technology is a long way from full-on commercialization, but Homeland Security is working on cooperative research and development agreements with Qualcomm, LG, Apple and Samsung — four major cell phone manufacturers. If all goes well, 40 prototypes will be ready within the year, including one that sniffs carbon monoxide and fire. And eventually, Cell-All envisions that we will have “a chemical sensor in every cell phone in every pocket, purse, or belt holster.”

+ Department of Homeland Security [1]

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URL to article: http://inhabitat.com/homeland-security-developing-smartphone-tech-that-sniffs-deadly-chemicals/

URLs in this post:

[1] Cell-All: http://www.dhs.gov/files/programs/gc_1268073038372.shtm

[2] chemical-sniffing: http://inhabitat.com/2009/11/12/nasa-unveils-chemical-sniffing-device-for-the-iphone/

[3] methane: http://www.inhabitat.com/2008/07/24/spiffy-backpack-traps-bovine-gas/

[4] Image: http://inhabitat.com/2010/04/12/homeland-security-developing-smartphone-tech-that-sniffs-deadly-chemicals/sensor-5/

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