We still don't know for sure when Google's Project Ara will make its way to store shelves, but when it does arrive it will have some nifty options. In addition to a cornucopia of CPU, screen, camera, and other options, Project Ara owners will be able to add a radiation sensor.
The Russian company Intersoft unveiled a prototype dosimeter-radiometer sensor at the second Ara developers conference (in January, but it only crossed my desk today). The DO-RA.Modul takes Intersoft's existing sensor tech and shrinks it down to about the size of a postage stamp:
Intersoft's been working on the module since at least last July. They've also developed an Android app to control the sensor, and they're hoping to have both available at the end of the year.
And given that the new module is only about a third the size of Intersoft's existing products, I'd say that they're going to pull it off. The current dosimeter-radiometer sensor is designed to plug into a smartphone's headphone jack (iPhone, for example) and feed data to an app. It launched last summer with a price around $150.
Speaking of nifty modules for Project Ara, Lapka is also working on a bevy of sensors ranging from CO2 to an EKG to a glucometer.
As you may know, this company has its own modular sensor platform, and it's using its past experience and know-how to turn a Project Ara smartphone into an honest-to-goodness tricorder:
I can't find any way to tell whether those are functional models, and not just a concept mock up, but it's nifty nonetheless.
I learned of Lapka's plans a few weeks ago, and while I can't wait to see them come to market I do have to wonder about the practicality. Sure, the above concept is nifty, but did you notice that the CPU and battery modules are missing?
I think that could make it a little hard to use all those sensors, don't you?