So I recently mentioned on my own site that I picked up a Motorola Droid for my new job and have been playing with it relentlessly. One of the many things I like to do when I have a moment of downtime is browse the android marketplace – lots of interesting things in there (I browse just the free section currently).
Anyways, in the marketplace there is an app that looks like a star trek tricorder. When I first saw it, I downloaded it thinking it would be a neat little image display that I could taunt my friend, The General, with when I see him later this year (he’s a big trek fan). I didn’t expect the damn thing to actually *WORK*.
- GRAV: monitor the local gravitational field and acceleration
- MAG: monitor the local magnetic field
- ACO: acoustic analysis; waveform, frequency and sound level analysis of the ambient sound
- GEO: display geographical information
- EMS: scan the electromagnetic spectrum for radio signals — currently displays cellular and WiFi signals
- SOL: display current solar activity data — downloads current solar data in the background and displays it along with current images
So, there you have it – I have a working tricorder, beeps and all. It’s not that useful, really, but does it matter? HELLO! Touch screen tricorder! Nerd, right?
Wait, it gets better. Jackie and I are looking at getting a bigger vehicle, and this weekend we plan on going for some test drives. One thing car commercials always say is “it’s such a smooth ride…”. Well, now I have a way to MEASURE the smoothness of the ride.
To repeat, I have a working tricorder that I plan on using for real world decisions.
This image? That was just me picking up the phone – it shows how much it was jostled. If I set that on the console as Jackie drives around the same area, it will give me an idea of how bumpy the ride will be. This is an actual useful application of the motion sensor if it was used in an app built for this purpose. Sadly, I don’t have the time to write it myself, so when we go for a test drive, I’ll use the tricorder app.
Now, picture it – Jackie and I are sitting in a new car with a salesman telling me how awesome his car is, and I’m sitting there, WITH A TRICORDER, going “BEEE-LOOP BOOPBEEP” while he’s trying to talk, monitoring how rough the ride is while he tells me it’s smooth.
So…should I be stoked or embarrassed?