PocketLab: a $100 scientific "Swiss Army knife"

The PocketLab is billed as a "Swiss Army Knife of science." Launched via Kickstarter, the small device contains numerous sensors to measure acceleration, force, angular velocity, magnetic field, pressure, altitude, and temperature and send that data to smartphones or laptops. According to inventor Clifton Roozeboom, it's a tool for students and citizen scientists who can't afford to spend tens of thousands of dollars on lab equipment and will get the data they need from this $100 gadget. From IEEE Spectrum:

“If you are doing a classic experiment in AP physics, you might have, say, a track and a pulley and you want to attach a sensor to a cart to measure acceleration, force, and momentum transfer,” says Roozeboom. “The typical gear available is wired, plugs into a specialized handheld gadget with a host of menus to navigate. The students spend a lot of time understanding how to use the gear instead of learning concepts.” In other traditional physics experiments, Roozeboom says, the device can be attached to a rocket to study projectile motion, stuck to a pendulum to look at harmonic motion, or placed inside a tube to measure changes in pressure with volume.

Video demo:

Notable Replies

  1. Or ... just buy a Texas Instruments sensortag for $29, and save your money.

  2. Did you watch the video? You are comparing apples and oranges.

    The synchronized live video coupled with live graphing of sensor data looks fantastic for learning. Most people wouldn't be able to program that.

  3. fnc says:

    Have absolutely no need for one.

    Want one anyway.

  4. Seems overpriced for the sensors included. With the exception of force, those are sensors built in to phones already - and you can buy a full-on smartphone for $100.

  5. Came here hoping for mass spectroscopy, or at least IR. Was severely disappointed. Accelerometers are cheap. As are pressure sensors.

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