Smartphones are no longer only a communication device. They are already being used in medical research. Now, Google’s new Scientific Journal Kit allows science students or researchers to carry out scientific experiments involving audio, sound and movement using any Android-based smartphone.

What can it do?

Science Journal allows users to measure sound in a particular area using the phone’s microphone. It calculates the intensity of sound in units of decibels and shows every little fluctuation in real time in terms of decibel reading as well as on a graph. You can see the changes in real time and even save notes or comments on it.

For light readings, Science Journal uses the phone’s front facing camera and shows the measurements in unit Lux. The fluctuations in light can be seen in real time on the graph. Unlike the audio reading, the light test works well only when the light source is facing the front camera. So if there is a sudden surge of light behind the phone, it will only register the effect it has on the whole room.

Similarly, it uses the phone’s in-built accelerometer to measure movement in vertical and horizontal directions.

How can it help?

With the current set of options, the Science Journal is pretty limited in scope, but Google is working on adding new features to it. It has also developed external sensors and micro controllers that can be paired with the Science Journal app and used for wider research. These kits are already available in the US.

Science Journal is part of Google’s Making and Science initiative which strives to allow ordinary users to use their smartphones to create projects which can change the world.