The Sensordrone, an invention that dramatically extends the sensing capabilities of smartphones and tablets, came out of the Consumer Products category, but could well have been entered in almost all of the categories because of its versatility. The keyfob- sized device includes sensors that enable consumers to run a variety of medical applications — from blood pressure monitoring to temperature sensing to breath alcohol testing. But, in addition to medical uses, the device is open to a wide range of applications, depending on whether it’s for home safety use, medical use, industrial, or construction use. It could be used to monitor carbon monoxide, humidity, light, and weather, or as an altimeter, barometer, stud-finder, data-logger, and more.

altFor mobile device developers, it offers an open platform to create new low-cost sensor applications. It asks the question, “what if sensors, meters, and instruments were just apps instead of single purpose, bulky, expensive equipment?”

For hardware developers, Sensordrone offers an easy way to integrate medical sensors into Android and iOS devices. Mark Wagner, who submitted the entry, said that it’s “most important that the application level software is open source so anybody can combine a suite of new sensors with powerful mobile devices to create new apps.” The platform concept means that products can be developed and launched faster, less expensively, and with more customization for specific applications.

This entry was chosen for its uniqueness, and for being the wave of the future — an innovation that will drive technology forward. For more information, visit http://contest.techbriefs.com/grand-prize.