Use your phone to be a scientist

Simon Wheatcroft, ultramarathon runner

The technological capabilities of my Google Glass and smartphone allow me to see the things my eyes can’t, and have helped me become an ultramarathon runner. But there are plenty of forces and trends in the world that are hidden from us all, even those with full use of their sight.

At the core of science lie questions about these unseen forces. The experiments we design to answer these questions advance our knowledge of the world. If I can use my smartphone to help me see things my eyes can’t, imagine what you can use it to illuminate. The smartphone’s multitude of built-in sensors, including light, audio and accelerometers for movement, enable us to create experiments which answer questions that are important to us. The Google Science Journal simplifies this entire process and gives us a simple interface to create, record and analyse experiments, truly allowing anyone to contribute to our scientific knowledge of the world.

Now all you need to do is identify questions you want to answer, and head out into the world and begin observing. For me? I plan on finding out the best seat to sit on a roller coaster. Thanks to the accelerometer, I will be able to record and analyse data to find the best possible seat for the greatest thrill. 

With the power of the scientific method in our pockets, we can all go out and become a scientist.

Simon Wheatcroft lost his sight at 17 and began a journey of adapting technology to achieve the impossible. Through the aid of a smartphone and the feeling underfoot Simon learnt to run solo outdoors and ran his first ever race 7 months later – a 100 mile road race. Simon is now a motivational speaker and consultant on accessibility, to find out more see his website.

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