Pocket EPA: iPhone Gadget to Measure Environmental Hazards

Posted by Phoebe Unterman

It's a hazardous world out there. Some things we have control over—like the food we put on our plates—but other risks are harder to detect. Lapka Electronics sees an opportunity in our anxiety over contaminated environments and is soon bringing a device to market that holds some promise to mitigate the toxicity to which we're all exposed. 

Things we’ve long considered inevitable hazards of modern life—radioactivity in the air, pollution created by our electronics, harmful residue in our food—could suddenly become easily measurable.

The 4-ounce set of sensors called a “Personal Environmental Monitor” plugs into the headphone jack of an iPhone and measures nearby radiation, electromagnetic fields and humidity, as well as the amount of nitrates in your food left over from synthetic fertilizers. 

To keep from alarming users with seemingly sky-high results for radiation and electromagnetic pollution, Lapka contextualizes the information by comparing it to average target values for each environment.

The product’s release is set for December and will cost around $220, while the accompanying app is free. Lapka isn’t done blowing your mind: next on their agenda are iPhone-powered allergen sensors.

Photo via Lapka