Public Lab Research note

Ideas from the $10 Kickstarter backers on how they will use the spectrometer

by Shannon | December 12, 2012 17:47 12 Dec 17:47 | #5182 | #5182

We asked each of the Kickstarter backer levels what they plan to do once they receive their spectrometer. Mini-foldable spectrometers that can attach to your smartphone are shipping this week and here's some of the ideas that people listed from the $10 backer tier.

Responses from other backer levels: $35 backer level $100 backer level $200 and $400 backer levels

Related to light

  • Measure light sources
  • Investigate indoor lights spectrum
  • Light analysis
  • Film lighting
  • compare light bulbs, ...
  • Measuring output of LED arrays for a NASA-funded project for growing plants inside extraplanetary habitats. Someday we'll do some detailed spectroscopy but this gets us going!
  • Colour experiments.
  • Experiment with home theatre displays (projectors, plasmas & lcd tvs)
  • Figure out what's in the ceiling lights in the lab!
  • Analyze led light sources for reef aquarium
  • Testing fluorescent materials in our lab
  • Getting reliable RGB readings from withered surfaces

Related to Water and Soil

  • Check for calcium in water from fountain
  • Start with the tap water in my house
  • Checking the purity of water, measuring other things for fun and possibly science.
  • Will probably look at my tap water before and after filtration just to see if there is a difference.
  • Aquaponics, Led Light, water quality, food quality.
  • Hopefully I'll start sampling some groundwater around my area.
  • Test the possibility for deriving water quality parameters or Chlorophyll content with forward transfer models
  • Testing water
  • Test water in the Charles River, test local tap water.
  • Check water quality, have fun
  • Test the water in Greenpoint!
  • Check and see what's in the rain drops
  • Water and soil samples
  • Check out rock pieces and dirt

Related to Food and Drink

  • Catalog what's in my drinks
  • I want to test spectrometry on food - liquid and solid. Most importantly - to measure the content of nutrient on particular pieces of fruit and vegetable (if feasible).
  • Look at coffee + beer?
  • Analyzing food
  • Find out what I'm drinking
  • Home brewer.
  • Analyze home brew beer
  • Check what I'm eating and other fun things
  • Check what I drink? Processed bottled drinks.
  • Home brewing
  • Mainly using it on edible items I guess + wines
  • Initial plan is to use it to analyze coffee
  • Classify all kinds of neat liquids I can find!
  • Test food, water, compare...
  • Testing whiskey
  • Study fruit we produce.
  • Measure organic compounds in home-brewed beer
  • Maple syrup and whatever else I can think of.

Related to Household items

  • Examine various household items
  • Experiments with common liquids and materials
  • Test leather
  • Analyze stuff I run across. If it works really well, might check for contaminants on supplies at work.
  • Analyze household light sources, household materials
  • Mainly interested in testing supposedly chemical-free or natural products.
  • Look at water, and various things around the flat and neighbourhood
  • Seeing what's in my aquarium water.

Related to biology and chemistry###

  • Cell culture / immunofluoro
  • Analyze bodily fluids
  • Local air quality
  • I plan to get involved based on whatever your site recommends! My interest is in biology, so, probably I'll be analyzing living tissue.
  • I will be checking blood in specimen.
  • Examine my feces and sperm
  • Set up spectroscopy in an IEC reactor to detect gas mixture!
  • See if they're contaminating our precious bodily fluids.
  • Try it out in my lab (i'm an analytical wood chemist), around town, at home, etc.
  • Spectrometerizing all the liquids I can find!
  • Gas analysis

Related to Astronomy and Atmosphere

  • Astronomy demos
  • Hobby astronomy, and fun education with the children
  • Measure the Dark Side of the Moon
  • We are building the space elevator. Our Kickstarter campaign is launching a tethered balloon experiment to 7KM high. We will host the spectrometer at that altitude to identify atmospheric conditions.
  • Teach astronomy!

Related to Chemicals (general)

  • Chemical discovery
  • I will be using it for quick chemicals analysis in my Lab.
  • Chemistry!
  • Checking oil samples
  • Testing local environment and know hydrocarbons with an aim of tracing them through the environment.
  • Composition of some plastics for extrusion.

Related to Education

  • My son is a super scientist. He will be using it to replace the DIY one he made recently.
  • Use it to explore the world around me and as a teaching tool with my kids.
  • Public high school for science - looking for alternative spectrophotometers
  • Informal teaching
  • I plan to experiment with it in the high school science class I teach.
  • I'm an educator, and I hope to evaluate this project's classroom suitability.
  • Home schooling physics
  • Exploring my world with my kids.
  • Use it to show my young children about spectroscopy.
  • Science!
  • Hope to use it for public engagement events.
  • I love teaching kids about science, so Ill figure out some way to use it.
  • Science training for my home-schooled grandson
  • Showing it to my nerd friends
  • Show it off at
  • I'm a biologist & lab automation engineer. I enjoy science advocacy in general and plan tip share the spec with kids & science educators.
  • Use in high school science lab as a teacher.
  • Whatever I can! First I'm going to show it off to my father, the head of a high school science department and fellow chemist.
  • Play around, teach, test chemometric methods
  • Teach chemistry to my grandchildren
  • Share with students... to help them understand spectroscopy and see science all around


  • Backyard experiments
  • Make it available in Africa
  • Just for fun
  • Awesome experiments!
  • Use as an example of interesting technology+crowd sourcing environmentalism
  • I'd eventually like to conduct real experiments with this. I will post my efforts online.
  • Exploring and learning.
  • Analyze some items
  • I plan on testing everything I see
  • Looking at spectra for anything at anytime
  • I would like to learn more about the daily application of spectrometer.
  • Make an Android app resembling a tricorder
  • Examine the makeup of my surroundings
  • First generate awareness of accessibility of measurement techniques.
  • Impress my friends
  • Help to enlarge the Spectra database
  • Learning about what can be analyzed
  • Skies the limit. We plan to futz with it!
  • Ridicule it publicly
  • Top Secret!
  • Want to test its accuracy and ease of use.
  • Tests. I'm working on an enhanced spectrometer already, thanks a lot for the idea/kickoff.
  • Tests to see how to improve the spectrometer
  • Extemporaneous observations of the local environment



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