Windows Phone can detect landmines, save your bacon

 

Windows Phone is a powerful OS, we have seen this time and time again. In today’s edition of why Windows Phone and Imagine Cup are awesome, let’s take a look at SAPER. What does SAPER do, you ask? Oh, it can detect landmines by measuring the magnetic field around the explosive device which can save lives, no big deal.

This phenomenal application was developed by a team from the Military University of Technology in Warsaw; SAPER is a Polish term for minesweeper and is also an acronym for Sensor Amplified Perception for Explosives Recognition via gizmag.

The application works by using the magnetometer that is typically used to provide your phone with compass-like functionality but in this case, has been modified to detect the magnetic field around explosives. It does this by establishing a baseline of the environment that you are in, then you paint a 30cm grid pattern over the area you wish to inspect and the device then connects to the cloud to see if the disturbances measured by the sensor match up to documented explosive devices.

This simple application will not replace dedicated mine detection devices but at the same time, getting your hands on a Windows Phone device is far easier than a mine detection tool. Given that landmines are still a major issue in many parts of the World, this simple tool can help locate explosives and save lives.

This application was developed for the Imagine Cup competition and the World finals will be held in July. Neowin will be at the finals to bring more of these applications to light to show the true power of the creative mind and Microsoft technologies. 

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14 Comments

Interesting concept however, most places you'll be looking for land mines are far outside the reach of a stable data connection so the cloud concept is useless. Since the places that have a data connection are also high traffic areas the odds of there being a land mine and nobody having stepped on it yet are far beyond astronomical.

Furthermore, most places with this issue don't have a mobile network built, let alone a mobile data network. I don't remember seeing anyone setting up cell towers in Afghanistan when I was over there. On base we had data via satellite and you could connect to that. Otherwise you were SOL. Well this was at Camp Blessing anyway...

KCRic said,
Interesting concept however, most places you'll be looking for land mines are far outside the reach of a stable data connection so the cloud concept is useless. Since the places that have a data connection are also high traffic areas the odds of there being a land mine and nobody having stepped on it yet are far beyond astronomical.

Furthermore, most places with this issue don't have a mobile network built, let alone a mobile data network. I don't remember seeing anyone setting up cell towers in Afghanistan when I was over there. On base we had data via satellite and you could connect to that. Otherwise you were SOL. Well this was at Camp Blessing anyway...

I found a land mine in Kansas City, once. And two in Dallas. This would have been less messy than promising a kid some candy if he stepped on the spot to test it for me. Now we just need an app to detect hidden laser turrets, but I'm afraid 30 cm is a bit short range for that.

Skwerl said,

I found a land mine in Kansas City, once. And two in Dallas. This would have been less messy than promising a kid some candy if he stepped on the spot to test it for me. Now we just need an app to detect hidden laser turrets, but I'm afraid 30 cm is a bit short range for that.


I can look for mines in the office.or before going to bed...

Think if you need to make a single path through an area with landmines, i don't think it is intended to be used to clear large areas.

Chrono951 said,
So scan 30cm at a time? Seems like that would take a really long time to scan a huge area.

Just step around or over the 30 cm area if you're in doubt!

Connects to the cloud? Okay, great. next time I'm trying to detect mines in downtown Austin or some other metropolitan area with a reliable data signal, I know what device to take with me!

1: What a crappy video with terribly annoying music.
2: Tons of 'metal detector' apps for Android (and probably iOS) do exactly the same, they're just not called 'mine detectors'.

LaP said,
I would not rely on a phone to save my life from a land mine.

If you lived in a country where you have no choice but to risk your life daily to actually walk around, then yes, you would take the next best thing that promises a little more security.

We're not talking about demining teams that are trained and have equip, we're talking about poor or ordinary people who cope with the daily risk of being either blown up or amputated.

Yes, the video promotes it being ready for military use, but I think the great strength in it is for civilians.

GS:mac

This will save 0 lives. It is too impractical to use... stop, scan 30cm square ahead, wait for data connection, get ok, step forward 30cm, repeat. The phone battery will be dead before you make 50 m.

A mobile phone add on which has a real detector would be more useful.

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