iPhone as Petri Dish 

At Caltech, engineers have created a device, that aids in the process of identification of micro-organisms, with the Petri Dish process.  The iPhone is used, along with a Lego Frame, to read the Petri Dish in real time, after it is put into the incubator.


See the video on how, it is then placed in an incubator, and growth is allowed to be viewed in Real Time via remote computer!  This cuts down on labor, and handling the petri dish multiple times, and this system, more or less, automates it.

Now, this device just shows how a powerful mini-computer can make things more efficient, and save man-hours in the lab.  Most likely, a iPhone-like mini-computer will be specially made just for this purpose, and make not even look anything like the iPhone
Remember, computers double in power every 18 months!
UPDATE: Canfield Imaging of New Jersey has made inroads in this fashion, or imaging  types of things like bacterial growth, with a specialized imaging device, a step up from an iPhone.  See their website


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