Electronics

Bluetooth metal detector uses your smartphone to do its thinking

The Air Metal Detector is currently on Kickstarter
The Air Metal Detector is currently on Kickstarter
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The various components of the Air Metal Detector 
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The various components of the Air Metal Detector 
The Air Metal Detector is currently on Kickstarter
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The Air Metal Detector is currently on Kickstarter
In order not to be bothered by alerts for things that they aren't looking for, Air Metal Detector users can set the app to ignore certain metals or sizes of objects
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In order not to be bothered by alerts for things that they aren't looking for, Air Metal Detector users can set the app to ignore certain metals or sizes of objects

Although smartphones can perform many tasks on their own, they're also able to make devices such as drones, robots and cameras cheaper and/or more capable by acting as their "brains." One of the latest gadgets to receive such a treatment is the humble – and potentially treasure-finding – metal detector.

Presently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, the Ukrainian/American-designed Air Metal Detector features a 9.5-inch (241-mm) submersible electromagnetic coil that is reportedly able to detect small metallic objects located up to 12 inches (305 mm) beneath the ground, or larger objects as far down as four feet (1.2 m). When such an item is detected, the Air Metal transmits a Bluetooth signal to the user's Apple or Android smartphone, which is mounted on the handle.

An app on that phone alerts users via an audible tone and an onscreen display, the latter indicating the type of metal and its depth within the soil. In order not to be bothered by alerts for things that they aren't looking for, users can set the app to ignore certain metals or sizes of objects. Additionally, GPS coordinates of unearthed items can be recorded on the app for future reference.

In order not to be bothered by alerts for things that they aren't looking for, Air Metal Detector users can set the app to ignore certain metals or sizes of objects
In order not to be bothered by alerts for things that they aren't looking for, Air Metal Detector users can set the app to ignore certain metals or sizes of objects

The device itself weighs 900 grams (2 lb), and folds up/telescopes down when not in use. Along with its signal-processing electronics being offloaded into the user's phone, some of its other features include an underside LED light for illuminating finds, and a small OLED screen on top of the coil that displays basic info.

Power is provided by a 900-mAh lithium battery, that should reportedly be good for 10 to 12 hours of use per charge.

If you're interested in getting an Air Metal Detector, you can do so with a pledge of US$199 – the planned retail price is $450. Assuming it goes into production, shipping should take place in November.

Another smartphone-enabled metal detector – Akyor's hard-wired, non-Bluetooth CSP86 – was successfully Kickstarted last year, but has yet to reach backers. A representative from that company tells us that it should ship by the end of June.

Sources: Kickstarter, Air Metal Detectors

3 comments
VincentWolf
Jeeze pricey. I can buy a good metal detector for 75 bucks and best for just 250
AlBerard
Wow , the guy on the left has a brand new penny in his hand !
jd_dunerider
Vincent, I'd love to see what you call "good" and "best" at the prices you mention. Have you shopped for one in the last 20 years? This is pretty cool to me. The really good metal detectors are so complicated to use and master. If they provide additional coil size/shape options, I would be very interested. Especially if the app has a ton of different customizations and "profiles" so the experts can create the best settings for different applications and share for me to use with just a couple clicks.