It seems that measurement microphones are getting the iPhone/iPad treatment now, with new Type 1 microphones now available for use with the Apple devices. StudioSixDigital, a company which makes iOS-based audio-related apps has now come out with the iPrecisionMic, a mic that connects to your iOS device through the Lightning connector, with no extra electronics needed. They claim that along with their software, the system of the mic and your iOS device can be sent to a calibration centre to get calibrated and certified to Type 1/Class 1 Sound Level Meter status.
As for actual use by acoustical engineers in industrial/commercial/environmental settings? First, I’m not sure i’d want to send my smartphone to a calibration centre for calibration – I’d be out of a phone for a while and I’d be lost without it. I wonder if it works with a iPod Touch? That setup would be much smaller and easier to take around than most other sound level meters. Also, most sound level meters are made to be quite durable (at least the body), even if the microphone is fragile, whereas the iOS devices are definitely not what i’d call durable for an industrial environment. The touch-screen aspect of the devices is what interests me most – most interfaces for sound level meters that I’ve seen are horrendous and very difficult to read and navigate. However, at least they can be used with gloves and by touch, whereas that wouldn’t be possible with an iOS device. At any rate, I think it’s great that this is available now, but I’m sure it’ll take years of development before I’d be willing to purchase and use one for my line of work.