The problem is, I believe (from other sites carrying this story) that the smartphones altogether, have only a 22.7% marketshare. This includes the iPhone.
I'll have to dig a bit, it is a pet project of one of the grad students.
This is because, for the most part, scientists are focused on their research subject and their area of expertise, cost reduction, not so much. You can't really expect everyone everywhere (especially outside of engineering) to know the intricacies of arduinos, NI DAQs, etc. as well as how to best implement them. That's for the engineers, really, and having and extra engineer on the research team most likely costs more than the savings they could help with...plus I'm not sure how many, say electrical engineers, would be interested in that kind of work anyways.
The lab I work in uses hacked Wiimotes to study visual pecerption in autism, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's. They can be programmed with C#, which our PI and another undergrad learned to work with the Wiimotes...the ease of use and the hackability are pretty good selling points besides the price.
Actually, there is a (somewhat) technical reason why movie to videogame merchandising doesn't turn out well: creating a game typically takes longer than a movie, and both have a lot of reworking in script and technical areas, so the videogame is typically rushed very much so it can follow the finalized movie storyline somewhat and be relevant when it comes out (usually close to the time the movie opens). Rushed games typically don't make for good games.