A new device launching on Kickstarter today aims to simplify the process by utilizing spectrometry to analyze and provide real-time information on any food that you aim it at. Dubbed SCiO, this molecular scanner from Tel Aviv-based company Consumer Physics takes spectrometry technology found commonly in laboratories and industrial environments and places it in a consumer device not much larger than a common USB drive.
The process is simple: pair SCiO to your phone via Bluetooth, hold it about an inch away from an object, such as an apple, and press a button. In just a matter of seconds, SCiO supposedly analyzes the actual chemical makeup of the apple, sends the data to the cloud, and accurately identifies the fruit and provides nutritional information about it. The food app can also give information about how ripe that apple is.
Additionally, SCiO can also scan medication. During a live demonstration we attended last week, Consumer Physics’ co-founder Dr Sharon scanned two brands of ibuprofen, and SCiO was able to identify which pill was a generic brand. When we asked what other medical-type applications SCiO could have, Sharon explained that SCiO won’t be marketed as a medical device at the start, but has the capability of scanning the skin and bodily fluids and could evolve into a medical device if there is enough interest from consumers.
The sky is the limit for potential applications; while SCiO will ship with the ability to identify a large number of food and medication, the company will rely on its users to help expand the database. Consumer Physics will also release an application development kit so programmers can create their own apps that use SCiO. One unique application we saw was how SCiO could also help you develop a green thumb. Scan a plant with the included plant application, and it will let you know if your plants are in need of water.
If you want to get your hands on a SCiO, you can pre-order one now through Kickstarter for $149.