This Scanning Device Exposes What’s Really in Your Food

September 15, 2015 | Kelly Tatera

Photo credit: Consumer Physics, Inc.

A new pocket molecular sensor has the technology to determine the composition of any given material: food, plants, medicine, and more.

Star Trek fans are most likely familiar with the tricorder multifunction handheld device that Starfleet officers used to analyze virtually any material. The multifunction handheld device was used to analyze lifeforms, identify unknown ores, and analyze the composition of an atmosphere. No longer science fiction, a real-world tricorder is set to hit shelves this December, thanks to the successful Kickstarter campaign, SCiO.

SCiO (pronounced ski-oh) is a pocket molecular sensor that will provide information on the existent substances in food, plants, medicine, jewelry and more. Using near-IR spectroscopy, which requires a light source and an optical sensor, SCiO has the ability to identify the molecular makeup of any given material.

Because different types of molecules vibrate in different ways, the unique vibrations interact with light to create an optical signature. The SCiO device can then analyze the light spectrum of each specific signature, determining which molecules are present in a material or substance.

SCiO users will be able to scan food for nutritional value as well as check for calorie count or the existing amount of sugar, fats, pure oils, etc. They will even be able to examine their daily vitamins, clothes, and jewelry to confirm the authenticity of a product.

SCiO works by using cloud technology and a type of crowdsourcing solution. This means that each time you scan an object or material, the device sends information to an online database that uses algorithms to interpret the data in the light spectrum. Within seconds, identification information is delivered back to your smartphone. With this crowdsourcing approach, SCiO’s database will continuously grow, allowing it to get faster and more accurate over time.

As the database expands, SCiO plans to release additional apps on a regular basis including nutritional facts about drinks, meats, ripeness, salad dressing, and more. Ultimately, SCiO aspires to build the world’s first “database of matter.”

If you’re interested in the SCiO innovation, you can preorder* a pocket sensor now for $249. For those who are a bit more tech savvy and have interest in designing their own apps for SCiO, the Developer’s Kit is going for $449.

For more on food fraud read: Food or Faux?

Hot Topics

Facebook comments