This Handheld Spectrometer Tells You the Molecular Composition of Your Food

SCiO is an app that can tell you information about your food.

Consumer Physics has launched a Kickstarter campaign in order to fund their tool that can tell you the chemical composition of your food. The device is called SCiO, and its a handheld spectrometer that is around the size of a flash drive. SCiO can measure the light absorption patterns of a sample, and the molecules that make it up. It then gives the user information about its molecular composition via Bluetooth on a smartphone app. Let’s take an example…

Nutritional information is shown to you through a smartphone app.

CEO Dror Shalon showed his product in action at a product demo for IEEE Spectrum. Shalon used a SCiO prototype to scan a piece of Gouda. After some light flashing and computing, Shalon’s smartphone displayed the result. “CHEESE.”

The user is then asked to enter the portion size. After another moment or so, the smartphone app showed information on the cheese — its calories, fat, protein and carbs. While all that information is on the cheese’s packaging, Shalon says that SCiO will really shine at restaurants and  take-out places where people are eating on the go.

SCiO is pocket-sized. Just about the size of a flash drive.

SCiO’s developers hope third-party developers will find even more interesting ways to use the device. It already can also scan pharmaceuticals and plants, and its developers say that it could give information on things like soil, jewelry, leather, plastics, clothes, cosmetics, rubber and oil in the future. Even before this, spectrometers were used by the Curiosity Rover in order to analyze the molecular structure of the soil on Mars.

The product has already surpassed its KickStarter goal, but you can still get special perks by supporting them on the SCiO webpage.


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