Consumer Pocket Scanner ‘Measures Chemistry’ of Objects
Company Develops Consumer Pocket Scanner for Measuring the Chemistry of Objects Around You
An Israeli company has developed a low-cost consumer spectrometer, alleging to measure the molecular makeup of everyday objects in our world. The device, dubbed SCiO, “is a non-intrusive, no-touch optical sensor that provides a seamless user experience.” It pairs with a smartphone or mobile device using Bluetooth to provide “instant affordable analysis,” of objects such as, “food, plants, medication, fuels, plastics.”
The development of the device was made possible through a Kickstarter campaign which landed the company a cool $2.7 million dollars funded by almost 13,000 backers. If you missed out on the campaign, the company’s website offers the device for $229 to consumers and $449 for those who want to join in on future software and hardware development.
While it’s not meant to replace mass-spectrometers for industrial purposes, it certainly beats paying thousands if you’re interested in its many everyday applications.
The Kickstarter makes a lot of steep claims about what the device can do. “Once the first working prototype was ready, we had to ‘teach’ it what different substances look like. A team of chemists, food technologists, and lab technicians who have been sampling materials like cheese, fruits, grains, oils, pills and much more, in order to begin building the database of substances that the device will identify and analyze. When SCiO hits the market, every user will be able to help expand the database by sampling an array of plants, pharmaceuticals, and raw food materials.”
So far it has not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the analysis of such products. Similarly, though the device may seem plausible in some areas, it has not yet been tested outside of the SCiO labs for such claims of accuracy.
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