Do you ever wonder what exactly things are made of? Probably everyone has eaten some fabulous dish at a restaurant and really wished they could duplicate it at home (and sometimes you can), but I’m talking about lots more things. Like analyzing the soil content of your garden to see which fertilizer you need. Like making sure the generic medicine you’re taking really is the same as the name brand. Like figuring out the nutrition information in a cupcake. Stuff like that.

Consumer Physics is making all of that and more possible with SCiO, a pocket-sized molecular sensor. We’ve previously looked at the TellSpec Food Scanner, but SCiO goes so much further, it’s amazing. Point it at something, and within seconds, it sends detailed information to the accompanying app regarding nutritional content of food, the quality of your cooking oil, composition of your medication… SCiO can even tell you if an avocado is ripe or not, right through the peel! It comes with some starter applications, and right now it cannot scan metal objects, but they’ll be developing and adding applications for years to come.


How it works is SCiO shines a near-infrared light on the surface of whatever you want to scan, which causes its molecules to vibrate and bounce back. The bounceback is then analyzed by a spectrometer that separates out its wavelengths to determine exactly what it is. The information is then sent to the app on your phone via Bluetooth, from there to a cloud-based information service, and then back to your phone with the results.

Here’s the best part. While SCiO is currently about six weeks from its funding cutoff on Kickstarter, they have already surpassed their goal by something like $500,000. That means it will definitely become a reality, hopefully by their projected December 2014 delivery date. But since there are still six weeks left in the campaign, you can still pledge to get one. The cheaper, early backer options are gone, but a pledge of at least $199.00 US will get you a SCiO as well as two years’ free app downloads. It’s really not a bad deal, especially if it can really do all the things they say it can.

Source: Digital Trends

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