SCiO—A Spectrometer in the Palm of Your Hand
Imagine how useful it would be if you could know how tasty the fresh produce you buy will be even before purchasing it; if you could identify any pill you found lying around in your medical cabinet; if you could keep track of the levels of fat in your body just by clicking a button… Well, you can stop imagining, because this dream has recently become a reality.
Maximizing the power of smart-phone and Cloud technology, Consumer Physics, the developers of SCiO, have designed an infrared spectrometer that fits into the palm of your hand, enabling you to access critical knowledge that formerly required specialised laboratories, professional tools, and a significant amount of time. SCiO places real-time information at your fingertips so that you can make informed decisions on the spot.
A Miniature Spectrometer
SCiO is the smallest infrared spectrometer in the world. It is roughly the size of a cigarette lighter and can easily be held in your hand. But size isn’t the only revolutionary aspect of this device. SCiO works with a cloud database that can be accessed through your smartphone. The SCiO database makes SCiO much more than a portable infrared sensor, it becomes a portable laboratory that performs complex analyses of molecular data on the spot and translates the results into terms that anyone can understand.
To create this handy gadget, the developers reduced the size of an existing near-infrared spectrometer by utilising cutting-edge micro-technological research and design platforms. Special attention was given to ensuring that the SCiO is affordable and user-friendly, without compromising result quality and accuracy.
It’s very easy to use. When you focus the infrared light on the item you want to know about, the molecules inside get excited, so to speak, and emit a return light that reveals its chemical composition. This information is sent to the SCiO cloud, which houses all analytical processing platforms and hosts an extensive materials database. A molecular report is then transmitted to your smartphone within seconds.
The Fruit Looks Delicious, but is it Good for You?
Perhaps one of the most amazing applications of this personal spectrometer is helping you to make the right decisions about the food you purchase. How many times do we buy produce based on a visual impression, only to arrive home and discover that it actually tastes terrible, or to have it spoil within a day? And what if you are watching your sugar intake? While packaged goods have detailed labels, this is not the case with fresh produce. With the hand-held SCiO, you can easily scan fruits and vegetables to assess their sweetness levels. Low sugar content means less taste. You can also use SCiO to scan dairy products, even if they are wrapped. Within seconds you will receive an analysis of the protein and fat content, as well as calories. Furthermore, the device can give you accurate information about the cocoa percentage of that chocolate you want to purchase or the amount of fat in that fish. The information SCiO offers gives you better control over your body by helping you better understand what you are intending to consume. This way you can make your culinary decisions based on facts, not on subliminal advertising or great package design.
And It Gets Even Better
In addition to measuring food freshness and nutritional content, SCiO can analyse pharmaceuticals. This could be really helpful if like me, you tend to wonder which pill it really is. These are just a few applications of this new product. According to the company website, there are many more in the works.
For example, the H2 smartphone which actually has a SCiO sensor embedded into the phone’s hardware. This essentially turns the phone into a spectrometer. Aside from consumption, this could revolutionize gaming, agriculture, fitness, the sky is the limit. It could certainly take the world of quantified-self, or lifelogging to a whole different level, enabling us to better understand our body and its consistency.