There are more and more amazing projects appearing on such crowdfunding websites as Kickstarter and IndieGoGo. One such truly innovative idea is SCiO, a small pocket molecular scanner which scans materials or physical objects and delivers relevant information directly on your smartphone. We rely on our smartphones and tablets to research facts, capture images, and navigate street maps, but SCiO brings along another awesome feature – the ability to see the molecular structure of your food, the medicine that you need to take, the plants that you grow and much, much more.
SCiO is able to scan through physical objects thanks to the tiny spectrometer inside it, and this actually represents the goal of the team – to be able to create a small spectrometer that you could take anywhere with you and you could also afford to buy it. Thus, by using SCiO, you will be able to do a lot of things, like getting nutritional facts about your food, see how ripe certain fruits are, find out the quality of your cooking oil, analyze soil or hydroponic solutions and many, many other things. You can even upload and tag the spectrum of any material on Earth to the database so that SCiO could get even smarter.
SCiO is based on the age-old near-IR spectroscopy method. The physical basis for this material analysis method is that each type of molecule vibrates in its own unique way, and these vibrations interact with light to create its own unique optical signature. SCiO includes a light source that illuminates the sample and an optical sensor called a spectrometer that collects the light reflected from the sample. The spectrometer breaks down the light to its spectrum, which includes all the information required to detect the result of this interaction between the illuminated light and the molecules in the sample.
The SCiO comes with a general mobile app where you can choose a specific SCiO app suited for your needs. And as the product will become more popular, more apps will make their way there, since third-party developers are also invited to create their own apps. At the moment, it will work with iPhone models from 4S and onwards, iPad 3rd generation or later and Android based phones with Bluetooth 4.0 LE ( Android 4.3 or later). At the time of writing this, the project has been supprot by 4,439 with a total pledged amount of almost $900,000, which is way beyound the initial goal of $200,000. And there are still 40 days to go.
At the moment, the cheapest offer for a fully working SCiO is $199, but there is a limited quantity, as its retail price is expected to be somewhere near $500. So, if you’re interested in such a device, you definitely should rush and get on.