SCIENCE

This Tiny Scanner Delivers Instant Nutritional Facts To Your Phone

Behold, the magic of science!

04/06/2016 5:47 AM AEST | Updated 04/06/2016 5:47 AM AEST
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Unsure about the nutritional value of your lunch? SCiO may be able to help you figure it out. 

SCiO is a molecular sensor that can decipher the chemical makeup of the materials around you -- and best of all, it fits into the palm of your hand. With just the press of a button, the tiny machine analyzes the item and sends the data to your smartphone, where you can read up on whatever is in the sample you scanned. 

SCiO's technology uses near infrared spectroscopy, a type of analysis that has been a mainstay in labs for decades but is becoming more widely available for everyday consumer use. The handheld scanner detects how light reflects off of an item to analyze its molecular structure. While similar spectrometers have been marketed in the past, few have come with SCiO's relatively low price tag of $200. But don't expect the same scientific accuracy that you would get from a lab, CNET reported.

Currently SCiO's database provides information for dairy products, fruits and vegetables. But as more and more people use it, SCiO's creators hope to release additional apps for drinks, meats, ripeness and more -- effectively building what the website calls the "world's first database of matter."

Watch the video above to learn more.

This video was produced by Alex Kushneir and Paul Josephson and edited by Sherng-lee Huang.

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