Like a Star Trek Tricorder, the SCiO pocket molecular sensor can tell you the exact make-up of physical objects, be that the sugar content of a strawberry or the amount of water found in a leaf. And, with its ability to analyse pills and medicines, it could be a lifesaver for recreational drug users -- even if that's a message the SCiO team likely wont want to push.
An incredibly impressive Kickstarter project, smashing its $200,000 (£117,820) goal with $887,585 (£522,876) pledged, the SCiO uses a tiny IR-spectrometer in a pocketable gadget which is able to identify individual molecules by the way their unique vibrations create individual optical signatures. Breaking down the light spectrum information that's sent back to the SCiO, a Bluetooth connection allows a smartphone app to then detail the molecular components that make up the item. "Cosmetics, clothes, flora, soil, jewels and precious stones, leather, rubber, oils, plastics, and even your pet" could be scanned by the device according to the SCiO team, with the results then uploaded to the SCiO database.
As the platform matures, dieters could use the app and SCiO to ensure their lunchtime meals adhere to the regime they are on, while parents could make sure their kids aren't chewing toys with toxic content. And, with SCiO already using the device to make a database of pills, it's not a far leap to imagine the SCiO in the hands of clubbers, checking that the pills being pushed by dealers are made up of exactly what they claim they are.
If all goes well, SCiO will ship to Kickstarter backers by December, and would retail at £90. [Scio (Kickstarter)]