SCiO: This Unbelievable Device Will Change The Way We Interact With The World

By Avner Meyrav, NoCamels April 30, 2014 Comments

A truly mind-blowing technology that was presented less than 24 hours ago on Kickstarter, with a goal to raise $200,000, has already shattered all expectations.

With $218,000 already raised and more dollars flowing in every minute, we think it’s fair to say SCiO will turn out to be one of Kickstarter’s epic success stories.

SCiO is a tiny handheld scanner that can tell you whether an apple you want to bite into is fresh, what’s in the pills your doctor prescribed, how many calories are in your meal, or whether your plant needs more water.

“Smartphones give us instant answers to questions like where to have dinner, what movie to see, and how to get from point A to point B, but when it comes to learning about what we interact with on a daily basis, we’re left in the dark,” says Dror Sharon, CEO of Consumer Physics, the Israeli company behind SCiO.

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SCiO works using a molecular scanner, which uses optics to identify the unique “fingerprint” of the molecular composition of any of matter. While molecular scanners are used in labs around the world, they are bulky pieces of equipment that are not mass-market oriented.

Consumer Physics has taken the same technology and designed SCiO from the ground up to be mass-produced at low cost. When infrared light is shined on a sample, it excites the molecules and makes them vibrate in a unique way. The wavelength-dependent light absorption of the molecules creates optical signatures according to an object’s chemical composition.

SCiO transmits that information to the cloud using Bluetooth technology, where the sample is analyzed and a reading is sent back to the users within seconds – displaying it on their smartphone.

Creating the world’s first database of matter

The company’s vision is somewhat Google-esque: aiming to map the chemical makeup of the world around us, creating the world’s first database of matter, and putting the means of discovering it in the palm (and pocket) of the user’s hand. “We designed SCiO to empower explorers everywhere with new knowledge and to encourage them to join our mission of mapping the physical world.”

Backers of the Kickstarter campaign will receive the sensor this fall, which can be used on pharmaceuticals, fruit shakes, cheeses and sauces. The company encourages developers to use its kit and as more people use the device, the database will grow richer.

“With SCiO, Consumer Physics is launching their first game-changing consumer product. I believe this product will have greater impact than the USB flash-drive! Its near future and far future potential impacts on people’s life are tremendous,” said Dov Moran, the Israeli inventor of the USB flash drive and one of the first seed investors in the company.

The possibilities for the technology are near-infinite. One does not need to use much imagination to see how it could be used for medical purposes, cooking, military and law-enforcement and even archeology. There is no doubt that if SCiO is all that it claims it is, it will literally shed new light on the way we perceive the world around us. We’ll just have to wait and see.

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