My friends Constantine and Kristof always talk about making a Shazam app for plants. What flower is that? Shazam for Plants it. Can I eat that? Shazam for Plants it. Will that get me high? Sha- no. SCiO it.
Though SCiO was not created specifically for plants, and the point-and-shoot spectrometer is not precisely intended to identify names of surrounding objects, I think Constantine and Kristof will still want one because it can actually do far more, and is way, way cooler. SCiO is a pocket-sized molecular sensor devised to scan materials and physical objects, and then beam instant, relative information about them to the user's smartphone. In other words, it will allow us to analyze and view data about the makeup, caloric content, and health of most organic entities. Food. Plants. Medications. Boobies. Pretty cool.
I just hope SCiO really works, and makes it beyond the sphere of Kickstarter. Already funded at 1-1/2 times its $200,000 goal, the campaign runs through June 15, 2014. SCiO creators, Consumer Physics, are going to have a tall molecular order to fill. Encouragingly, the Tel Aviv-based company already has a functional prototype, which they have demoed to seeming fanfare at various trade shows and academic institutions around the US.
Those wishing to back SCiO can (maybe) anticipate sensor delivery in November/December 2014. Once in hand--literally; it's palm-sized--the miniature spectrometer will be able to do the following tricks right out of the box:
- Provide nutritional breakdowns on foods such as salad dressings, sauces, fruits, and cheeses.
- Test the ripeness of an Avocado through the peel.
- Determine the quality of your cooking oil.
- Know how healthy your plants are.
- Analyze soil or hydroponic solutions.
- Authenticate medications or supplements.
- Upload and tag the spectrum of any material on earth to the SCiO database. Even your own self. [Uh oh. It's going to be Shazam for Plants and a Molecular Urban Dictionary.]
Once SCiO is officially released, Consumer Physics says it will regularly expand upon these starter applications. (Kickstarter backers have the option of pledging up a level to receive new applications free for the next 2 years.) Future prospects include using SCiO sensors to measure properties of cosmetics, clothes, jewels and precious stones, leather, rubber, plastics, golden retrievers, and fingerscrossed fingerscrossed boobies.