Health concerned people and fitness enthusiasts depend on food labels to inform them on how much calories, sugar, fibre and other nutrients they consume in a serving. They keep track and plan their food through these labels. I read labels primarily to gauge the sugar content because sugar is so addictive. (Check out how much sugar Americans consume with this Infographic.) Food labels have been really helpful but they have their limitations. How do we know which watermelon is sweeter at a grocery store? What about a fancy dinner at your favorite restaurant that doesn’t have a label on them?

Well, let me introduce SCiO.

SCiO on a iPhone - Image found at Tech Mafia

SCiO on a iPhone – Image found at Tech Mafia

SCiO is a pocket device that claims to be the user’s sixth sense. It launched in April 2014 with the help of about 13,000 backs on Kickstarter.  This is a molecular sensor that uses a spectrometer to collect data from item with a simple scan. The information collected is then sent to the SCiO Cloud where a report is generated in real-time and sent to your smartphone, with the chemical makeup of the item. SCiO is able to tell users not only the nutrition facts about foods – calories, sugar, fibre etc. but also, the quality of the food. Like the sweetness, ripeness or spoilage of a fruit, salad dressing and other various foods. SCiO will even be able to tell you how pure the cooking oil is. With a simple scan, the average person can easily limit the amount of processed or chemically engineered food they consume. I also think that this device tremendously increase the accountability of food manufacturing and processing companies when they claim that their food is “100% non-GMO” or statements like that.

The application of SCiO also extended to non food areas such as medicine, gardening, research and education. Users can know the content of a pill that they are taking, or scan to see the water level of their basil, conduct health and dietary related research and even just giving a SCiO to their child to scan around and find out what is the chemical makeup of things around them.

I really liked this innovation because it is a really cool crowdsourcing project. Not only we can tell exactly what we put into our bodies but the active scanning of the users help SCiO create a massive database that contributes to food, research, medicine, and education purposes. In addition, SCiO is providing mobile application development platforms for mobile developers to leverage this rise of mobile communication and the buzz of innovate apps to be more engaging with the smartphone users and encourage other developments based on this massive database through a simple scan.

Watch the SCiO campaign at Kickstarter:

 

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