The SCiO puts the power of spectral analysis in the palm of your hand


The SCiO is a small handheld device that let’s you analyze the molecular composition of most objects and materials. The possibilities are endless, allowing you to analyze food for gluten and caloric content, test the hydration levels of plants, and authenticate a variety of medicines and jewelry.

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Particularly exciting is their database and software library that will be stored in the cloud. As consumers use the device and upload information, others around the world will be able to access and utilize this data for research.

The SCiO is basically a thumb-sized spectrometer. The device works by projecting a small beam of infrared light whose photons interact with the bonds in the molecules of the object. The vibration in those bonds and the changes in the photons are read as a unique signature of the chemical makeup of the sample. The reading is then sent to your smartphone via Bluetooth where it is transmitted to the SCiO cloud database, which translates the signature into pertinent information (e.g. nutritional content).


Until now, this technology has never been made available to anyone outside of a lab. This new-found freedom to experiment will motivate those willing to continue innovating and developing applications that will surely result in a new wealth of useful information for researchers and individuals.

Watch the company’s trailer:

(article co-written with Brandon Bailey)

About Author

Kristian strives to enlighten and entertain readers. In addition to his teaching and editorial responsibilities, he is working on a science-fiction novel that promises not to include exoskeleton suits and anemic aliens floating in mysterious vats of green-tinted goop.

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