Think of the SCiO thumb-sized scanner as a “Shazam for things”. Point it at any object, and its spectrometer will analyze its chemical composition, sending the object’s spectral signature to SCiO’s servers for analysis through your connected smartphone.
In practical terms for dieters, just pointing SCiO at food reveals its ripeness, number of calories and nutritional value. You’ll be able to scan plastics to ascertain their recyclability, home brewers will be able to more accurately monitor alcohol levels, detect what’s in that pill your doctor prescribed, what’s in those cosmetics, how healthy your plants or potting soil are, and discern the difference between a diamond and zirconium, fake from real leather, and real from counterfeit cash.
It’s the closest thing to a Star Trek-like tricorder, and there’s a working prototype already in existence. The company is doing the Kickstarter dance, where they’ve exceeded their goal by over million dollars. It’ll cost you $200 to own, but hurry up because they’re going to be sold out fairly soon.