Imagine being able to point a device at a piece of food and having it tell you exactly what ingredients and chemicals are in it. Well, that’s exactly what the TellSpec claims to be able to do.
The device utilizes a small Raman spectrometer, a unique cloud-based algorithm and a simple smartphone app. Scanning a food item on the plate or in a shopping aisle is as simple as aiming TellSpec at it and pushing a button. It beams a low-powered laser at the item and analyzes the reflected light waves to identify the chemical makeup of the food.
The team behind the TellSpec analyzed 3,000 different foods and created an expansive database based on the spectrographic signature of those foods. Technically, it’s also able to analyze foods that aren’t in this database, with a claimed 97.7% accuracy. However, there are limitations. It’ll scan the surface of foods, but anything buried beneath an opaque layer won’t register, for instance; it’ll tell you what’s in the Twinkie dough, but stay mum on its delicious filling. The team is also hoping to expand on the database by allowing end users to add to it.
TellSpec will set you back $320 with a pledge to their fully-funded IndoeGogo, with shipping slated for August 2014.