SCiO’s Handheld Scanner Aims to Detect Food Ingredients

If your technology product doesn’t seem to most users like a magic trick, you’re not trying hard enough: It’s an industry adage that explains a lot of successful tech products. But another selling point for new technologies is pent-up demand for a capability that people can’t believe didn’t exist already.
The latter describes mobile devices that provide nutritional information about the food we eat without requiring the user to enter most of it. No one has yet publicly solved the problem of tracking calories and nutrients as we put them into our bodies. But a small number of companies are beginning to introduce handheld scanners that can detect the ingredients and calories in food on our plates by miniaturizing the technology that food scientists and companies have long used.
To wit, the TellSpec device we covered in December gained a competitor this week with the launch of a Kickstarter campaign supporting the SCiO scanner, made by U.S. venture capital-backed Israeli company Consumer Physics.
“These things are amazing,” CEO Dror Sharon said pointing at his smartphone in a recent demo of the SCiO scanner for Singularity Hub. “They tell you how to navigate where you are; they tell you where to be next. But one thing they can’t tell you is the stuff around you, if you’re just not sure what it is, there’s no way they can tell you.”