“Sixth Sense” Molecular Sensor: Crowdsourcing Creation Of World’s First Database Of Matter

By: | November 18th, 2014

A New Sixth Sense

Humans have five basic senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste and smell. In addition, neurologists include nine more senses, referred to as somatic. These include: perception of pressure, heat, pain as well as senses, that record and analyze information inside the body such as balance, hunger, thirst, and the relative position of hands, legs, feet, and head.

But what doesn’t seem to be in the cards for humans is the ability to analyze objects, both living and inanimate, with respect to their molecular makeup and structure. A typical example of this would be our inability to consistently and accurately know the difference between a fruit or vegetable that is under-ripe, overripe or just right. If we were to wish for an additional human capability, it would be the ability to detect helpful and harmful substances in the air we breathe, the environment we live in, the food we eat and the liquids we drink.

SCIO (pronounced skee-o)

A new molecular scanner called SCIO, created by a small Israeli company, ConsumerPhysics, analyzes the chemical composition of objects encountered in daily life. SCIO radiates billions of photons via infra-red light onto objects and is able to identify their chemical makeup based on the absorption of photons. The scanner sends the information via bluetooth to a main frame computer, which analyzes the information, compares it with the existing database and immediately, in real time, transmits the results to the user’s smart phone.

The device will provide information such as the hydrogen content of plants, the sugar content of an Apple, identify the alcohol content of drinks, and even sense illegal substances such as “date rape” pills in drinks.

The company raised $200,000 in just two days on Kickstarter and has recently topped $2.7 million. Its goal is to provide a small handheld spectrometer that will allow users to begin learning about the world around them.

With SCIO, using its sensors and its growing database of information, people will be able to detect genetically modified organisms (GMO), verify that the medicine one takes has the right molecular structure, and have widespread impacts on research, medicine, education, food systems and the environment.

SCIO will be providing a “developer’s kit” so that people can create applications of their own and the initial price for the scanner has been set at $199.

The following video is the Kickstarter campaign video:

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David Russell Schilling

David enjoys research and writing about cutting edge technologies that hold the promise of improving conditions for all life on planet earth.

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