A new, pocket-size scanner is like Google for objects, said Tim Bajarin at Time. Scio is a handheld scanner featuring a spectrometer "that can scan physical items and tell you about their chemical makeup." Scio measures the wavelengths of infrared light reflected off an object, compares the results to an external database, and then transmits a breakdown of the item's molecular composition to a smartphone app. Currently, Scio works best on medications, plants, and food — allowing a user to determine the nutritional content of a piece of fruit, for instance.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Here comes the Pentagon's newest space plane
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- The U.S. is about to sell weapons to Vietnam. That's bad news for China.
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Did the media get Ferguson wrong?
- This week I learned the surprisingly dark origins of the Nobel Prize, and more
- The simple trick to making better decisions in every aspect of life
Subscribe to the Week