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
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- The dangers of our passionless American life
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- 10 things you need to know today: August 30, 2014
- The real reason conservatives should be outraged that police killed a white youth
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- 9 Harvard dropouts who became fabulously successful
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