Speed Reads

Innovation of the Week

Innovation of the week: Scio

It's like Google for objects

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.