SCiO: Pocket Molecular Sensor

SCiO: Pocket Molecular Sensor

Consumer Physics Inc.


Scan materials or physical objects. Get instant relevant information to your smartphone. Food, medicine, and more.

Smartphones made it easy to research facts, capture images, and navigate street maps, but they haven't brought us closer to the physical environment in which we live – until now.

Meet SCiO. It is the world's first affordable molecular sensor that fits in the palm of your hand. SCiO is a tiny spectrometer and allows you to get instant relevant information about the chemical make-up of materials around you, sent directly to your smartphone.


  • Get nutritional facts about different kinds of food: Dairy products, Fruits and vegetables. Other apps for drinks, meats, ripeness, salad dressing and more will be released on a regular basis as our database expands.
  • Know the well-being of popular plants.
  • Identify capsules containing medicine and nutritional supplements.
  • Help build the world's first database of matter.

About the Company

Near Infra-Red Spectroscopy at the palm of your hand. NIR spectroscopy has been known for decades but until SCiO, has only been used in labs or factories. We created SCiO to bring this powerful technology to everyone.

We used technologies developed for cell-phone cameras and optical communications devices to dramatically reduce the cost and size of NIR spectroscopy systems. It took us three years and the effort of many talented engineers and scientists to bring you SCiO.

How SCiO Works: SCiO is based on the proven near-IR spectroscopy method. The physical basis for this material analysis method is that each type of molecule vibrates in its own unique way, and these vibrations interact with light to create a unique optical signature.

SCiO includes a light source that illuminates the sample and an optical sensor called a spectrometer that collects the light reflected from the sample. The spectrometer breaks down the light to its spectrum, which includes all the information required to detect the result of this interaction between the illuminated light and the molecules in the sample.

Spectrometers used for near-IR spectroscopy are normally found in scientific laboratories and are very big and expensive. Designed for consumers, SCiO leverages a tiny spectrometer, designed from the ground up to be mass-produced at low cost. Consumer Physics achieved this advancement by reinventing the spectrometer around low-cost optics and advanced signal processing algorithms.

To deliver relevant information in real time, SCiO communicates the spectrum of the sample to a smartphone wirelessly, which in turn forwards it to a cloud-based service for review. Advanced algorithms utilize an updatable database to analyze the spectrum within milliseconds and deliver information about the analyzed sample back to the user's smartphone in real time.

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