Analyse This: SCiO’s Crowdsourced Database of Matter

Given the phenomenal success of this Kickstarter project (13k backers, $2.76 million pledged towards a goal of $200k) you should be interested in SCiO–a miniature hand-held spectrometer.

This, my amigos, changes everything. It will take the guesswork out of buying the sweetest cantaloupe at the grocery store. It will let you see differences between closely-related plant subspecies (eventually if not already) and maybe see chemical differences or similarities between your family dog and the suspected love-child pup born to your neighbor’s female retriever.

The point is, we can now project our curiosity directly onto objects around us and measure calories, chemistry, toxins, vitamins and eventually much, much more.

Answers and understandings will come to questions we have not even thought to ask in the absence of a wy to “see” into the makeup of matter in our environment.

But maybe the hype outpaces the reality here. What do you think?

Start by watching the short video at the first link.

SCiO: Your Sixth Sense. A Pocket Molecular Sensor For All ! by Consumer Physics, Inc. – Kickstarter

SCiO – Consumer Physics

SCiO is made to analyze … everything – GizMag


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Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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  1. With that much funding, they can expand the applications quickly. I am pretty sure all the techies out there will embrace this new gadget. Science teachers will sure be seeing a new generation of Science Fair projects!