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Brief Published: 13 Mar 2017

Food-Scanning Smartphone Uses Spectrometry

Changhong H2 Smartphone

Chinese consumer electronics manufacturer Changhong will launch the world's first material-sensing smartphone in China in late 2017. The device will enable consumers to choose the freshest fruits and vegetables in the supermarket, as well as track calories, carbohydrates, proteins and fats in restaurant foods.

The Changhong H2 will contain a scanner that can analyse food and drink on a molecular level using SCiO scanning technology from US-based start-up Consumer Physics (previously featured on Stylus). Using a tiny near-infrared spectrometer, the phone will analyse the pattern of light reflected from any food item or liquid, determining chemical composition and ingredient make-up. It will also be able to measure human body fat percentage and scan medicines to decipher counterfeits.

The company is also developing a range of apps to integrate with the phone's sensor technology and expand the potential uses of the device, which will retail at $433. For more recent examples of nutrition-focused sensor technology, see Handheld Biosensor and Sickness-Predicting Wearables.

Meanwhile, Self-Sustaining Spaces, part of our Kitchen of the Future Industry Trend, also investigates the potential of hyper-spectral technology as a means of empowering consumer choices.

Products of this nature build on previous themes explored on Stylus that centre around tech-enabled diets and smart gadgets. For further background thinking, see Intelligent Eating and Next-Gen Dieting, part of our New Food Frontiers Industry Trend.