Star Trek-Like Molecular Food Scanner SCiO Tops $2 Million On Kickstarter
Consumer Physics, the Tel Aviv-based startup behind the handheld molecular food scanner dubbed “SCiO,” has now topped $2 million in crowdfunding via its Kickstarter campaign, with 11 days remaining. SCiO is a pocket-sized spectrometer that tells you the chemical makeup of things.
SCiO can tell you nutritional information like calories, carbs, sugars, and more. More than 10,000 backers have donated to the startup, which also has funding from Khosla Ventures, Dov Moran (Comingo founder, flash drive inventor), and other angel investors.
The company also previously raised money through OurCrowd, a hybrid VC-equity crowdfunding platform. According to CrunchBase, Consumer Physics has $4 million in prior funding. [Update: the company says it's actually closer to "more than $5 million" but won't disclose the exact figures.] They’ve been raising the additional funds on Kickstarter for under a month.
What makes this device interesting to a consumer market is its cost and small size. It’s Star Trek-like technology, basically speaking. Kickstarter backers were paying under $200 for a scanner or DIY “maker’s kit.”
With SCiO, users will be able to do things like scan their foods to see the caloric content, the fat or sugars they contained, how ripe a fruit is, and even how pure a cooking oil is or if a pill (yes, it can do non-food items, too) was real or fake.
The device itself includes a light source that illuminates the sample and a spectrometer (an optical sensor) that collects the light reflected from the sample, which is what helps it determine the item’s molecular makeup.