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TellSpec Scanner Reveals What’s in Your Food: Food Label 2.0

 |  |  |  |  |  |  December 29, 2013

If you’re a health buff or if you have food allergies, you probably have a mental list of edibles to avoid. But how can you be sure that the food that’s in front of you is up to your standards? That’s the idea behind TellSpec. It’s a small scanner that can supposedly tell you what’s in your food.


TellSpec has two primary parts: a low-power laser and a spectrometer. Simply put, substances in food reflect light from the laser in distinct ways. The spectrometer analyzes and records the reflections, then TellSpec sends this data online using your mobile device. The results are displayed on your device as well via an app. TellSpec can identify the amount of calories and sugar on the scanned item, as well as the presence of preservatives and allergens such as nuts and gluten. It can scan through plastic and glass so you can use it while buying or browsing food.

TellSpec’s app can do more than just identify ingredients. It can also keep track of your calorie intake and even help you self-diagnose if you’re allergic to a particular substance. Here’s a demo of a very early prototype of the TellSpec:

Looks like they’ve got a long to go to get the device down to size. But if you’re willing to take the gamble, you can pre-order TellSpec online for $320 (USD). There are also pre-order bundles for family use and for developers. Because it uses a cloud service, TellSpec will also require a subscription. When you buy the device, you get one year of free service but after that you need to pay either $7 a month or $70 a year for it to keep working. Check out TellSpec’s website or their Indiegogo campaign page for more info.

[via The Red Ferret Journal]