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Spectrometers are devices that can identify objects using light. They usually cost thousands of dollars and are mainly used by scientists. But in the past couple of years we’ve seen compact spectrometers that are affordable and simple enough that even ordinary people can use them.
Last year we found out about TellSpec, a portable scanner that can identify the composition of food as well as provide nutritional data. A company called ConsumerPhysics is raising funds for SCiO, which works similarly to TellSpec but seems to be more versatile.