SCiO scans your food like a fingerprint, guilt trips you with calorie and fat report

Sized like a USB thumb drive, this molecular sensor reminds you that you are what you eat

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the design of a futuristic USB flash drive.

Just kidding.

Even though it looks like one – yes looks can be deceiving even in tech – this device is actually a molecular sensor. The SCiO device, launched through a Kickstarter campaign, is exactly the tool you need if you’re nitpicky about how many calories you consume on a daily basis.

The gizmo, which is small enough to sit in the palm of your hand, scans the molecular fingerprint of food using infra-red light which stimulates the molecules, records its reaction, and immediately provides details of its chemical composition. This includes its fat, protein, and carbohydrate levels to the milligram, on its accompanying smartphone app.

One device, many uses

But its uses go way beyond calculating how many calories there are in your cake or if eating an apple will spike your sugar levels, according to its maker, an Israeli start-up called Consumer Physics.

You'll be able to detect if your drinks have been spiked, how ripe your food is (even through the peel), the health of your houseplants, or even detect if a particular food contains any ingredients that you might be allergic to. 

Initially its functionality will be limited to just food, but the company is looking to expand its uses to check samples from precious stones, leather, cosmetics, plastics, and even human tissue or bodily fluids. Sounds scary, but this little tool might just change the way we diet and live in the future.

The SCiO device is expected to ship later this year, for as little as US$149 (S$186). Early backers can start pre-ordering devices from its Kickstarter page now.

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