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CES 2017: The Changhong H2 can scan the chemical composition of objects

By Ian Chee - on 12 Jan 2017, 11:32am

CES 2017: The Changhong H2 can scan the chemical composition of objects

Image source: CNET.

Chinese smartphone maker Changhong has made the H2 smartphone that is, for all intents and purposes, no different from any other in the market, save for one key feature. It is fitted with a dedicated molecular sensor that helps you get information such as the sugar content in fruits or the active ingredients of medicine.

To understand this better, we’ll first need to understand the molecular sensor. Developed by Consumer Physics, the SCiO lets you discover information about an object or liquid just by pointing the device at it. You can even point it at any part of your own body to discover that region’s body fat percentage. You’ll then be able to see the results on a smartphone app.

If you like more technical detail, this process makes use of Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) to scan objects and liquids for their chemical composition, which are then identified through cloud-based computer analysis of the resulting data.

The spectrometer of the Changhong H2 is a miniaturized version of the SCiO, and looks to be even more effective than the original device. That said, the results from both the original and the miniaturized SCiO should be taken with the pinch of salt. Sure, the demo video shows the app telling you that “results may not be 100 percent accurate” but it remains to be seen what kind of accuracy levels we can reasonably expect from it until rigorous tests have been conducted.

Accuracy aside, the molecular scanner may not really see much use by the average user after the novelty wears off, save maybe the fitness buffs who will have to constantly measure their body fat and monitor their food content.

The standalone SCiO can be bought for US$299 (approx. RM1,333) but the Changhong H2 with the built-in miniaturized one is only available in China for now.

Source: Forbes.