With those 2016 health goals and new year fitness trends fresh in our mind, a trip to the grocery store can be a tedious task. Tricky and deceptive packaging can make it difficult to know whether or not the hot new superfood you’re picking up is actually good for you or just marketed to look that way. If you don’t have time to spend half a day reading every item’s nutrition label, we have good news. Thanks to this revolutionary food scanner, you don’t have to. Introducing: SCiO.

smartphone food scanner

Designed by an Isreali start-up, the SCiO scanner is the first molecular sensor that fits into the palm of your hand. Basically, it works like this: grab the tiny device (that could easily fit on your key ring) and hold it up to the food you want. The sensor then uses ear-infrared light to analyse reflected light energy from objects which it translates into nutrition information. That info is then sent to the corresponding app in your phone in real time.

The sensor can help you figure out an object’s sugar content, its fat percentage, how much protein is in it, etc. It might seem a little bit redundant for foods that have the nutrition label easily accessible, but this could be super helpful whenever you’re trying to make healthy choices while eating out. According to the video accompanying SCiO’s Kickstarter campaign, it can also help you figure out things like, which watermelon is sweeter or when that avocado is likely to ripen.

smartphone food scanner

The SCiO sensor isn’t just for food though. In fact, its applications are basically endless. Use the sensor on ibuprofen to discover whether the amount you’re taking is actually the correct dosage. Scan your plants to see how well they’re doing or on a garment you’re super into to uncover the material makeup (AKA is it actually cashmere?)

Currently, the SCiO sensor is available to pre-order for $249. However, if you’re willing to wait it out, this technology could eventually come standard with your smartphone. The sensor’s primary ingredient is something called a spectrometer, which they’ve shrunken down to be roughly the side of a quarter. Consumer Physics’ is working to have spectrometers embedded into smartphones and maybe even smartwatches by 2021. It’s official, folks. The future is now.

Would you use the SCiO scanner? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter @britandco.

(Photos via Kickstarter)