We all want that latest new tech in our smartphones: sync with our house lights, turn on our car, tell us our sperm count, and we keep looking for newer tech in upcoming models. But, we’ve never had a smartphone that showed us what is–physically–in something. Of course, that meant someone would make it.
Changhong H2 is the world’s first material sensing smartphone. It’s made possible by embedding molecule sensing technology known as SCiO into the phones. Developed by Consumer Physics the sensor works by absorbing infrared light reflected off of an object and then registering the molecular data it receives. Rather than just identifying objects, the SCiO sensors are designed to have apps built for them for various applications.
Out of the box, SCiO technology can be used to get nutritional information (calories, fat, carbs, proteins), identify OTC pain relievers, choose the best quality produce, measure and track body fat, and measure cocoa concentrations in chocolate. Users also can build their material sensing applications to classify and identify materials.
In fact, when Changhong took the H2 to CES 2017 they used the phone to identify which of two Viagra pills were real or fake. No, we aren’t joking.
In theory, the technology can be used on virtually any type of material since it’s identical to conventional spectrograph technology that has been in use for decades. Additionally, when tests occur, the results are generated instantaneously. “Just as the smartphone put the power of the internet and a vast knowledge base into our pockets, this innovation will put the capability to learn about the chemical and molecular makeup of materials into the public’s hands,” said Dror Sharon, CEO of Consumer Physics. “This is the next leap forward not just for mobile phones, but for all sorts of connected devices. The Changhong H2 and smartphones are only the beginning.”
The Changhong H2 features a 6-inch extra-large high-resolution screen and a seamless user experience with a 2.0GHz/8-core CPU. Even with the SCiO sensors built in, Changhong advertises the H2 as 20% more energy efficient than standard smartphones. Currently, the Changhong H2 is only available for purchase in China with no additional information on availability outside of that region. It runs on Android and is priced at $2999 RMB or $434.52 US. Users interested in using SCiO technology without the phone can purchase a handheld sensor via the Consumer Physics website for $299.99.
Of course, with technology as new as this, there are always issues of application support. Changhong says they are committing resources to developing an application ecosystem for the H2 and also are open to helping developers develop their applications for it. On top of that, they’ve planned a software development kit for later this year.
At the very least, Star Trek fans are one step closer to getting that tricorder they always wanted as kids.
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