The SCiO Handheld Scanner Makes Sure You’re Taking The Right (Prescription) Drugs

Hate it when you accidentally do Pepsi instead of Coke? Not sure if that pill you’re taking is Aspirin or Ibuprofen? Worried that your local pharmacy is slipping you some sort of generic drug instead of the real thing?

Well, a new handheld scanning device called SCiO could ensure that the stuff you’re putting in your body is actually stuff you want to ingest.

The SCiO scanner is a tiny but powerful scanner that can be pointed at a thing — like a pill, or a liquid, or even a piece of fruit — and tell you exactly what it’s made of. The $299 device, which had a Kickstarter campaign over the summer and is expected to ship to backers in the second quarter, could revolutionize the way people track the makeup of the food and drugs they eat.

Using near infra-red spectroscopy, the device connects with a mobile app and a cloud-based database of items to quickly scan and identify items based on their molecular structure. That could have a huge number of potential applications, liek determining how hydrated you are, or how much alcohol is in a drink. Or, well, determining whether your dealer pharmacist is honest about what they’re selling to you.

We chatted with the chief happiness officer of parent company Consumer Physics about the device and what it’s capable of. Check out the video above to learn more.