25 Apr
Smatphone Cam Scans Objects for Content Smatphone Cam Scans Objects for Content

Smatphone Cam Scans Objects for Content

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In yet another twist on the famous Tricorder device used in the old "Star Trek" television series, a new tool has been developed that may replicate in real life some of the Tricorder's fictional capabilities -- such as scanning an object to determine its essential composition.

Researchers at Tel Aviv University have discovered a way to use a smartphone as a hyperspectral sensor,allowing the device to identify chemical elements of a substance. According to a news release, a TAU professor and one of his doctoral students have managed to connect the two parts that are needed to perform these functions: image processing software and an optical component.

Professor David Mendlovic said, "A long list of fields stand to gain from this new technology. We predict hyperspectral imaging will play a major role in consumer electronics, the automotive industry, biotechnology, and homeland security."

As the news release explains, all objects possess hyperspectral signatures, which amount to a unique "chemical fingerprints." As soon as the smartphone camera acquires a photo of the object being studied, the data from the image is taken apart in order to assess the hyperspectral content at any are of the image -- which, in the case of a plate of food, would allow a user to find out the chemical makeup of each item on the well as the plate itself.

Taking that idea a giant leap further, the smartphone camera could be used in agricultural applications, zeroing in on properties of vegetables, crops and other kinds of food items. "Its hyperspectral platform is also suitable for wearable devices," said Ariel Raz, the doctoral student involved with the project.

A prototype could be released by June.



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Read 1864 times Last modified on Sunday, 19 April 2015 00:44
Jim Lillie

Jim began writing for newspapers and designing for publishing companies at a time when both industries were just beginning to make the switch from manual to digital platforms. Jim lives in Boulder, Colorado with his teenage son.

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