The TellSpec scanner analyzes all the nutrients in your food within seconds

TellSpec2An allergy to certain food types is always a problem. Does the food contain gluten? Have nuts been processed into this or that product? Packaging labels are not always very clear, and if you decide to visit a nice restaurant it’s particularly tricky to keep tabs on what has gone into the food on your plate. Well, TellSpec has developed a food scanner that will quickly help you find out what it contains.

The scanner is very easy to use. You point it at the food, and within just a few seconds a corresponding app on your smartphone will tell you precisely which fats, enzymes and other nutrients it contains. Highly convenient if you have, say, a gluten allergy!


The TellSpec works as follows. The scanner transmits a laser signal. The laser signal is bounced back to the scanner. Since every molecule (or nutrient) has a different shape, the laser signal is returned in different wavelengths. These are picked up by the scanner, which forwards the data to TellSpec’s servers. These servers subsequently analyze the data and return it to the app on your smartphone.

This all sounds very interesting, but the question is whether it actually works. Although the scanning technology is operational, the team has not yet succeeded in decreasing the dimensions of the scanner. The scanners are currently too large to hold. Another drawback is that the reception of the data on your smartphone requires a constant data connection. This means scanning your food on holiday in France could turn out to be quite an expensive exercise.

The scanner can be currently found on Indiegogo. The team behind TellSpec has already reached its financing target with still a month to go. They want to  use these funds to reduce the size of the scanner, improve its servers and develop prototypes. A scanner is yours for the taking for $200. The scanners are expected to ship in December 2014.