The handheld SCiO can analyze the nutritional value of food and identify medications all with a quick scan.

Imagine if you could find out the chemical makeup of everything that you came in contact with. It’s an idea that Damian Goldring, the co-founder Consumer Physics, poses in a YouTube video. Amazingly, the team at Consumer Physics have invented a gadget that does just that.

Called the SCiO, it’s “the world's first affordable molecular sensor that fits in the palm of your hand,” according to Consumer Physics’ website. How does it work? The SCiO is basically a tiny spectrometer that can analyze all kinds of materials. Yes, it’s a tricorder from “Star Trek.” (Other sites have already made the comparison, but we love to pile on.) Here on Earth, people can use SCiO for all sorts of practical things, including finding out how nutritious your meal is.

We wrote about SCiO previously, but we mainly focused on food analysis. It turns out SCiO can do much more than that. Digital Trends took SCiO out for a spin at CES 2015 to see if it could identify different types of medications. 

“We scanned a handful of different over-the-counter pills while we were at the booth, and no matter what type it was — coated capsules, liqui-gels, or just regular old pills — the spectrometer identified the drug within seconds,” Digital Trends reported.

On their site, Consumer Physics says you can “upload and tag the molecular spectrum of almost any material on Earth to our database,” so it would appear that they’re aiming to launch a gadget with a bigger purpose.

“Your iPhone can tell you what song is playing on the radio, but when it comes to telling you the nutritional value of food it’s kind of clueless,” Dror Sharon, the CEO of Consumer Physics’ told Cult of Mac. “With SCiO we’re encouraging explorers to help us on our mission to map the physical world.”

Consumer Physics says SCiO is expected to ship in July.

Learn more about Consumer Physics’ SCiO at their website and by watching the video below.

Top photo courtesy of Consumer Physics