Back when Consumer Physics debuted the SCiO on Kickstarter back in 2014, the tech world was amazed at what the company claimed its handheld $200 device would eventually do: determine the molecular makeup – including the calorie count and nutrients – of food by scanning it with an infrared spectrometer. The amazing claims helped the company raise over $2.7 million on Kickstarter.
However, since a highly successful crowdfunding campaign, the road has been a bit rockier for the Israel-based startup. First was a delay in shipping the product, and last year the company’s Kickstarter page was taken down due to what was described as an “intellectual property dispute”, which the company claims is not about the actual technology, but instead a naming dispute.
Despite their Kickstarter issues, the company did finally ship its handheld molecular scanner. While the initial reviews have been mixed and some remain skeptical about SCiO’s claims, the company has actually found a new way to bring its technology to market: through third party OEMs.
At CES this year, the company announced a partnership with Chinese mobile phone maker Changhong, which has worked with both Consumer Physics and silicon manufacturer Analog Devices to put the Scio tech for the first time into a mobile phone. While Changhong isn’t exactly Apple or Samsung, the integration of Scio’s technology is an encouraging since for Consumer Physics. Adding additional credibility is the fact Analog Devices – one of the biggest mobile silicon manufacturers – had lent its name to the announcement.
Another intriguing announcement came in the form of the Nutrismart scale by Terraillon. The French kitchen device company announced its kitchen scale would be able to scan food and give a read of the nutritional information. Terraillion has said they will launch the smart scale in Europe this year and hope to bring it to the US by 2018.
So despite the continued Kickstarter suspension, Consumer Physics seems intent on pushing forward with its technology. The company’s recent deals may mark a new way forward that could allow it to reach more consumers through a “SCiO-Inside” type of strategy.
We’ll keep an eye out for early reviews from the initial customers of its partner products later this year.