The device shines near-infrared light on a sample, exciting the molecules and making them vibrate. Each object has its own optical signature. The spectrometer determines what an object is, based on the infrared light that reflects back to the scanner. The app takes the data and compares it to a cloud-based database of objects. It sends a match to the user’s smartphone.
The food app shows calories, fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. It can gauge produce quality, ripeness, and spoilage in cheeses, fruits, vegetables, sauces, salad dressings, and cooking oils. Fitness apps can show how many calories one is burning.