Gadgets

This incredible gadget can tell you how healthy your food is

You've seen Richie Rich, right? The 1994 family comedy starring Macaulay Culkin (before he went grade-10 weird)? Of course you have, you're a discerning man of culture.

A crucial part of the film's plot turned on the function of the Smell Master 9000 gadget - a pistol-like device that could 'smell' the molecular structure of anything it was pointed at. It was brilliant. We wanted one. And now, thanks to the marvels of modern tech, we can get something even better - the DietSensor.

Already picking up plaudits at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the French-made DietSensor technology is able to detect the nutritional value of food with its wireless scanner, the SCiO.

Roughly the size of a wireless garage remote, point the SCiO at your dish and it will determine the chemical makeup of food and drink, giving you details such as its carbohydrate and fat content.

It functions via a fancy trick called 'near infrared spectroscopy': on emitting a light toward your food, an optical sensor determines the unique makeup of the food given how each of its molecules vibrates. This information is then turned into useful data via the connected DietSensor app, providing a total calorie count and the percentage of carbohydrates, fat and protein.

The DietSensor app will then help users adjust their diet depending on how well/badly they're eating - recommending that certain food groups get ditched, and suggesting alternatives. It'll even tell you if you need to drink more water and set overall nutrition goals. 

With a one-off cost of the SCiO sensor set at $249 and a $10 per month subscription to the app (UK prices yet to be announced), it's a costly way to be reminded that you should eat less chips and stick some carrots on your plate - but if you've got an exacting diet plan you need to stick to due to a condition such as type one diabetes, the DietSensor tech could be the way to go.

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