Wearable technology has been trying to recreate Star Trek’s infamous tricorder device for quite some time now. Don’t know what a tricorder is? Ask the Trekkie(sorry, Trekker) in your life. Or you can keep reading. Basically, a tricorder is a magical handheld device that you wave in front of something to find out what exactly it is. This technology, sort of, exists already. It comes in something called a spectrometer and now, thanks to a clever inventor, it could be coming to a smartphone near you.
A spectrometer does this is by spreading light out into a spectrum, and then measuring the intensity of the colors along as many points of that spectrum as possible. The colors examined are then measured against a database of known spectra. After that? Voila! The device lets you know what it is you are looking at. Of course, your eyes could have probably figured that out by now but lets not split hairs.
This DIY spectrometer kit for your smartphone promises to do nearly the same thing as the big boys at a fraction of the cost. It sends the analyzed spectra to an open source collection of data. The idea here is to make something like Shazam or Spotify but for objects. After it gets adopted enough, nearly everything on this great green Earth of ours will be included in the database. You can start to see the potential uses.
This Android-based spectrometer is currently being funded by, you guessed it, Kickstarter. It has already met its funding goal but you should still give it a whirl. You can have your very own smartphone spectrometer for just sixty-five bucks.