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TellSpec Food Scanner – Never be surprised by what’s in your food again


TellSpec Food Scanner TellSpec Food Scanner   Never be surprised by whats in your food again

Buying food can be tricky business when you’re keeping an eye on your health or diet. Is that product really free of the ingredient you’re allergic to? Is there any pesticide residue on those apples you’re eyeing? Now you can find out the answers to those questions with a gadget that looks like it belongs on Star Trek.

The TellSpec Food Scanner is a handheld device that shoots a low-powered laser at the food you’re curious about, doing a CSI-style analysis that identifies allergens, chemicals, nutrients, calories, and ingredients. Once the analysis is done, the info is sent, via TellSpec’s servers in the cloud, to your smartphone, computer, or tablet so that you can make food choices based on the data that was received. Using the details you provide, the scanner can even help identify food sensitivities or allergies you might not be aware of.

TellSpec Food Scanner Colors TellSpec Food Scanner   Never be surprised by whats in your food againFor the fashion-forward techies out there, being careful about your food doesn’t mean sacrificing style because the scanner is available in five different colors: black, red, white, turquoise blue, or green.

TellSpec will be available for the discerning foodie August 2014 but it can be pre-ordered now. Choose between the individual plan for $320 or the family plan for $490. For both plans, future cost of a subscription is currently planned to be $7.99 per month or $69.99 per year.

 TellSpec Food Scanner   Never be surprised by whats in your food again

Marty Shaw is a freelance writer who currently calls Texas his home. When he’s not trying to figure out a creative way to hitch a ride in the TARDIS, he imagines what it would be like to live through a zombie apocalypse as an uncool version of Daryl Dixon.

Marty Shaw – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.



  • Julian

    The picture shows the device pointing at a chocolate truffle and showing the percentage of sugar contained in it. Ask yourself how this could be possible. Is the laser able to penetrate below the surface of the truffle and show what’s inside it? Chocolate is a very complex mixture of organic molecules. Have you heard of any other device, however big or small, that is able to analyse food in an instant just by pointing a laser at it? Have you seen such a device for sale? Why not? Might it be because such a device is not possible?

  • Julian

    The picture shows the device pointing at a chocolate truffle and showing the percentage of sugar contained in it. Ask yourself how this could be possible. Is the laser able to penetrate below the surface of the truffle and show what’s inside it? Chocolate is a very complex mixture of organic molecules. Have you heard of any other device, however big or small, that is able to analyse food in an instant just by pointing a laser at it? Have you seen such a device for sale? Why not? Might it be because such a device is not possible?

  • Julian

    The picture shows the device pointing at a chocolate truffle and showing the percentage of sugar contained in it. Ask yourself how this could be possible. Is the laser able to penetrate below the surface of the truffle and show what’s inside it? Chocolate is a very complex mixture of organic molecules. Have you heard of any other device, however big or small, that is able to analyse food in an instant just by pointing a laser at it? Have you seen such a device for sale? Why not? Might it be because such a device is not possible?

    • http://www.redferret.net/ Nigel Powell

      Julian, you’re absolutely right to be sceptical, although I’m not one of those who believes that because something hasn’t been done yet, it can never be done. From taking a long hard look at the site and their claims, a number of things stand out:

      1. It’s a pretty heavyweight team. She’s aa member of the advisory board for Samsung Mobile Healthcare, he’s a tenured professor at York University in Toronto and a previous director with Kaleidescape (which is a very cool piece of tech in its own right).

      2. It’s possible that the technology will eventually end up relying heavily on a growing user database as the foundation of the service. So you can imagine that the device picks up a reflected ‘signature’ from the scan which confirms that the food is definitely X, and their database says that X contains Y, Z etc.

      3. According to the company ( http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/tellspec-what-s-in-your-food?c=comments) the device will be able to penetrate food beyond the skin, depending on the food type.

      “Yes, TellSpec can penetrate deeper than the surface of a food and detect ingredients there – how deep depends on how transparent the food is to red light. You may not get info about a peanut deep inside a chocolate, without cutting the chocolate open. But if someone else earlier cut that same kind of chocolate in two and then scanned it, then you may still learn that a nut may be present. We expect TellSpec to scan through the skin of an apple. We’ll post updates as we keep testing!”

      4. The question you’re probably asking is whether the device will ever meet the expectations of buyers who desperately need reliable information on the food they eat for health or nutritional purposes. I guess that will depend on the quality of the database, the uploading of user data and how well their signature identification and data crunching engines work.

      I’m prepared to keep a cautiously open mind until we know more.

  • Eddie

    The idea is great and all but what about the packaging? Sure, we want to make healthy choices but you can’t go into a grocery store and open packaging up and start scanning. Plus, all packaged food items have ingredients and important info printed. I suppose this is meant for food at peoples homes or an open buffet?

    • http://www.redferret.net/ Nigel Powell

      The whole concept looks to be a little open to speculation until we see the product in real live action I guess. Watch this space, as they say. :)

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