Exploring the world on a molecular level

Sustainability Problem:

There is often a large information gap on the food we eat, the pills we take, and even the quality of water that we drink.  This often leads to us not understanding the benefits of particular types of food, and consuming too much or too little of specific types.  In developing countries, or other places where access to a reliable water supply source is scarce, there is often a lack of knowledge on water quality from different sources, leading to people extracting contaminated water from rivers and other sources.



  • SCiO is a portable spectrometer that can instantly measure the molecular make up of everyday objects, such as food items, or water
  • The information gets sent to the cloud to be translated by algorithms, is aggregated into a larger database, and then the resulting data will show up on a smart phone that has the application installed
  • It uses crowdsourcing as a method of creating a larger, more robust dataset on molecular makeups of items – so the more people that use the SCiO, more complex information will become available to users



Technology stakeholders:

  • Community members with access to mobile phones
  • Local governments
  • Scientific community
  • Industry
  • Academia


  • In places like the U.S., SCiO could be used in educational settings, to increase awareness and understanding of the environment around us, including the food we eat – to foster better nutritional health for school children
  • In developing country settings, development NGOs could work with the local governments and community leaders to get more members to participate in gathering data on molecular information about various objects, or water sources, and geo-tag them – this data could then be used to create a database (and a map) that identifies the quality of particular water sources
  • Crowd-sourced data to improve public awareness on nutritional content of foods, water, or other objects – because for example, once the molecular makeup of specific items, such as contaminated water with toxic waste is established on the database, anyone with the technology will be able to detect it





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