This Phone's Molecular Sensor Scans and Analyzes Objects

Changhong / Changhong

Changhong, a Chinese consumer electronics company, has released a new cell phone that can analyze the molecular properties of food, liquids, medicines, and more, CNET reports. The device is capable of reading body fat percentage, the quality of produce, and more.

Called the H2, the phone is fitted with a tiny, near-infrared spectrometer. Hold it over an object for a few moments, and the H2 will shine a light that penetrates its surface. The object’s molecules then bounce the light back to the phone, and the changed light is collected and analyzed in a database cloud.

The H2 is the first smartphone to harness this technology, which was developed by Israeli tech startup Consumer Physics. They originally created a small sensor called the SCiO, which worked in tandem with a subscription-based phone app. Consumer Physics joined forces with Changhong to make a phone with a small near-infrared spectrometer, pre-loaded with the requisite companion apps.

The technology isn’t 100 percent foolproof, The Verge points out. For example, you can’t use the H2 to scan just any object. Instead, the phone has separate apps for each type of item you scan, i.e. an app that can tell the sugar content in a piece of fruit, or apps that can tell you if your medicine is real, or how much body fat you have. Also, the H2's measurements aren’t always consistent, or reliable.

The Changhong H2 was recently showcased at CES, an annual global consumer electronics and consumer technology tradeshow held in Las Vegas. The phone will soon be released in China, and it will arrive in the U.S. later this year. Its official price hasn’t been announced, but is expected to be set at nearly 3000 Chinese yuan ($430).

Watch the Changhong H2 in action below.

[h/t CNET]