The Pocket-Size SCiO Could Tell You If Your Drugs Are Pure
At CES, Consumer Physics is demonstrating its SCiO molecular scanner. It's a lightweight Bluetooth accessory the size of a lighter that uses near-infrared spectroscopy to determine the exact molecular makeup of items it's pointed at. The company has an active network of developers creating a variety of apps that work with the device to address different use cases. Available apps include personal nutrition tools and commercial pill verification. However some third-party developers are working on apps that could use the device to determine the purity of illicit drugs such as MDMA (Ecstasy).
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The device is simple and lightweight, includes a carrying case, and charges via a micro-USB connector. It communicates with any Android or iOS phone using Bluetooth LE.
The Changhong H2 is a smartphone currently available in China that has the SCiO technology built right in.
We tried several demos, including a test of the sweetness of a strawberry, and detection of a fake Viagra pill. It was very simple to use and worked quickly, taking just a couple of seconds to measure and report results.
A number of developers working in harm reduction are working on apps to detect the purity of street drugs. Harm reduction is a movement in the medical community to help people who can't or won't stop using illicit drugs.
It's not difficult to imagine an ecstasy user using an SCiO to test the purity of the drug. Ecstasy is often laced with impurities or drugs other than MDMA.
Other developers are exploring the possibility of using SCiO to evaluate the purity of herion and meth. These drugs make the news all too often when a "bad batch" goes around, sometimes with deadly results.
The device costs $300. An app-development kit that includes a device runs $500.
Google to Help Developers Make Apps More Accessible
Google today released a tool for developers that will scan apps and provide feedback on their accessibility. The idea is to help developers view their apps from a different perspective and gain insight about how their user interface choices may or may not work for those with special accessibility needs.
Developers Can (Finally) Create Instant Apps
Google today made its instant apps tool available to all developers. Google first announced instant apps at its I/O developer conference in 2016.
iOS Apps Can Now Be As Big As 4 GB
Apple has increased the maximum size of applications allowed in the iOS App Store from 2 GB to 4 GB. Apple says this should allow developers to "include more media in [their] submission and provide a more complete, rich user experience upon installation." The majority of apps fall well under 100MB in size, but games increasingly need more storage.
Yahoo Requiring Apps to Use OAuth to Protect Users
Yahoo has asked all third-party developers to switch to OAuth authentication for account sign-in beginning May 30. The change, says Yahoo, will better protect its customers and provide a more consistent experience across apps.
Apple to Developers: Start Making Apps with WatchKit
Apple today released WatchKit, the set of tools developers need in order to create apps for the forthcoming Apple Watch. Apple said developers can create notifications for their apps that appear on the Apple Watch, as well as create Glances (Apple parlance for quick nuggets of app-specific data).
What good is a pill detector that can only identify a pill that has already been detected previously? What if its a mixture of drugs, like in a powder? Or a substance they havent loaded into the database?
Still, if you create an app trained to know what pure/perfect MDMA or heroin looks like, it should be able to tell you if that's what you have, or if you...
We tried several demos, including a test of the sweetness of a strawberry, and detection of a fake Viagra pill. It was very simple to use and worked quickly, taking just a couple of seconds to measure and report results.< >...