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HawkSpex App Lets You Scan Through Objects With ‘X-ray’ Feature

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HawkSpex Mobile
PHOTOGRAPH: Photo by Fraunhofer IFF tweeted by @ElektorDE | HawkSpex mobile app can reveal traces of pesticides in fruits.

HawkSpex mobile app scans through objects and reveals its components. Developed by engineers in Germany, it may improve the quality control of foods. Moreover, it may serve useful in determining the content of cosmetic products and fertilizers.

How to use the newest technological breakthrough? When will it debut? Below are more details about the app’s full capabilities.

HawkSpex Mobile: How to scan?

According to BGR, this app is so unique because owners do not need anything to scan other than the installed cameras in their smartphones. For instance, if users want to know the contents of an apple, they just need to open the HawkSpex app. Upon scanning the object, it provides analysis whether the apple has pesticides or none.

For the record, such methods already exist. However, the predecessors of HawkSpex require the installation of additional parts. For one thing, current scanners need a prism in front of the camera to go through the object. Also, some companies use hyperspectral sensors to achieve the goal. The latter is a bit pricier than the standard cameras found on mobile gadgets.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation (IFF) developed the app. Thus, the HawkSpex seems to be far from being a hoax. The firm based in Magdeburg, Germany has always been the real deal when it comes to tech developments.

Basically, the app performs a process called spectral analysis. Now, the fact that HawkSpex does it with a common smartphone shutter is quite intriguing.

Secrets of the HawkSpex mobile

Well, Udo Seiffert explains how Fraunhofer managed to achieve such an incredible discovery. First, Seiffert led the team of German developers who created HawkSpex. Per Tech Crunch, ordinary spectral analysis tools split the light into particular wavelengths. The gears then search for spikes to identify the presence or absence of certain elements.

To illustrate, if someone wants to know if water contains lead, he or she might look for reflectivity at 283.3 nanometers. Since hyperspectral cameras are not commonly integrated with today’s smartphones, Seiffert improvised. His team simply reversed the principle.

Instead of splitting a wide swath of spectrum into tiny pieces, HawkSpex uses the phone’s display. Relying on the mobile screen, it illuminates the object with lights of known wavelengths. The app then analyzes each wavelength as the object reflects them.

Nevertheless, there are limitations. This type of casual spectral analysis can only do so much compared to its high-end variants. But, for normal checking of wanted and unwanted substances, it still serves very useful. Indeed, users can do the following with HawkSpex:

  • Check fruits in the supermarket for traces of pesticides
  • Determine if a pail of paint has lead
  • Look for soil nutrients (Agriculture)
  • Discover poison in wine and liquors

HawkSpex, though, is still undergoing a series of tests before being released to the public. As Gadget Snow reported, it debuts sometime before the end of 2017.

Did you find the new app useful? Share us your thoughts in the comments section below.

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