In Germany, a new app can display the ingredients of an object. The possibilities of the application are numerous: for example, you can check for chemical residue on an apple.

The ability to check an apple for chemical residues with a smart phone will soon be possible. An apple can be labelled organic, but the customer doesn’t know if the apple is still exposed to chemicals. Often you have to trust these statements, without the opportunity to check them.

With the HawkSpex® mobile application created by Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF in Magdeburg, Germany, consumers will have the opportunity to check for themselves. The approach is simple: You take your smart phone, open the app, aim the camera at the object, for instance an apple, and get the relevant information, for example if there is any chemical residue on the apple.

There are already apps available that can provide this information, however the user needs to equip the phone with extra parts, for example a prism in front of the camera, which is expensive and impractical. “The special feature of our app is that the user only needs the camera, which is already integrated into his smart phone,” states Professor Udo Seiffert, expert group manager at Fraunhofer.

The first beta version of the app is ready and patent application is pending. Though, before it can be released for private use engineers are still developing a variety of applications. The app learns, with the use of reference scans, how to analyse whether apples contain pesticides. Seiffert hopes that the HawkSpex® mobile app will be launched at the end of 2017.

The app has extremely interesting commercial potential and can be used in sectors that wouldn’t benefit from high precision scanners. The list of possibilities is nearly endless: it can be used for food, cosmetic products or even in agriculture. Farmers, for instance, could easily find out if their crops have sufficient nutrients or if fertiliser is needed. – Fresh Plaza

Click here to read more about the technology behind this app in the original article.