HawkSpex: This app can scan any object and reveals what’s inside

Developed by a research company based in Germany, HawkSpex can conduct a spectral analysis on objects without any accessories

    Smartphones have come a long way in the last few years. With the advancement in mobile technology, they can now run the most graphic intensive games, capture DSLR level pictures, multitask with an ease and deliver astounding multimedia viewing experience with the help of crisp displays that goes up to 4K resolution.

    While smartphone makers have done a brilliant job in taking the hardware to next level, it is the app developers that can be considered as the real show stoppers here because without the app ecosystem, these smartphones will serve no good.

    That said, a new app is in town that will help smartphones conduct a spectral analysis on real life objects without the help of any third party accessories.

    HawkSpex: This app can scan any object and reveals what’s inside

    Developed by engineers from Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF in Magdebur, Germany, the 'HawkSpex mobile' is a smartphone app that can give detailed information about the objects by just aiming the smartphone at them.

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    What is worth checking here is the fact that the team has tried to overcome the traditional process of scanning objects that involves the use of prisms and specialized sensors to read how an object reflects different wavelengths of light. Instead of utilizing any third party accessory, a prism in this case, the researchers have reversed the idea to detect the different wavelengths by taking help of smartphone's screen. The display of the smartphones will be used to emit a particular wavelength at a time, which will be recorded by the smartphone's camera.

    HawkSpex: This app can scan any object and reveals what’s inside

    As each element reflects light differently with a particular wavelength, the information recorded by the camera will reveal what the object is made of.

    The app's database will play a major role in this process as the wavelength information recorded by the camera needs to be evaluated with the stored information to give the constituent details.

    The app can find its usage in a variety of real world applications, for instance, it can be used to run a quality check on fruits and vegetables to find out whether they have been sprayed with pesticides. Other application areas include- agriculture or to check the effectiveness of cosmetic products.

    HawkSpex is in testing stage and the research team might release it around the end of this year for the general public.

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