grocery-store-fruitYou’ve got your recipe in hand and you’re in the produce section of your local store, on the hunt for the perfect ingredients. You can find what you need, but how can you tell if it will have the right flavor and texture, or if it needs more time to ripen?

Well, scientists with the University of Washington, located in Seattle, may have a way for you to check the ripeness with your phone. In a project funded by Microsoft, the scientists have made a special camera that can be carried around, which would cost about $800. They have been working on a version that would be able to be used on your smartphone for only around $50.

The technology is called a hyperspectral camera, and basically, whereas most cameras only see a few wavelengths of the color spectrum, this camera can see many more; it sees 17 in fact, which gives it the ability to see more definition, and would actually be able to see under the skin of your produce.

Hyperspectral imaging is already being used to help make sure works of art are not fake, as well as in safety inspections. Unfortunately, this technology is expensive which is why scientists are working to make this new version available to you, hopefully making your daily life just a bit easier. Though they aren’t there yet, they have said they can clearly see the use for this technology in your cell phone.

It’s said that the camera is 94% correct about the ripeness, and can also be used on produce in your home. The app would use a series of flashes when pointed at a piece of fruit, something that sounds so simple, but the possibilities are wonderful. Could scientists find another use for this app? Will it be able to be used in other ways? Are people going to be willing to spend $50 to own this app? These questions will only be answered once the app is released, which for many can’t come soon enough.

Source: The Telegraph


 

VOCABULARY

produce (n.) : agricultural products (like fruits and vegetables)
flavor (n.) : the way something tastes
texture (n.) : the way something feels when you touch it
ripen (v.) : to become ready to be eaten