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Food-centric tricorder tells you what ingredients are in your meals

•, Colin Druce McFadden
 To help you get the delicious answers you're after, a Canadian startup has built a scanner that basically adds up to a Star Trek tricorder for your food. With the TellSpec scanner in hand, you'll know not only the ingredients in your food, but its calorie count and what nutrients and allergens are 'em.

The scanner works by beaming a light at your food, gathering spectroscopy data and sending its findings to an online database, where the company's servers analyze the data and generate a report on your scan. The results pop up on your smartphone in as little as three seconds, giving you a detailed breakdown on whatever you're about to eat. We can see this being great for vegetarians and vegans who are suspect to food tampering in restaurants.

The scanner itself is small enough to be attached to your keychain, will run on both iOS and Android and will be rechargeable via USB. It's not ready for sale yet, but TellSpec is already taking pre-orders at the rate of $320 per scanner, which includes a one-year subscription to the data service. After that, subscriptions will run you $7.99 per month or $69.99 a year.

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