Israel’s Consumer Physics Inc. has developed, together with Chinese and US partners, the world’s first material-sensing smartphone.
The Israeli startup previously developed the world’s first product scanner to show components, calories and other data for food, pharmaceuticals and plants.
Called the Changhong H2, the phone will be unveiled this week at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show by the Israeli company and Sichuan Changhong Electric Co. (Changhong), a supplier of consumer electronics in Asia and Analog Devices Inc. (ADI), a designer and manufacturer of semiconductor products and solutions.
The collaboration has enabled the integration of Consumer Physics’ breakthrough SCiO material-sensing technology into smartphones. The phone, to be launched this year, will “for the first time in human history” allow consumers to scan materials and immediately receive insights about their underlying chemical composition, the companies said.
Using Changhong H2, consumers can analyze the properties of things such as foods, liquids and medication. This will help consumers improve their personal wellness, select the best fruits and vegetables, stick to their diets and nutritional needs, and verify product authenticity in real time, the companies said in a statement.
“The Changhong H2 is a remarkable device with unique capabilities that we are excited to add to our growing portfolio of connected and IoT-enabled devices,” said Jin Li, president, Sichuan Changhong Electronics Holding Group Co., Ltd. “Along with ADI and Consumer Physics, we look forward to bringing the Changhong H2 to the world and inspiring curious thinkers around the world to explore their surroundings in a new and revolutionary way.”
The company plans to work with third party developers through a software developer kit so that they can develop their own applications for the Changhong H2 smartphone, he said.
Details on the pricing of the new phone will be released later this month,Consumer Physics said in a separate email.
Since starting their collaboration in early 2016, ADI and Consumer Physics have aimed to miniaturize the SCiO sensor to enable its integration into a wide variety of connected devices.
“Each year, the Internet of Things continues to grow and the profound impact of smart, connected devices is felt more and more in our daily lives,” said Martin Cotter, senior vice president, Worldwide Sales and Digital Marketing, at Analog Devices. “Changhong H2, with the integrated, miniaturized near-infrared spectrometer, marks a huge step forward for connected devices and makes it possible to see the physical world around us like never before via a mobile phone, which is the most common smart device in the world.”
Changhong is also working to create a greater variety of mobile applications that use the SCiO sensor for a wide range of uses, and the H2 smartphone can be used on almost any material, the companies said.
“Just as the smartphone put the power of the internet and a vast knowledge base into our pockets, this innovation will put the capability to learn about the chemical and molecular makeup of materials into the public’s hands,” said Dror Sharon, CEO of Consumer Physics. “This is the next leap forward not just for mobile phones, but for all sorts of connected devices. The Changhong H2 and smartphones are only the beginning.”
The sensing functionality in the Changhong H2 smartphone will change the way we use our phones in the same way that cameras and GPS chips changed the face of mobile devices, the companies said.
“The vision we invested in three years ago has become reality,” said Jon Medved, the founder and CEO of Jerusalem-based OurCrowd, an investor in Consumer Physics. The team at Consumer Physics “have truly brought science fiction to life. This new integration of their SCIO technology into the Changhong H2 phone will unleash a tsunami of applications that will allow users to better know and understand the world around us and to live more healthy and productive lives.”
The companies said that compared to regular smartphones, the Changhong H2 is 20 percent more energy efficient and has a “unique” 6-inch extra-large high-resolution screen and 2.0GHz/8-core CPU.
With sales of over $15 billion in 2015, Changhong is one of the largest Chinese providers of consumer electronics and home appliances, specializing in R&D, manufacturing, and marketing of a variety of products including TVs, refrigerators, air conditioners, mobile phones and electronic components
Nasdaq listed Analog Devices designs and manufactures semiconductor products that strive to bridge the physical and digital worlds via technologies that unmatched technologies that sense, measure and connect.
Consumer Physics’s first product is SCiO, the world’s first handheld molecular scanner. You can just point the gadget at an item and the device reads the items molecular structure. The product was launched in 2014 and has won numerous awards including The Optical Society’s 2016 Enabled by Optics award and the CES 2015 Last Gadget Standing award.
The company, which is backed by Khosla Ventures and OurCrowd, as well as other strategic and angel investors, said it is also working on integrating SCiO in other wireless connected devices, such as the kitchen scale of Terrallion-Nutrismart, which is the first connected kitchen scale that analyzes food nutritional value.