The other day I read a couple of articles that made me think. The first, published in Stuff was on a report by Otago and Victoria Universities on the number of Kiwis at risk of getting bowel cancer because they live in areas with an elevated water nitrate level.
Using an integral near-infrared (NIR) sensor, the device is said to deliver a result in seconds via an app on a mobile device, thereby by-passing the need for laboratory analysis.
SCiO for Corn has been developed by Israeli tech company Consumer Physics, miniaturising a traditional NIR spectrometer in a pocket-sized device that connects to cloud-based algorithms.
The raw data and results are displayed on the smart device and accompanied by a trend chart showing how the crop is developing. In the paddock, non-destructive testing is carried out by sampling five or six corn cobs, then tapping the mobile app. The result is delivered within a few seconds and the company says precision and accuracy is on par with a traditional lab analysis.
The device can measure moisture between 8 and 80%. The higher values might be of interest to maize grain growers or seed producers, the latter looking to collect maturity data for the development of future varieties.