HawkSpex - The CSI-like app that could change everything. You could be your very own Horatio Caine!

Posted by   Sean Wilson
HawkSpex Smartphone App

Fraunhofer Institute

According to research company ‘Fraunhofer Institute’ based in Germany, a CSI-like analysis of everyday objects- chairs, tables etc.- could be coming to smartphones by the end of 2017. The release of an app, ‘HawkSpex Mobile’, could mean that spectral analysis can be conducted without the need for any accessories. Although this app won’t be used for the CSI things we’re thinking of, it could help check things like the accuracy of an organic label, and it could even help farmers see whether their crops need fertiliser.  

HawkSpex mobile app in development

The HawkSpex app is currently only a laboratory model, but a consumer model is on the cards for the Fraunhofer Institute. Hopefully, by developing different applications based on the already existing technology, we could see an app like this by the end of 2017.

If you’re wondering why this hasn’t been done before, let me explain. Smartphone cameras don’t have the same prism that spectral analysis cameras have- spectral analysis cameras use prisms and specialised sensors to read the different wavelengths of light that are being reflected off an object. However, the research group has reversed this. Rather than using prisms, they have designed the app to allow the smartphone screen to emit a wavelength, while the camera reads whether the wavelength is reflected- this means that the group must teach the app what the reflected light means.

Possible 2017 Launch

The research group have also said that to help the app progress even further, there could be a Wikipedia like database where consumers can offer their ideas on more specific purposes for the app. Because of the vastness of the applications that this piece of technology has, there is a lot of work to be put into the development of different apps that will be used for specific things. For example, there would be a separate app to check for authenticity of a label and a separate app for farmers who want to take a closer look at their crops.

Although this app could be a highly influential piece of technology, it isn’t as easily programmable as we hope. There is a lot of further work to be done, however the concept of this app sounds like it has amazing potential- keep your eyes peeled for the possible release of HawkSpex at the end of this year!

Ever fancied yourself to be a CSI (Crime Scene Investigation) specialist? I know after watching my fair share of CSI New York or CSI Miami that I definitely have. If 2017 wasn’t already set to be the year of innovative and incredible technology, this would take it to the next level.


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