A representative from Bosch held the X-Spect scanner against my shirt for a few seconds. “Cotton” read the small screen on the handheld device. Close. It was actually linen. “Same molecular structure,” said the rep.
The X-spect is just a concept at the moment. It’s about the size of a handheld infrared thermometer. Press it against a piece of fabric or a stain, and it can not only determine the kind of material or substance, it can send washing instructions based on its findings to an internet-connected Bosch washing machine.
Switch modes on the device, and it can measure the nutritional content of a piece of food, and even detect the ripeness of a piece of fruit.
Bosch isn’t sharing a lot of detail on the X-Spect. Based on the rep’s comment about the molecular structure of my shirt, it’s apparently a molecule scanner, and presumably one devised by Bosch itself, rather than thefrom Israeli firm Consumer Physics. The company also wouldn’t expand on potential future applications. It seems like the technology behind X-Spect has potential in scanning the interior of a refrigerator for an inventory check, but Bosch representatives would only say the device is a concept and they don’t yet know where the company might use it in the future.
We’ve seen variations of the scanning handheld device before, including the, which uses the SCiO scanner. If the X-Spect has the same limitations as the Dietsensor, in that it can only scan foods made of a single substance (like an apple, as opposed to a slice of cake), then the X-Spect has limited potential as a dietary aid or even a laundry assistant, as it wouldn’t be able to identify blended fabrics. In order to be useful in any fashion, Bosch will have to bring the device to market first. We’ll update this post if Bosch provides more detail.
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