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What we are developing

The world’s first handheld device able to scan food so consumers know more about the ingredients before they buy or eat the food. TellSpec brings together spectroscopy and a unique mathematical algorithm in a revolutionary system that can analyze the chemical composition of foods. This system consists of a convenient handheld wireless scanner communicating with a fast cloud analysis engine. These work together to gather the spectrum of your food, analyze that spectrum, and display information about the food in an easy-to-understand interface on your smartphone.


What problem can TellSpec solve?

You want to know what’s in your food before you buy it, before you order it, and before you eat it – because the quality of your health depends on what you eat. Many foods contain chemicals and allergens that you want to avoid, but it can be difficult to know whether these chemicals and allergens are in your food or not. How can you tell if your food contains the nutrients you need? What about things like sodium or trans fats that you might be trying to avoid? Food labels can give us some information if they’re available, but they are not always intelligible and some ingredients may not even be reported. TellSpec tells you about allergens, chemicals, nutrients, calories, and ingredients in your food before you buy it, order it, or eat it.

How Will It Work?

When you beam the light in the TellSpec scanner at a food product, some of the photons in the light are absorbed, which raises the energy states of the molecules in the food. Lower-energy photons are then emitted back. The spectrometer inside the TellSpec scanner sorts these photons by wavelength and counts them. The resulting numbers, called a spectrum, describe the chemical compounds in the food. This spectrum is uploaded to TellSpec’s analysis engine where it’s analyzed and correlated with other reference spectra. Information about allergens, chemicals, nutrients, calories, and ingredients in the food is then downloaded and displayed on your smartphone.

How can I follow TellSpec?

You can follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, and Tellspec.com.

A Community Project

TellSpec’s food analysis system and database grows with each scan. Beta Testers and Indiegogo Developer level contributors will play a crucial role in helping to build the TellSpec global food database. These backers will be some of the first to own the device and are key supporters to making this powerful tool available to the public. By distributing TellSpec scanners globally, the food analysis system will continually learn about foods across the world, all the while providing useful information to the user.

What the media is saying

Yahoo! on TellSpec

“…get reads on nutrients, calories, and ingredients in foods…”

Yahoo! on TellSpec
CNBC on TellSpec

“The device has three components: a pocket-sized scanner to capture the spectrum of the food, a unique algorithm to analyze the data, and an app to report the findings on your smartphone computing device.”

CNBC on TellSpec
Bloomberg Businessweek on TellSpec

“TellSpec is a rechargeable, handheld spectrometer that can analyze the light reflected by foods and beverages to provide information about their ingredients, calorie content, nutrients, and allergens.”

Bloomberg Businessweek on TellSpec
Fast Company on TellSpec

“One of the more interesting ideas that comes into play here is the database of food and ingredient information that Hoffman and her team are building for the device.”

Fast Company on TellSpec
TWICE on TellSpec

“TellSpec is rolling out a handheld consumer food scanner that uses spectroscopy to analyze the nutrition and chemical makeup of food.”

TWICE on TellSpec
Fast Company on TellSpec

“Handheld scanner that tells you what’s in your food – and adds diet to the developing map of health data.”

Fast Company on TellSpec

Past Event: Food Innovation Summit Brussels 2015

Past Event: TEDxZwolle 2015

Past Event: Digital Health Summit CES 2015

Past Event: Engadget expand NY 2014

Past Event: CES Unveil NY 2014


Upcoming Events

  • TellSpec Founder and CEO, Isabel Hoffmann, to talk at the Digital Health Summit CES 2015 – Las Vegas, Jan 7th 2015

  • TellSpec Founder and CEO, Isabel Hoffmann, to talk at the TEDxZwolle, – Zwolle, Holland, Jan 28th 2015

  • TellSpec Founder and CEO, Isabel Hoffmann, to talk at Food Innovation Summit 2015, “Disruptive Innovations from farm to fork”, Brussels, Belgium, Feb 3rd 2015.

  • TellSpec Founder and CEO, Isabel Hoffmann, to talk at La Cuidad de las Ideas, Puebla Mexico, November 6-8th, 2015.

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