Si-Ware Systems (SWS), a premier provider of IC- and MEMS-based solutions for industrial and consumer sensor applications, announced a plug-and-play development kit for NeoSpectra Micro, its innovative chip-sized spectral sensor for material analysis by mobile devices and applications. NeoSpectra Micro ushers in ubiquitous spectral sensing, where material analysis is enabled in the real world for consumers and businesses alike.
Streamlined development for mobie device-based material analysis
The kit enables developers to emulate how the sensor and software will perform for targeted materials in mobile analysis applications including on-site consumer food safety, soil analysis, medical sample evaluation, pharmaceutical purity, and oil and gas refining. Using the kit speeds up the learning process, enabling individuals and teams to streamline mobile platform development for NeoSpectra Micro.
NeoSpectra is an award-winning MEMS-based sensor technology available in both module and chip-scale form. The cost-effective sensor uses infrared light to analyze materials in seconds, eliminating the time and expense of sending material samples to a central lab. The popular module version has already been built into portable soil samplers, fixed medical analysis tools, and compact refinery equipment.
“We’ve seen a good deal of pent-up demand for the product from mobile device providers and industry-specific developers,” said Scott Smyser, executive vice president, worldwide marketing and business development. “The development kit offers teams the chance to quickly understand and evaluate applications for a range of targeted materials for their markets.”
Cost-effective lab spectrometer on a chip ushers in ubiquitous spectral sensing
Si-Ware’s engineering team miniaturized the module technology to create an 18mm x 18mm x 4mm package appropriate for mobile devices.
This video of the NeoSpectra Micro prototype detecting gluten and caffeine from an iPhone sleeve shows how the sensor can be deployed for mobile devices.
The NeoSpectra Micro offers performance similar to a lab-based spectrometer at the size and cost of a sensor. NeoSpectra is based on one of the de facto standards for spectroscopy, FT-IR (Fourier Transform Infrared), and provides a wide spectral range with good resolution. This gives NeoSpectra the performance necessary to enable meaningful applications and use cases for material analysis in the real world.
NeoSpectra Micro can enable material analysis anywhere anytime – ubiquitous spectral sensing. Spectral sensors can now be embedded in mobile devices in multiple industries. Consumer devices can embed spectral sensors for food and drug analysis, while wearables can utilize spectral sensors for noninvasive biochemistry measurements such as glucose and alcohol. Farms can embed multiple spectral sensors in the soil for continuous soil health analysis.
“As a parallel, inertial/motion sensors today are embedded in multiple mobile devices and are collecting data that enable applications in health tracking, navigation, and gaming, to name a few,” said Smyser. “A spectral sensor such as NeoSpectra Micro is going to enable similar data collection for material analysis, which is going to spawn many applications. Our partners see meaningful use cases in multiple industries.”
The Neospectra micro serial peripheral interface (SPI) board
The development kit consists of the Optical Core Module (OCM) on a PCB. On top of the OCM is an optimized sampling interface with a light source for sample illumination and a glass lid for free-space light collection. The NeoSpectra Micro development board has an SPI interface for control readout. The development board can be directly connected and interfaced with the included Rasberry Pi board using a direct SPI connection.
The development kit can be used in PC mode, stand-alone mode and SPI mode. In all modes users have access to the raw measured data, allowing for the development of application software and chemometrics.