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Sci Rep. 2016 Sep 8;6:32504. doi: 10.1038/srep32504.

Ultra-portable, wireless smartphone spectrometer for rapid, non-destructive testing of fruit ripeness.

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MIT Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 75 Amherst, St. Cambridge, MA, 02139, USA.
WeSchool, Lakhamsi Nappu Road, Matunga East, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400019, India.
VIT, Near Katpadi Rd, Vellore, Tamil Nadu 632014, India.


We demonstrate a smartphone based spectrometer design that is standalone and supported on a wireless platform. The device is inherently low-cost and the power consumption is minimal making it portable to carry out a range of studies in the field. All essential components of the device like the light source, spectrometer, filters, microcontroller and wireless circuits have been assembled in a housing of dimensions 88 mm × 37 mm × 22 mm and the entire device weighs 48 g. The resolution of the spectrometer is 15 nm, delivering accurate and repeatable measurements. The device has a dedicated app interface on the smartphone to communicate, receive, plot and analyze spectral data. The performance of the smartphone spectrometer is comparable to existing bench-top spectrometers in terms of stability and wavelength resolution. Validations of the device were carried out by demonstrating non-destructive ripeness testing in fruit samples. Ultra-Violet (UV) fluorescence from Chlorophyll present in the skin was measured across various apple varieties during the ripening process and correlated with destructive firmness tests. A satisfactory agreement was observed between ripeness and fluorescence signals. This demonstration is a step towards possible consumer, bio-sensing and diagnostic applications that can be carried out in a rapid manner.

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