Detect fake Viagra with a smartphone app

The smartphone app LinkSquare can save you from potentially embarrassing situations by helping you detect fake Viagra. (Source: Thinkstock Images)

If the Viagra pill did not do much for you last night, do not just blame yourself — the pill may itself be a fake one.

To save you from such embarrassing situations, researchers have developed a smartphone-connected gadget that scans the pill and lets you know in a jiffy whether it is made of the real stuff. The device looks like a portable smartphone battery and connects to a smartphone via a USB cable.

Called LinkSquare, the tiny spectrometer measures the intensity of wavelengths of light, MIT Technology Review reported.

 

According to its developer — San Jose-based startup Stratio — the device can find out what a specific pill’s reflective signature is and then compare known pills (data for which is stored in the smartphone app) to see if they match up. A range of light from LinkSquare shines onto the pill, and the way in which the light reflects back across the pill is captured by an image sensor to spot whether it is fake or not.

According to the report, there are still a number of challenges to be worked out — such as building a database of medications that LinkSquare will be able to detect.

“We’re hoping people can use this to assuage some of their fears about the things they consume,” Leslie Grothaus, a Stratio co-founder, was quoted as saying.

The company plans to bring the device to the market later this year for $199. It also plans to test other items that can be mislabelled — like ‘fake’ food items.

source : indianexpress