Trinamix’s molecular sensing lets smartphones assess the best cosmetics for your skin
December 2, 2020
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Trinamix has created molecular sensing technology that lets you use your smartphone to test which cosmetics would be best for your skin. But that’s just one of the potential applications.

The Ludwigshafen, Germany-based company is talking about the technology at the Snapdragon Tech Summit Digital 2020 event. While it’s not the first to come up with the technology, Trinamix believes it can integrate its sensors into smartphones to put the tech into the hands of consumers.

Uses of the technology could extend beyond using smartphone sensors to scan your skin so beauty apps can make cosmetic recommendations. Rival Consumer Physics, maker of the Scio sensors, created a similar tech in 2014 and talked about how you could use it to verify whether a bottle of Viagra was authentic or not. It also talked about testing your food.

Trinamix said the applications has developed or will be developing can also be included in a future smartphone with technology. The reason for this broad application portfolio is the combination of the infrared detector with the chemometrics algorithm. The near-infrared spectroscopy has a broader wavelength range of a detector, and that means it can make measurements that are more precise. Trinamis’s infrared detector captures a complete molecular fingerprint. That is one of the advantages that it has over competing detector technologies, the company said.

The company also said that other potential applications include testing the level of caffeine and moisture level of coffee beans, enhancing the quality of coffee. Other food use cases will be testing macro ingredients like proteins, fat and carbohydrates of e.g. meat and grain. It could also be used for sorting plastics, as the diverse compositions of different plastics can be precisely determined and distinguished – improving recycling and recyclability.

Trinamix is the 3D and infrared sensing solutions and a subsidiary of BASF, the world’s largest chemical company. The technology is called near-infrared spectroscopy, and it uses laser light to detect the molecular vibrations that distinguish different substances.

Trinamix said it intends to build a potent, yet miniaturized infrared sensing module for integration into smartphones. The module sends out infrared light, which is reflected from the object and detected by the sensor. The company said breakthroughs in research enabled it to reduce the size of the device down to a smartphone form factor while ensuring high-volume production capacities.

Meanwhile, the Qualcomm Sensing Hub processes the captured data within the Qualcomm Artificial Intelligence (AI) Engine, allowing the Snapdragon mobile platform to analyze the data based on Trinamix’s analytical models and molecular know-how.

Trinamix said Snapdragon’s 5G capabilities will allow for constant improvements via the cloud while maintaining the user’s personal data on the smartphone. Initial applications of mobile spectroscopy will focus on daily skincare.

Future smartphones incorporating the technology will enable consumers to scan their skin on a molecular level and receive near-instantaneous suggestions on optimal skincare products for use on that day. Qualcomm is optimizing the tech to run on Snapdragon chips.

Trinamix was founded in 2015 and currently employs 150 people.

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