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Smart Camera Tells Tobacco From Marijuana 167

Posted by timothy
from the shinola-detection-much-trickier dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A new smart camera technology not only takes a picture but also assays chemical composition, allowing photographers to tell whether that hand-rolled cigarette contains tobacco or marijuana. Designed to speed industrial inspection systems — such as detecting whether food is spoiled — the new smart camera includes spectral filters that make images of corn fields appear differently from hemp. Spectral cameras have been available for decades, but this microchip version should be cheap enough for almost any application."
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Smart Camera Tells Tobacco From Marijuana

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  • Technology Stoners (Score:3, Informative)

    by Reverand Dave (1959652) on Friday February 10, 2012 @07:02PM (#39001023)
    At least in the short term. Once it catches on, there will be a way to circumvent it.
  • Does it? (Score:3, Informative)

    by phobafiliac (704426) on Friday February 10, 2012 @07:08PM (#39001087) Homepage
    Perhaps I missed it in the article, but it mentions nothing about marijuana or hand rolled cigarettes. It talks about real roses and silk roses. I suppose, in theory, it could do this, but I think it would tell what kinda of paper they used to roll the joint before it tells us whats inside the joint.
  • by mark-t (151149) <markt@lynx.b c . ca> on Friday February 10, 2012 @07:17PM (#39001207) Journal
    Hemp is *NOT* marijuana. They are related in that they are both cannabis, but they are not the same plant. You can't get high by smoking hemp (well, maybe you could... but Hemp's THC content is over an order of magnitude less than that found in marijuana, so you'd have to smoke at least ten times as much).
  • Better Link (Score:5, Informative)

    by pavon (30274) on Friday February 10, 2012 @07:28PM (#39001341)

    Here is another article [physicstoday.org], which is both more informative, and doesn't have an annoying constantly scrolling twitter feed to distract you while you try to read.

  • by Obfuscant (592200) on Friday February 10, 2012 @07:32PM (#39001379)

    From TFA:

    The system-on-chip (SoC) solution can accurately distinguish between objects that appear virtually identical using traditional red-green-blue imaging chips.

    The sentence immediately preceding that one, claims the product senses outside the visual spectrum ("hyper-spectral") and that it can perform remote spectral analysis, but somehow it uses just a good ol' RGB sensor.

    Yes, it says that it can differentiate things that a traditional RGB sensor cannot. That means it's NOT a "good ol' RGB sensor".

    Color cameras are just black and white ones with a set of filters over the pixels. Traditional color cameras use red, green and blue filters in a Bayer pattern. You can make a "hyperspectral" camera by using narrower filters of specific wavelengths to detect light at those wavelengths. For example, if you know that corn and someone else differ at a certain wavelength, use a filter at that wavelength.

    You can also make a hyperspectral line imager by using a slit instead of a round aperture and putting a grating or prism behind it. That turns the slit image into a two-D "image" where the slit is broken down by color. One dimension is along the line, the second is by color. Move the camera so the slit covers the desired imaging area and record the spectrum at each "pixel" in the resulting image. Google for "CAP" and "Archer".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 10, 2012 @07:35PM (#39001417)

    Cannabis sativa is Cannabis sativa. The fact that they have different THC levels does not make them different plants anymore than a the height of a Chihuahua makes it any less of a dog than a Great Dane.

  • by Pax681 (1002592) on Saturday February 11, 2012 @08:33AM (#39004063)

    I'm not sure about the countryside, but this has been done in cities for a while. It's pretty common for people who are growing cannabis to do put halogen lights up in their attic so that the plants can get bright light for a long period. Because this is above the layer of normal house insulation, their roofs show up as warmer than the surroundings.

    halogen? bad choice tbh, There are really only two choices of lamp types for indoor growers, high intensity discharge lamps (HID lamps) and florescent lamps. Other lamps such as standard household bulbs or halogen are just not up to the job of growing cannabis. They convert most of the power they consume into heat not light or produce a light spectrum that won`t support good plant growth. .
    there are even a new breed of colour balanced LED's which are becoming better by the year. i have a friend who use them in the vegetative stage then moves the plants to the other half of his growing room to use HID's in the flowering stage to great effect.
    Halogens, as mentioned above and not efficient and produce a MASSIVE hear signature leading to what you state above.
    growers with a brain use more efficient and balanced lighting which provide results which give not just a cheaper electricity bill but a far groovier stone!

  • by TheSpoom (715771) <{ten.00mrebu} {ta} {todhsals}> on Saturday February 11, 2012 @10:44AM (#39004523) Homepage Journal

    I don't usually complain about the editors; they do a good enough job that the site is still useful by its community and conversation. But in this case I'm making an exception.

    Timothy, did you even click through to the article AT ALL? I did, and it doesn't mention marijuana, cigarettes, or anything similar. The article just says that the camera does chemical composition, and it's not entirely clear that it could even do what's suggested in your summary.

    Can we have a "No Original Research" rule like Wikipedia, please? It's great that you have your theories, editors, and they're completely welcome, but POST THEM AS COMMENTS. The summary spot is supposed to be a summary of the the fine article(s), and not much more; especially not your "educated guesses" presented as fact.

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