Starting about 15 years ago, portable optical spectrometers were developed, costing more than $20,000 and targeted at first responders, hazardous materials (HazMat) teams, and the military. These instruments have developed in sophistication and S/N over the years and have been applied to a growing number of analyses, including street narcotics, raw material identification and fraudulent goods. Recently, much lower cost handheld spectrometers have come onto the market, some aimed at the consumer. The open questions are: What applications are these targeted at, and in the hands of the general public, can they provide reliable information? In addition, portable hyperspectral instruments are now being developed, and again being marketed to the general public, raising the same questions. This webcast surveys the field and explores these issues.
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