At CES 2020, a startup called Becon (from Samsung’s in-house incubator program Creative Lab) brought a product that was quite interesting to men, the scalp scanner. The Becon scalp scanner is for those who are worried about hair loss but don’t have time to ask for experts, and it’s divided into two parts: a handheld device that detects the scalp and a companion APP.
When you use it, you need to link the device to your phone and place the scanner on your scalp. The scanner has built-in camera, temperature and humidity sensor, gas measurement TVOC (total volatile organic compound) sensor, which can work together to assess the user’s scalp health and can divide the results into 10 dimensions of follicle density, dead skin, scalp sensitivity, and other data.
But because of the size of the sensor, the company says it’s best to collect scalps from three different locations to get more accurate data.
Finally, the APP will only recommend products (though most are shampoos), and the APP will rate different shampoos for easy choice based on their condition.
At the end of my hair report, the app recommended products — mostly shampoo, in my case — that were apparently personalized to my individual needs. Each bottle had a “score” to represent their suitability and I could tap through for a full breakdown of helpful and harmful ingredients.
Becon doesn’t know when its handheld device will be ready for store shelves. There’s no word on pricing, either, though a spokesperson guessed it would be somewhere around $100. Is the product worth your time, or technological snake oil? I’m pulling my hair out trying to decide, which is probably a bad idea if I want to keep that 21-year-old scalp score intact.