Although it is not quite ready to hit the U.S. market, the 2013 World Pork Expo New Product review panel thought the Ro-Main OptiSCAN hand-held pig weight scanner could offer potential benefits to pork producers.

OptiSCAN is a three-dimensional, hand-held camera that captures and records pig weights instantly when it is held over the top of a pig’s back. Producers can click a button and record the weight within 3 seconds. Marc Leuschner demonstrated how two red dots are projected from the unit onto the pig’s back to show that the OptiSCAN is positioned correctly. Three-dimensional images of the pig, along with the weight, are displayed on the hand-held unit’s screen and on a computer. The OptiSCAN downloads the information via a cable attached to a personal computer. Leuschner said while the company is currently working to perfect a wireless interface, the user now must carry the computer in a backpack while scanning the animals.

Steve Hoff asked about the accuracy of the unit. Leuschner said the OptiSCAN currently records weights with close to 97% accuracy.

The panel really liked the concept of the hand-held weight-recording device. “It’s a win-win situation if they can develop the wireless app and get the product delivered to market,” Steve Hoff said. Paul Yeske, DVM, agreed. “Ultimately, the device needs to be able to link up with a producer or supervisor’s smartphone and give the weight.”

The company hopes to begin selling the unit in the fall or winter of 2013. Learn more about the OptiSCAN at www.ro-main.com.