Is it Magic?

Not really.  tCheck is an application specific spectrometer.  It works by shining a specific wavelength (color) of light through the oil, then measuring the amount of light that makes it through.

You can do this experiment at home...  Take a flashlight and put it behind a small glass of water, then look at the flashlight through the water.  Now, start dripping dye or food coloring into the water.  As more dye is added, the water gets progressively darker.

The water in this experiment is just like our oils and the dye is like the botanical compounds.  The more botanical compounds in the oil, the darker the water.

Our eyeballs can only detect a limited range of colors (wavelengths).  tCheck uses a wavelength of light beyond our ability to see.  However, botanical compounds filter or darken the oil at this wavelength.

Inside tCheck, the light emitter, tray, and receiver have all been calibrated.  This means that the amount of light generated is always known, the thickness of the oil within the tray, and sensitivity of the detector is also always known.  This consistency, along with some fancy signal processing allows tCheck to translate the dimness of the light into what we call a botanical compounds by volume measurement.

Why do we call it an application specific spectrometer?  Because it only measures botanical compounds.  Regular spectrometers use a bunch of different wavelengths of light and can measure all kinds of stuff like the carbon dioxide content in Himalayan glacial ice.  The problem is that it is extremely difficult to tell the difference between 10,000 year old carbon dioxide and some other unknown compound.  To definitively tell the difference, you must collect a ton of data across a wide range of wavelengths and compare those numbers against a massive database.  Even then, it is difficult to determine the amount of carbon dioxide in Himalayan glacial ice.

tCheck does not try to measure anything and everything.  It only measures the botanical compounds dissolved in oils (and tinctures in the near future).  Because it is not a general purpose spectrometer, it doesn’t need to make a million measurements and host a gigantic database.  By doing only a single function, the electronics inside could be miniaturized.