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Market Overview

An inexpensive, precise, and more readily available alternative to qualitative methods, the Nix Pro color sensor is the only accurate and proven soil color determination sensor presently on the market. BCC Research estimates that the global environmental sensor and monitoring business has grown approximately $4.4 billion dollars from 2014 to 2019, a CAGR of 5.9%. The conventional Munsell Color Chart method for color analysis is subject to multiple limitations including human error, variable environmental conditions, and difficult statistical analysis. Clemson researchers have developed a more precise, accurate, and objective tool called the Nix Pro to successfully measure soil color in a variety of color codes, with smartphone applications.
Christopher Post
Mark Schlautman
Elena Mikhailova


Geology, Agriculture, Environmental Science, Colorimetry, Soil Data Collection, Soil Science Education

Technical Summary:

Munsell Color Charts are often used for a convenient, in-the-field soil color analysis. Soil color can be a robust indicator of organic matter and iron oxide levels and humus content in soil. Further, it can be used to differentiate between soils after treatments like air-drying, moistening, ashing, and more. However, different regions have different soil properties, and other treatments may be needed to objectively and accurately determine color. The Nix Pro Color Sensor provides a superior, convenient alternative for soil color determination, as its color values are more closely related to that of a laboratory standard colorimeter. This low cost sensor is controlled wirelessly by any Android or Apple phone or tablet through Bluetooth and has its own light-emitting diode (LED) light source located within the concave base of the sensor. The sensor is rechargeable, easily accessible because of its small size, easily recalibrated, and can produce scan results in various color system codes Additionally, this technology is able to determine the true color of a soil sample regardless of moisture content or indoor/outdoor lighting conditions.


• Color values are closely related to that of a laboratory standard colorimeter, providing more accurate and precise soil color determinations
• Built in LED light source and Bluetooth controls, allowing for simple, convenient smartphone applications
• Sensor scan produces variety of accurate color codes including CMYK, RGB, HEX, and HTML, allowing for objective conversion to Munsell color codes

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Technology Overview

State of Development

Proof of Concept



CURF Reference No.



Christopher Post, Mark Schlautman, Elena Mikhailova

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