I am that guy who asks airport security if I can photograph my luggage going through the X-ray machine. I’m also the guy who spent a solid hour scrubbing through the CT scan of my broken jaw with a mix of horror and utter fascination. You could say I’ve been on a bit of a spectral imaging kick.

So when a startup called Lumafield told me I could put as many things as I wanted into its $54,000 a year radiographic density scanning machine… let’s just say I’ve a sneaking suspicion they didn’t think I’d take it literally.

Last month, I walked into the company’s satellite office in San Francisco with a stuffed-to-the-gills backpack containing:

A Lumafield Neptune at the company’s satellite office in San Francisco.
Image: Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

I would have brought more, but I wanted to be polite!

The Neptune, Lumafield’s first scanner, is a hulking machine that looks like a gigantic black microwave oven at first glance. It’s six feet wide, six feet tall, weighs 2,600 pounds, and a thick sliding metal door guards the scanning chamber while the machine is in use. Close that door and press a button on its integrated touchscreen, and it’ll fire up to 190,000 volts worth of X-rays through whatever you place on the rotating pedestal inside.

I began with my Polaroid OneStep SX-70, the classic rainbow-striped camera that arguably first brought instant photography to the masses. Forty-five minutes and 35 gigabytes of data later, the company’s cloud servers…

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