The quantum dot arrays are essentially printed on a film, so they would only cost a few dollars to produce, the study authors note. And though the researchers want to make their films slightly more accurate and higher-resolution, it's not crazy to think that they might hit the market fairly soon. "Of course we still have a lot of room for improvement. But performance-wise, even at this preliminary stage, our spectrometer works very close to what's currently being sold in the market," Jie Bao, the study's lead author, told Popular Mechanics. "I think that's one of the most attractive results of our research: [This spectrometer] is already so close to a real product."