University of Washington (UW) researchers have developed NutriRay3D, a laser-mapping technology and smartphone app that enables users to point a smartphone at a plate of food and get an accurate count of the total calories and nutrition.
NutriRay3D uses laser-based three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction techniques to calculate the caloric content of 9,000 types of food. In initial user studies, the system estimated nutritional content with between 87.5-percent and 91-percent accuracy.
A laser accessory connects to the smartphone and projects a grid of dots onto a plate or bowl and calculates the volume of food; the measurements are used to estimate the nutritional content of a particular piece of food.
"It creates a 3D map based on where the dots align, and then you can put them all together to get the actual volume of the food, and estimating these portion sizes is where average people and other calorie counting methods often fall short," says UW researcher Sep Makhsous.
The app crosschecks the measurements against a database of foods to calculate the nutritional content on the plate.
In addition, the NutriRay3D app can identify basic foods on its own but allows users to either speak into the phone or manually enter details about more complicated meals.
From University of Washington News and Information
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