Smartphone gizmo maps meals, counts calories

Image: NutriRay3D device in action
The NutriRay3D device uses a laser-mapping gizmo and a smartphone app to estimate the calories and other nutritional content on a plate of food. (Credit: University of Washington)

How many calories are on your plate? Engineers at the University of Washington have developed a gizmo that estimates the nutritional value of your meal with the mere snap of a smartphone.

NutriRay3D combines a smartphone app with a laser-mapping add-on: The app identifies what kind of food is in the picture, and the laser-mapper provides an estimate of each food’s volume. Then you get a real-time estimate of the calorie count and nutritional content.

The system gets around the toughest hurdles in nutrition tracking: Keeping an accurate record of what you eat, and figuring out how much of it you’re eating.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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