New health monitor makes calorie counting easier

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 19:30

Washington: Researchers from University of Pittsburgh have created a health monitor that in addition to documenting what a person eats, can also accurately match those images against a geometric-shape library, providing a much easier method for counting calories.

The study demonstrates a new computational tool that has been added to the prototype—a device that fastens to the shirt like a pin. Using its newly built comprehensive food-shape library, the eButton can now extract food from 2D and 3D images and, using a camera coordinate system, evaluate that food based on shape, color, and size.

The researchers, who are trying to remove the guess work from the dieting process, said that visually gauging the size of a food based on an imaginary measurement unit is very subjective, and some individuals don’t want to track what they consume.

eButton now includes a library of foods with nine common shapes: cuboid, wedge, cylinder, sphere, top and bottom half spheres, ellipse, half ellipse, and tunnel.

The device snaps a series of photos while a person is eating, and its new formula goes to work: removing the background image, zeroing in on the food, and measuring its volume by projecting and fitting the selected 3D shape to the 2D photograph using a series of mathematical equations.

The study is published in Measurement Science and Technology.

ANI



First Published: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 19:30

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