Main Category: Nutrition / Diet
Also Included In: Self-Monitoring
Article Date: 03 Sep 2013 - 8:00 PDT
Calorie-counting 'eButton' camera measures portion size
|Patient / Public:|
Those who are counting calories must rely on either clunky food scales or inaccurate guesses of portion sizes. But a new wearable computer called the eButton, which matches images against a library of 3D geometric shapes, may soon provide a stealthy, accurate way of measuring calories.
The eButton - which fastens to a shirt like an ordinary badge - consists of a low-power central processing unit (CPU), a random-access memory (RAM) communication interface and a Linux or Android operating system.
The device works like a fly on the wall, automatically taking pictures of the wearer's food and calculating calories. The creators say unlike camera-enabled cell phones, which are able to collect digital images of food only by intruding on normal life, the eButton is able to capture the images without interfering.
The researchers, who are from the University of Pittsburgh in partnership with researchers from China, studied the effectiveness of their eButton. The results were recently published online in the journal Measurement Science and Technology.
How the eButton works
In order to estimate food volume from a single image of food on a dining plate, the device uses three processes:
- The food location is calculated using a coordinate system and the plate as a scale reference.