docomo calories tracker

[CEATEC 2011] Japanese carrier DoCoMo is demonstrating a research project that aims at tracking one’s calorie intake by recognizing meals based on photos. As you can imagine, this would be a “low-maintenance” way of tracking that kind of information, as the alternative is to write down (and maybe weigh) meals and individual items. In DoCoMo’s concept, a photo is compared to a database of known meals (currently 1000 Japanese dishes), and a calorie amount is then estimated.I really like the idea, and when it will be ready for public consumption, Facebook should really work with DoCoMo on an app – however, it is not quite ready for prime time. Recognizing dishes is actually pretty hard, and success may vary depending on lighting and photo angles. Even when the photo is shot in perfect conditions, the software may have a hard time guessing the portion size and the actual composition of the meal (what if that was fat-free butter?).  The idea is pretty good though, but maybe DoCoMo should start with packaged snacks, which all have precise calorie information associated with them. I could even suggest  “snacktrack” as an app name.

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