Google is now developing an app that will count calories based on the pictures of your food. It will do so by identifying and breaking down the dishes in the pictures analysing them by pixels. Called Im2Calories the technology has been presented at the Boston Rework Deep Learing Summit by the research scientist Kevin Murphy who said that though the app calorie estimation may be off by 20 per cent at the beginning they will collect more data including user corrections and improve over time.
Google’s Calorie Counting App Analyses Pictures of Food
The technology itself is quite interesting. According to Popular Science the technology uses pattern recognition with all the aforementioned tools to help it identify and estimate the dishes’ calories. Shortly speaking, it recognizes foods by patterns and pixels and has an extensive calorie database to match up to the foods in pictures.
Even if the app misreads the picture that, by the way, doesn’t have to be HD but could be your Instagram filtered snap, the app will get better at it with time.
Murphy believes that this technology is not only useful to lay users but also medical professionals. “I have colleagues in epidemiology and public health, and they really want this stuff,” Murphy says.
Skeptics say that just counting calories isn’t enough and there are many other apps that already do the job. But Im2Calories was made to eliminate any additional factors and obstacles like manual input of foods like in a food diary.
I, for one, think that there is no more exact way to measure food portions than the kitchen scales and measuring spoons. But sometimes eating out can be problematic if menus don’t indicate portions in weight or if there are simply no menus to begin with. And that’s where technology like this one could help out, even if only approximately.