The conventional method of tracking your diet involves keeping a log of what you eat and when you eat it. However, the method has its limitations and because of those, a team of scientists is working on creating an eyeglasses-based system – FitByte – that can perform this task much more accurately.
FitByte is an experimental technology that is currently undergoing development at Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University. It is comprised of multiple sensors that can be affixed on existing third-party glasses. The sensors include an infrared proximity sensor at one of the front sides of the glasses. This sensor can recognize the distinctive hand-to-mouth motions that are linked with drinking and eating.
The above-mentioned movements lead to the triggering of the camera on the other side. This camera then takes pictures of the food or beverage items and keeps it as a log for the user. The user, as of right now, who is relying on FitByte will have to manually identify what kind of food and drinks were pictures, the final iteration will have this handled by means of an artificially intelligent computer vision system.
Furthermore, FitByte features a total of six inertial measurement units (combining an accelerometer and a gyroscope) that are present in the ear hooks and nose bridge of the glasses. They are used for identifying the jaw motions that are linked with chewing and to also record the throat vibrations while the user swallows.
The collected data is stored onboard the glasses and can provide details about what the user ate, at what time, and in what amount. FitByte also has non-invasive sensors that can keep a check on blood glucose levels and the team wants to incorporate more physiological factors down the line. Assistant Professor Mayank Goel said, ‘Our team can take sensor data and find behavior patterns. In what situations do people consume the most? Are they binge eating? Do they eat more when they’re alone or with other people? We are also working with clinicians and practitioners on the problems they’d like to address.’