Great. Now A Necklace Tells Me How Much I Eat

So we've tried the Fit Bit to see how much we exercise (and how many calories we burn when we do it).  Weight Watchers offers devices that count the points you rack up, entitling you to eat more.    

But what about a necklace that hears what you eat to help you track of it? 

Sounds quite bizarre but a new study is proving that it may work.

Carrots and apples not only taste different. They make distinct sounds when chewed.

This may seem like unnecessary knowledge, but it’s not in the laboratory of University at Buffalo computer scientist Wenyao Xu, who is creating a library that catalogues the unique sounds that foods make as we bite, grind and swallow them, according to

The library is part of a software package that supports AutoDietary, a high-tech, food-tracking necklace being developed by Xu and researchers at Northeastern University in China.

“There is no shortage of wearable devices that tell us how many calories we burn, but creating a device that reliably measures caloric intake isn’t so easy,” says Xu, PhD, assistant professor of computer science in UB’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

AutoDietary wraps around the back of the neck like a choker necklace. A tiny high-fidelity microphone – about the size of a zipper pull – records the sounds made during mastication and as the food is swallowed. That data is sent to a smartphone via Bluetooth, where food types are recognized, then tabulated for calories.

In the study, participants ages 13 to 49 were given water and six types of food: apples, carrots, potato chips, cookies, peanuts and walnuts. AutoDietary was able to accurately identify the correct food and drink 85 percent of the time.

“Each food, as it’s chewed, has its own voice,” says Xu, who says the device could someday help people suffering from diabetes, obesity, bowel disorders and other ailments by enabling them to better monitor their food intake and, thus, improve how they manage their conditions.

Xu plans future studies to build upon his library by testing different foods and recording the sounds they make. He also plans to refine the algorithms used to differentiate the foods to improve AutoDietary’s ability to recognize what’s being eaten.

That's all very nice but I think I'd rather my jewelry just make me look on fleek.


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