New technology may be on the way that will allow dieters to count calories by merely taking a photo of the food they eat. The new tool, called the eButton, is in development from a team of researchers at the University of Pittsburgh in collaboration with Chinese researchers.
The item is just larger than the size of a quarter and is clipped onto the dieter's shirt, like a lapel button. Using an internal camera and microprocessor, the eButton then evaluates to food on a plate and compares the images captured to those in a stored data bank.
In early tests, researchers found that the eButton had an error rate of only about 3.69 percent. This is much lower than the average error rate from a visual estimate, which is over 20 percent.
"Besides the described application, eButton can evaluate people's lifestyle and help them adopt a healthy one, the researchers noted. "We are also doing research in using it to help the blind find their ways, monitor children's food intake [and] study gain and balance for the elderly to prevent falls."