New App Helps You Count Calories With Photo

The new app will send images of food to the cloud where they will be analyzed for an approximate calorie count.

Taking a picture of your food with a mobile device or a smartphone typically goes up instantly on a social media site like Instagram, Facebook or a foodie site, but what if that same photo could tell you how many calories there were on your plate?

According to this article from the, there is already a new app being developed by SRI International, the research laboratory who built the technology powering Apple’s Siri, attempting to do just that.

Speaking to tech site Gigaom, SRI International’s Dror Oren explained that the app will send images to the cloud where they will be analysed to work out what the food is and how much of it there is.

Oren admits that the calorie count will only be approximate because of the hidden fats like oils and butter used in cooking, but that even a rough estimate – to the nearest 200 – could be extremely useful for people trying to eat more healthily.

The app could also be improved through the use of contextual clues, by matching the image against previous photos taken or finding out if the food comes from a chain of resteraunts.

“If a human can recognize the food, so can the app,” Oren told Gigaom.

 The technology is currently being developed under the codename Ceres, with SRI International currently looking for partners who can turn the idea into a mainstream reality.

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