UK & World News

  • 11 April 2014, 8:25

Calorie Counting App Analyses Photos Of Meals

An app that calculates how many calories are in your food just by analysing a photo is in development.

The team responsible for the technology behind Apple's Siri feature is working on image-recognition software to help people eat more healthily.

SRI Ventures director Dror Oren told Gigaom the app could give an approximate calorie count based on a single photo of a meal.

The project has been dubbed Ceres by the company, and more partners are being sought before a planned launch next year.

The company says that because of hidden fats like butter and oil it is impossible to provide a precise calorie count.

However the firm expects the completed software to be able to provide a calorie estimate in a tight range of around 200 calories for a typical meal.

Mr Oren said the app's food recognition ability is the team's biggest breakthrough, adding: "If a human can recognise the food, so can the app."

Meanwhile,TellSpec, a biotechnology company in Toronto, Canada, is developing a handheld device that could scan the food we eat using a spectrometer.

The device beams light at the food, measures the reflected rays and forwards the information to servers in the cloud.

The company claims a 90% accuracy rate for calorie counting, however the device is likely to cost up to $500 (298).

The Ceres app, by contrast, is likely to cost a few pounds.