[CEATEC] Smartphone Camera Helps Control Calorie Intake

Oct 12, 2011
Takuya Otani, Nikkei Electronics & Digital Health Online
The picture of a dish is being taken.
The picture of a dish is being taken.
[ If it clicks, the expanded picture will open ]
Ten candidates are displayed on the screen.
Ten candidates are displayed on the screen.
[ If it clicks, the expanded picture will open ]

NTT Docomo Inc prototyped a system that enables to monitor the number of calories taken in just by using a tablet computer's or smartphone's camera to take pictures of dishes.

The system was exhibited at CEATEC Japan 2011, which took place from Oct 4 to 8, 2011, in Chiba Prefecture, Japan. There are some Web-based services that help monitor the number of calories, but this is the first system that enables to check it with a certain degree of accuracy just by taking pictures, NTT Docomo said.

When the picture of a dish is taken by a camera, the names of 10 candidate dishes are displayed on the screen of a tablet computer or a smartphone. The names of dishes appear in the order of similarity to the taken image, the company said. Then, the user chooses the one that he or she has actually eaten to record it.

One thousand dishes including beverages are registered in the system.

"Data about 1,000 dishes is enough to cover most common dishes," NTT Docomo said.

The company used NEC Corp's image processing technology to analyze pictures of dishes.

The recorded data about dishes can be displayed in a calender format. Also, it is possible to manually register the user's weight to know the correlation between dishes and weight, NTT Docomo said. The company has not yet decided when to release the system.