Smart-U: Smart Utensils Know What You Eat

Authors:
Qianyi Huang Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong
Zhice Yang ShanghaiTech University, P.R. China
Qian Zhang Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong

Abstract:

Mobile sensing enables unobtrusive monitoring of our daily activities, sleep quality, breathing and heart rate, revolutionizing the health-care system. Dietary information is also a critical dimension for health management but has no convenient solution yet. In this paper, we ask whether we can track meal composition unobtrusively. We introduce Smart-U, a new utensil design that can recognize meal composition during the intake process, without user intervention or on-body instruments. Smart-U makes use of the fact that light spectra reflected by foods are dependent on the food ingredients. By analyzing the reflected light spectra, Smart-U can recognize what food is on top of the utensil. We describe the prototype design of Smart-U and the food recognition algorithm. We demonstrate that Smart-U can recognize 20 types of foods with 93% accuracy. It can work robustly under different conditions. We envision that Smart-U can enable automatic food intake tracking, and provide personalized food suggestions based on nutrient recommendations and prior consumption. In the long run, Smart-U can contribute to the study of chronic diseases.

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