Something to sink your teeth into? iPhone app counts calories in photos

Apr 11, 2011
Tech

Do you know how many calories are in your cheeseburger, fries and chocolate shake? Finding out is as easy as snapping a photo of your food with your iPhone. Meal Snap – Calorie Counting Magic for iPhone analyzes the shape and color of what’s on your plate and then runs it through a database of […]

Do you know how many calories are in your cheeseburger, fries and chocolate shake? Finding out is as easy as snapping a photo of your food with your iPhone.

Meal Snap – Calorie Counting Magic for iPhone analyzes the shape and color of what’s on your plate and then runs it through a database of 100,000 different foods to determine what you’re eating. A Reuters article said it will also calculate your portion size, proteins, fat, carbs and vitamins depending upon what it sees.

But what about what it can’t see?

Is there mayo on that burger? Perhaps it is made from turkey instead of beef. Or the shake is made with yogurt instead of ice cream?

Object recognition software is still a work in progress, even when making analysis of ordinary objects. Will this app really be able to tell the difference in the way food is prepared just by analyzing the color and shape?

An unnamed spokeswoman suggested that the app still needs a bit of work. “It’s really good on things that Japanese people eat a lot of, like ramen, but not so good on stuff like Thai food,” she said.

Because there’s no motivation quite like peer pressure, the app allows users to share their meals with friends on social networking sites.

“People can see how many calories their friends have eaten, which may make them try harder,” the spokeswoman also said.

READ  Trending - Did Google Copy Twitter?

When it comes to food, ignorance isn’t bliss. Meal Snap sounds like it’s a must-have download for those who live in cities that don’t yet legally require that calorie counts are posted on menu items. It’s a great way to stick to your diet and to hold yourself accountable for what you eat.

It’s now available in the iTunes store for $2.99.

Search for more

Caitlin M. Foyt

Caitlin M. Foyt is another young journalist chasing after her dreams. She wishes it was physically possible to document everything she saw, heard, felt or thought -- kind of like a more neurotic Harriet the Spy.

    Home Apps Games