Wearable technology typically sits on wrists and faces. Think: smart watches, smart glasses, VR goggles and fitness bands. Now researchers are developing a smart necklace that can "hear" what you're eating, which may help people track and control the foods they ingest. The goal is to identify caloric intake and not just burnoff.
Wenyao Xu, a computer scientist at the University at Buffalo, is working with researchers at Northeastern University in China to develop the necklace, which is worn like an ordinary choker. Inside the device is a small microphone, the size of a zipper pull, which records biting, grinding and swallowing. The collected data is then sent via Bluetooth to a proprietary application called AutoDietary, which has been custom built for this project. It stories a library of sounds we make when eating.
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To test the hardware-software package, researchers gave 12 subjects—aged 13 to 49—a glass of water and a variety of different foods to eat: apples, carrots, potato chips, cookies, peanuts and walnuts. AutoDietary correctly identified the food and drink 85 percent of the time.