A new Smartphone app that calculates calorie by scanning photo;
Have you ever shared your beautifully presented meals on social media? At least a snap on Snapchat? Well, a new smartphone application called SnapCalorie now has a genuine reason to take food pictures. Developed by former engineers from Google and defense contractor Raytheon, SnapCalorie claims to be able to count the calories in any meal simply by analyzing a photo of it. Surprised? The app is already available for free download on both App Store and Google Playwith an option for a premium subscription costing $29.00 per month.
The creators of the application say that SnapCalorie is actually better than professional nutritionists at estimating calorie content. They argue that human beings are not much good at visually estimating the portion sizes of food, and their app can provide more accurate calorie counts. They also expect dieters who are cautious about their calorie intake in each meal to accept and use this app.
How is the nutrition data calculated?
SnapCalorie’s impressive accuracy is taken from a unique dataset called Nutrition5k which was developed by the company itself. They collected nutritional data from 5,000 popular real-world meals and paired it with thousands of photos and videos of those meals, which were captured using a robotic rig. Further, They used the extensive dataset to train a computer vision algorithm. It accurately estimated the caloric content of various dishes, including challenging ingredients like oils and sauces.
SnapCalorie’s co-founder, Wade Norris, previously worked on Google’s Google Lens project. The project used computer vision to extract information about objects in the real world. With SnapCalorie, Norris aimed to use this technology to directly improve people’s lives by providing accurate calorie information.
The team also claimed that the combined error rate for calories, food mass, and macronutrient mass on average is 16.5%. However, if we compare the average error rate of calorie count done by a professional nutritionist, it is 41%. Furthermore, ordinary individuals had an even higher rate of 53%.
The app enhances its accuracy not only by utilizing the unique capabilities of modern phone cameras, such as depth sensors but also by employing a team of expert human reviewers who ensure an additional layer of quality in measuring portion sizes.
Competitors and Future Success
There are many other calorie-counting apps based on AI like Lose It, Foodadviser, Bite.AI, and Calorie Mama. But, according to the app’s founder, the differentiating factor for SnapCalorie from its competitors is accuracy. There are previous studies results showing disappointing results for some existing apps, with Calorie Mama being correct only 63% of the time.
SnapCalorie has already received $2 million in investments from notable sources like Index Ventures, Y Combinatorand CrossFit CEO Eric Roza. Now, the company’s future success will depend on its ability to improve and maintain its accuracy in the market.
SnapCalorie’s premium subscription model is currently priced at $29.00 per month, with an annual option available at $149.00. Users expect continuous improvement in the app’s AI-generated calorie estimations over time.
In conclusion, SnapCalorie is really an innovative approach to calorie count with just a click. With the help of its well-researched dataset and advanced computer vision algorithms, the app aims to provide accurate calorie estimates. It does surpass the capabilities of professional nutritionists, but the challenges and competition in the market still question the effectiveness.