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A necklace that listens to every bite you take

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Updated: Wednesday, March 23, 2016, 1:48 PM

A prototype of a necklace that will catalog what the person wearing it eats, by listening to what is being chewed.Wenyao Xu

A prototype of a necklace that will catalog what the person wearing it eats, by listening to what is being chewed.

Instead of an accessory making you look fat, this could help you become skinny.

A necklace that looks like a choker, but contains a high-fidelity mic to record chewing sounds is under development at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

“In recent years we have seen a bunch of wearables flowing to the market and all of them can only measure the energy burn and none of them can measure the calorie intake,” said inventor, Wenyao Xu, a computer science professor at SUNY-Buffalo. “This is the missing part in the loop.”

It’s the d

The necklace will know.

“People either forget or they tend to forget or they want to forget what they eat,” Xu said.

Different foods make different sounds, so Xu is building a library of those sounds.

He has people take 10 bites of different foods to record the sounds of chewing .

The necklace’s microphone sends the data, via Bluetooth to a smartphone. On the phone, whatever was eaten is logged into a library and that information is used to show what a person eats.

“You can set up a threshold,” Xu said. “For example, I want to eat 2,000 calories a day. Once you have reached that, the threshold will send you a reminder.”

This would be along the lines of the way a Fitbit vibrates when the person wearing it reaches the number of steps set as a goal.

Xu is working with researchers from Northeastern University in China to finish the necklace they’re calling the AutoDietary. He plans to have more designs made and offer different versions for men and women.

Other scientists at competing labs are also working on this and Xu’s goal is to get it to market by the end of the year. He guessed it would cost less than $ 100.

Among the foods cataloged so far are: bagels, chips, rice, bananas, apples, grapes, lettuce, walnuts, peanuts, cookies, carrots, chocolate , meatloaf and pasta.

Eventually, Xu plans to have 150 different sounds.

There are lingering questions, though.

For instance, a carbonated beverage will sound different than a flat one, but how to tell the difference between a can of Coke, which has 140 calories and a can of seltzer, which has zero?

“We are working on that,” Xu said. “Ice cream and oatmeal sound almost the same and we are working on that, too.”

jcutler@nydailynews.com

Tags:
health technology ,
healthy eating ,
buffalo ,
suny


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