TIME technology

This App Could Let You Count Calories by Taking a Picture of Your Food

Smartphone food picture
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Brought to you by the same team who developed Apple's Siri, the new app is still in its developmental phase

What if taking photos of your food could serve a real purpose besides helping you brag on Instagram and Facebook?

SRI International, the lab responsible for the technology behind Siri, is developing an app that would let you snap a picture of your food to get an approximate calorie count, Gigaom reports. It would use image recognition to scan the photo and analyze the different components of your meal.

One of the major challenges here is hidden fats like oil and butter, SRI Ventures executive director Dror Oren tells Gigaom. So while you probably can’t get an exact count, you can still get a fairly accurate range. The team is aware, for example, that some of the best (and most caloric) foods — like burritos — have hidden components, so they’re taking that into account as they continue to develop the app.

SRI expects the technology to become mainstream in about a year, which gives us all plenty of time to perfect our food-photography skills.

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