Google could count calories in your food photos

Alex Yau
June 3, 2015

Counting calories can be very time consuming for the most part. Most of us have to scan through food packaging, repetitively enter figures into dieting apps or mathematically work out how many calories our meals have. Google could be making this often cumbersome task a bit easier with some clever new software. 

Google is developing a new calorie-counting algorithm called Im2Calories. The premise is very simple. Just snap a picture of any food item and Im2Calories will display a calorie count based on the physical quality of the food in the photograph.

Im2Calories will recognise individual items on a plate and create a final figure based on available calorie information. You can correct the figure yourself if it doesn’t properly guess what you’re eating and improve the software over time. Google says that the software will also gather information from foodies.

Google Im2Calories release date

The technology is still being developed and there are no immediate plans to release it, but Google research scientist Kevin Murphy nevertheless expressed his excitement at the Rework Deep Learning Summit. He said: “If we can do this for food, that’s just the killer app.”

If this technology ever reaches the public, that means we may see a lot more food photographs as a way of keeping in shape alongside bragging about what restaurant we’re eating at or meal we’ve just cooked.

For more on Google, visit What Mobile’s dedicated Google page.

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