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Google working on app that could detect calories based on food photos

The app, called Im2Calories, will rely on image-processing technology to identify the food in pictures

By: PTI |
Updated: June 8, 2015 1:05:30 pm
Google working on food app called Im2calories. (Source: Associated Press) Google working on food app called Im2calories. (Source: Associated Press)

Tech giant Google is developing a new app that can identify and recognise food items from photos to estimate the number of calories in your meal. The app, called Im2Calories, will rely on image-processing technology to identify the food in pictures, and by analysing the pixels, it will estimate the number of calories in the food.

The app is expected to get better as people start using it, according to Google research scientist Kevin Murphy. Users can also correct the software, if the app confuses fried eggs for poached, or misreads something entirely.

Google has recently filed for a patent for Im2Calories, but it is not known when the app might be available. The long-term goal for this technology is more wide-reaching, ‘Popular Science’ reported. “If we can do this for food, that’s just the killer app,” Murphy said. “Suppose we did street scene analysis. We don’t want to just say there are cars in this intersection. That’s boring.”

“We want to do things like localise cars, count the cars, get attributes of the cars, which way are they facing. Then we can do things like traffic scene analysis, predict where the most likely parking spot is. And since this is all learned from data, the technology is the same, you just change the data,” Murphy said.

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