A device developed initially by Clemson University to be used to track military teams while they were clearing insurgents out of buildings, could now be used in one of America's biggest battles: the ever growing battle against obesity.
The Bite Counter is a wrist-watch that tracks how many hand to mouth actions the user makes, much like a pedometer counts steps. But USA Today reports that it's a bit more complex:
But putting fork to mouth is more complex than walking. "A pedometer can't tell what kind of motion you're making. This tracks a very specific motion," said Adam Hoover, an electrical engineering professor who handled the technical aspects of the design.
The wrist rotation necessary to move a fork from plate to mouth turns out to be the critical motion in eating; the machine counts bites with 90% accuracy, he says.
. . .
Hoover and his co-inventor, psychologist Eric Muth, have found that one bite generally averages about 25 calories.
The Bite Counter is expected to run about $100 when it reaches the commercial market. But, it's not a cure all. The user will have to know the difference between healthy and unhealthy food. The Bite Counter is really just a tool for portion control.
Watch this video to see the Bite Counter in action:
It's important to note that the device isn't as accurate if the user takes excessively large bites.