Crowdsourced smartphone accessory counts calories by 3D-scanning your food

by: John DyeJanuary 20, 2016

Food Instagrammers sometimes get a bad rap on social media. As someone who likes drooling over pics of pho and Korean barbecue, I don’t see what all the fuss is about, but now one crowd-sourced initiative is looking to bring ample justification to the practice of whipping out your phone before every meal. It’s called NutriRay3D, and the creators say it can estimate the caloric value of your food just by looking at it.

The process works by using 3D laser scanning to measure the actual volume of the items on your plate. The app that accompanies this accessory consults its repertoire of over 9,000 different types of food to determine what exactly you’re about to put in your body and give you an instant analysis of your meal. The app will also come with the standard tracking features and weight-loss assistance we’ve come to expect from fitness apps, and it is allegedly 87.5% to 91% accurate at measuring nutritional content. Sounds close enough for most daily uses.


The team developing the accessory says they already have a functioning final model that is beyond prototyping stages, and that the only thing they need to get the device in your hands is the capital to fund production. The Indiegogo campaign is hoping to hit $50,000 in the next 43 days, and those pledging $199 or more will get a NutriRay3D in return for their support.

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Although some have their reservations about this project – how, for instance, can it tell how much oil went into that stir fry? – it’s certainly an ambitious endeavor that deserves a look. Head over to the campaign page for more information, and let us know if you decide to back these guys. If you’re interested in shelling out a little extra, they’ll even send you a developer’s kit so you can play with lasers on your own.

What are your thoughts regarding this nutrition tracking accessory. Technical limitations? Potential applications? Let us know your opinion in the comments below!

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  • balcobomber25

    I’ll stick to the free My Fitness Plan app.

  • bOgGaRt

    Nutrition values ? Using Images ? I could have believed it if they had used terms like ultrasonic scanning, MRI blah blah! But using images ?… oh wait… it’s indiegogo! Neva mind! Just a funny article it is then!