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A necklace device ‘hears’ your eating

WBFO's Eileen Buckley

A new device is being created with the help of a University at Buffalo professor that will track what you eat through sounds. WBFO's Focus on Education Reporter Eileen Buckley tells us about a necklace that hears what you are eating and could be used to help in dieting.

Maybe you’re biting into an apple or crunching a cookie. Those sounds can be recorded into this food-tracking necklace called AutoDietary that you wear. 

We know the difference in tastes of foods, but they make very different sounds when chewing.        

“We can narrow the sound and analyze whether they are eating the foods and which type of foods they are eating,” said UB Computer Scientist Wenyao Xu.   

Xu has created these sounds and is cataloguing them as part of a software package for AutoDietary.  Xu is working with researchers at Northeastern University in China on this necklace project. 

Credit Photo from University at Buffalo website.
UB Computer Scientist Wenyao Xu.

“It can silently monitor what he or she is eating through the day. And this necklace can connect to his phone and running the Apps, the Apps can show how much calories they take so far, per day, and also we can show eating history,” explained Xu.

Xu said the necklace is different than current devices that track calories you burn. They believe this device could be helpful in watching weigh, nutrition, fighting diabetes and other health problems.

Credit Photo from University at Buffalo website.
Prototype of the AutoDietary necklace.

“And the one thing, very importantly, we will not end with necklace. We are also developing new smart watch which can measure other biological signals from the body.     

Xu said he discovered using sound to track food in his UB classroom.

“And the one student was eating chips,” noted Xu.  “I just said, don’t eat chips.”

Xu said they hope to have the device ready by the start of the New Year in time for weight loss resolutions.