Bite Counter = A Pedometer for Your Mouth
Count bites by tracking your wrist movement. Researchers have developed a way to fight obesity by helping people answer one fundamental question: how many bites of food are you eating? The Bite Counter, a wristwatch-shaped device being marketed to weight-loss clinics and fitness professionals, uses technology developed to track body movements in clearing buildings of insurgents in Iraq. Like a pedometer, it keeps count of a repetitive physical movement. 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.” 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. It also counts bites taken without the use of a fork or spoon, such as eating an apple; the rotation of the wrist is the same whether eating with the hands or utensils. It’s expected to be on the consumer market in about a year for about $100.