Count calories in food just by using your Instagram pics

Food porn just got a lot more serious


Everybody has a mate who holds the rest of us up while they painstakingly take photos of absolutely everything they eat.

But thanks to Google, these self-indulgent snaps could let you know exactly how many calories are on your plate.

The new app, named Im2Calorie which is yet to be released, uses advanced image technology to analyse exactly what you’re eating – and calculates all the calories you’re about to put away.

It works out the size of each piece of food compared to the plate and adds in any condiments. It then counts every calorie you’re eating.

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But don’t worry about blurry photos and sepia filters, the app doesn’t need high-res images to work.

Google research scientist Kevin Murphy said he wants the app to make it easier to keep a food diary without having to type in all the details.

Unveiling the project last week, he said: “To me it’s obvious that people really want this and this is really useful.

“If it only works 30 percent of the time, it’s enough that people will start using it, we’ll collect data, and it’ll get better over time.”

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Might be quite a few calories here

Kevin added: “Ok fine, maybe we get the calories off by 20 per cent. It doesn’t matter.

“We’re going to average over a week or a month or a year. And now we can start to potentially join information from multiple people and start to do population level statistics.

“I have colleagues in epidemiology and public health, and they really want this stuff.”

But Google has bigger plans for this type of AI technology too.

“If we can do this for food, that’s just the killer app. Suppose we did street scene analysis. We don’t want to just say there are cars in this intersection – that’s boring.

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“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.’

Google is yet to release details of when the food calorie app will be released or how much it will cost.