If you have never watched HBO’s hit show Silicon Valley- you are really missing out. The show is about 5 friends who found a tech company in Silicon Valley and their hilarious journey through entrepreneurship and friendship. The clip below is from season 4 and sets the stage for my review of the very cool technology using machine learning to identify foods from photos.
As funny as this Silicon segment is, it would be hard to admit that the technology demonstrated by Jian Yang isn't impressive. To think that you could take a photo of any food and your phone would automatically recognize it is pretty cool. To take it a step further, if the technology could break down the foods nutrition facts and then log it in a food diary for the user- that would be incredibly valuable. The applications for a technology like that range from diabetes management to weight loss to allergic reaction prevention. It might appear as if this is an improbable machine learning abstraction, but if you look closer you will find that this technology is very real.
Loseit is a popular food logging app built to help users keep track of anything and everything they consume. With over 10 million foods in its database, Loseit is a comprehensive tool for helping individuals understand their relationship with food. Most Loseit members use the tracking features in the app for weight loss and the social features for support- but there are many other health and medical use cases for keeping an accurate food log. In addition to logging food, the Loseit platform lets you log exercise and computes your calories consumed against your calories burned to give you a pretty accurate idea of how you’re doing from a wellness perspective.
I listened to a podcast that featured Loseit founder (and Boston native!) Charles Teague in discussion with host Andrew Warner about how Loseit transformed from an app into a full fledged health platform business. Charles described a plethora of benefits the platform offers and went into detail regarding new features that users can expect to see very soon.