Are you so dependent on calorie labels that you tremble at the thought of going to a friend’s house for dinner, or indulging in a cupcake from a market stall? Those days are now over, thanks to the calorie scanner.
The company Consumer Physics has developed a scanner that uses a beam of light to calculate the number of calories in food. Best of all, it’s small enough to fit inside your smartphone. The spectrometer uses infrared light to determine the chemical fingerprints that define different food. When linked to the company’s database, the app can then identify the food and determine its nutritional value.
The app is being tested and could soon be yours for £160 – still, a small price to pay for your piece of mind.
The invention debuted at the Wired 2015 conference in London this week. Here are 3 more inventions that could soon change our lives:
1. The Artificial Intelligence Shop Assistant
Artificial Intelligence pioneer Antoine Blondeau spoke at the conference about the use of AI in retail. USA retailer Shoes.com will be the first to use the technology for online shopping. Instead of a list of recommendations, it will provide a real-time dialogue with customers in the virtual world, just as you might experience with a well-trained customer assistant. The store will adapt as you browse the catalogue, determining what you like without the customer having to explain why.
2. The Exercise Drug
Are you fed up of spending hours at the gym to no avail? Scientists at the University of Sydney have developed a drug designed to mimic the benefits of exercise. The researchers have identified the 1000 molecular changes that occur in our muscles when we work out, and have developed an exercise blueprint. This can be used to pinpoint specific benefits and replicate their effects with drugs. For people for whom exercise isn’t an option, it can mean lessening the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and neurological disorders.
3. The Smelly Map
Daniele Quercia has designed a map for house-hunting Londoners. Smelly Maps was built for those who worry that the homes they are carefully invested in might turn out to have odd smells. The map sorts London’s streets by emissions, nature, food and animal smells, so that new home buyers know exactly what they’re getting in to.
Words: Radhika Seth