Here’s a really clever use of augmented reality technology from Japan , which tries to trick the user into thinking they have eaten more than they actually have. A special headset with a built-in camera makes the image of your food look bigger than it really is, thus tricking you into thinking that you have eaten more.
Diginfo news cites the University of Tokyo researchers as saying that their studies indicate that the amount of food eaten does change according to the perceived size of the food:
So far, we’ve done tests involving 12 subjects, under quite strict experimental conditions, to see if the amount eaten actually changed. When food was magnified 1.5 times, the amount eaten decreased by about 10 percent. When it was made to look two-thirds its actual size, the amount eaten increased by about 15 percent.
They add that obesity is a big problem in the US, so such a solution could potentially work for anyone who struggles with overeating. If you’d like to see a demonstration of how it works, check out the video below from Diginfo, taken at the recent Digital Contents Expo 2012.
This service is reminds me of another mobile solution from the folks at Docomo that we saw last year. That was a photo application that analyzes images of your food, checks them against a pre-existing database, and provides you with a calorie count.