Society’s constant battle with health and time management could soon be a thing of the past, with developing AR (augmented reality) technologies that aim to help us eat more healthily.
Our increasingly health-aware society is constantly relying on technology as a source for food information. Everything from the salt percentage to the calorie count is now seen as a necessary measure, to maintain healthy eating habits.
Australian health insurer Bupa have jumped onto the health band wagon, creating ‘Foodswitch’, an app that is able to provide food product guidelines through a unique barcode scanning feature, coupled with internet connectivity. This app is one of many currently available, and points to larger healthy shopping developments.
As per usual, the app is available for download for both Apple and Android devices (sorry Windows users), and uses the devices camera to scan the barcodes of various food products, such as ‘low fat’ chocolate cookies or even canned vegetables. The app then connects to the internet to download nutrition assessments.
FoodSwitch can tell a user how much salt, sugar and fat are in a muesli bar, for example, along with recommendations for similar products.
Another rising health technology is the ever-evolving ‘Smart watch’, which is likely to augment the nutritional trend, thanks to the smaller device profile and easy operating nature. In the near future, these Smart watches could accomplish the same nutritional scanning task, eliminating the need to utilise the smartphone app.
This would be a natural evolution of current Health Bands and initial versions of the Smart watch, as the devices on the market are currently heavily weighted toward personal health information such as blood sugar and heart rate. Apps such as Foodswitch have the ability to explain how certain foods impact various levels within the user’s body, interacting with personal statistics via a Smart watch.
Further to this, fully augmented reality technologies such as Google Glass, will likely have the biggest impact, as scanning could be done automatically through use of the cameras directly integrated with the glasses. Potentially, the camera could even direct users to more suitable products within the supermarket—just like product placement, but personal.