Weight loss, shape building diets, supplements and exercise programmes have become some of the most discussed subjects within the last 20 years and their popularity is only expected to grow. And now it is augmented reality’s turn to enter this lucrative market with what could become a revolutionary product.
Scientists at Tokyo University have developed a working prototype of an AR device that promises to remove the gimmick tag associated with many augmented reality applications. Named Diet Goggles, this pair of AR glasses was tested with several dieters and the results show a 10% decrease in food intake.
How do Diet Goggles work?
By making the food much bigger that it actually is. This apparently simple effect is obtained through the use of an augmented reality application which recognizes the food objects and recreates them digitally for the user, but on a bigger scale. In this way, the diner’s brain is tricked to think that they eat bigger portions than they actually do, feeling full quicker.
In tests with Oreo biscuits that were made to look 50% bigger, the subjects ate with 10% less than the people who did not wear the Diet Glasses. Viewed through the augmented reality glasses, only the food recognised by the application is sized up while you hand and other elements remain with their original size. This is very important for this AR ‘trick’ to work.
A temporary limitation of this technology is that the current algorithm only works on round shaped foods such as biscuits, donuts, muffins or burgers. Hopefully it won’t be long until this is refined and integrated in different AR head-up displays (such as the much-awaited Google AR Glasses) and used for all junk food and other unhealthy high caloric foods.
Although they are still in the prototype stage, the glasses can prove to be effective against obesity and its related illnesses that are already at epidemic levels in the western world. Whether big fast food chains will accept them in their restaurants is something to be seen.