New machine paves manner for expertise to ease every day meals, beverage monitoring for seniors, chronically unwell

Credit score: Multisensory Interactive Media Lab, College of Maine

College of Maine researchers invented a tool that might function a launchpad for brand spanking new expertise to ease every day monitoring of meals and beverage consumption for seniors and other people with continual well being circumstances.

SipBit, created by Nimesha Ranasinghe, an assistant professor of spatial computing, and Chamath Amarasinghe, a Ph.D. pupil of spatial info science and engineering, can pinpoint beverage kind, quantity and sugar content material as soon as submerged in liquid. The machine, educated to acknowledge these traits by means of a sequence of deep studying algorithms, can establish them through the use of electrical impedance measurements over a spread of frequencies of a drink.

Electrical impedance is the opposition supplied to the electrical present—transferring charged particles like electrons— by an object. A given set of measurements of {an electrical} impedance correlates with a specific beverage trait, akin to whether or not it is tea, espresso or soda.

SipBit applies a recognized electrical pulse throughout hundreds of frequencies after which measures the impedances by means of the drink, a technique referred to as electrical impedance spectroscopy. After amassing a number of units of measurements, SipBit analyzes them to establish the bodily and chemical properties of a beverage, notably what kind of drink it’s and its quantity and sugar content material.

Many seniors and other people with strict diets, together with those that have most cancers, coronary heart and kidney illnesses, diabetes and different circumstances, should manually report every day what they eat and drink intimately to assist protect their well being, which Ranasinghe says will be tedious, time consuming and open to miscalculation. He and Amarasighe hope to reinforce the expertise in SipBit to establish much more traits, akin to sodium (i.e., salt), carbohydrates, protein, and spice content material, and report it on units like computer systems and smartphones to alleviate their burden. They then hope to develop cutlery and drinkware which can be geared up with SipBit.






“We’re ranging from this basis,” Ranasinghe says. “Our subsequent step is to discover completely different functions and create a wise cup or tumbler the place individuals can routinely report their calorie consumption intimately and actual time.”

SipBit differs from different expertise designed to establish varied features of meals and drinks through the use of electrical impedance spectroscopy as an alternative of analyzing photos of what individuals eat and drink earlier than and after meals.

Amarasinghe and Ranasinghe say different units have issues precisely distinguishing drinks of the identical colour and figuring out their quantity and different inside attributes. For instance, they might battle to find out whether or not a espresso was a darkish or medium roast or how a lot is the sugar content material of the drink.

“By way of electrical impedance, we will acknowledge completely different beverage varieties and traits based mostly on completely different signatures; for instance, a cup of Pepsi versus a cup of Coca Cola,” Amarasinghe says.

Ranasinghe’s analysis primarily focuses on replicating culinary experiences by simulating tastes, smells and different senses by means of multisensory augmented actuality and different applied sciences. His innovations have earned awards and nationwide acclaim. A few of his standard units embrace the Digital Cocktail, or Vocktail, Digital Lollipop and Digital Lemonade.

Ranasinghe says SipBit builds on his earlier analysis as a result of having sensory expertise that may detect and acquire information on completely different meals or beverage traits will assist invent new units to simulate these experiences. He says he ultimately hopes to develop a digital house the place individuals can share simulated meals and drinks around the globe.

“We will present new alternatives for human-food interactions,” Ranasinghe says. “One drive I’ve is determining how we will add these unexplored senses—odor and style—into our applied sciences. SipBit is a part of an even bigger puzzle of future human-food digital interactions as a result of if you wish to incorporate new senses, it’s a must to invent expertise that may simulate them, sense them and acquire information on them.”


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New machine paves manner for expertise to ease every day meals, beverage monitoring for seniors, chronically unwell (2022, September 7)
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