Image source: Samsung

Samsung’s wearable patent promises calorie intake monitoring

In an exciting development for personal health technology, Samsung has registered a patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a wearable device specifically designed to assess calorie intake.

The patented technology harnesses the power of the skin’s spectral noise to estimate the calories consumed by an individual. This represents a transformative leap in the science of dietary tracking and calorie count estimation.

Picture a world where manual logging of calorie intake is a thing of the past, and the nifty device on your wrist effortlessly takes care of it. This could be a monumental game-changer, provided it delivers on its promise. And makes it into a real-world wearable. After all, at the moment this is just a patent.

So far we’ve had nothing similar. The one exception is Healbe. They came out with their own calorie counting device a few years back. However, the wearable was never widely excepted.

We actually reviewed Healbe GoBe 2 in 2018 and found it to be a disappointment due to its unconvincing technology. Its purpose was to alleviate the hassle of tracking calories. However, the trustworthiness of the calorie calculations provided by the device’s bio-impendance sensor was questionable. What’s more, the time delay in providing these figures made it impossible to validate the accuracy of the readings. Finally, the device was not aesthetically appealing enough to wear with short-sleeved attire due to its bulkiness.

But Samsung is a much bigger name than Healbe, with more funds to dedicate to research. And its technology works in a radically different way.

The patent: measuring the skin spectrum of the user

The patent was submitted recently by Samsung with the USPTO goes under the number 11,653,836. The filing describes a device that uses a fascinating method to estimate caloric intake.

Typical methods for such estimates rely on biomolecule measurements such as blood glucose. But this device operates by measuring the skin spectrum of the user, which refers to the range of electromagnetic waves (light) that the skin absorbs, reflects, or emits.

Samsung calorie intake wearable
Image source: USPTO

A spectrum measurer in the device captures this skin spectrum and a processor then interprets the noise or variation in this spectrum. By comparing this noise to a reference noise (derived from a database of spectrums from multiple users on an empty stomach), the device can estimate the calories consumed by the user.

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Moreover, the processor is configured to make adjustments based on other factors such as the user’s health condition and calorie consumption information. For instance, it accounts for data on past or present diseases, medication information, exercise duration, and the time interval between the end of exercise and the point of calorie measurement. This allows for a highly personalized estimation, providing users with a uniquely tailored health monitoring experience.

To further amplify its functionality, this wearable device can communicate with a calorie management device. This allows the calorie management device to train the correlation model used for estimating the calories, enhancing the device’s precision over time.

In a world increasingly interested in personal health, fitness, and wellness, Samsung’s new patent could be a game-changer. By providing real-time calorie consumption data, it has the potential to empower users to make much more informed decisions about their health and fitness.

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Marko Maslakovic

Marko founded Gadgets & Wearables in 2014, having worked for more than 15 years in the City of London’s financial district. Since then, he has led the company’s charge to become a leading information source on health and fitness gadgets and wearables.

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