Tired of having to catalog every meal in your favorite fitness app just to get a sense of whether or not you're burning enough energy? You might get some relief in the near future. The University of Alabama has built an ear-worn sensor that estimates your food intake by tracking your chewing. The Automatic Ingestion Monitor (AIM) combines imagery of your meals with jaw vibrations to determine both the volume and energy levels of whatever you're eating. It's smart enough to filter out talking, so you won't throw it off by holding conversations in between bites.The sensor exists just as a 3D-printed prototype for now. In the long run, though, a finished version could help a wide range of people. Doctors could better understand the patterns behind eating disorders, while you could slip on an earpiece whenever you want to measure your comestibles. An ear-based diet monitor is still going to be a bit awkward, but it should be more sophisticated than clunky wristbands and vibrating forks.
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