JMCQUARRIE.co.uk

James McQuarrie is a London (UK) based User Experience Consultant who designs and helps build digital products & services that delight their users.

Why a device that can auto detect what you eat and drink could be the most important consumer electronic device of our time

Image a world where you could wear a device that could automatically track everything you consume and report on it’s nutritional value.

Think about that for a second. A device that could tell you how many calories you’ve eaten, how much protein, carbohydrate or fat you’ve consumed, which vitamins and minerals you have enough of or too little of. How many litres of water you have drunk. Automatically.

Imagine that device was connected to your smart phone and could securely share your data with a website that could then crunch the numbers and report back your eating and drinking habits in real time or at regular intervals. Alternatively imagine that this device has a display of it’s own (or could use the display on your smart phone) that could (in real time) prompt you when you’d reached your daily limits or if you need more of a specific nutrient. Imagine you could tailor those nutritional needs to each user, be they weight lifter, long distance runner, rugby player or regular Joe Bloggs who wants to loose weight or gain weight. Whatever your personal needs it could be configured to track, warn or remind you appropriately.

Imagine how such a device could help the predicted tens of thousands of people who are heading for an early grave simply because they eat too much. Or the thousands of people who have medical conditions linked to their diet (diabetics, for example).

Think about how this kind of information would help those of us who are working out and trying to get a bit fitter, given that what you eat is half the battle.

Think about how this kind of device could be used by top athletes and their coaches, nutritionists and training staff.

We’re not that far away from this being a reality.

Applications like Runkeeper use your smartphone to track and report on your activity.

Other devices like the Jawbone Up and the fitbit and the new Nike + FuelBand also track our physical activity and connect via smartphones / computers to apps and websites that report back to us what we’ve done.

Doctors are working on tatoos for diabetics that track blood sugar levels and report their levels back to a wrist watch Tattoo may help diabetics track their blood sugar, making those talk to smart phones can’t be far off.

By taking these technologies one step further and developing a device like the one I’ve imagined would change the world. The pro sports market is huge, the diet / fitness market even bigger. And the global health market probably even bigger still.