As the saying goes, you “lose weight in the kitchen and get fit at the gym.” Today, a new company called Klue launched itself and announced its new gesture sensing and analytics technology to help you with the consumption part of that equation.
Used in conjunction with a wearable, such as an Apple Watch, Klue’s software monitors hand gestures and uses machine learning to identify what you are doing, whether that’s eating, drinking or smoking, as well as when and how fast you are doing these behaviors. The point is to create a “consumption graph” of real time information that you can use to adjust behavior.
In a phone interview, Klue Co-Founder and CEO, Katlijn Vleugels said the inspiration for the technology came to her during a time when she had put on 30 extra pounds. To improve her health, Vluegels enlisted the help of a weight loss coach who told her to place a pebble (an actual rock, not the smart watch) next to her plate as a reminder to be mindful about how and when she ate.
The pebble helped, but Vluegels, being an engineer and this being the 21st century, thought there had to be a better way to reinforce healthy eating behaviors. With its software, Klue wants to remove friction from the process of manually logging when you eat and drink.
Vluegels wouldn’t provide many details about the company or product right now saying only that Klue is in private beta, and currently uses accelerometer and gyroscope information from a wearable, to which it applies its AI.
Based in San Mateo, Klue was founded in 2016, and has raised half a million dollars in angel funding. Vluegels said Klue will be looking to add partners to build on its platform and expand the capabilities of Klue’s software. She envisions future versions of the product helping in such areas as elder care, ensuring older people are staying hydrated, for example.
In some ways, the Klue is reminiscent of HAPIfork, a connected fork that helped users track their eating behavior. The HAPIfork used lights and vibrations to give the users gentle nudges about portion size, and while it’s not clear what signals Klue will use to reinforce behavior (and since it’d be kinda weird to bring your own fork to a restaurant), a wearable might be a more practical approach for intake and usage monitoring.
Ease of use is key to creating long-term habits. Since there is no universal eating gesture, Klue has its work cut out for it. But if it can successfully remove the tedious aspects of tracking what you consume, it will be a great help for people looking to lead a healthier lifestyle.