MyFitnessPal this week announced the launch of its new AI-powered scanning feature that automates some of the process of identifying and tracking the ingredients in a user’s food items. The company has partnered with Passio, which provides computer vision for companies through its AI platform, to develop this new feature.
If you’ve ever tried using a food tracking app or website, you’ll know what a pain it is to enter every single ingredient of each meal and snack you consume. With MyFitnessPal’s scanning feature, a user selects the Meal Scan feature in the app, then holds their phone’s camera over the food. The AI scanning tool is able to identify the food, both the type and the amount of it, through the combination of Passio’s food recognition technology and MyFitnessPal’s massive database of 14 million foods.
This feature can help users avoid having to search for each ingredient and food within the database, but it is not yet fully automated. After scanning the food, the user must confirm the foods and amounts the app has identified. After confirming, calories, fat, protein in the food is calculated and this information will be automatically added to the user’s food diary.
That being said, using computer vision for tracking food can still save a user a lot of time, and MyFitnessPal is not the only company using something like this. Bite.ai is another company that has a free food tracking app, and it uses a similar technology that applies computer vision to identify food that is then added to the user’s food diary.
MyFitnessPal’s scanning technology is currently available on iOS, and it will be made available for Android phones in the near future. The MyFitnessPal app is free, but only those who are premium members for $9.99/month will have access to the scanning feature.