Cutleware: Intelligent cutlery for better diet and health
Nowadays many countries are investing in the development of ehealth applications and services that help governments to reduce their expense in healthcare systems. Most developed countries are facing two major problems related with the health of their citizens, the ageing of population and health problems due to a bad nutrition (excess of an unbalanced diet). People have enough food, but they do not know how to eat in a healthier way, and even more, medical services can not afford to attend all the people requiring medical attention due to these problems.
Nevertheless many of the technologies needed to help people eat in a better way exists, while assuring that the information gathered for each person will be supervised by a health system and in a ultimate instance by a medical professional if necessary.
The introduction of intelligent technologies into the society will contribute to improve our daily life. The design of new products and services in the Internet of Things(IoT) should have the purpose of creating objects for better living. Everyday objects such as forks, knives, spoons, plates and tablecloths are not seen as intelligent objects at all, but these objects are being used everyday once or twice (at least) for feeding us. For these reasons the connection of these everyday objects to Internet would improve our diet and our health.
Imagine for a moment that a fork could analyze how much carbohydrates are you eating in every bite, or the dishware could calculate the weight of the soup and how fast are you eating. Envision a knife which could extract if there is any trace of food that you are not allowed to eat because of your celiac diet, or a spoon which calculates the temperature of the ice-cream and propose you to wait a couple of minutes to have a better digestion.
All of these objects connected wirelessly with your mobile device (phone, ipad or tv set), using existent communication technologies such as bluetooth, wi-fi or rfid, in order to monitor your diet, suggest what to eat with the goal of improving our daily diet and life.
Use caseManuel with hearth/cardiovascular problems has to control his diet.
Manuel, is a 45 years old man with overweight and cardiovascular problems due to many years of an exceeded unbalanced diet. A personalized medical supervision would be too expensive, but thanks to the Internet of Things technologies, Manuel has the right tools to have a better diet just in the palm of his hand.
By using his intelligent cutlery kit, Manuel is able to monitor through his iphone the daily, weekly and monthly diet. The intelligent cutlery system tracks the amount of cholesterol, sodium and substances that affect Manuel’s health. Even more, his kit could detect whether or not Manuel has eaten the recommended amount of carbohydrates, fiber, fats, minerals and vitamins according to the diet specified by his doctor.
All information gathered and analyzed in real time is sent to Manuel’s mobile phone using the bluetooth synchronization between the intelligent cutlery kit and his mobile device. This information is shared as well to the eHealth system, which automatically analyze the data and provides alerts, motivation and advises that help Manuel keep an accurate track of his diet. If some problems are detected the information can be sent automatically to the Manuel’s doctor so that Manuel can receive a personalized help.
This technical solution aims to present an intelligent cutlery kit which uses existent technologies embedded into quotidian objects like cutlery and synchronizes with our mobile devices (phones or x-pads) through wireless technologies in order to access the Internet and become Internet connected objects. The solution design and development would imply the following tasks:
- Design a glass or mug to sense quantity, fat and calories of the liquid, among other properties.
- Design the dishware (plates or bowls) to calculate the weight of the food you are eating, temperature and also analyses the food and sauce components.
- Design a fork with needles analysis to estimate the exact components of the food pricked or rubbed by the fork. The knife and spoon will be very similar with analysis elements integrated into the utensil. All of these tools will have a communication system able to synchronize with the intelligent cutlery application and send the sensed information.
- Develop a smartphone and x-pad application to synchronize via wireless technology with the cutlery, glass and plates to track and process the user’s diet. The application should be able to match the processed sensed information with the diet that the user’s wants to do, control the weight and the doctor’s suggestions from the blood analysis, etc. The application would be synchronized via Internet connection with a doctor (real or robot), chef and dietitian who would suggest new diets or menus tailored for the user depending her interests.
- Create a personal tablecloth to recharge by induction the battery’s of the cutlery and plate’s batteries.
Poster and interfaces
Cutleware: Intelligent cutlery designed by Marc Pous and Javier Garcia is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Bibliography - LinksFood analyzer
- patent: http://www.wipo.int/pctdb/en/ia.jsp?IA=IB2007051045