Apple invention makes use of RFID tags, Apple Watch to trace meals diet


As Apple wades additional into well being trade waters with merchandise like Apple Watch, the corporate on Tuesday was granted a patent for expertise that might enable meals distributors to embed dietary data in device-readable RFID tags. The answer presents a novel and partially automated answer to calorie counting, one of many extra laborious elements of sustaining a wholesome life-style.

Supply: USPTO

Granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Workplace, Apple’s U.S. Patent No. 9,640,088 for “Digital tag transmissions of custom-order dietary data” describes a technique of encoding RFID tags with particulars concerning a number of meals gadgets. The tags then transmit dietary variables, comparable to caloric worth, fats content material, sugar content material and extra, to a ready NFC-capable machine like iPhone or Apple Watch.

Importantly, the invention permits retailers, or digital merchandising machines, to assign dietary data on a per-item foundation, that means customers can combine and match meals as half of a bigger order.

For instance, a person may order a hamburger with further cheese and no mayonnaise, a small order of fries and huge soda. In some embodiments, the digital vendor machine is able to combining dietary variables for stated hamburger — bread, meat, cheese, lettuce, ketchup, mayonnaise and different condiments — to generate an RFID tag. The method could be additional refined by assigning dietary variables to specific substances.

As soon as the tag is generated, an worker locations it on a meals order package deal or receipt, which is then learn by an Apple Watch or iPhone.

Illustration from Apple’s associated U.S. Patent No. 9,396,369, of which the ‘088 patent is an extension.

With the dietary information saved on a person machine, particular metrics could be utilized to a well being monitoring app chargeable for sustaining user-assigned variables like a day by day calorie finances. In some examples, the assigned dietary worth is deducted from a day by day allowance, higher informing customers of what they need to eat at their subsequent meal.

Going additional, Apple’s invention additionally specifies strategies of estimating whether or not a person consumed half or all of a specific meals merchandise. An app may ballot onboard movement sensors to find out whether or not a person moved their arm to their mouth, for instance. Alternatively, information from biometric sensors measuring a person’s coronary heart charge may point out that they have been consuming.

The expertise presents a great different to present app-based options that depend on static databases of generally consumed meals. Some methods additionally estimate the dietary worth of generic meals, whereas others require customers to enter metrics manually.

Whether or not Apple intends to incorporate the invention as a part of a future value-added service stays unclear, although the corporate must overcome substantial hurdles to implementation. Like all new service expertise, vast adoption can be a serious concern for a fledgling dietary monitoring product. Eating places, grocers and different purveyors must make investments not solely in Apple’s RFID expertise, but in addition within the upkeep of a meals diet database, worker coaching and different concerns.

Because it stands, the invention smacks of expertise Apple may roll out for workers at its campus, maybe at an Apple Park cafeteria or restaurant.

Apple’s curiosity in well being expertise has steadily elevated over the previous few years. Beginning with the introduction of HealthKit, then biometric on Apple Watch, Apple has pushed deep into the sector and now positions Apple Watch Collection 2 as a devoted health wearable.

Apart from transport merchandise, Apple has lengthy been rumored to market a full-fledged health-tracking machine, and people whispers gathered steam final 12 months. Shifting far past Apple Watch’s coronary heart charge monitoring performance, Apple is purportedly growing able to monitoring adjustments in person blood sugar ranges. Particularly, a report final month claimed the corporate has for the previous 5 years been engaged on noninvasive glucose monitoring sensors, extensively thought of a “holy grail” of recent medical expertise.

Apple’s RFID-based meals diet monitoring system patent was first filed for in April 2015 and credit Todd Whitehurst, Zachury Minjack, Zachery Kennedy, Dennis Park, Dylan Edwards and Anton Davydov as its inventors.

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