You May Now Track Your Diet By Taking Photos Of Your Food

By Kim Barloso , Sep 29, 2016 07:33 PM EDT

There's a better reason to take photos of your food other than share it on social media. A fitness tracking app, Lose it!, has added a new feature called Snap it, which allows you to take photos of your food for logging purposes.

Lose It! originally used bar codes from food items to enter information to the app, but this process can be cumbersome and not every food you eat has a bar code. Snap It works by using the app's machine learning and matching it to its food database.

After taking a photo, the app will return several choices of what the food might be. Making a selection will then add the food item into your day's diet log. The accuracy of food identification is not perfect, but it's easier than having to look for a bar code - if there is one.

Snap It is in beta stage, which means it may have a few hiccups, and it won't do all the work for you. Once you've selected the correct food that identifies your photo, you can add more information that the app may not have picked up.

Engadget and CNET both wrote positive reviews upon testing the feature, noting that the app works as best as can be expected. The photo-taking feature reportedly struggled with identifying sauces and multiple food on a plate. However, the review did show the feature returning at least one correct answer.

Lose It is also planning on adding location features into Snap It to help identify food better. "I think our strategy is great because when we start getting all these photos of food, it becomes a dataset we can use," said Charles Teague. "We'll have photo data, food data and eventually, location data. There'll be a lot more context around the user that can make the app a lot smarter," he added.

Snap It may not be a replacement to the bar-scanning option, as some users may want to record a food item while unopened in its packaging. In this case, the bar-scan feature is more sensible.

Lose It is available for download in Google Play and the App Store.

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