They say that some people look at a glass as half-empty and others see it as half-full. Well, if there is calorie-laden soda in the glass, chances are it’d be better for someone to view it as empty and save themselves the sugar overload. Thanks to Japanese researchers and some augmented reality ingenuity, it may be possible in the not-too-distant future to change someone’s perception of how much and what type of food they’re eating.
The “diet devices” and results of using them are described in an article published in The Province, a Canadian paper:
On one device goggle-mounted cameras send images to a computer, which magnifies the apparent size of the cookie in the image it displays to the wearer while keeping his hand the same size, making the snack appear larger than it actually is.
In experiments, volunteers consumed nearly 10 per cent less when the biscuits they were eating appeared 50 per cent bigger.
They ate 15 per cent more when cookies were manipulated to look two-thirds of their real size.
In another project, Hirose’s team developed a “meta cookie”, where the headgear uses scent bottles and visual trickery to fool the wearer into thinking the snack they are eating is anything but a plain biscuit.
Users can set the device to their favourite taste so they think they are eating a chocolate or strawberry-flavoured cookie.
Hirose says experiments so far have shown 80 per cent of subjects are fooled.
A brief look at the lab’s website gives provides additional insight into their augmented reality projects, which range from a lifelog to a wearable olfactory display. Though there are no plans at present to commercialize these devices, we hope that they, or similar ideas, come to fruition so that dieters can have their cake, but not necessarily eat it too.
by Shiv Galani