Bringing the Carbonator 5000 to life

Over on Diabetes Mine, AllisonB imagined being able to take a photo of some food and have an app tell you how many carbs it has. Here’s her idea and concept art for the Carbonator 5000:

This carb-counting app is made for both the iPhone and the Android (gotta share the love). It’s designed so that people with diabetes take a picture of whatever they’re eating, whether an individual item or an entire plate a food, and then the app tells you not only how many carbs you’re eating, but exactly how much insulin you need to take based on your insulin-to-carb ratio. The app takes into account the amount of fat, protein, and Glycemic Index value of your food, so the dose you receive is always correct. No matter what you’re eating or where it’s from (your own kitchen or the food truck down the street), the The Magic Carbonator 5000 just knows!

Funny enough, I’m an app developer who’s thought about this before. I left some comments on Allison’s post, which come down to this:

  • Image recognition technology can’t do this yet
  • But we can share images with each other easily, as Instagram and Facebook do
  • So we could share photos and make carb counts of each other’s food (“crowd-sourcing” the carb counting)
  • In time we could automate parts of it. One day, maybe all of it.

Because it’s powered by people, one crucial thing this app need is lots of people using it. More of us using it means more carb counts, which helps with accuracy (we could take an average) and quicker responses (because you want to eat your food while it’s still hot!).

I’d love to make this app. It will take a while, so I’d like to get a sense of who’s interested in using it, testing it, and helping with the design and build.

If you’d like to make it come to life, please let me know you’re interested by leaving a comment below and sharing this blog post.

I’m going to start thinking about how to build it. I’ll post again when I’ve got going.

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