Tech Transformers

Health freak? The plate that tracks what you eat

In a world where you can order what you want at a click of a button; shouldn't technology help you watch what you eat?

A WHO report underlined this need to tackle unhealthy behavior today, stating that the majority of European countries would be dealing with an obesity epidemic of "enormous proportions" by 2030.

Meet SmartPlate: the latest gadget hoping to help the health-conscious. It also claims to be the "world's first Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled" plate that'll use object-recognition, along with weight sensors to identify and record what food you're about to chow down on.

SmartPlate with microwavable lid
Credit: SmartPlate | Fitly | Anthony Ortiz and Gentry Brown

With a starting retail price of $199, the 10" plate is split into three sections and fitted with three digital cameras. When connected to a mobile device, the SmartPlate's app will use the data sent from the plate to calculate what users are eating and keep a record of it. The app can also be connected to other apps and wearables that track fitness and eating. After some time, it'll also start providing the user dietary recommendations.

Expected to start shipping in Summer 2016, SmartPlate's Kickstarter page is asking for individuals to pledge money towards their $100,000 goal. So far it has hit 10 percent of its target.

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Anthony Ortiz, founder and CEO of Fitly, the company behind the plate, told CNBC via email that they planned on expanding their product worldwide. When asked about the plate's capabilities and limitations, Ortiz said that the plate can analyze mixed food combinations, both hot and cold.

"As we continue to grow the SmartPlate will get smarter as we also leverage consumer input. As the far as the limitations are concerned, the SmartPlate itself is not microwaveable, however we do have a portable microwaveable lid that will be utilized to heat up the food," he said.

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Products worldwide tracking your health

The philosophy behind SmartPlate – tracking what and how much you eat – has already been used in other pieces of mobile and online technology.

MyFitnessPal, Inc. is one of the most prominent fitness and calorie counting apps currently out there. Founded in 2005, millions of individuals use the mobile app to track whether they are eating and exercising appropriately using the database provided, and set aims manually to reach certain health goals.

Another Kickstarter campaign that's raised over $91,200, hopes to crack down on people's temptations with a connected smartphone app. kSafe is a connected lockable safe which only opens once people have achieved their set goals, for instance locked away cookies can only be accessible again after burning a number of calories.

There are also various fitness trackers that are available in the wearable tech market. Fitbit, Microsoft and Garmin all have wearable fitness trackers that can record how much people exercise, sleep and burn off in calories.

Tech won't replace personal trainers: Equinox CEO

Yet will devices that track everything at the press of a button put gyms and other companies out of business? Probably not. Harvey Spevak, president and CEO of Equinox Fitness, told CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" in January, that whilst wearables could be big business in years to come, companies shouldn't worry about it acting as a replacement.

"We think this is all additive and complementary because our population—the luxury consumer—wants the information to better inform how to train when they're with us and even when they're without us," Spevak said.

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