The hype surrounding Google’s recent announcement of Project Glass in potentially realising a dream of bringing augmented reality technology to everyday consumers has alerted us to the possibilities of changing the way we commute forever, but it seems many have overlooked the benefits that AR specs could now provide to users looking to shed unwanted pounds.
Fooling the brain
Many of us are aware of that overriding feeling of temptation when your eyes set upon a tasty biscuit or fattening snack, followed by the uncomfortable realisation from eating a few too many, for people to then aim the famous phrase of ‘your eyes are bigger than your belly’, but what if the tables were turned and your brain could be tricked into thinking that the snack actually appears too big for your eyes and appetite?
Altering the size of food portions
University scientists in Tokyo have conducted studies based on early prototypes of currently branded ‘diet goggles’, capable of digitally enlarging portion sizes of your favourite fattening snacks, thereby providing the illusion that you are consuming more food and calories than in reality, leading those who find it hard to resist overeating more likely to feel full sooner than they would without the goggles.
Tests have involved looking at the correlation between the amount of cookies eaten by people without using the glasses, compared to with them on, with results indicating a ten percent reduction in amount of cookies eaten when using the goggles, which showed up to a fifty percent increase in size of the baked goods being displayed, while the hand holding the snack the scientists reassure, would not alter in size, adding to the overall illusion. These are encouraging statistics which could make sticking to a regimented dieting routine all the more easier if such technology was to become readily available in the future.
As with Google’s plans to develop AR glasses, the ‘diet goggles’ are still in early stages of development, with certain questions arising such as whether you would actually believe you were eating a larger portion after biting into the food, or whether there is a distinct possibility of ‘cheating’ the process by removing the goggles to reveal the actual size of the portion being eaten, defeating the overall purpose of such technology.
These questions alert us to certain flaws in practical usage of AR technology in our environment, in that such devices utilising it would have to be highly adaptable and sophisticated for us to be able to unlock the full potential of such equipment. Responding to a varying array of different human visual and mental cues is likely to prove a real stumbling block for such technology to see the light of day in the consumer market, although this particular project may provide hope for those seeking that seemingly elusive wonder diet.
==== About the Author ====
Jamie writes for Direct Sight, a leading provider of glasses online.