Losing Weight With Augmented Reality

Ben Lee

Ben Lee

CEO and Co-founder of Neon Roots

Ben Lee is the co-founder and CEO of Neon Roots, a digital development agency with a mission to destroy the development model and rebuild it from the ground up. After a brief correspondence with Fidel Castro at age nine, Ben decided to start doing things his own way, going from busboy to club manager at a world-class nightclub before he turned 18. Since then, Ben has founded or taken a leading role in 5 businesses in everything from software development to food and entertainment.

Professor Michitaka Hirose of the University of Tokyo has developed augmented reality technology that affects the way the brain interprets food choices and could lead to losing weight.  Professor Hirose’s team created headgear that shifts the eater’s experience using augmented sensory information.

Experiments were conducted using augmented reality to alter the perceived images of the foods in different sizes. Through these experiments, Hirose was able to produce data that shows the levels of satisfaction were different depending on the implied size of the food.

According to the Canadian newspaper, The Province, experiments show that eaters consumed nearly 10% less when the biscuits they were eating visually appeared 50% larger than they actual were.  Results also showed that eaters ate 15% more when cookies were projected to appear two-thirds smaller.

Hirose also developed augmented reality technology that uses images and smells to trick the eater into believing the food they were consuming was more exciting and flavorful than it actual was.  A plain biscuit was believed to be a chocolate cookie by 80% of the eaters.

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