Indian health and wellness startup HealthifyMe has developed an AI-powered feature called Snap that can recognize Indian food from images for calorie intake logging. This new feature aims to help users track their meal intake more efficiently, especially since tracking Indian foods through images can be challenging due to the vast variety of cuisines and the complexity of dishes like Thaali, which contains different portions of various food items.
With Snap, users can take pictures of their meals and the app will try to recognize the food items captured within the frame. Alternatively, users can give the app access to their photo gallery, and it will automatically scan and recognize food pictures. Users can review these pictures and the food items later for calorie tracking purposes.
In terms of privacy, HealthifyMe assures users that the model on the device detects food pictures and sends them to servers for specific dish recognition. The company also mentions that its gallery-based model works better as it has more time to recognize food items compared to the option to take pictures of meals for recognition.
If the model detects multiple items in an image, Snap will ask users to tap on an item and add it to their calorie tracking. Users will see an adjustable rectangular box to focus on different items.
HealthifyMe Co-founder & CEO Tushar Vashisht explained that the company has been working on image-based food recognition for years, but the availability of better AI models made it easier to create Snap. The feature is currently trained to recognize 150,000 Indian food items and offers 60-70% accuracy. Even if the model does not recognize a food item properly, users receive suggestions about what it could possibly be. The company has human reviewers who correct false recognitions, and users can manually tag falsely recognized photos to improve the model.
While HealthifyMe is not the only company working on AI-powered food recognition, with Samsung Food and Snapcalorie also tackling the same problem, HealthifyMe aims to give users more options for food logging in the next few weeks. It plans to introduce a voice input feature and improve its existing AI-powered assistant, Ria.
HealthifyMe, which has raised over $130 million in capital, offers both free and paid plans, with the basic paid plan starting at $4.80 per month. The company has more than 200,000 subscribers, with nearly 40% of them paying for the Pro plan. HealthifyMe has also partnered with Indian food delivery service Swiggy to curate healthy meals and restaurants, and it is in talks with multiple food and grocery services that could leverage its technology.