By Paula Rothman
For Boston University News Service
LAS VEGAS – How many calories are you actually ingesting when you eat just half a donut? What about a single slice of pizza? Or an apple slice?
Chinese startup Hyarae presented a new device at CES that it claims can answer these questions: the Lollipop, a portable scale small enough to fit in a pocket.
Lollipop is aimed at people who want to precisely measure the number of calories they eat every day. It allows them to evaluate the number of calories of the specific portion of food they are about to eat according to weight.
“We are aiming for the North American audience,” said Richard Wang, founder and CEO of Hyarae. “Summer is coming and perhaps many people are going to want to lose weight.”
The scale looks like a round makeup palette and can support up to 5,5 pounds. It works paired with a smartphone app. Before weighing, users select what they are eating from a list of items. The product’s weight is sent via Bluetooth to the app, which will then compare it to a database of products. For example, if the system knows that every 100 grams of apple has 10 calories, it will use this ratio to figure out the total number of calories in any slice you weigh.
Although the Lollipop seems like a convenient and accurate way of measuring calories, it is worth noting that it can only be as precise as its database. The device can’t take variations in preparing, such as different toppings on a slice of pizza or different doughnut recipes, into consideration if that specific recipe is not in its database.
Lollipop comes in three different colors (white, pink and mint green) and sells at $49.