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Scan your food with the NutriRay3D smartphone accessory to count calories

Calorie tracking apps seem like a good idea in theory, until you consider just how prone they are to human error. After all, how are you supposed to know how many almonds are in an ounce, or how many cups of pasta you have on your plate?

While a number of dietitians have begun asking their clients to send them pictures of their food to provide a more accurate picture of how much they’re eating (and how that translates into nutrients), now, there’s an easier way. Meet NutriRay 3D, a smartphone add-on that will scan your plate and fill out your food diary for you, because you don’t want to eat pre-packaged foods for the rest of your life just to count calories.

According to the product’s Indiegogo page, the NutriRay 3D tracks your diet by scanning your meals and by providing a summary of nutritional facts. Anything from your grandmother’s chili recipe to a Michelin-starred chef’s creation can be analyzed by the NutriRay’s laser technology. Thanks to its image-processing capabilities, the device is then able to accurately calculate both the volume of food and the calories you’d be consuming if you ate it all. And because it’s highly portable, you’ll be able to take the scanner with you no matter where you go.

As the team behind the smartphone accessory notes, just about anyone and everyone can benefit from highly accurate food-tracking technology. From research scientists to athletes to parents looking out for their children, the NutriRay can be employed in a variety of different scenarios, all to the same effect.

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At the present juncture, the NutriRay 3D has been prototyped and is entirely functional, with engineering validation testing completed. Moving forward, the team wants to expand the technology to all mobile devices, including Windows, Android, and iOS, and also create “an automated calibration system that is accessible for users of all levels of experience.”

Currently, you can pre-order one of these gadgets for $224 on the Indiegogo page — a 20-percent discount from its market price. So if you’re looking for a better way to track your calories, this may just be your best bet.