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The Hunger Phone tells you when to eat


Researchers at NTT DoCoMo in Japan are well known for their attempts to propel the mobile phone into more and more areas of our everyday lives, and the latest iteration of this vision involves our health. Following on from earlier handset prototypes which measure our body fat and other physical markers, the team has now come up with a handset that measures a fundamental aspect of our metabolism, our eating patterns.

This NTT DoCoMo prototype, which we’re dubbing The Hunger Phone, is actually a Toshiba Regza handset which has been converted to work with a breath analyzer accessory to measure the levels of acetone in the breath. [Video]


The idea is that acetone in the breath is an indicator that we are burning our body fat instead of food fuel, and so need to top up with some more calories to feed our ‘hunger’. Interestingly, hard core dieters will know that this is all related to dietary ketosis (which is a continual low carb diet regime which encourages fat burning in this way), so this kind of technology could herald a new form of diet control which actually encourages acetone breath in order to lose weight. A Keto Phone if you will.


Keto diets or no, we expect to see many more of these sensor based smartphones and accessories hit the market over the coming months as the technology improves and costs reduce.

Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.

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