07. Project Proposal [Meg Davis]

Background

More than 60 million people in the U.S. struggle with obesity.  In “Obesity and the Environment: Where do we go from here?”, researchers suggest that if each person in America cut out 100 calories from their diet, and we could evenly distribute calories across people, we could prevent weight gain in most of the population. Portion control is a key component to weight loss.

NutrientMat

NutrientMat is a placemat that makes people aware of their nutrition choices and can help people set and meet nutrition goals.  People can put food on their plate, which is on NutrientMat, in certain sections according to food groups.  NutrientMat can then detect and track how much of each food group the person has eaten.  NutrientMat reflects this information back to the person eating there by displaying different thicknesses of different stripes of color.  These stripes change dynamically through the day as the person eats more meals.  In this way, NutrientMat serves as an ambient display of food health habits.

The default setting for NutrientMat would be the recommended amounts of each of the food groups.  However, Nutrient Mat could be expanded to also accommodate a person’s own personalized goals.

Design


Material List

5 pressure sensors (1 for each food group: Grains, Veggies, Fruits, Milk, Meat & Beans)

several tri-color LEDs (although an OLED flexible screen would be ideal for this project, it is too costly for my budget)

white or clear tubes that will disseminate the light from the LEDs like a fluorescent tube

control mechanisms for describing portion control

Want to Learn

How to create interaction for personalizing an ambient display – for example, how do you add controls to adjust values without explicit switches?  How do you display which values the user is controlling without a traditional display?

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~ by megd on April 6, 2010.

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