Apple was granted patent #9,640,088 for technology that would allow food vendors to embed nutritional information in device-readable RFID tags.
Originally published on Forbes.com.
The solution presents a unique and partially automated solution to transmit nutritional variables, such as caloric value, fat content, sugar content and more. One of the more laborious aspects of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, according to Apple Insider.
The invention allows retailers, or electronic vending machines, to assign nutritional information on a per-item basis, meaning users can mix and match foods as part of a larger order.
The example that is given is that a user might order a hamburger with extra cheese and no mayonnaise, a small order of fries and large soda. In some embodiments, the electronic vendor device is capable of combining nutritional variables for said hamburger — bread, meat, cheese, lettuce, ketchup, mayonnaise and other condiments — to generate an RFID tag. The process can be further refined by assigning nutritional variables to particular ingredients.
Once the tag is generated, an employee places it on a food order package or receipt, which is then read by an Apple Watch or iPhone.
What's fascinating is that Apple's invention also specifies techniques of estimating whether a user consumed part or all of a particular food item. For example, an app might poll onboard motion sensors to determine whether a user moved their arm to their mouth. Alternatively, data from biometric sensors measuring a user's heart rate might indicate that they were eating.
Looks like I’ll be buying an Apple Watch soon.