Using Your Smartphone Camera To Count Calories

We’ve come across a service by NTT Communications tentatively called “Health Enhancement Assist Service” [J], which unlike its name, is an incredibly interesting little innovation in the world of health management apps and web services. The smartphone app / web service allows people to keep track of their daily diet via their smartphone cameras, an extremely relevant innovation in a country where taking photos of your meal pre-feasting and sharing them on blogs or twitter is an everyday ritual. Simply take a photo of your food and upload it to the service, and the “Health Enhancement Assist Service” will not only help keep track of the things you eat, but it will even analyze and report back to you the amount of calories in your meal. The image analysis method is being developed by University of Tokyo researchers and FoodLog (patent pending), and it is now able to recognize many different types of foods.

Beyond what you eat, the service incorporates other trackers to help maintain a healthy lifestyle including a pedometer through the smartphone’s GPS functionality, a weight/height tracker, instructional exercise content developed by mega-gym chain Tipness, and a recipe book by Lively Networking with over 5000 recipes – all accessible via smartphone. Of course the service can be hooked up to your Twitter and Facebook, so feel free to gloat about your obsessively healthy lifestyle to all of your friends.

Users can login via any NTT account, or your Google, Mixi, or Yahoo! Japan OpenIDs. The app is currently accessible through PC and Android, with an iPhone app to be released in March.

Twitter CRM Service CoTweet To Enter Japan Assisted By NTT Communications

On October 27th, NTT Communications announced [J] that they would cooperate with Indiana-based ExactTarget to promote their enterprise Twitter client for customer service CoTweet for Japan.

They agreed to proceed developments of Japanese language localization and customization for Japanese companies. NTT Communications will provide technical assist, Japanese marketing, sales and Japanese support for paid Japanese customers.

The one-page Japanese site is in public under the cotweet domain, with an English version CoTweet screenshot and two English YouTube video.


January 2010 Japan-IT Links (part 1)

Last week our RSS subscribers passed over 5,000, which is a good milestone. Twitter followers also increased to 400. Following @asiajin also will notify our latest articles. Thank you so much.

Here is the first half of January Japanese IT/Web interesting news links we did not take as a dedicated article. (part 2 is here)

Referred pages are all in Japanese, unless otherwise noted.

If you want to know any specific news more, but unable to find them in other English blog/media, please let us know.

As you see, we know a lot things to write but contributors time are limited. So we are looking for authors. We will help Japanese research/reading part so do not worry if your Japanese is not perfect.

We also want sponsorship to keep this group blog. Ideal if from Japanese companies because our initial motivation was to introduce them to non-Japanese web. Problem is we only write in English and they do not check English sites 🙂 If you know them please suggest us to them!