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Aug 01, 2013 09:58 AM EDT

Taiwan Researchers Develop Smart Tooth Sensor That Can Track a Person’s eating and Smoking Habits

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Researchers at the National Taiwan University in Taiwan have developed and tested a smart tooth sized 'wearable oral sensory system' that can track human oral activities such as eating, drinking, coughing, chewing, and smoking habits.

During the testing stages, researchers found the wi-fi enabled tracker to be 93.8 percent accurate.

The research team, led by Polly Huang and Hao-Hua Chu, arrived at the conclusion after they placed the tiny mouth sensor in an artificial tooth. A small accelerometer embedded in the chip, that measures 4.5 by 10 millimeters, detected the mouth movement and the small wires sent that information to the researchers.

The technology which is currently in the prototype stage was programmed in a way to recognise all the possible oral activities including if a person is over eating or smoking too much. Its learning algorithms could differentiate between eating, speaking, coughing, smoking, drinking, and breathing.

The research team now hopes to create a new Bluetooth enabled prototype with rechargeable battery that can 'transmit sensor data to a nearby smartphone' through wireless means and fit in a tooth cavity.

If conceived, it could relay meaningful information on a person's eating habits that could further help him undertake a healthier lifestyle.

"Because the mouth is an opening into human health, this oral sensory system has the potential to enhance exiting (sic) oral-related healthcare monitoring applications such as dietary tracking," the researchers wrote.

The Taipei team will present its findings at the International Symposium on Wearable Computers in September.

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