Detecting Mastication (OEI)

Automatic dietary monitoring has become an important area of research for helping to diagnose allergies, monitoring food intake for people with type 1 diabetes, and improving self- awareness for chronic over-eating. Continuing use of wearables for monitoring food intake depends on the comfort and ease of use of the system. In this research, we explore the use of the Outer Ear Interface (OEI) to recognize eating activities. OEI is a wearable multimodal system, which utilizes a set of proximity sensors encapsulated in an off-the-shelf earpiece to monitor jaw movement by measuring the deformation it causes in the ear canal without contact. The system also contains a 3D gyroscope to prevent errors due to body motion. We evaluate OEI for recognizing eating events in a laboratory setting and in-the-wild. In the laboratory assessment we collected data from 20 participants. Each participant had to perform a set of predefined activities that includes eating for a period of half an hour. For the in-the-wild experiment we had six subjects wear the system for 6 hours each while they went through their normal daily activities. In both experiments, results obtained from user independent testing demonstrate high potential for the system in performing autonomous food intake logging.