Sony Lifelog Now Analyses Food Photos to Count Calories, Offer Nutritional Advice

Tech companies around the world have in recent years been testing the limits of artificial intelligence. When it comes to understanding what AI can do, it helps to test out crazy ideas like seeing whether it can count calories of food just from a photo. Google tested it out a few years ago and told us it was possible, and now so has Sony.

Sony Lifelog Now Analyses Food Photos to Count Calories, Offer Nutritional Advice

Sony in a recent blog said that its Lifelog health app now has the ability to offer in-depth analysis (including calorie count) and feedback of food simply by analysing the picture of the food taken by the smartphone. The app is available to download via Google Play.

The app uses deep learning technology through Sony Mobile’s Meal Image Analysis software to recognise the food. The user simply needs to take a picture of the food and the software takes care of the rest. Based on previous logs recorded in the Lifelog app, the service will offer advice personalised to your diet.

The Lifelog app is a fitness tracking app that is compatible on the smartphone as well as wearable devices like Sony’s SmartWatch 3. The accuracy of the app’s food recognition software is still unknown so it will be interesting to see just how well the software performs with various foods.

Sony’s AI service is being launched in Japan as part of a solution called Work Performance Plus. Sony Mobile is collaborating with businesses to inform employees on staying fit and healthy and combat health issues associated with office life.

Google in 2015 was working on a software that could recognise food and identify the number of calories in them. The company had applied for a patent for the technology but was never released for the public.

Sony Forming New Company Just for Mobile Games

Step aside, Nintendo. Sony is about to start making games for mobile devices as well.

The PlayStation maker is forming a new company, dubbed ForwardWorks, dedicated to making games for mobile devices, including Apple’s iPhone and smartphones running Google’s Android. The move comes after rival Nintendo just last week released its first mobile game, Miitomo, in Japan.

“ForwardWorks will leverage the intellectual property of the numerous PlayStation dedicated software titles and its gaming characters…to provide gaming application optimized for smart devices,” Sony said. “The company will aim to deliver users with opportunity to casually enjoy full-fledged game titles in the new filed of the smart device market.”

Sony did not say when the first mobile game will be released, but if you live in the U.S. or Europe, there’s a chance you won’t even be able to play it — at least not at first. Like Nintendo, Sony’s ForwardWorks will initially release its new mobile games in Japan and other Asian countries, though The Wall Street Journal says there’s a chance the games will arrive “elsewhere later.”

“We decided to focus on Japan and Asia for this new initiative because the mobile games are especially large in these regions when compared with other markets,” the Sony spokeswoman told the Journal.

ForwardWorks will be based in Tokyo and led by Atsushi Morita, chief of PlayStation in Japan and Asia.

Meanwhile, Nintendo’s new mobile game Miitomo basically lets you create Miis, the little virtual avatars that you probably spent countless hours customizing as a Nintendo Wii or Wii U owner, and interact with your friends (and other random strangers) via their Mii characters.

Sony Sees Average Selling Price of Smartphones Rise, Second Only to Apple

Sony Sees Average Selling Price of Smartphones Rise, Second Only to Apple: Report

According to a blog post by freelance journalist Charles Arthur that estimates global smartphone sales figures in Q4 last year, Sony has the highest average selling price (ASP) for its smartphones – only behind Apple.

Average selling price for a smartphone manufacturer represents the average price at which it sells its current smartphone lineup.

In Q4 2014, Sony’s ASP was double as compared to that of LG and the graph between the two widened over time. While the ASP of Apple smartphones were $691 (roughly Rs. 46,600), Sony’s smartphones had ASP of $422 (roughly Rs. 28,400), followed by HTC ($237, roughly Rs. 16,000), Samsung ($225, roughly Rs, 15,200), LG ($210, roughly Rs. 14,100), and Microsoft Mobile ($186, roughly Rs. 12,500).

apple_sony_htc_asp_chart_xperiablog_net.jpgThe blog post (via Xperia Blog Net) suggests that Sony made an estimated average of $26 profit on each smartphone sold, $3 (roughly Rs. 200) more than what Samsung made from its smartphones. Apple unsurprisingly stays at top with a $184 profit. On the other hand, LG, Microsoft Mobile and HTC actually went in loss. While LG lost $3 on each phone sold, Microsoft and HTC lost $36 (roughly Rs. 2,400) and $38 (roughly Rs. 2,500) respectively.

The charts also mentioned that Sony was the only Android OEM to see its ASP rise consistently. While HTC’s ASP is higher than that of Samsung, it makes way less profits than the South Korean tech giant. Pricing is said to be a major reason for HTC’s decline.

customer_flow_tech_brands_sony_rumours.jpgCiting Kantar Worldpanel ComTech date from February 2016, Arthur seeks to show how smartphone market share is being redistributed in terms of customer flow between brands in the EU. Samsung is seen to be losing customers to Huawei, BQ, Wiko, Alcatel, and Motorola, while Sony is seen to be losing customers to Samsung, Alcatel, Wiko, Motorola, BQ and Huawei. HTC appears to be losing customers to all the aforementioned brands including Sony and Samsung. LG on the other hand appears to be losing customers to Alcatel, Wiko, Motorola, BQ and Huawei, but not Sony, HTC, or Samsung.