Startup crowdfunds iPad-enabled food scale that estimates nutritional info

By Aditi Pai

SituFormer Apple employee Michael Grothaus launched a Kickstarter campaign for a smart food scale, called Situ. The device not only weights food but also estimates caloric content with a little help from a companion app. Grothaus and cofounder Jose Farinha are based out of London.

Grothaus believes the problem with trying cook healthier food at home is that often people are unsure of the exact nutritional breakdown of meals.

"This means that many people -- such as calorie counters, diabetics, and people with high blood pressure -- often turn to pre-packaged meals to manage their dietary intake because, until now, it was the only way of knowing the exact amount of nutrients they were putting into their bodies," the Kickstarter website reads.

Users place their food on the scale, and then enter the name of the food into the companion app. The app then displays the food's weight as well as other nutritional information like total fat, cholesterol, protein, total carbs, and sodium.

For example, Grothaus, who enjoys ham and swiss cheese sandwiches, pre-loads information on the device with the items he generally adds to his meals. Then, when he is ready to eat a sandwich, Grothaus can add the sandwich components to his plate and quickly identify each new food in the app along the way.

The app also supports pre-made and packaged foods, like a slice of pizza or a couple chips from a bag.

As of this writing, backers have pledged around $21,241 to the Kickstarter campaign. The campaign goals is about $58,000. The device costs $83 for early backers. While many crowdfunding campaigns for hardware devices are delayed, Grothaus expects to ship by November 2014.