If your technology product doesn’t seem to most users like a magic trick, you’re not trying hard enough: It’s an industry adage that explains a lot of successful tech products. But another selling point for new technologies is pent-up demand for a capability that people can’t believe didn’t exist already.
The latter describes mobile devices that provide nutritional information about the food we eat without requiring the user to enter most of it. No one has yet publicly solved the problem of tracking calories and nutrients as we put them into our bodies. But a small number of companies are beginning to introduce handheld scanners that can detect the ingredients and calories in food on our plates by miniaturizing the technology that food scientists and companies have long used.