BlinkM in The MEAL Project Creator: Corinna Sherman
For the distracted diner who wants a subtle reminder to assess how full he or she is while eating, the MEAL dish is a weight-sensing dish that illuminates with colored light to give the user a sense of how much food has been eaten since the meal began. Normal dishware provides no feedback, placing the burden of self-monitoring entirely on the individual. Mealtime distractions pose less of an issue, however, when responsive MEAL dishes help people mind their own sense of satiety with subtle, pleasant cues via ambient light.
How It Works:
1. Plug the Arduino into wall outlet and press the power button on the base unit to register the minimum weight of the empty dish.
2. Fill the dish with food. 3 RGB LEDs that are located inside the base unit will pulse red when the minimum amount of weight has been added to enable subsequent monitoring.
3. Press the calibration button on the base unit to register the maximum weight.
4. Each of the dish’s three legs sits upon a load sensor. The sensors connect to the Arduino, which monitors the total weight sensed over time. As food is eaten from the dish, the Arduino translates the sensed weight change into a hue shift in the LEDs from red (a color shown to stimulate appetite) to blue (a color shown to promote relaxation).
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