While Amazon’s Alexa is ready to suggest beers for you, Samsung is trying to catch up by finessing its “Bixby” virtual assistant. At the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Samsung announced that Bixby is learning how to count the calories in your food, merely from taking a picture, alleviating the pesky need to plug in individual calorie counts into whatever diet and fitness app you happen to be using.
The feature definitely isn’t ready for public consumption yet, but it did a surprisingly good job telling a margherita pizza from a plate of salmon sushi from a juicy (if fake) steak. That said, you shouldn’t expect Bixby to look at a dinner plate and correctly identify everything on it—at least in its current form, you’ll have to point the phone’s camera at each individual food item to get the corresponding calorie counts.
It seems unlikely that a calorie counter photo app could ever be really accurate: It would obviously be unable to “look” at a plate of pasta and compute whether you used skim milk or half-and-half in your alfredo sauce. This future app will also roll right into Samsung’s Health app, which will still help people keep track of what they’re eating and the calories they’re consuming overall. But there’s no release date in sight, as Engadget notes that Bixby was less than polished when “when it first launched early last year.”