Home » Episode #451: Harnessing Technology to Revolutionize Nutrition | Insights from Wade Norris of Snap Calorie

Wade Norris is a former researcher at Google AI, where he had the fortune of transitioning into the AI space just as it was gaining momentum. His expertise lies specifically in helping computers understand photos, videos, and the surrounding world. Wade had an amazing journey there, starting with a team of only 10 and witnessing its rapid growth to 140 researchers. During his tenure, he contributed to the development of several impressive products. Eventually, he seized the opportunity to explore starting something new and making more of an impact. 

Wade recognized the tremendous opportunity in addressing the role of diet and nutrition. Armed with his passion and his impressive expertise, he started building Snap Calorie, a game-changing solution that leverages computer vision to help track and analyze nutritional information and portion sizes. If you're curious about the intersection of technology, nutrition, and personal health, this episode is a must-listen!

Regarding AI and LIDAR (light detecting and ranging) tech for food portions: "We use Deep Nets and AI to understand the types of food . . . and we can see the breakdown. . . Anything that a nutritionist could see, the AI network can see and try to make an educated guess. When it comes to the portion size, that's done with the LIDAR."

Some key moments: 

  • Finding meaningful impact through research and analysis.
  • Startup advantage: Nimble, quick decision-making, imperfect products.
  • 53% error in portion size estimation
  • Nutrition lables are allowed by law to have a 20% margin of error
  • Tracking alone isn't enough; need to be more prescriptive.
  • Visual data becomes ingredients; good and bad.
  • Debate on accessibility vs. credibility of ChatGPT.

A few key takeaways:

  • The focus on diet and nutrition: Wade Norris decided to dedicate his life to snapping calories and changing the way people look at their food. He conducted research on the top 10 causes of death in the United States and realized that diet and nutrition played a significant role.
  • He wanted to create something that would have a meaningful impact and help people.
  • The decision to start a startup: Wade mentioned that while working at Google was a great opportunity, being part of a small startup allowed for more agility and the ability to take bigger risks.
  • Startups can launch products that may not be perfect, but that's okay because they have the advantage of being nimble and making quick decisions.
  • Timing and technology: Wade acknowledged the importance of timing and technology when starting a company. He mentioned that in the past, the infrastructure and distribution of data may not have been ready for certain startups to succeed.
  • With advancements in technology, such as smartphones and LIDAR, the pieces of the puzzle are now in place for him to commercialize his idea effectively.

Click here to download transcript


Wade Norris: https://www.linkedin.com/in/wadenorris/ 
Snap Calorie: https://www.snapcalorie.com/ 
Casey Neistat video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hE2lna5Wxuo 

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