17 Responses

  1. Rachel
    Rachel May 17, 2012 at 12:15 pm | | Reply

    I feel like we were on the same wavelength today. If an enterprising app developer came up with your Magic Carbonator 5000, they could probably make a lot of money! Too bad we aren’t app developers.

  2. Leighann of D-Mom Blog
    Leighann of D-Mom Blog May 17, 2012 at 12:34 pm | | Reply

    Make it happen, Allison! I’d be in line to buy one :)

  3. Sam
    Sam May 17, 2012 at 5:12 pm | | Reply

    This would be amazing to have!

  4. Scott E
    Scott E May 17, 2012 at 5:39 pm | | Reply

    Oh boy could I use one of those things! When I saw my endo a couple of weeks ago he remarked “I know you’re good at counting carbs” and all I could think was ‘Boy have I got you fooled!’.

    Thanks for showing some love for us Android loyalists!

  5. Ollie
    Ollie May 18, 2012 at 12:06 am | | Reply

    I am an app developer and have thought about how to make such an app before. There are a few image recognition apps out there, have a look at oMoby for an example

    None of the image recognition software available today is accurate enough to act like the carbonator, but carb counting could eventually be built on top of this technology.

    Right now, the best idea I have is to manually crowd-source the carb counting. Imagine an app like Instagram where you post food pictures and people comment with their carb counts. We could carb count for each other voluntarily, and have a premium option where we hire dieticians to do counts.

    This app could also help us all count better, by learning from others’ photos and reference images. As a bonus, the data could eventually be used to train an automatic image recognition based app. It could also link in to other diabetes apps and websites.

    If there’s a lot of interest, I’d seriously consider building this app. I’d love to hear others ideas of how it could work and the top features people would like to see in it.

    1. Brian Bosh
      Brian Bosh May 18, 2012 at 2:32 pm | | Reply


      I explored recognition software too and agree it’s not feasible. What I’ve come up with that is feasible is, for restaurants, geolocating your phone, picking out nearby restaurants (4sq style), then look up their menu and cross reference against published nutrition info. All the while you can photograph food to log it, and one day, ONE DAY, recognition might be possible.

      Am working on this at if you’re at all interested.

  6. AmyT
    AmyT May 18, 2012 at 8:09 am | | Reply

    @Ollie — Dude, there is interest! Build, PLEEEAAASSEE!

  7. shannon
    shannon May 18, 2012 at 9:07 am | | Reply

    i had a similar notion for today’s prompt but went in a different direction. i am so glad you posted about this because you did it with far more cleverness than i could have! love everything about this, especially taking a pic of the leftover food! :)

  8. Kristin
    Kristin May 18, 2012 at 9:59 am | | Reply

    Ollie – run with it! Happy to chip in with feature requests, do usability testing – anything. :)

  9. Ollie
    Ollie May 18, 2012 at 4:37 pm | | Reply

    Hello everyone,

    it’s great to see there’s interest in making the Carbonator app real :-)

    It would be good to get an idea of how many people are interested, and who could help with testing, publicity etc. I’ve put a signup form online here:

    Please sign up if you’re interested and I’ll see what I can do. And please share the link!

    @BrianBosh that’s a really smart idea! Is there a built version of your app I can try out?

    1. Brian Bosh
      Brian Bosh May 18, 2012 at 4:53 pm | | Reply

      There’s a compiled version in iPhone App Store but it doesn’t do any of the functions I described. Git has some. Most is yet to be implemented.

  10. Bringing the Carbonator 5000 to life « Carbonator 5000

    [...] a photo of some food and have an app tell you how many carbs it has. Here’s her idea for the Carbonator 5000: This carb-counting app is made for both the iPhone and the Android (gotta share the love). It’s [...]

  11. Ollie Glass
    Ollie Glass May 19, 2012 at 9:11 am | | Reply

    I’ve made a blog for the Carbonator 5000:

    It needs people to use it to make it happen. If you’re interested, please share the link and leave a comment.

    We can do this!

  12. How fast does the Carbonator need to be? « Carbonator 5000

    [...] to count carbs, and getting feedback makes learning easier and faster. Like Allison says in her original post, carb counting is a crapshoot. Who doesn’t get a count wrong or make a guess about a mystery [...]

  13. How fast does the Carbonator need to work? « Carbonator 5000

    [...] to count carbs, and getting feedback makes learning easier and faster. Like Allison says in her original post, carb counting is a crapshoot. Who doesn’t get a count wrong or make a guess about a mystery [...]

  14. Plans for the Carbonator « Carbonator 5000

    [...] all began on Allison Blass‘ Fantasy Diabetes Device post at Diabetes Mine. I loved Allison’s Carbonator 5000 idea, as did everyone else who left [...]

  15. The DiabetesMine Patient Voices Contest

    [...] you checked out Allison’s Carbonator 5000 idea? I sure as heck could use one of [...]

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