VibroScale: turning your smartphone into a weighing scale

1. Abstract

Smartphones, with their ubiquity and plethora of embedded sensors enable on-the-go measurement. Here, we describe one novel measurement potential, weight measurement, by turning an everyday smartphone into a weighing scale. We describe VibroScale, our vibration-based approach to measuring the weight of objects that are small in size. Being able to objectively measure the weight of objects in free-living settings, without the burden of carrying a scale, has several possible uses, particularly in weighing small food items. We designed a smartphone app and regression algorithm, which we termed VibroScale, that estimates the relative induced intensity of an object placed on the smartphone. We tested our proposed method using more than 50 fruits and other everyday objects of different sizes and weights. Our smartphone-based method can measure the weight of fruit without relying on an actual scale. Overall, we observed that VibroScale can measure one type of object with a mean absolute error of 12.4 grams and a mean absolute percentage error of 7.7%. We believe that in future this approach can be generalized to estimate calories and measure the weight of various types of objects.

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