Studying binge-eating disorders with a wearable companion app


The Auracle Project’s goal was to study binge-eating disorders, comprised the development of a native iOS application to interface with Auracle’s custom hardware. Auracle’s wearable device houses a contact microphone to detect and process sounds of eating and chewing, and DALI Lab created a companion app which allows researchers and research subjects to view eating data and answer survey questions as part of future binge-eating disorder studies. In addition, the application allows researchers to easily access and export data from the Auracle device for greater data processing.


DALI’s process began with user identification and a survey of today’s cutting-edge calendar and health & fitness apps.  Development of the app’s backend began, including the implementation of a flexible code structure that allows simple integration of different data sources, including on-device Machine Learning, in future iterations of the project. After developing the backend and talking to medical researchers, computer science researchers, and other potential study participants, we decided to adopt a design that would appear clean, inviting, and unobtrusive to participants who would be using the app throughout their future studies. Ultimately, we chose to show a daily view of eating events in reverse chronological order; meals are represented according to their length, so research participants can quickly understand their meals in the context of their day. Combining experience in clean, modern app design and native iOS development, DALI’s team was able to create a responsive, modern companion to this cutting-edge research project wearable.

Partners: a joint research project between Dartmouth College and Clemson University

Team Members: Matt Gardner ‘19, John Kotz ‘19, Wes Kendrick ‘19, Young Jang ‘19, Wendy Kangethe ‘19