WATCH ABOVE: Would you want to be publically shamed into losing weight? Meet Carrot – an artificial intelligence fitness and health coach with a mean streak. Nicole Bogart reports.
TORONTO – If you are having trouble maintaining your New Year’s resolution to eat better and lose weight, you may find yourself looking for a calorie counting app to help. What about an app that will publicly shame you into putting down that last slice of cake?
Enter Carrot Hunger.
Carrot is an artificial intelligence fitness and diet coach with a menacing and snarky tone – and she will do just about anything it takes to help you shed those pounds – from ridiculing you, to making you pay her to look the other way while you indulge in that chocolate bar.
The app allows users to calculate their daily calorie intake by logging their food with Carrot, which uses a database of about a million food items to deliver nutritional information.
Carrot also tells users how hard they would have to work to burn off the calories they are consuming. Users can even set up an iBeacon sensor in their fridge – which communicates with the users phone via Bluetooth – so the app can send reminders about making healthy choices.
But this app isn’t for the easily offended.
“Greetings gluttonous human,” says the computerized voice in a promotional video. “I’ve watched your kind indiscriminately stuff your chubby faces for far too long.”
Carrot automatically enables a “punishments” feature when users go over their daily allotted calories. The feature allows users to bribe Carrot to look the other way about the food they are logging by paying with in-app purchases.
Users can set it up so that Carrot sends a tweet telling all your followers you’ve cheated on your diet.
Carrot Hunger is the second Carrot app from developer Brian Mueller.
His first app using the intimidating computerized voice – Carrot Fit – garnered a lot of attention for its harsh features, which included getting “mad” at users when they gained weight.
“The response to Carrot Fit and now Hunger has been overwhelmingly positive from those who are using it,” Mueller told Global News.
He said he’s even received reviews crediting Carrot Fit for helping users lose anywhere from five to 50 pounds.
But the developer has faced controversy over the apps, as some feel they might be too harsh.
Mueller maintains that the apps are meant to be humorous, adding Carrot Hunger’s punishments are set up by the user and are designed to encourage them to stay on track with their dieting.
“Normally if you step on the scale and see you’ve gained weight that will ruin the rest of your day. With the Carrot apps it turns it into a humorous thing,” he explained.
The Philadelphia-area app designer did not reveal how many downloads Carrot Hunger has garnered since its Jan. 8 release, but said it’s been very successful.