Calgarians’ tech invention can help you count calories and lose weight

Slate Scale is portable and connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth. Rana Varma/Slate Scale

CALGARY – Two Calgarians are hoping to help take the guesswork out of counting calories with the invention of a new app called Slate Scale.

There are already dozens of smartphone apps that keep track of calorie consumption, but Slate Scale is different in that it uses a portable Bluetooth scale to help you obtain a more accurate snapshot of your diet.

“What Slate Scale does is it enables people to track to the nearest calorie, to get an understanding of what their intake is,” co-founder Rana Varma explained.

The scale connects to iPhone and Android wirelessly to deliver caloric and nutritional information based on your serving size. It’s compatible with popular fitness apps like FitBit and MyFitnessPal, to keep your data synced in one place.

“When you run, you know exactly the distance you’re running. Fitness is only 25 per cent of the weight loss equation. The other 75 per cent is actually what you’re consuming from a nutritional standpoint.”

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The app even starts to learn the habits and patterns of its users; instead of entering the same breakfast each morning, Slate Scale will ask users if they want to enter their “usual” meal.

Varma said he came up with the idea for the app about a year ago when facing a health scare.

“I went to the doctor and they gave me a diagnosis of high cholesterol – which was a shock to me because I go to the gym, I thought I ate healthy… but it turns out what I thought was healthy, wasn’t healthy at all.”

“I thought, there’s got to be a seamless way to track what you’re consuming in a way that’s portable, doesn’t take too much of your time and gives you the necessary information.”

Varma was able to create Slate Scale with the help of Teddy Seyed, a computer programming student at the University of Calgary.

“I didn’t have the technical skills, so to speak, to make this happen,” said Varma, whose background is in business.  The pair met at Protospace, a local spot for creators and hackers to experiment.

“People get together, and it’s like an open workshop for projects,” Varma explained.

Currently, the app only exists as a prototype, but Varma hopes to launch a crowdfunding campaign in August.

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He said the plan is for the app to be free, but the scale to cost somewhere between $50 and $65.

For more details on Slate Scale you can visit

Slate Scale provides a daily/monthly log for calories, carbs, proteins, fats and personal targets. Slate Scale Co-founder Rana Varma

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