Huffing and puffing during exercise could feel less torturous if you got instant feedback showing that you were burning calories. A Japanese wireless carrier aims to deliver that health-monitoring satisfaction with a portable breathalyzer that, when connected to a smartphone, can sniff out the evidence of fat-burning when you exhale.
The breathalyzer, developed by Japanese telecom NTT Docomo, works by detecting acetone gas on people's breaths, according to Technology Review. That acetone is an end product of the chemical process that breaks down fatty acids in the human body—a sign that you're burning fat. Having the ability to monitor fat-burning could encourage many people in their efforts to shed pounds and stave off obesity or diabetes.
Docomo has been developing the palm-size breathalyzer over several years, but its most recent tests, looking at the tool's effect on the behavior of 17 overweight adults, were detailed in a new study published in the July issue of the Journal of Breath Research.