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CES 2019: Pepper's Alexa-equipped scale can help you track your sugar intake

Calculate your meal's sugar content, calories, lipids, amino acids and a wide variety of other nutrients to help you manage a specific diet.

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Andrew Gebhart/CNET

We've tested a couple of smart food scales that can make it easier to cook. Pepper makes it easier to cook while helping you maintain your diet. I saw the Alexa-equipped scale on display at CES. It's still a prototype, but when it's ready, it should be able to calculate up to 150 different nutrients from a library of 8,000 different ingredients.

You'll supposedly be able to simply tell Pepper what you're measuring, then start pouring your ingredient and the display on the front will show you the weight next to four or five other measurements. You can customize what the display shows from sugar content to calories to protein to amino acids or a wide variety of others. Pepper connects to Wi-Fi and it'll save what you eat so you can check the other 150 nutrients in your food later.

The voice commands will work thanks to Amazon's assistant Alexa, and Pepper will double as an Alexa-equipped smart speaker. You'll be able to tell it to do all of Alexa's ordinary tricks, including controlling your smart home, checking your calendar and searching the web. Pepper connects to your Wi-Fi network to access Alexa's cloud and keep the app updated.

You'll see the most benefit from Pepper if you have a specific diet. If you have hypertension and your doctor asked you to avoid sodium, you can show the sodium of your ingredients on the scale and track your daily intake.

The startup behind Pepper is launching a Kickstarter for the product in a few weeks, with a plan to hit retail stores early next year. By the time it launches, they want to include recipe assistance as well, so you can pick something to eat in the app and it will walk you through measuring each ingredient before showing you the final nutritional info.

It'll cost $300, which is a lot considering the Perfect Bake Pro Smart Scale is only $100, but that scale is only for cooking assistance. Pepper will offer much more info, which could be important if you need to avoid certain ingredients.

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