Many of our acquaintances have strict dietary preferences. Often the food items are referred to by their local names and its often not easy to identify whether or not they follow the dietary preferences. Here, we decided to concentrate on the medical dietary preferences.
What it does
Our app uses OCR capability provided by Microsoft's Cognitive Services API to list all the ingredients of a food item from the contents sticker on its packet. Then, we check if the food items for specific allergens(using the Edamam api) that are inputted from the user the first time he logs in. Finally, we give the list of all ingredients and specify which, if any, may be dangerous to the user.
How we built it
We used Android Studio to make the app. The app requires the user to take a picture of the contents, we send this picture to Cognitive Services API as a bitmap to get the string of the contents. The string is then parsed and processed to determine the exact list of contents. This list is then passed to the Edamam API which of them contain allergens. We finally look at the allergens that affect the user, compare it with the output from Edamam and accordingly educate the user on the risks of consuming the product in question.,
Challenges we ran into
Both of the APIs were meant for broad usages but they were not exactly tailored for our specific use cases. We had to mould the APIs to make sure they work for us. In fact though the second API was not tailored to our use, even then we had a tough time finding it.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We believe that we have done a good job when it comes to both UI and API handling. It was not always very straightforward. We are also proud of the idea itself as we are sure, it will be useful to a lot of people.
What we learned
We learnt the vast capabilities of the Cognitive Services APIs and dreamt up many use cases of the API for the future. We also learnt a few pointers that may help us figure out better APIs for a given task.
What's next for Allergent
We plan to extend Allergent to include far more Allergy types and to tend to people who have personal dietary preferences for non-medical reasons like veganism.
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