One of the ubiquitous symbols of the Health Promotion Board’s campaign for a healthier diet is this Healthy Plate advertisement.
Fill a quarter of your plate with wholegrains (e.g. brown rice, wholemeal bread, rolled oats). Fill a quarter of your plate with meat and others (e.g. poultry, seafood, eggs, nuts, beans). Fill half your plate with fruit and vegetables.
In fact, people generally know how much they eat, but it is usually just a general gauge. Therefore, how meaningful are the descriptions on serving sizes to the everyday customer who struggles to translate his or her meals? What is one serving of eggs? How much in portion can we take away from fish and chips? Furthermore, every restaurant serves their food in different portions!
Additionally, we hope to solve two more issues with ordering excess food - food wastage is a real problem with the R&B industry and customers end up paying for more food than they need.
Therefore, our team has decided to come up with an Augmented Reality app, BiteSize, that offers the best visual aid to customers to make their dining choices more environmentally friendly, cheaper and healthier.
What it does
Upon entering a restaurant, customers can sit down and begin to use BiteSize to peruse the menu.
What sets this app apart from other similar menu apps which only have 2D images is that we use Augmented Reality to generate a life-sized image of the food for the customer. Moreover, the food does not just sit pretty - the customer has several options available at a simple click of a button.
A menu button which allows him to switch the food on display in front of him. He can even order multiple dishes which will spawn in front of him - handy for a group of customers!
A portion-size button which transform the meal size in an instant e.g. small, medium, large, etc!
An ingredient-size button which offers a more granular option to customers - they can directly change the quantity of ingredients used e.g. fries, rice, etc!
A checkout button which can collate our orders into a easily comprehensible list for the restaurant!
How we built it
We used Android Studio, Sceneform and ARCore SDK as the foundation of building the app. We also used Blender to create 3D models of our food.
Challenges we ran into
Learning how to use
- Android Studio
- ARCore API
Sceneform and Blender
Creation of 3D food models with Blender
Designing the UI - creating functional buttons
Manipulating the food models with the buttons
Accomplishments that we're proud of
First and foremost, none of us had any prior experience with AR and being able to emulate the popular AR apps like Pokemon Go is really amazing! In order to create the food models, we had to delve into Blender to create our own and it was interesting to create 3D models.
Secondly, this app can benefit anyone - both the customer and the business owner. Not only can the former understand exactly how much food he is ordering, but he can also see first-hand what he is ordering in greater detail. The business owner also benefits from the realistic representations of food models that make his dishes more attractive as well as reduce food wastage by customers.
What we learned
Having great ideas is one thing; translating them into code is another. As a group of 4 programmers, we had to learn how to work most efficiently without having conflicts. To that end, we planned thoroughly what we could compromise on and what we absolutely needed to have (primary features). After that, we divided them accordingly and used Git for version control. It was a blast learning how to apply Java in an entirely new setting i.e. Android app development and seeing our final product come to life in Augmented Reality made the past 24 hours entirely worthwhile.
What's next for BiteSize
With the future goal being transforming BiteSize into the only food app you will need:
- Seek reviews from business owners and customers to see what the app can improve on
- A user database for users to store their history, favourites, etc
- Implement a delivery service so that people can order food delivery by using the app
- Increase the accuracy of design of the food models
- Streamline the updates of food models because there are many different types