Since cooking from a recipe requires keeping track of steps and usually creates a messy work environment, it would be extremely helpful if a virtual assistant could read out the equipment, ingredients, and steps for a recipe. Thanks to Cooky, you can go hands-free while making your favourite dish and focus on your cooking skills rather than having to carefully analyze a recipe. Although this voice feature can be used with Alexa or Google, the idea is to integrate it into an app for people without home assistant devices so that it can be accessible through mobile or tablet devices as well. This app essentially changes using a recipe from a visionary experience to an auditory experience. We hope Cooky can create a more ideal cooking experience and help cookers be in a more organized work environment.
What it does
Cooky is a voice-controlled cookbook app with the purpose of narrating recipes to allow you to focus on your cooking. No need to worry about missing steps either because Cooky can always go back a step or repeat a phrase. Did Cooky list the ingredients too fast? No worries! You can ask Cooky to repeat at a slower speed. Cooky’s app will have a section to browse through all the possible recipes to listen to, as well as a section for a random recipe if you’re feeling up for a challenge.
How we built it
-Voiceflow (creating the virtual assistant, Cooky)
-Figma (designing and prototyping the app)
-Spoonacular’s recipe and food API (to access recipe information)
Challenges we ran into
Our team had limited programming skills and only knew how to use basic languages such as java and python. We completed this project with no prior knowledge on how to use Voiceflow and APIs, so much time was spent learning the basic concepts of APIs to effectively implement data into Voiceflow and how to navigate around Voiceflow. We spent almost half a day trying to figure out how to loop through the API function on Voiceflow and decided it would be more efficient to display a set number of variations specific to each recipe. Finding a free recipe API with the data we required was also difficult since many APIs were priced instead of free to the public.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We tried to bring Cooky to life by changing the voice type and tone to a more childish theme, making the narration more interesting than an automated voice. It was important for us to align the feeling of the logo (in scribbled font) with the feeling of Cooky’s voice. We feel proud of our theming and marketing strategy to enhance the app and make the user enjoy using our product.
It was also amazing to successfully use APIs for the first time and integrate its usage into our product. With the help of Voiceflow, using a API was very beginner-friendly and helped storing variables in large amounts fairly easy.
What we learned
We experienced the basics of designing and mapping the flow of voice apps, learning how to approach a problem with multiple solutions. Before using an API, we had to learn what APIs were and how people use it in their applications. Navigating through Spoonacular's API was a great learning opportunity to grasp the basics of APIs in json format.
What's next for Cooky
Our next goal would be to develop the app using a tool like Flutter and using a database to store all the recipe data to browse all recipes. This would also allow voiceflow's random recipe generator to have more variety. We also would like a "recommendations" sort of section that would require consent from the user to track data to provide the best recommended recipes based on previous used recipes. Not agreeing to consent to this would disable this section and notify the user the option to consent and enable recommendations.
To make Cooky more innovative, we're also open to the idea of allowing users to publish their own recipes to share and stream for other cookers (acting similar to a social-media platform for cookers). We'd love to create more characters in addition to Cooky too, such as an adult-based voice and different genders. Adding life to the virtual assistants will make using Cooky a unique experience and feel more interactive.
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