Gone are the old days of sifting through paper grocery flyers every week trying to find all the sales, as now we have countless apps to help us with that, but what about optimizing our shopping trip so that we take the shortest path possible to reach all the stores and sales on our list? Express Lane does just that.
What it does
Express Lane uses your words along with the Flipp API to curate a personalized list of options for your specified food in your vicinity. It then efficiently determines the ideal location to get your desired grocery item based on the distance away and the money you save. As you add more items to your list, Express Lane dynamically crafts a personalized route to fit your needs; it minimizes drive time and maximizes savings.
How we built it
We decided to use Firebase as our central platform to build around as it required minimal setup and enabled us to devote more time to brainstorming and hacking. There, we primary utilized the hosting, database, and cloud functions to build our app. This was done in AngularJS and NodeJS.
Challenges we ran into
Although Firebase did give us a headstart, there were some inherent issues that we ran into while developing on it. Some of the semantics were new to the team and required more effort to fully implement. A large pain point was setting up a NoSQL storage for a database and trying to reduce the request times for server queries.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
I'm really proud of what we have accomplished considering we had no prior experience in these fields. Firebase was really fun to work with and is definitely a cool platform to work on.
What we learned
We definitely learned a lot by experimenting. Firebase was definitely a technology that we surprisingly learned pretty well. Also, dabbling in the Azure Bot API as well as the Watson Computer Vision API was extremely fun.
What's next for Express Lane
Express Lane is like life the in the fast lane. You wan't to ride it all night long. Our goal is to create another feature to ease the discount collecting and shopping trip optimization with computer vision. By using tools such as the Watson API, we would be able to identify objects within the grocery and let the user know if there are better deals elsewhere.