It all started with a small idea to have a single place where just by putting in a few ingredients, how can you get few cool recipes to make. Not only that, how and where can you go and buy an ingredient, if by adding it, you'll be having more options to choose from. All of the above with a way to store those recipes along with some cool insights like the average calorie intake from these recipes you made.
What it does
So in its current avatar Food bit can suggest you some of the best recipes you can make with the food items you have (Just throw in a question), with or without adding in some more ingredients. Along with that if you choose to go ahead and prepare it, Food Bit will have insights in store for you from these recipes you prepared, over the time.
How we built it
Food Bit is powered by
- A NodeJS based backend server deployed on Google cloud's App Engine (Backed by its Storage and SQL functionalities).
- User end supported by react-native along with expo.
- Wit.ai - to derive useful key items from the user input and the intent to be utilized while driving the search and response.
Challenges we ran into
The first and most important hurdle we came across was with our base idea itself i.e. where do we get the recipes from?, which was exacerbated by the fact that the api's which were available, weren't having the data exposed in any useful way. Then while trying to integrate products/ingredients shopping into the app, we realized that we will not be able to get the access to the products API of amazon, walmart etc. in time to successfully implement the functionality. As if it wasn't enough our front end choice i.e. React-Native, turned out to be not so flexible with the kind of use cases we wanted to implement with it.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
- First and foremost - we kept going even in the face of so many hurdles and knowing very well that we will not be able to implement a major chunk of the functionality we planned for, in the time duration of this hackathon.
- In the end we have final product which is working for the core functionality and which can be used as a starting point for next iteration to further build upon.
What we learned
We started with no understanding or prior experience whatsoever with the technologies we planned to work upon and in the end we have a better understanding of not only how they work individually as well as how well do they behave collectively. Along with this we are better prepared to face a barrage of issues while working in high pressure situations.
What's next for Food Bit
- Adding product catalogue so as to allow Food Bit to be better prepared to suggest the user whether to go ahead and prepare the recipe or go out and buy an item which will allow him to prepare something way more fun.
- Integrating the Product/ingredient shopping suggestions into google map for the user to analyze his/her options.
- In case the user is too short of having items to prepare something interesting, pull up some nearby food deals (the suggestions to improve overtime with the help of ML) he can utilize instead of going out and buying a lot of ingredients.
- Adding more nutrients based analytics, for the user to utilize.