Having watched countless stores and bakeries throw away excess, unsold, yet consumable produce at the end of the day - I knew there had to be some way to stop this pointless and horrific food wastage from happening - especially since 795 million people go hungry everyday, while 786 million kg's of food are wasted annually in Singapore. I thus came upon the idea of connecting these retailers with consumers - to help them sell their excess produce at the end of the day, at a lower price - not only saving food - but also lowering costs/increasing profits for the business owners, and providing cheap food for those who need it.
What it does
The app is multi-faceted. There is the retailer side - where the retailer enters his location and other details such as opening hours. Then close to the end of the working day - perhaps 6-7pm - he enters the dishes which are still in excess, and are unlikely to be sold, takes a picture of them, sets the discounted price and then posts this information.
This information is then sent out to all the consumers nearby - and the consumers can then see the offers, the time at which they can pick it up - and thus have the power to go pick up these surplus items at a discount. This thus reduces the food waste.
How I built it
I used a hybrid framework to develop for both IOS and Android - Ionic with Angular.js. The database used to store the offers and the pictures is firebase - as it is compatible and easy to work with Ionic and Angular.js.
Challenges I ran into
The taking and storing of pictures was the toughest part of the entire journey - from using cordova plugins to access the camera - to compressing it into base64 to be able to store it in firebase. Also, since it was the first time I was working with hybird technlogies, there was a steep learning curve.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
To be able to successfully push a working and fully functional app onto the app store and play store within a space of 6 months. Also to be able to integrate fairly complex features such as the camera functionality and real time updates to the information screen.
What I learned
What's next for FoodSavr
Due to a hectic schedule - exams and other commitments - the beta test for the app was delayed - but looking to launch in June. In the beta test - we hope to partner with 2-3 retailers to test out assumptions and further improve the app.