Inspiration

As programming beginners and first time hackathon participants, we wanted to challenge ourselves by building an app and creating a software that recognizes text from an image. Our secondary goal was to create a practical product that solves a common problem. Hence, grocer.io was created.

What it does

Grocer.io is a virtual fridge. It tracks the shelf life of the user’s ingredients: allowing them to eat it while it’s fresh. With the existing ingredients in the fridge, it also suggest recipes most appropriate for the age of the ingredients.

How I built it

Using Android Studio, we created an app that reads text from an image and uploads the detected text to firebase’s real time database. We designed and organized the UI and UX with adobe photoshop, Adobe XD, and Photoshop

Challenges I ran into

Knowing where to start: This was everyone’s first time creating an app! We struggled a lot with knowing what platform to use as well as what we needed in order to put together each component of the app.

Firebase and Gradle: We knew we wanted to use a database in our app, so we attempted to set up firebase (which we found out required some changes to our build.gradle files) At this point we didn’t actually know what gradle did, nor did we know that Android Studio automatically set up these files for us.

Phone-laptop compatibility: When testing our app, we tried to use a variety of phones, source PCs and USB connection cables to get the connection recognized. One persistent issue was that the computer would not recognize our phone as an android device, preventing us from running tests.

Collaboration/file sharing: It wasn’t until near the end of the Hackathon that we started using GitHub to track our project changes and file share. (one of our neighbouring teams had to teach us how to use it). Prior to using GitHub, we had a lot of issues keeping track of the most updated versions merging changes from different team members.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

We built our first app, learned how to use databases and upload real time data to it, and ideated a solution to a real life problem we identified.

What I learned

We learned how to use android studio, implement databases using firebase, and github. We are very proud of how far we’ve come and now know what areas/ecosystems we need more practice with.

What's next for grocer.io

Improving our Text Vision AI, Tracking item lifespan, Recipe recommendations, and Integrating front-end code.

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