Being a starving college student is difficult. Always pinching pennies here and there to just barely afford the minimum amount of sustenance needed to get you through the week. With such tight constraints, forgetting that you left meat in the refrigerator for a week or accidentally buying another bottle of olive oil is a painful mistake. That's where the idea of Mnemosyne came from.
What it does
Mnemosyne allows the user to enter their bought groceries into a database containing items in their fridge, pantry, and freezer. Mnemosyne streamlines this process by allowing users to either scan the barcode on their food item to retrieve information on the product, or take a picture of the item for products without barcodes, such as fruits. These items are added to the users virtual refrigerator. While an item is added to the virtual refrigerator, Mnemosyne searches for an estimate of the expiration date for that item and stores the information alongside it. This allows users to track items expiration dates as well so they can plan meals accordingly. In the refrigerator screen, users can remove, set 'out of stock', or 'resupply' items. When an item is set to 'out of stock', it is automatically added to the shopping list screen, which the user can then open up next time they're at the store and can't remember what he/she has at home. Once the user has purchased the item, they can set the item back to supplied and the item will be removed from the shopping list and added into the refrigerator.
How I built it
I built Mnemosyne with java in Eclipse with the android development plugin.
Challenges I ran into
One of the challenges I ran into was parsing scraped website information, consistently and robustly. Retrieving product information from barcodes and using search engines proved easy, however, retrieving expiration dates of food items is still achieved by scraping websites for information..
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I am proud of the robustness of the app and the integration of Clarifai's image recognition API. I am also proud that I can take this idea further than this hackathon.
What I learned
I learned how to build projects with Maven. More about android app development. Android intents. Clarifai.
What's next for Mnemosyne
Next up for Mnemosyne is adding a recipe suggester which gives users advice on what to cook based off food in their refrigerator that is expiring soon as well as a sorting option for different dietary constraints. I would also like to add a background application to send users a notice of upcoming expiring food. I believe Mnemosyne can help save thousands of dollars of wasted food people throw out because they forgot what was at the back of their fridge.