Our initial inspiration was from our alike personal experiences. As students, we realized we often forgot about the food items in our fridge and pantry. The food would expire and we would be left with no option but to throw it off. The indirect impact was not only overspending but a greater harm to the environment. This leads to a big deal of frustration. We performed a brainstorming activity as a team, the insights were then mapped into common patterns through affinity mapping. The results affirmed our assumption that it was a problem faced by not only students but professionals alike.

What it does: We envisioned our app to fulfill the following goals for the users:

1) Keep a track of present pantry and stored meals to keep the wastage in check and make the most of the spendings.
2) Uses a barcode for ease of inputting product details.
3) Eat nutritious meals and avoid any health impacts due to stale consumption of food.
4) Double-up as a to-buy list to avoid overspending when shopping in a grocery shop.
5) A one-stop place where users can compare prices and features of different products on their grocery bag.
6) Encouraging virtual grocery shopping or even pick-up over traditional grocery shopping to save time and energy which are so precious in the times we live in.

How I built it:

We started out conducting User Research, Ideation followed by wireframing and then prototyping. Once a mid-fidelity prototyping was built, we split up the UI into different components that would be implemented in React Native. The flow, state, and the props for each component were decided before-hand to speed up development. The back-end was designed in parallel and communicated closely with the front-end on the app. Finally, everything was brought together using REST APIs that we designed. We attempted to make the most of the agile environment.

Challenges I ran into: The following are the challenges we ran into:

1) We experienced a slow-down because we attempted to tackle problems which were a tad outside our skill-sets.
2) We experienced a few technical difficulties with the server and the barcode scanner
3) Determining the expiry date of fresh produce
4) Access to information and APIs
5) Ideation could have been briefer
6) We didn't chart out a timeline and fixed roles in the team

Accomplishments that I'm proud of:

1) Ease of accessibility with voice integrations and barcode scanner
2) Future scope ideation
3) Teamwork
4) Passion and intent
5) Prototype

What I learned:

1) Teamwork can make or break a project
2) Exploring new technologies might seem daunting at first but it's not that hard. Focus and intent can go a long way
3) Seeking help whenever in trouble is always a great idea
4) The UX process should be expedited especially when working on a short timeline
5) Collaboration and communication skills are essential
5) Inspite of passion and intent, motivation can be refreshing.
6) T-mobile, Elastic Path and Hack DFW have some really cool people on-board.

What's next for Monitood: Monitor your Food:

1) Recipes generated from inventory and option to purchase directly through the app
2) Notification/intimation to repurchase items
3) Personalized avatar for gamification to make it more intuitive
4) Visualization of spending habits
5) A virtual shopping cart that can make purchases through the press of a button

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