Inspiration

To be honest, we started off with no clue as to what we were going to make, but what we did know is that we wanted to create something with a meaningful and everlasting effect that we could see ourselves using in our own daily lives as busy college students. This is when we started to look at the problems in our own lives for inspiration and realized that food security and food safety were some of the issues that we dealt with passively and had not taken the time to recognize. As students, we often forget to eat after a long day at school, complain about the spoiled milk we left in the fridge and forgot to drink, talk about how we made too much pasta last night for one person to eat, or simply hear the rumbles of our stomach and go hungry because we can’t afford to eat. We wanted to create a food app, but not just not any food app, a food app that could reduce waste, combat hunger, and of course, make sure we wouldn’t get food poisoning from that yellow gallon of chunky slush in “MyFridge.” (Pun Intended)

And this is where MyFridge was born.

What it does

MyFridge is a food record-social community hybrid app with an Android Camera API component that uses IBM Watson recognition integration. The app itself opens up to a list of food categories that the user can select depending on what they are interested in looking for. Within each food category is a community feed where other users are welcome to post food that they no longer want and is still in edible condition as well as provide users who are in need of a cup of milk or a meal with a network where they are free to ask for food without having to pay a cent. In this way, we are reducing the amount of perfectly edible food that ends up in our landfills every year and we are helping make strides toward the fight against hunger. Food is something that many people do not have access to; let’s not take it for granted.

How we built it

Of course, we did not want to stop there. We looked for ways in which we could take our idea to the next level in order to really tackle the issue and make this as easy of a process for our users as possible. We wanted to use the IBM Watson API in combination with the Android Camera API in order to source data for our food and reduce the amount of work that the user would have to input every time they used the “What’s in MyFridge?” food record. The user would take a picture of any given food and Watson would provide us with information on the kind of food that was being captured, the name of the food, and the expiration date. The app would then use this information to create alerts and inform the user of soon-to-be expired food. With these alerts, the user could then make the decision to either eat the food or post it in our community feed in order to reduce waste and provide someone with a meal. Everyone wins!

Challenges we ran into

With any major project, one is bound to run into trouble and we were no exception. In our attempt to use the Watson API, we could not get it to properly work the way we wanted it so we moved onto our camera component so we could at least have that. However, that also wasn’t a walk in the park. We could not select the captured picture in order to move onto the next activity, our MyFridge Food Record, which would have allowed Watson to source its data and save it to the record on the next screen.

Accomplishments that we're proud of & What We learned

Despite our difficulties, we are proud of what we were able to accomplish. We learned two new programs in the span of 24 hours, we learned how to implement Android Camera API, almost managed to use IBM Watson API, gained a better grasp of Android Studio, took home a bunch of stickers and free swag, and met an amazing group of people we would have probably not had the chance to meet had we not decided to spend a whole 24 hours in a university basketball stadium in order to hack.

What's next for MyFridge

We would like to add that our journey with this crazy, but incredible idea is not over yet. We plan to meet again in order to finish it because it definitely has a lot of potential and it was something we truly grew passionate about.

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