Using an entire meal swipe at various food establishments can be somewhat of a tedious task. We realized that most of the time, people buy less than what their swipe is valued, or need to put food back because what they had was more than what one swipe allowed. To fix this reoccurring issue happening around campus, we created Swipe Optimizer.
What it does
Swipe Optimizer in simplest terms is a budget manager. Essentially it allows you to add and remove items that are available at Rutgers food establishments that take meal swipes. The app only displays what is allowed by your current balance, based on what you have added already, and will alert you once you have gone past the limit for a meal swipe at the designated location. It features a simplistic yet very manageable interface to add and remove items, as well as categorization and sorting based on an maximizing or optimizing a meal swipe.
How I built it
We built the main functionality of Swipe Optimizer using android studio. With android studio, we were able to integrate pleasing UI and manipulate its use with Java code to create a dynamic, easy to use application. SQLite was used to integrate item data from excel spreadsheets and sort/categorize them accordingly
Challenges I ran into
This was our first time using android studio, so of course, there were some minor hiccups along development. However, most of these were solved easily via internet search, such as using the XML files to correctly display and customize the UI. For other issues, we used the debugger built into android studio to parse our code and correct any logical or runtime errors, like off by one or type mismatch errors.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
For the whole team, this was the first app we have ever created. On top of that, we were all inexperienced with android studio. When planning what we wanted to do for this hackathon, it was clear we wanted to get exposure to mobile app creation and learn the process. We all already knew Java, so android studio was our best bet in creating something meaningful. Throughout development, we furthered our knowledge in both android studio and the Java language, in a fun and engaging way. And to be able to say we both learned and deployed an app with something we learned in less than eight hours is a pretty big accomplishment if you ask me.
What I learned
As stated above, we all learned the basics of app development and android studio. Now, obviously there is a lot more to learn and we hope to continue learning through future projects and updates on Swipe Optimizer. But this was not the only thing we took away from developing our app. We also learned how to properly use and leverage version control via git and GitHub, something new to us as well. More importantly, we learned the importance of team cooperation, a very important life skill that is very valuable in the industry.
What's next for Swipe Optimizer
We plan on making changes to Swipe Optimizer in the near future. Obviously, we have a lot of other things to do, but whenever we have time we'll try to better our app.
- More appealing and fluid UI
- Ability to select add-ons for certain meals (such as extra meat on a sandwich, cream cheese with a bagel, etc)
- Possibly a way to remotely access item data from location website instead of using manually entered excel files