One of the most common sayings when it comes to affecting changes in society is "vote with your wallet." That's great in theory, but often inconvenient or impossible in practice. Streamlining that process and empowering consumers to make that easier was an interesting problem we've considered, and PIMCO's challenge provided the perfect spark for a solution.
What it does
True Colors reveals the parent company and its associated ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) ratings, enabling users to uncover potentially hostile companies behind everyday goods. By removing an enormous barrier to voting with your wallet, this smooths the path to backing companies providing for more social good. ESG ratings calculated by several different firms track everything from pollution and waste, to product liability and human capital, as well as corporate behavior.
How we built it
It's driven by an active, accurate, and fast bar code scanner using your phone camera to read universal product codes from any sellable item. Driven and built in React Native, the app is available on both Android and iOS devices - 97% of the mobile device market. Read UPCs are fed into our central database that can cumulate and normalize ESG ratings from multiple firms such as Morningstar and MSCI.
Challenges we ran into
An accurate bar code scanner turned out to be a very interesting challenge - we needed to make it work with the multitudes of bar code types, not just one or two, as that would limit the number of products this would be useful on. We also had to change certain design decisions in order to streamline the UI and UX experiences and shorten the time to score path.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We were able to deliver on a cross-platform app that worked in real time testing, across several dissimilar products.
What we learned
Expo is great for quick proof of concept tech demos, like real time camera feeds but rather difficult to work with when building out a more extensive application.
What's next for True Colors
Integration with retail inventory through services such as HEB's online shopping API, alternative product suggestions, user preference customizations, and one stop checks on your grocery list.