After the challenges were released, we saw that challenge #3 focused on social issues that are not often talked about. While brainstorming ideas, we came across the social issue of food waste and insecurity in Canada – something that we do not often talk about in a society where food is readily abundant. With more research, we found that over 50% of food produced in Canada is reduced to food waste and this food is often thrown out due to spoilage. Thus, we figured that we could create an application that reminds the consumer that their item is going to expire.

What it does

The application scans a food item via the barcode through the camera, recognizes the food, and then sets a reminder for the consumer that their item is going to expire.

How we built it

Through countless hours of hard work, we worked in two teams to create a web application version, as well as an Android phone app. We attended the Microsoft Azure workshop to get us started on using Azure Functions and the Cognitive services which we could implement in our project.

Challenges we ran into

Some of the challenges we ran into include:

  1. The web application has difficulty recognizing some barcodes due to the camera's inability to focus.
  2. We had some difficulty coding as we did not have enough experience creating more popup windows.
  3. Finding enough food barcodes to test our application.
  4. We had difficulty changing the GUI due to time constraints and unfamiliarity with the Android Studio GUI.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are proud that we were able to build two applications during the short period of time. We are also proud of the fact that we were able to implement new technology such as Microsoft Azure and its Cognitive services into our applications.

What we learned

During this process, we learned how to use Microsoft Azure Functions and the Cognitive services including the vision recognition functions. We learned how to collaborate with other developers on this project, as well as how to use GitHub to share our code.

What's next for WiseFoods

Our next step for WiseFoods is to improve the barcode recognition, and expiry date settings to include inputting your own expiry date, as well as automatic expiry date setting. Also, we plan to improve the GUI on the Android app. We also plan on implementing a deletion function, so that old foods do not clog up your list.

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