WE DID IT! / Published January 9, 2016 by Nishita Agrawal

Nishita Agrawal


Finally, this is what our product entails!


How does it work?
foodAte works in two versions. An application for the mobile which is to be used by the consumer and a program for retailers. Before purchase of items, the consumer gives his/her foodAte number to the shopkeeper who updates it on their program. This automatically establishes a link to the user’s profile where in all purchased items would be updated as the cashier scans them. foodAte would only register the items categorised as eatables hence eliminating cosmetics or other general household purchases. This is an automatic process which makes the usage of the system hassle free for the retailer as apart from updating the number there is no additional workload added.

Once the purchase is updated, foodAte starts tracking the shelf life of food and would give notifications accordingly to the user to cook or eat the food before its expiry.

Features of the app:
1.) Universal profile: foodAte in order to be used just needs to be installed in the respective retailers’ store. Once installed, then regardless of the retail store (be it Walmart, Nofrills, etc.) users just need to provide their foodAte number and their profile would get updated accordingly.

2.) Barcode + RFID technology: foodAte recognises items scanned using both the barcode and RFID technologies which makes it compatible with a greater number of grocery stores which can use the program.

3.) Environment diagnostics: The app gives updates of shelf life for both fresh produce and packaged food. The expiry dates of packaged food are automatically picked up from the scanned information and updates to the user are delivered accordingly. However, for fresh produce, the app has been fed in with researched information regarding average shelf life of different food items. However, to make the updates more accurate, the app works alongside a built in thermostat which helps the app customise its alerts about the shelf life of fresh produce by monitoring the external environment in which it is kept. The app knows which food items are kept externally and which are stored in refrigerators (information fed in already). The user just needs to update their refrigerator settings in the app once, and from there on the app will consolidate data from external environment conditions for food kept externally and refrigeration conditions for others to deliver more accurate alerts.

4.) Customised recipes: The app has an option of delivering menu suggestions for each meal every day. These suggestions are composed of food ingredients which are closer to their expiry date. Moreover, to make the experience more personalised, the user has an option of feeding in to the app preferred food choices, items user is allergic to, and level of variety desired.

5.) Voice recognition system: To update the app, once a food item has been cooked, the user just speaks to the app in the format of <ingredient quantity> <ingredient name> to update the inventory list. The user does not even have to open the app. Simply, giving the command ‘foodAte’ followed by the quantity and name would suffice.

6.) Food Inventory: foodAte also serves as a grocery inventory system. Not only it helps the user reduce food wastage through avoiding spoilage, but it also helps them keep track of what items they need to buy.

With this state-of-the-art technology, foodAte is the closest system to having a smart kitchen assistant, fully aware of its responsibilities as a citizen who’s not living in a food wasting world.