I think (fingers crossed) it’s finally done! I’ve set up a page to demo online for people to see and it measures the values of Heinz Beef Ravioli. The Android app scans the product, directs the user to this page, brings in the data from the database and displays the relevant information.
You can also download our app here:
While researching, Sam came across a table with how long it takes to burn off calories doing various sporting activities. This I think is a great feature and has been added to the database as well as the table.
I also managed to get a product working, so I went out and bought some items to test this with and has no problems as yet.
We have decided on an official, non-chocolate bar related name on ‘FoodScannAR+’ as it will be scanning food, it would be augmented reality if we have time to put this information around it using a web app and the plus is there for no reason.
We wanted our webpage to be something more than just text and numbers, so we took inspiration from this infographic:
This infographic is easy to understand so we wanted to emulate it in some way. I found a nice jQuery library (cue countless jQuery YouTube tutorial videos) which is exactly what I need to make it more visually interesting.
I think the use of graphical information is important as it will set itself apart from other similar apps.
To add more difference from this and other apps, we decided on some categories which are as follows:
- Daily Allowance
- Health Effects
- Source of products
Scott has decided to take another approach and is using Processing instead so I was left to finish the Android app myself. It took a couple of days in all day but I think I managed to get it to work and so have now installed it on my phone. It has replaced my original barcode scanner which is nice as I can still use it to scan QR codes. This will make a nice unexpected ‘extra feature’.
As we have heard nothing back from any of the people we called, the research was lacking results and a panic induced midnight trip to the library to look through law journals to find anything that might have come up, we have decided to stick with healthy diet, but enhance this part of our original idea. The immaterial aspect of the project will hopefully add another layer of information to users with dietary requirements/needs.
After a few hours yesterday of using Eclipse for some reason all our libraries now refuse to work and we had no idea why. As we found out several hours in, we needed to make sure the SDK was set to Android 2.3, not 2.2. This was a large setback.
Sam has also started constructing our database and was able to use some basic lines of php to bring in values from the page.
As our projects are similar in the fact we all need to barcode scanner that searches our database, we joined part forces with Scott Addelsee to try and crack the Android app. We were using Eclipse but we didn’t get too disheartened and started adapting the code as we saw fit. We started by changing what the Google Shopper part of the app did as it already pulled in the barcode value (upc) and placed it in a predefined URL which was what we wanted.
While testing this app the barcode we are using to test was a Kit Kat Chunky wrapper and so as we don’t have a name for this yet it shall be henceforth knows as ‘Kit Kat Project’, until a better name arrives.
Database is up and ready to be filled with information which is a good start considering I haven’t touched databasing since first year. I’m also taking some online YouTube classes on PHP to brush up on my skills.
Note: Still waiting on anyone to call me back L
We decided to use an Android app to scan the barcode and as I didn’t want to code one from scratch we decided on adapting an existing one. The Zxing Google Barcode Scanner is the one I personally use and is the highest downloaded from that category. To boot it was completely open source!
I also have begun work on designing the interface. Sam is taking care of the research side of this and I am concentrating in putting it together at the moment so I have put that to one side for now. I’ve created space and databases on my web server which should be more than enough to store any information we need.
After waiting a few days for people to get back to me, I tried a different approach and called The Independent and left another message and then The Guardian which didn’t have anything for me so I tried Which? as well and left another message. Finding this is becoming rather irritating.
I decided not to get down and concentrate on something I can get i.e. the nutritional information side. I found that Tesco had an open source API and began looking through it to get it to work.
Today I just called around various companies (Nestle, ADSA, Coleman’s) to find out any details like cost of ingredients in comparison to how much they sell it for. Unfortunately all of them refused to give me any information over the phone and told me everything public they had was on their corporate website which had insufficient information for what I was looking for.
I then search for ‘food news investigators’ online and found agra-net.com who I couldn’t get hold of, but left a message with my details.
I started work on the web page interface for our project. It’s coming along, but it’s been a while since I had done any web design whatsoever let alone making sure it was mobile compatible. I used Fennec which emulates Firefox Mobile for Android (my primary phone browser) so I could see how it looked. So far it’s coming along slowly but surely.
We also after a group discussion decided to focus on both health effects and finding negative press for these products. Our mission statement is as follows:
This app is designed to show you the stuff manufactures don't put on the label of their products.
After chatting with Gianni, he reminded us that we needed to think of a problem first, and then come up with a solution after. Taking this on, we came up with some problems that we could use, while still keeping in the theme of QR and barcodes.
Here are our notes from our brainstorm:
Problems to solve & answers with project:
- Some products travel too far across the world to arrive in shops, causing more CO2 to pollute the atmosphere.
- Show how far products have travelled
- Show alternative, more local product
- CO2 saved
- People can pick up fatty foods by accident in supermarkets
- Show all calories, fats, sugars, etc. info
- Find healthier product
- Packaging effect on environment
- Is it recyclable?
- If you recycle, how much are you saving the planet?
- Cheaper & Greener product?
- Price comparison
- Not recycling, want CO2 heavy product. How can I help another way?
- Plant a tree?
- What’s popular in your area? How eco-friendly are people in your area?
- Leader board?
- Radar chart visualisation
- Facebook/Twitter integration
- News related to product
- Negative production?
- iPad in China…
For our final project of this module, I teamed up with Sam Stein and was told to make a project that would display the immaterial. We had a brainstorm of ideas in the first week and decided QR codes and barcodes might be fun to play with.
Both of these technologies all are a link to information and are already widespread around the world, so we wanted to make use of that. Here are our notes from the first session:
- Where it’s come from
- People that also like it
- On social networks
- Around you
- Where it’s come from
- How much it cost to make
- People that also like it
- On social networks
- Around you
Here is our final image for this project. The blue circles in the image represent Wi-Fi spots and their size correlates to the strength of the signal measured on my phone. We also used red and yellow blocks to represent the busier areas of Drake Circus. Yellow for mildly busy, and red for busy. These results were collected upon two visits to Drake Circus; once on a Thursday afternoon and once on the following Saturday early afternoon.
This module paired us with some second and third year Architecture students and were given a lecture by their lecturer who talked about mapping spaces by defining important areas by objects and the use of people in ‘the space’.
Our assignment is to use Drake Circus as the area to map out with the immaterial objects. In our group, we decided to map the Wi-Fi in the area.