Midterm Ideas


Midterm ideas:


I haven’t been incredibly successful with the homework assignments thus far, but learning about what we’re able to do with the technology has inspired me to think of ideas! I will outline some now.


1)    Zero-waste cooking app.

This certainly be for everyone, but I think there’s a better way to plan for weekly/bi-weekly meals and grocery lists. The few times in my life where I was good at planning, I still found that I always had wasted food at the end of the shopping cycle. As waste is a huge issue right now, I’d like to try to address that with a cooking app that focuses on zero waste.


From my research, the app “Big Oven” (http://www.bigoven.com/mobile) is the current closest app to what I hope to achieve. It boasts over 350,000 apps, lets you input what you need to use up in your fridge and offers recipe suggestions, and compiles a grocery list based on a weekly planner. So, it’s not too far away with my idea. The biggest difference though is I want to create something that begins with the goal of minimizing waste, and everything else is an add-on to that.


The app will ask you how many meals you want to make in a given amount of time. Then, based on that, you will select a certain amount of recipes. I’m not exactly sure the amount, but I’ll roughly guess if you want to shop for 8 meals in a week, you will select 4 you’d like to make, and based on preferences of the foods you like, the algorithm will fill in the blanks of the remaining 4 meals, with the goal of zero waste. Each recipe will have a plethora of meta tags, and also alternative ingredients to make them as diverse as possible.


This app could eventually grow and gain functionality. Inspired by the Foursquare model, it could learn your shopping behaviors and suggest other recipes it thinks you’d like. It would also obviously be able to prepare shopping lists, and, in an eventual world, potentially send that off to the grocers for preparation or delivery. That introduces the issue of packaging however, so that idea would need to be addressed before being seen through.


It’s a project that consists of many layers of complexity, but it would start, for a midterm project, with a limited amount of local menu options, and an ability to round out the materials. The interface would be the most important to tackle in the next couple of weeks.


2)    “Hey you’re near me!” App

Though this has much less complexity than the previous idea, it is jumping ahead in terms of what’s covered in the semester, but upon learning iPhones can be beacons themselves, to show the possibilities of how intrusive it can be, I wanted to make my phone a beacon and walk around, and anyone with beacons enabled will get a notification that says “Hi, I’m Shaun and you’re near me, download my app to learn more!” You could then download the Shaun app and learn about me: jobs, interests, education, etc. I don’t want this to exist for long, I just want to experiment if it’ll creep people out. I would be to just raise awareness about what will happen as more people can push content to consumers. And it’s a different way to try to meet girls.

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