The world produces enough food to feed everyone in the world, yet nearly a billion people remain undernourished. Therefore, we created the ‘Give Your Calories’ mobile app for Action Against Hunger.
With Give Your Calories, you simply take a photo of a food product or scan its barcode, and the app automatically calculates and converts those calories into dollar values, which can then be donated. The app was launched by a special episode of EpicMealTime.
The iOS application we developed for this had to be able to recognize both barcodes and product types. We used two image recognition systems to make this happen. One focused only on the recognition of barcodes and one specialized in the general recognition of products. Thousands of products were captured and loaded into the image recognition database and even more visual descriptions of products were crowdsourced through the submissions of users.
Another service was used to convert these products into the amount of calories. As with the visual recognition API, more calories information was crowdsourced through submissions. The amount of calories was converted into a donation amount, which users were able to donate through the app using Paypal or credit cards.