Mobile application developers have taken advantage of the American nutrition crisis by generating
thousands of applications to help uses manage their nutrition. Many of the applications that pertain
towards shopping generally display detailed information on an item or allow for suggestion/comparison
of items. However, they do not take into account the needs of multiple people over a series of days,
which I believe is the central problem of nutrition management in the grocery store. My project Balance
strives to solve this problem by presenting the nutritional contents of the aggregate items of a grocery
cart in a visual format that allows the user to clearly view the nutritional contributions of a grocery item towards their nutritional needs over a set period of time, and encouraging improvement on their selection of items by reminding them of their nutritional needs and nutritional achievements of their previous shopping trip.
Balance fulfills a gap in the application market that I believe is a failing point in many Americans’
nutrition habits: the grocery store. Although many apps already target nutrition and diet management,
they are generally meant for use by a single person. While balancing nutrition is difficult for a single
person, it becomes even more difficult when users are shopping in order to fulfill the nutritional needs of multiple people.
To fulfill this task, Balance leverages the features of the Android mobile platform (such as camera for
scanning, network access, and computation) to allow the user to easily input information. Balance will
seek to lighten the cognitive load of users while they shop so they can focus on their preferences and
decision-making between items. By abolishing the impossible task of tracking the myriad of nutrients
from the shopping process, Balance makes it easier for users to focus on buying items that are better
for their overall health.