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Re data entry: was thinking this through a lot recently. Basically what I'd like to build requires either (1) product recognition vision like Google Lens offers, or (2) a barcode scanner and an extensive barcode product database. Both can be combined of course.

My solution would be to read frames from a smartphone's camera until a barcode is detected. This can be achieved with eg Firebase ML, on-device. If a barcode database lookup gives a product, put it on the in/out list. If not, send the frame to a product recognition vision service. This could be Google Cloud Vision AI, but they don't give you access to their product set that backs Google Lens.

Finally, provide controls to adjust the number of items on the in/out list

I thought about OCRing supermarket receipts too but these differ so greatly in layout etc. per country I figured it's not the way to go

Edit: Problem you run into as not all of this can be done on-device is privacy concerns of coursem just my thoughts on what interface I'd like to have






The 'Open Food Facts' and 'Open Product Data' projects could be of interest for barcodes:

https://world.openfoodfacts.org/

https://product-open-data.com/

I just tested Product Open Data using the barcode from a can of Coconut Milk from my cupboard, and it returned the correct product (including a photograph) and the name of the brand and their owner.

Edit: updated to add Open Food Facts, given that Open Product Data appears no-longer-maintained


Yeah tried it with a variety of products. It doesn't know about enough products, makes entry unreliable. Think of utmost importance here is that the entry works very reliably, if I have to fallback to manual entry on every fifth product, that sucks

If you contribute to Open Food Facts though, you're helping contribute to the database, making it better for everyone. An API to contribute directly from the app would make that super awesome.

Hmm, yep. That's a problem, especially if there isn't a straightforward way to contribute missing products and corrections.

Do you know of any alternative data sources?

Edit: since writing these comments, I've learned that Product Open Data may be unmaintained[0].

[0] - https://discuss.okfn.org/t/can-we-resurrect-product-open-dat...


Yep it's unmai rained and I couldn't find any good alternatives. Which is why I put the whole grocery tracking thing on hold. Barrier here is the lack of accessible data for me

That's a shame. Let's hope better alternatives exist and/or develop :)

I did try Open Food Facts[0] which correctly identified the same product for me -- and allows anyone to enter missing products, a bit like Wikipedia.

User /u/homarp mentions[1] an app which can integrate Open Food Facts with Grocy.

[0] - https://world.openfoodfacts.org/

[1] - https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22648741


There is also Food Data Central and Nutritionix

Unless you can build a system that can identify the product as fast as you can pull it out or put in in the fridge or pantry, without holding a phone in one hand, it will be unusable.

Have you tried Google Lens? It offers an experience I'd tolerate, given that one finds a way to remove the need to tap the screen …

"I thought about OCRing supermarket receipts too but these differ so greatly in layout etc. per country I figured it's not the way to go"

People usually shop at the same places and the same things, so they could identify the products in the receipts once and then only update the new ones. Also,You could crowdsource it.


Yep but I was looking for a turnkey solution. What you describe are workarounds. I tried several grocery management apps, and a lot of these did just that: Prompt me for data when a barcode did not result in a matched product. This is not the experience I personally tolerate and am looking for. For an app to get integrated in my grocery shopping, product identification needs to work seamlessly and reliably



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