CompetitiveAnalysis-DivyaBanesh

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Contents

Restatement of Group's Idea

My group's idea for an iPhone Application is a nutrition tracker (the idea from the group brainstorm page has been modified). We first came up with the idea of scanning the barcode from a product, then cross referencing that product to an online database to see if the product has any ingredients that we are allergic to. We want to also extend this idea to include help for people watching their intake of sugar, fats, calories, carbohydrates and fibers. For example, diabetics always need to be careful of their sugar intake. Using this application, the user can scan the barcode to know how much sugar is in each serving of the product and if it's healthy for your diet.

A link to my group's brainstorming page is here: http://vis.berkeley.edu/courses/cs160-sp10/wiki/index.php/GroupBrainstorm-Group:Epileptic_Eels

List of Related Applications

  1. iPhone Nutrition Description A Version of the iPhone App Online
  2. Mindful Description
  3. Diet Tracker Diabetic Description
  4. Restaurant Nutrition Description
  5. GoodFoodNearYou Description
  6. FoodScanner Description
  7. LiveStrong.com's Calorie Tracker Description
  8. Calorie Count Nutrition Search Description
  9. LoseIt! Description
  10. Food and Nutrition Description More Information

Analysis

iPhone Nutrition

In the iPhone Nutrition Application, the user enters in the product they want the nutritional information for, and the iPhone will find carbohydrate, fat, protein and calorie information about the product.

This application is targeted to anyone, anywhere who want to find out more nutritional information about the food product. Since the user just types in the name of a food, the user does not necessarily have to be at a restaurant or grocery store to use the application. Our application however, is targeted to shoppers in grocery stores, looking to buy certain products, wanting to limit consumption of certain ingredients.

There are several benefits to using this application. A user can just type in a food, like "celery" and get a list of many different types of celery (cooked, raw, dried, etc.). Then, after briefly browsing though a list of products with that ingredient, one click on any of the products will show calorie, fat, carbohydrate and protein information. Our idea improves on this application because it pinpoints the product the user is looking for more closely. For example, when I typed in "celery" to the online version of this iPhone application, I got 11 different results. However, with our iPhone application, since we use the barcode, we can pinpoint the food to just one result. Also, through our iPhone application, the user can input what nutritional values they need from a product and the application will automatically tell them whether the product matches their specifications. There will be no need to read the data and figure out if the product is good for you, how many servings equal how many calories, etc. Also, our application will also help people who are careful about food allergies determine if this product has an ingredient they are allergic to. One of the major challenges in usability of the iPhone Nutrition is the fact that if the user types in an ingredient, they usually get 10-20 different results for their query. Also, the results are not organized logically. For example, when I searched "tomato", the listing for "raw tomato" was towards the end of the list rather than the beginning, which would have been more logical. With our application, this will not be a problem because instead of many results, the barcode will allow for one result for each search.

Mindful

In the Mindful iPhone Application, users can specify their personal information and weight goals, and use the application's built-in food database (and the ability to add items) to specify their daily calorie intake limits.

The target user group for this application are people who want to watch their calorie intake and lose weight. This application is geared towards people on a diet while the target user group for our application is shoppers who want to stay healthy and watch their nutritional intake.

Through the Mindful application, users can customize and maintain their calorie intake according to their personal information. This is very useful to a user limiting their calories but it does not help users who want to limit fat, sugar or carbohydrate consumption. Our application allows users to limit their calorie intake by helping them make good choices right at the store and it also helps people looking to limit consumption of things besides just calories. The usability of this product is simple and easy since the user can input their personal data in the beginning and get day to day specifications as they move through their diet plan. However, it is different from our application because the focus of our application is whether the food fits the user's diet and the focus of Mindful is for the user to watch their weight.

Diet Tracker Diabetic

In the Diet Tracker Diabetic Application, diabetics can track their glucose levels and use the built-in, editable food database to keep track of their glucose, cholesterol, fat and calorie intake.

The target user group for this application is diabetics who want to keep track of their fat, calorie and most importantly, glucose levels. This differs from the target user group of our application because although our application has a special feature to help diabetics limit their glucose consumption, it can also be used by users who want to limit other aspects of their diet. Also, the Diet Tracker Diabetic can be used anywhere, whether it be at home or in a restaurant, to calculate the effects of the meal the user is going to eat. Our application works as a preemptive application because it allows the user to check important information at the store, before they buy, rather than after. One major functionality of this application is that it shows the diabetic plots of their data and lets them analyze their statistics visually. Although this is a vital part of this application, it does not relate to our application since our application is not a measurement of progress but a helpful hand at the store.

Resturant Nutrition

In the Restaurant Nutrition iPhone Application, users can pick among 37 popular American food chains, pick an item of the resturant's menu and check the nutritional information at that food.

The target user group for this application are people who eat out at restaurants frequently. Users who travel a lot or eat out on a regular basis can make sure that they are eating healthy options and maintaining nutritional balance. The target user group for this application differs from our application because the target user group for our application are food shoppers at the grocery store. However, they both get nutritional information for the food they are looking to consume.

This application is very useful for travelers looking for healthy options. They can use their GPS location to find nearby restaurants and choose the best option for their diet. This application is also useful because it can keep track of the foods the user has eaten, allowing the user to make healthy choices for the next meal, or to be lax about their diet for one evening. One functionality problem about this product is that the nutritional information is limited the the database available. Our application does not have this problem because every food item in America has a barcode, and with a barcode, nutritional information about that product can be found. One usability feature of this application is that it can be used online or offline, because the database is downloaded onto the iPhone. Although our application can not provide the same feature due to the overwhelming number of products that have bar codes, it can provide a local database so that products that have been looked at recently will be saved in case the phone gets disconnected temporarily.

GoodFoodNearYou

In the GoodFoodNearYou Application, users can use their GPS location to find healthy restaurant choices nearby.

The target user group for this application are users who are going out to eat at a restaurant and want to eat healthy options. Although the target user group is different from our application, both applications provide similar information - nutritional facts about food. Our application goes one step further by checking the food with the user's profile and letting the users know how healthy it is for their diet.

This application is useful for a traveler who might not know of restaurants nearby or for locals who just want to find the best options. The application allows the user to sort the results of close by restaurants by closest location or by lowest fat, letting them chose which is most important. They can also sort menu items from different restaurants, allowing them to make sure they are making the best choice. It also gives them complete nutritional information about the food. Our application is similar to this because it also gives the user full nutritional information about their food, and if a product is not best for your diet, our application can also make recommendations, about similar products that might suit your needs better. The hindrance of this application is that the search is limited to the local database or the quality of the results of the search a user might make. Also, if the local database is outdated, the user might be getting incorrect information. This is not an issue with our application because the search results will come from an online, regularly updated databases, from sources such as the FDA.

Food Scanner

In the Food Scanner iPhone Application, users can scan the barcode from a product, get nutritional information about the product and maintain a calorie count of their diet.

This application is useful to shoppers who are looking for nutritional information about a product and want to limit their calorie consumption. This application allows the user to scan the barcode of a product, find nutritional information about the product, and add the food to their daily calorie log if they eat it. Our application has a very similar target group, except instead of specializing the application to users who are limiting their calories, it gives the user the versatility to control different aspects of their nutrition, such as carbohydrates or glucose. Our application improves on this application because it allows the user to pick different aspects of their diet that they want to watch, or a combination of several factors, instead of just calories.

LiveStrong.com's Calorie Tracker

In the LiveStrong.com's Calorie Tracker iPhone Application, users can look at calorie and nutritional information for over 500,000 foods and check to see if they can eat it for their particular diet.

The target audience for this application is people who are looking to go on a diet or watching their calorie consumption. This target audience differs from the target audience of our iPhone application but they are both geared towards people who want to maintain good nutrition.

This application lets the user keep track of their eating habits and exercise routines all in one place. This makes it easier for the user to analyze their calorie consumption as well as check out nutritional information about a food before they eat it. It also lets them type in new foods that they might not know about to find nutritional information about it. However, several users online have written that it has been difficult to query for items they are searching for. This is not an issue with our application because using a barcode, users can find items more specifically than using text search methods. Also, this application is for users who count calories but provides no support for users who want to count carbohydrates or glucose levels. This is also not an issue with our application since the user will be able to chose the type of diet they want to regulate.

Calorie Count Nutrition Search

In the Calorie Count Nutrition Search BlackBerry Application, users can use About.com's huge database to search for nutritional information about a food before they eat.

The target user group for this application is people who are out of reach of a computer and want to check nutritional information about a food item before they eat it. This target group crosses over the target group for our application because shoppers can use this application when they are shopping. However, this will be inconvenient because shoppers will need specific information about a specific brand, not general information about the product. Specific information about a brand can only be obtained by using the barcode of the product, like our application does. However, the application allows for users to watch how much calories they consume and keep an eye on the nutrition of their diet. However, one issue with usability is that they need to query their item on About.com, and if the results are not specific enough, there might be problems with the accuracy of the information.

LoseIt!

In the LoseIt iPhone Application, users can find nutritional information about products, and cross reference it with their dietary plans to lose weight.

The target user group for this application are people who want to lose weight and keep track of their diet. This target group is not the same as the target group for our application but it can be used for similar results.

Many users of the LoseIt! application have commented on it easy of usability and it's large database of products and their nutritional information. The application allows users to set goals for their diet and use the nutritional information provided about foods they want to eat to make healthy choices. Although our application does not have a goal for users, it serves a similar purpose of letting the users choose the healthiest options available. Our application uses a larger database and is more specific because users find the nutritional information about a specific item rather than a general product.

Food and Nutrition

In the Food and Nutrition iPhone Application, users can find more information about what foods are good for their health. They can look up information about antioxidants, or vitamins to become more knowledgeable about the best foods for their diet.

The target user group for this application are people who want to learn more about food and nutrition before they go out to buy things. Users can also take this application on the go, and query information when they need more nutritional information. The target group for this application is broader than that of our application but includes the target group of our application. Shoppers can use this application to find out more information about products they want to buy. The limits of this application is that the user only gets as much information as is in the database. Also, a user can just search information about vitamins or fiber on the internet and thus, this application does not become very useful. This is not an issue with our application because our application is built to search for information about individual products and is customized to the user.


Summary

There are several things about iPhone and other phone applications that already exist. For example, there are many programs to track calories and keep track of a user's workout schedule to lose weight and be healthy. There are also several applications to find nutritional facts about a restaurant's menu that is nearby. There are also some applications that keep track of a diabetic's glucose intake. However, there is only one other application that uses a barcode to find nutritional information about a specific product. Also, our application differs from this application (Food Scanner) because it allows the user to analyze aspects of their diet other than just calories. Users can specify information about allergies they have, glucose levels they have to maintain, carbohydrate levels they have to stay under, etc. Our application is definitely unique.



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