Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Interactive Cook's Assistant

Inspired by Nomocrow's idea "my cooking indexes".
  [vote for,

This idea is for a website that users subscribe to, which requires the user to have a digital camera. A smartphone with a camera would be ideal for on-the-go reference, but any digital camera with a USB connection could probably work.

Whenever you shop for groceries, you scan the barcode on each product with the camera. I'm not sure if regular stand-alone digital cameras can do this, but there's an app out there for some smartphones that can do it. I use it myself. You do this *every* time you buy groceries. Each barcode you scan is later uploaded to the website, in your own personal inventory. For produce, you"ll need to manually select them from a dropdown list and enter the weight/quantity in a small text box to add it to your inventory. When you run out of something, scan the barcode on the empty container sideways. This deducts it automatically from your inventory. When you run completely out of something (ie, you've used all 4 bags of sugar that you'd scanned) it automatically adds it to a shopping list for you that you can print out, or just read from your phone.

The best part of this is that it always searches the internet for recipes that can be made with whatever ingredients you have in your inventory and stores them in a virtual cookbook for easy reference. Whenever you run out of or add new ingredients to your inventory, the recipes change accordingly. So no matter what you have in your kitchen, you can rest assured that you have what it takes to make whatever you find in this cookbook.

21 Quest, Jun 12 2009


       This reminds me of an idea I had a few years ago for kiosks in supermarkets. You'd scan any item or combination of items and it would give you recipes which you could print onto index cards.

       Are cell phones with bar code scanners becoming more common? About time. Though I guess pretty soon they'll need RFID readers.

       The RFID readers can potentially be built into cabinets/refrigerators (though maybe range is a problem). I like this idea in theory but I don't think it would work as currently stated because of the inconvenience of scanning everything. [+]
calculust, Jun 14 2009

       Wow. This would be the best thing ever. I would love to know what I have on hand using my iPhone. It would be cool if there were a picture file option for market produce (with image recognition?)
nomocrow, Jun 16 2009

       NC, have you seen the ShopSavvy app for the iPhone? I have it on my G1, it's the one I'm talking about. I'm fairly certain they have it for the iPhone, with the same name. Basically, this could be an extension of that app, a few slight modifications and a synchronized website.
21 Quest, Jun 16 2009

       Reanimate Dudley Moore?
zen_tom, Jun 17 2009


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