Wiki-site + barcode scanner app — Tools to help you avoid bad stuff already in the store
- Over 175 dangerous chemicals found in food packaging: Substances are linked to cancer, fertility and birth defects
- One third of the greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture and food production
- ...(you could probably expand this list better than me)
Basically the idea consists of two parts:
- A wiki site where products are stored under their barcode number. This will hopefully describe the product in a less biased way than the manufacturers own description of it.
- A Barcode-Scanner-App (shopper-app) which means that shoppers can scan the products, and can already in the store read this information.
Using wikipedia:Mediawiki (which is used for wikipedia etc) for the wiki software.
The scanner app
The idea is that the scanner-app scans the code, say 123456789, the app adds it a url to something like http://wikiproductia.org/123456789 and opens it in a browser.
When finished reading the shopper hits the back button and can immediately scan the next item.
Here is the apps that I've tested so far (june 2016):
Apps that can be used (as described above):
- Barcode scanner from ZXing (Zebra Crossing)
- "QR Reader for iPhone" (TapMedia Ltd)
Apps that can not be used:
The drawback with a stock scanner is that they aren't as streamlined as they could be. The shopper has to enter the url in the settings, and they offers lots of other functionality and buttons that I see a small risk of confusion, errors and frustration among new users.
If one's going to develop a custom app, I searched for "android barcode scanner library" and "iphone barcode scanner library" and there are several "programming libraries" that seem well embraced.
After a little bit or research: barcode_scanner_web_app, I've unfortunately found that the technology isn't mature yet (as of September 2015). The problem is that on most devices the camera would only work with fixed focus (not auto focus which is needed at close range).
As for myself (Magnus Andersson) developing streamlined apps:
I have no experience with iPhone apps and only very little experience of Android apps so I don't intend to commit myself there.
Someone might say that lobbyists might take over the wiki-site, but then anyone can set up a new wiki-site and copy the content, and the shoppers can switch to whichever wiki they trust the most.
- http://openfoodfacts.org A similar site for food products