Recently we had an opportunity to speak with Somdip Dey, the Co-Founder & CEO at Nosh Technologies about nosh
Please share with us the backstory of what motivated you to create this app.
The COVID-19 outbreak has totally changed most people''s food buying habits - from stockpiling groceries in the early weeks of the crisis to shopping less often, at different times and in different ways. This has meant households run the risk of having more food waste as they adapt to new shopping routines. To respond to this challenge, computer scientists from the University of Essex, UK collaborated with colleagues from University of Engineering and Management (UEM) in Kolkata, India to develop an Artificial Intelligence powered food management app for Android and iOS.
"When the COVID-19 crisis started, we were no different from anyone else affected by the pandemic. Everyone started to overbuy food as they wanted to isolate and practice social distancing. However, the biggest issue faced was managing a lot of food items in the fridge, especially the ones which have short expiry dates. So, as scientists and engineers the best thing we could do is to develop an app to help others during this tough time and solve this issue."
What features do you hope to roll out to your app in the future?
In the near future, we are releasing very special updates where the user can scan the receipt of the bought items and that can easily import all the bought products in the app. We are also going to inform the regional and global food waste statistics on individual products such that the user can be conscious of food waste habits in general. The nosh will also suggest intelligent recipes based on the bought items using an AI algorithm to effectively use the bought food products and reduce food waste even further. Another feature which will be released very soon is a way to share the shopping list with friends and family in case the need be.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of the creation of this app?
Our user is our primary focus. We ultimately developed nosh to help society to reduce food waste at an individual level. When we hear from our user on how nosh is helping them in a positive way, we are thrilled. So, users' positive feedback has been the most rewarding aspect of the creation of nosh.
That being said, in our first month of release we gained more than 300 active users and currently, we have more than 2K active users who love using our app daily. Winning the Best Mobile App Design award also contributed to gaining more users and at the same time provides confidence to our customers in our excellence in app development.
What is the coolest or most innovative feature of your app?
The coolest and most innovative feature of our app has to be the in-app AI algorithm that keeps track of the user's food buying and wasting habit so that the user can make an informed decision on what food products to buy or not to buy the next time to optimize food waste in the household.
What surprised you most in your journey to create this app?
Not all users interact with an app in the same way. Moreover, not all users love the same features that an app can have. It is very difficult to develop an app which can please everyone. So, for a food management app like nosh, which is purposed to be used by everyone, needs to be designed and feature-rich in such a manner that it can cater for most users' need if not all in the best possible way.
Sometime you will find users who will disagree or not like a particular feature of your app. But that is fine. Don't get disheartened if that happens to your app as well. Think of it as an opportunity to learn from your user to improve your app. This knowledge came to us during and after the development of our app and this was kind of a surprise since we didn't anticipate this from the beginning.
Which other mobile apps or technology have inspired you?
This has to be Whisk - cooking app, which has a clean and sophisticated user interface (UI). Although their app model, business and offered features are very different from our nosh, however, the look of nosh is inspired by the UI of Whisk.
Do you have any recommendations or advice for others wanting to create a mobile app?
The user always comes first in business, even in app development. So, listen to your users and the community for which you are developing the app. Try to get constructive feedback from the community as much as possible before developing an app. Just because something is cool and easy to develop but has no market then there is no point in wasting time and energy to develop such an app. However, if you know your market and what features your users want then it could significantly improve your development time and optimize your development resources. So, always do your research before developing our app.
That being said, don't forget to dream big as well and innovate. Simply don't copy others to get a slice of the market. Instead, develop something that will lead the market.
How did you decide which platforms to release your app on and do you plan on releasing your app to other platforms?
Without a doubt, the smartphone market is dominated by iOS and Android. According to IDC Corporate's report, Android holds an 85.4% share of the smartphone market in 2020, whereas, iOS holds a 14.6% share of the same market. Moreover, in the Android space, Google Play Store is the key platform to download Android apps. It is without a doubt that being an app developer you don't develop an Android app because that would mean that you potentially lose a huge chunk of the smartphone app market if you don't develop an Android app.
On the other hand, to publish app in Android with Google Play Store you just have to pay a one time fee of $25 and you are good to go. However, if you want to publish an app with Apple App Store for iOS development then you have pay a year $99 fee. So, if you are a first-time developer then definitely go for Google Developer program and publish your app in the Play Store to capture the majority of the smartphone app market as your potential customer. However, if you do have the extra money then don't hesitate to enrol for the Apple Developer program as well and release your app for iOS platforms.
How is your app different than the rest of the market? Which unique need does it fill?
The nosh app is capable of reminding households of the expiry/best buy date of the stocked items before they expire.
We are the first in the market to also develop an in-built Artificial Intelligence algorithm that keeps track of the user's food buying and wasting habit so that the user can make an informed decision on what food products to buy or not to buy the next time to optimize food waste at home. Moreover, the app also suggests recipes to the user on the bought items such that the user can enjoy their bought products with variety. The nosh also offers in-app shopping list planning so that the user can effectively plan for the food products that they want to buy.
We are also delighted to win the prestigious Best Mobile App Design award since it actually instils confidence in our research and engineering. The whole app starting from the app design to features are backed by research, which is performed at the University of Essex. The user interface of the app, which can keep the user more engaged, is supported by our hours' long research study and it feels good to be recognized for that by being awarded the Best Mobile App Design.
You can view nosh here
For more information, visit: https://nosh.tech/