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Essex team creates top 10 app on Google Play

  • Date

    Fri 22 May 20

Somdip Dey

An app developed by University of Essex scientists to track food stocks during COVID-19 is now ranked in the top 10 free apps in the UK’s Google Play Store.

An app developed by University of Essex scientists to track food stocks during COVID-19 is now ranked in the top 10 free apps in the UK’s Google Play Store.

Nosh has also won the Best Mobile App Design award at the Best Mobile App Awards 2020. 

Nosh is ranked 8th for "Top New Free" apps in the Productivity category in the UK’s Google Play Store, and is ranked 887th among the millions of apps in the UK’s Apple App Store. The app has also received a lot of attention in India and the app is ranked at 732nd for free apps in the Apple App Store.

The app was created in response to the pandemic totally changing 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.

Computer scientists from the University’s School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering joined forces with colleagues in India to develop the free smartphone app capable of reminding households of the expiry date of the stocked items before they expire.

The nosh app was initiated by Somdip Dey and Anupam Ghosal, who met while working on a business idea at the StudioX start-up hub at the University.

"In the first week of our app release we already gained 300 active users and now in less than a month of its release we have crossed 1K combined active users on Android and iPhone,” said Somdip. “Feedback from our users of the nosh app has been very positive. In fact, in the beginning the feedback was quite overwhelming. Such positive responses reaffirmed my confidence in implementing state-of-the-art research in an applicative project like nosh to help people during this difficult time.”

The project team has now founded a tech start-up called Nosh Technologies with support from StudioX.

As Somdip’s research is focused on implementing artificial intelligence (AI) in mobile platforms for performance, efficiency and reliability, he will continue to develop the technology to enhance the app's user interface to improve the user experience.

“We have also developed an AI algorithm that is capable of reading texts with an accuracy of 80% on an average. This means we will soon be updating the app further to include a ‘scan receipt’ feature, which could be used to scan items from receipts rather than the user having type them into the app,” added Somdip.

Using AI, the app enables the users to track the expiry date of food items along with the user's buying and food waste habits, which enable the user to make an informed decision on what items to buy or not to buy. The user can plan their shopping in-app before they go out to buy the items. The user is also able to get recipe suggestions on the stocked items so they can utilise the items better before they expire.

The nosh team also includes Suman Saha, a computer engineering student from the University of Engineering and Management (UEM) in Kolkata, India and programming enthusiast Lakshya Gupta.