mardi 11 janvier 2011

Ethical Shopping application for Android

To begin the year with ethical concerns, I developed an application for android that helps the consumer to choose the most ethical products while shopping.
The idea of the application is simple: whenever you decide to buy a product, in the mall for example, you use my application eShopper (e for ethical!) to scan the bar code of the product, and automatically the application will give you a score on a scale of 14 of the ethical behavior of the producing company. The score is fetched from the site and it is based on the behavior of the target corporate in the following domains:
   -Environment (Climate Change, Pollution & Toxics, Habitats & Resources..)
   -People (Human Rights, Workers' Rights, Irresponsible Marketing..)
   -Sustainability (Organic Product, Fairtrade product..)
   -Political activities 
 Here's some screen shots of the application:

There is a nice application in the market that offers a similar functionality: barcoo. barcoo is based on Rank a Brand, which obviously is website for ranking a brand, but based on the input of users and till now its database isn't big enough (cant find France Telecom for example!). This is why I prefered using the corporatecritic website, because their database is bigger and based on publications, communications, news...

Installation and usage

To install my app, you first have to install Bar code scanner app, because I use its library for scanning bar codes. Download eShopper from here and install it on your phone. To use it, just scan a product bar code, and wait for the results (you must have an internet connection of course!). When the results appear, verify that the found company in the title is the same one figuring in the bottom text.

Geeks Section:

eShopper uses Zxing library for scanning bar codes. I only limited bar codes to one line EAN codes found on most products. Once we have the results of the scan, I send the EAN code to GS1 website and parse the HTML response to get the name of the company that manifactured the product. Lets suppose I got "France Telecom Reseaux", then I send this string to corporatecritic and parse the response HTML to get the score. If I dont get the score at the first time, I retry with "France Telecom" and so on.. ( if  the app doesnt find "France Telecom", it will searches for "France" and will find unrelevant results, this is why the user has to verify that the found company in the bar code (title) corresponds to the company searched for (bottom text)).

I hope that you find the application useful, and I wish you a very ethical 2011! and don't hesitate to leave a feedback on the application in the comments.

Note well that the application will not be maintenained, it has been developped very fast (so might have some remaining bugs) and doesnt have any commercial purposes (otherwise it would be a freaky unethical ethical app  no?)

Achraf Souk

5 commentaires :

  1. Ashraf, me gusta!!

    Le seul problème c'est que tu peux juste faire le scanning du code du produit lorsque tu l'as déjà acheté... donc l'application ne t'aide pas trop à choisir un produit avant de l'acheter. Il faudra réflechir comment on peut le faire autrement... je vais penser

  2. Mais Non! tu scan le code bar du produit lorsqu'il est sur le linéaire, donc avant d'acheter!

  3. barcoos database is based on WeGreen and WeGreen uses Rank a Brand and 20 others. check

  4. Hey,
    Thanks, this is a useful app- I don't think another android app like that has been created yet (though I think ethical consumer are close). Have you thought about registering it on the Android market place so it is easier for others to find and download?

    p.s. Could do it for you if you didn't want to (would put it up for free/credit you/maybe work on developing it a bit more??)

  5. The link is now broken. Put it on android market!