Energy Label Scanning function
ecoGator is the first app which can read and process data from the EU energy label by using a smartphone’s built in camera. Via the scan, the app calculates the electricity cost per year as well as for a given product lifetime (e.g. 10 years) of the respective product. The app offers a simple comparison tool for different products (e.g. fridges, A +++ resp. A+ class) evaluating total costs (purchase price and running costs for project lifetime) and provides an overview on key product features (capacity, efficiency class, noise, dimensions, etc.) to assist eco-conscious purchase decisions. In addition, the scan result translates in a traffic light rating system and signals an efficient appliance choice.
The required scan feature had to work for Android as well as iOS platforms. Besides the required image recognition, the functionality also needed to be able to read out text from an image in order to process calculations with the retrieved data.
Major strengths are:
· ecoGator provides full functionality even offline (if there is no active internet connection), no database query needed to match product data against efficiency criteria. Consumers can start any appliance selection immediately without any preceding evaluation of label efficiency classes.
· The app automatically detects the product category based on the label (layout) affixed to the interested appliance.
Hence ecoGator fills the current gap in the retail sector by providing up-to-date advice about energy efficient and sustainable purchase and use of products directly at the point of sale.