My Extension Wish: Recipeasy

Monday, March 8, 2010 | 6:00 AM

Hi! I'm Anna Rose Kerr, a Kiwi and Google Wave user living in Sydney. Coming from a background in creative advertising, I see a lot of potential for Wave to make everyday tasks more efficient and enjoyable. Now, I want to share one of my ideas for how developers can make my own life easier.

Before I moved in with my boyfriend, I had no idea that making dinner could be such a complex problem. My normal approach of "eat whatever I feel like when I get hungry" does not compute with him, and thus we spend hours each day discussing what is for dinner that night. We have to factor in what's in the fridge that needs to be consumed, seasonal product, and which animal he currently feels sympathetic towards and won't eat. It often gets too complicated and we end up eating take-aways.

An ideal solution would be a cookbook extension that could do the math and come up with a recipe given all these variables, and I call that solution "Recipeasy." This extension would sit on a wave between you and your dinner guests, suggesting recipes using the ingredients you have and the foods you all like to eat.

First, the extension could insert a gadget that let users add lists of food items which they "have", "would like" or "would not like". Other users can click on these items to confirm they are a good choice or delete them from a list. The most popular ingredients have the greatest influence on the generated recipe suggestions. The extension could also include a robot that would scan the conversation for food items, and pull those out and insert them into the gadget. It would work off phrases such as "I can bring some..." or "yuck I don't like..." to place the various ingredients discussed into the right lists.

Recipeasy would automatically produce 3-5 of the top recipes based on your selections. Clicking on a recipe name within the gadget would open the recipe's own Wave. Here, you might find suggestions and tips from other Wavers who have already tried the recipe and you can add your own review. These "Recipeasy" waves form your own virtual cookbook, which would be easily accessible by searching "with:recipeasy".

There are some obvious businesses to partner with when making this extension — like supermarket chains which could offer to deliver the extra food needed to complete a recipe. Recipe sites or chefs could add to the Recipeasy database from their own repertoire and pull the Waver's comments back onto their site.

An extension like Recipeasy would make cooking so much easier by using food you already have (or getting what you don't have delivered) and taking the effort out of agreeing on a meal. While cooking may not appeal to you directly, just think — this could be the way you get your mother using Google Wave!