Terrabeasts is an app that lets you keep a virtual pet in your phone. You can feed it by taking photos of real food, which is then identified by Clarifai’s food recognition model. Depending on what you feed your Terrabeast, it will grow into … well, a beauty or a beast, naturally!

Remember the Tamagotchi craze? If you do, congrats, you’re old like us. If you don’t, sorry, kids – affordable housing and healthcare aren’t the only things you’ve missed out on (too soon?)! Terrabeasts are like Tamagotchis (which are like virtual pets, you plebe) in your phone, except you can feed them “real” food! Just take a photo of food in real life and watch your Terrabeast chow down. Based on the food’s “sustainability score,” your Terrabeast will evolve and grow according to its diet.

WHY WE ❤ IT

We love it when developers build apps that are not only fun and creative (not to mention stinking adorable!), but are also secretly teaching users a life lesson. By assigning a “sustainability score” to the food users feed to their Terrabeasts, this app is gently making users more aware of their environmental impact. “Like” Terrabeasts on Facebook and learn more about this amazing project!

HOW YOU DO IT

We caught up with Alex Zaman, software engineer at ZocDoc and one of the creators of Terrabeasts, to talk about his team’s inspiration for Terrabeasts.

Clarifai: What inspired your idea for Terrabeasts?

Alex: We wanted a way for people to get emotionally engaged in the way their food choices were impacting the environment. Presenting the information through a cute pet offered a way to teach people without being pedantic.

How did you build the app?

Designs were created through adobe products and Invision. The backend was an API server created through flask and loaded onto amazon.

What was the best part about working with the Clarifai API?

The Clarifai API was extremely straightforward and having a list of pre-created models was extremely helpful to get started without having to do massive amounts of training on the AI.

Thanks for sharing, Alex!

To learn more, check out our documentation and sign-up for a free Clarifai account to start using our API – all it takes is three lines of code to get up and running! We’re super excited to share all the cool things built by our developer community, so don’t forget to tweet @Clarifai to show us your apps.

And give Terrabeasts some props in the comments below. Until next time!