This summer, Visa was a sponsor of the eMerge Hackathon in Miami. The event took place at the Wyncode Academy , a Miami coding bootcamp.
The Visa Challenge asked developers to create mind-blowing experiences to rapidly expand commerce by mashing Visa APIs with other technology and open APIs. Projects focused on IoT, VR and AR experiences for cardholders.
Team SilverLogic took home the Visa prize for building The RealDeal. The RealDeal app was created to enhance and augment the consumer shopping experience, the application finds exclusive deals around you powered by the Visa Offers Resource Center. Users simply scan a storefront or nearby location with their smartphones, once the RealDeal app recognizes your location it will display animated pop ups showing customers deals available at that location. The RealDeal App can also be used from home with Alexa, shoppers can ask Alexa to tell them deals from the merchants around their location.
We sat down with the team to learn more about them, their idea and what’s next.
Q: How did your team form?
The SilverLogic is a software engineering company in Boca Raton and we seek out hackathons to compete in. We have participated in eMerge now for the third time. It is one of the biggest, local hackathons. We participate as a company for team building exercise.
In the company we are structured in Scrum teams, but for the hackathon we are allowed to work with people from other Scrum teams so it allows us to get to know each other and work on something as a team. A hackathon is a really intense experience but it is really great to see how the teams are able to work together in 24 hours. Use as an opportunity for teams to compete but get out and build something using our creativity, try some new tools, try some new APIs.
For example, Apple’s ARKit was just released before the event so it was a fun experience to be like okay, let’s play with it here because on a day to day basis at work, we can’t do that but with events like this we can.
Q:How did you come up with your idea?
We read the description of the hackathon and what Visa was looking for which was AR, VR and IoT. So we looked through Visa APIs to see what can we do using AR because one of our team members just went to a session at WWDC about developing with ARKit and we thought it would be cool to play with that for a weekend so that’s why we went that direction.
The Visa Merchants Offers Resource Center fell in place as something we could use to augment. Because when you augment reality you still need data, the offers center was the most suitable. We also added an IoT component by integrating using Alexa. So we had both IoT and AR at the end of the hackathon.
Q: Who would you say the target audience of the project is?
Shoppers. Consumers who are looking for good deals and want to shop smart, looking for where they can save. Those would be the end users. But this solution would be integrated by a shopping mall for example, who would be the enabler, they would get merchants on-board which in turn would augment offers to end-users as they shop.
Q: How did Visa APIs elevate the AR experience?
Without the Visa Merchants Offers Resource Center (VMORC) API, RealDeal would not have been possible. The data from the VMORC API is used to build the AR offers users see as they scan merchant logos with the the app.
Q: What is next for the project?
Next we would work on improving the logo detection so that the offers still come up and are position correctly no matter what angle you point the phone’s camera.
Q: How was the overall experience?
It was awesome. We worked really great together as a team. We knew what we were building and went for it. Most of us didn’t really sleep, maybe took a little nap but for the most part worked straight through and were excited to be able to pitch and win at the end! Even just qualifying for finalists was exciting, both The SilverLogic teams got to finals, it was very cool that both teams made it that far.
Obviously winning made it even more exciting. We were able to see Steve Wozniak the next morning. We got our laptops and phones signed by him. A great prize.