The Theory of Digital Selection
How developers are producing innovative digital retail solutions at the One iota Hackathon 2018
In today’s high street, there has never been a more relevant time for the “adapt or die” approach, with the online predators becoming more and more appealing to consumers, with their widely accessible product ranges. But this definitely does not mean the end of brick and mortar shopping. In fact the demand for a physical retail environment is still high, with articles from people such as Retail Dive highlight the fact that the majority of shoppers still want to try on products in store before they buy them. So is it possible to bring more of the virtual into the reality? At One iota we believe so.
We work hard every day to provide our customers with the best digital retail solutions, but once a year our team set aside their daily work and come together from across the country for one specific reason, the One iota Hackathon.
One the 6th September 2018, 9 teams went head to head in a retail Hackathon, a competition designed to let the creativity of our staff run wild as they aim to produce the best innovative customer service solutions. Developers, designers and project managers identified a potential gap in the current retail market, whether that be augmented reality mirrors, real time shopping or a whole range of other technological advances, and spent 2 days developing a prototype to present and demonstrate.
Allowing developers to put aside their day to day tasks for a few days and creatively explore new ways of interacting with a consumer base can create some incredible advances in retail technology, as proven last week. In fact previous Hackathon ideas have been developed into products at One iota and are now being pitched to our customer base.
Observing the competition get underway, I can only describe the atmosphere as ‘determined’, with a beautiful display of teamwork and support. It was clear that everyone was striving to build something exceptional. We were also lucky enough to be joined by Google, who kindly agreed to assist our developers in utilising the Google Cloud Platform in their projects.
Judging of the projects was split into two awards, the first being “Judge’s Choice”. This year as well as our own Operations Director, Paul Aspden, we had the pleasure of welcoming Paul Glover in charge of Enterprise Cloud Sales and Vik Kumar, local business owner of fashion company, Nothing New 2 Wear, to the judging panel.
Basing the vote on the idea presented, technology utilised and demonstration of their product, the judges decided that Oi, you! came up with the winning idea, a reactive kiosk which detects when users approach or walk past the device, in order to increase engagement with the technology. Glover praised all the teams for their dedication and enthusiasm towards the project and as an end user, Kumar could visualise implementing every single idea into a real life application.
For the first year ever we were also joined by students and apprentices from local colleges and businesses, to provide us with a fresh outlook when building projects, but also allowing the students to participate in bringing innovative ideas to real life commercial use. The students thoroughly enjoyed participating in the event and we look forward to welcoming many more in the years to come.
With the competition progressing year on year and the ideas becoming more and more ambitious, it is easy to see how useful the Hackathon is becoming for One iota, confirmed by Paul Aspden who stated that he wouldn’t ‘ever see it going away’.
If you’re a student and looking to participate in the One iota Hackathon 2019, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org