Looking back at the mPOS Hackathon
This articles was contributed by the organising team of the mPOS Hackathon.
The first mPOS Hackathon took place during this year’s MPE in Berlin – Europe’s largest payment conference. indoo.rs, a technology company specialising in indoor localisation, and payworks, a provider of a mobile payment platform, co-hosted this event to open up a world of exciting opportunities for the future of the Point of Sale. While payment experts and executives were attending panel discussions and speeches at the main stage of the conference, more than 20 developers and designers gathered in a separate room to hack the PoS.
Right after a brief introduction to the technologies and the formation of teams, the creative minds of the contestants came up with disruptive ideas and the hacking began instantly. The time frame was 24 hours and the mission was to prove that innovation can be achieved in very limited time, if you have the right technology as a basis. So both indoo.rs and payworks provided the teams with their SDKs, platform APIs to fulfil their task. Various hardware such as payworks card readers, iPads, Android tablets, and also a Google Glass was provided by the hosts and sponsors of the mPOS Hackathon. Bluetooth BLE beacons were placed at the venue and its surroundings for indoor positioning and navigation.
Throughout the night there were some serious programming and designing going on – and the results were stunning prototypes. The teams and solutions were:
Team “Polontech” presented an mPOS solution with integrated global loyalty programme and indoor location. They developed an app which allows you to enter a venue like a shopping mall and with just five clicks find, say, the next Starbucks and buy coffee.
Team “PaySEPA” introduced a smart way to bill or pay invoices by scanning a QR code with Google Glass.
Team “Self-Checkout” provided a clever self-checkout solution for customers of local retailers. With the developed app the customer can scan a barcode, receive more information about the product and check out himself by paying via the app.
Team “Customind” presenting a way to empower retail shops to use the data mining capabilities of e-commerce. Via indoor navigation the merchant can recognise how long a customer stands in front of a product and therefore customise the service and send a sales assistant if necessary.
Team “Pocket Bitcoin ATM” introduced a portable Bitcoin ATM with an Android phone and a Miura Shuttle Chip&PIN card reader.
The final presentations were taking place at the main stage of the MPE conference and each team was given four minutes to pitch their idea to the jury and audience. The jury consisted of: Johannes Lechner, payworks Head of Product, Bernd Gruber, COO of indoo.rs, André M. Bajorat, well-known blogger and co-founder of figo and Andrew Veitch, Director at Anthemis Group. The audience chose their winner via the MPE conference app.
Team “Self-Checkout” and Team “Pocket Bitcoin ATM” managed to convince their listeners and were voted the two best teams of the event and won prizes, sponsored by PAY.ON, the Anthemis Group, and Life.SREDA.
The first mPOS Hackathon has received very positive feedback by both the audience and the participating developers, and will hopefully not be the last one of its kind.
For pictures and more detailed information on the individual teams and presented solutions, visit the payworks blog.