24 hours to create the future of e-commerce

by Daniela Schlosser / July 7th 2017

For the second time, on May 13 & 14, 2017, we once again opened our doors to internal and external developers, designers, and entrepreneurs for the ProSiebenSat.1 Hackathon. All 80 participants had just 24 hours to team up and generate a working prototype. Because our e-commerce portfolio is one of our most important growth drivers, the 2017 motto was to “create the future of e-commerce”.

In his opening keynote speech, Dr. Johannes Wechsler (Chief Information Officer, ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE) explained that ProSiebenSat.1’s USP is the combination of entertainment with commerce. Pushing digital commerce assets on TV maximizes the value of our idle ad inventory and results in tangible TV synergies. Combining transactional commerce data with TV usage data enables superior, targeted advertising products.

After the keynote speech, it was time for our partners to introduce their APIs. Alongside companies from the ProSiebenSat.1 portfolio, such as the online fashion platform Stylight, the service platform wetter.com, the online travel agency weg.de, and the price comparison platform verivox, we also had two external partners on board: Microsoft and Beaconinside.

Stylight provided access into their product search, complete with several different filter and retrieval options. wetter.com, weg.de, and verivox also allowed access into their search APIs. Microsoft permitted access to their cognitive services, a collection of easy and flexible-to-use APIs such as computer vision, speaker recognition, linguistic analysis, entity linking, web search, and a lot more. In Beaconinside we found a partner who offered hardware, and provided the participants beacons and NFC tags to work with.

At noon, the 15 teams started working on their ideas and carried on late into the night. Those who did not want to work the whole night through had a chance to grab some sleep in our chill-out areas. As well as a considerable amount of hacking, our participants also had the opportunity to sneak a glimpse behind the ProSiebenSat.1 sets and visit the studios of Galileo, Taff, and red!

The pitch competitions, on Sunday afternoon, were the highlight of the hackathon and the teams made it extremely difficult for the jury to nominate the winning teams: Dr. Johannes Wechsler (Chief Information Officer, ProSiebenSat.1), Markus Kleinhenz (Head of Product Development, ProSiebenSat.1 Digital), Andreas Selter (uxdesign), Daria Saharova (Vito One), and Lars Brinkmann (mydays) were thoroughly spoiled for choice. The jury was particularly focused on the question “Are you solving a genuine problem?” as Daria Saharova, herself a founder of several startups, explained.

During the pitches the teams presented different prototypes that focused on improving customers’ shopping experiences as well as making online shopping more entertaining. The “TV Flow” team used Amazon Echo to save any interesting commercials and bookmark them in the TV Flow App. The “Style AR” and “Turn around” teams used Augmented and Virtual Reality to improve the user’s shopping experience.

And the winners are…

The jury nominated three winning teams, who each won a variety of quality prizes from Xboxes through mydays and weg.de vouchers worth 500 Euros to premium LinkedIn memberships, a Microsoft Azure voucher, and maxdome packages.

The “QuickShopNav” team won 3rd place. Their intention was to simplify the offline shopping experience with beacon technology. Using the app they developed, the user can virtually navigate through a supermarket and figure out their fastest and most enjoyable route.

Second was “viewfAInder”. The team developed a “watch-click-buy” solution that combined e-commerce with entertainment. Whenever a user watches a video on maxdome and sees something that spikes their interest (like the clothes the actor’s wearing) they can then find and purchase this product with just one click, thanks to a Chrome plugin that is used to analyze video content on maxdome. The relevant parts of the video are sent to a machine learning model that detects and classifies the products of interest, such as locations or clothing. The products are then located via the API partners – e.g. weg.de, wetter.com or Stylight – and presented to the user on the same screen. They can then select the product(s) directly via the maxdome player interface.

The winner of the 2017 Hackathon was team “Helios”. Their application allows the user to experience a whole new way of traveling. All the user needs to do is identify and share their emotional reactions to selected photos (which are then analyzed with Microsoft cognitive services) and enter the budget they have allocated to their next trip. And voila! Up pops a recommendation for their next vacation.

enter image description here The winning team: “Helios”. Nils Borrmann, Anton Huck, Frederic Lapatschek, Fabian Höhne, and Dario Banfi.

The first step of the app tracks the customers’ emotional reactions to a variety of scenarios and destinations. Next, it asks the customer about the planned budget for their next trip. Once this data has been analyzed, the user is presented with the results, including which hotels seem to meet the requirements of the users’ emotions.

To complete the experience, “Helios” also gives the user the option to order fashion packages for delivery to their destination hotel. Then, at the end of their vacation, the user can buy the clothes or pay a small rental fee for them.

Alongside these three winning teams, we were treated to lots of great prototypes developed by the ProSiebenSat.1 Hackathon teams. All the hacks can be found on Devpost:

Thanks to all those who took part in this unique hackathon and congratulations again to the winning teams! We are already looking forward to our 2018 ProSiebenSat.1 Hackathon!