Just a quick update on the latest prototype we’ve been working on. In a nutshell, it’s a small, wearable device that a customer can use to scan a product. The product is added to a dynamically created wishlist and later either the customer, the sales agent or both can review the products the customer is interested in and configure the details of the shopping basket. The backend is all YAAS, the new commerce cloud offering from hybris, which later this year will be publicly available. If you’re interested in hacking with us, sign up for our cloud hackfest!
Below you can see the current prototype in action (click the image for the animated GIF).
It’s currently the size of a small box, about 10x7x1.5 cm and we’re pretty confident to shrink-size it even more. You’ll probably wonder what we packed into the box, so here’s the impressive list of tech for this small box (pic below, including some beer):
- The box itself is 3D-printed. While we’ve just ordered our labs-own 3D printer, this one was quickly printed via Andi’s hub from 3DHubs.
- Power is supplied via a 400 maH LiPo battery. It is wrapped with a QI charging receiver and the charging circuit is part of the custom PCB that we created. That means we can run this prototype for about 1-2 hrs on battery and recharge wirelessly via QI. We can also detect if the whole system is in charging mode – in this case the WiFi connection is dropped for faster charging and the rough charge level is indicated via the number of lid-up NeoPixels.
- The red square is a mini NFC reader – it connects to the microcontroller via I2C and allows us to scan the NFC tags.
- Next to the NFC reader is a vibration motor. With each NFC scan, we quickly start the motor to signal the scan. We also light up the NeoPixel strip that is going along the walls of the case.
- The heart of the prototype and all logic is the custom PCB that houses a Particle Photon. Underneath the Photon (with headers) we have some extra circuits like the LiPo charging circuit, charge detection and voltage approximation and a transistor and diode for the vibration motor. It’s all 0805 packaging, meaning “small” and “hard to solder”.
The Particle cloud is calling our YAAS cloud (sign-up here for the private beta of our new cloud offering) via webhooks. The cloud is creating new product wishlists for the customer’s shopping basket and will later also detect special nfc tags to retrieve the full list for further configuration of the wishlist.
Let us know what you think in the comments!