Bullseye partially open-sourced – have a look!

Since we introduced Bullseye, a Hybris-as-a-Service (YaaS) based prototype around in-store customer engagement & commerce, the first time at the Hybris Summit ’16 in Munich, we’ve been showing and replicating it across the globe like crazy. We’ve even had companies like BASF do public trials in their stores and just as I write these sentences, we’ve signed up showrooms in Singapore and Thailand. It’s a truly global prototype, highly flexible in terms of the configuration and running on our beloved YaaS infrastructure in the cloud.

While the software-parts of this prototype (below is an architecture to help you remember) are easy to scale, we’ve had quite some challenges to scale the hardware. Our platforms – containing a small microcontroller, a light sensor and a LED ring – are hand-made, hand-soldered, each with a 3D-printed case which alone takes about 4 hours to print in a decent quality. We’ve created many of these platforms ourselves, spending days and weeks making new platforms for new prototype installations somewhere on this globe.

candy-shop-90x60While we’ve been successful in finding a local electronics engineering company that produced these platforms for several projects already, the platforms still needed to come to our desks to be flashed with the correct firmware and initialized. We’ve so far not been able to outsource these parts, as there’s software involved that we could not easily just hand over to them.

That’s changed now! We’ve successfully  open-sourced all the hardware-facing parts of ourBullseye prototype: take a look at the plat GitHub page! This will greatly facilitate the production of platforms in the future, as the hardware & software of the platforms is now completely available for others. It would also be cool to see variations – we’ve used a light sensor and an LED ring in our platform, but you could easily swap that for other sensors and actuators!

In the end, our new open source project is a great blueprint for connected devices. It will not fit for all use cases of course, but I could well imagine that it works for a lot ideas that people have. Here are a few ideas what you can do/learn with this project:

  • Figure out how we reliably connect a Raspberry PIs to the cloud via MQTT and node.js, upon booting the device
  • Figure out how to send data from the Raspberry PI to connected/wired platforms via USB, potentially with USB hubs in between to scale the number of platforms connected
  • Figure out how to write a serial protocol to collect events from the platforms or send commands to them

Have a look, clone the repo, try it out! After all: Have Fun!

 

It takes beer to make thirst worthwhile

Arriving on the other side of the planet without your luggage is a slightly annoying experience, to say the least. But you generally can survive for a day or two until you receive your personal belongings. Now, unlike a toothbrush and underwear, a Hybris Labs Bullseye demo is nothing you can buy in your local store…yet. This is exactly the problem Sven and Nick were confronted with when they arrived in Fort Lauderdale for the SAP Hybris Americas Summit.

Waiting for the suitcase containing the prototype without being able to do anything was painful enough, but the knowledge that it would need to make it through customs without a member of the Labs team present to charm the authorities was…worrying. We’re not saying Labs luggage is always suspicious, but…well…we didn’t want them to take our beer!

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Under other circumstances we’re always happy to share, but in this case it was special beer which we needed for our demo. For the Americas Summit we had planned to set up Bullseye in the HEINEKEN® Beer Selector version. And with basically no time to spare, we managed…

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It didn’t only look pretty though. After Infinite Cart, Bullseye is now the second prototype by Hybris Labs that runs on YaaS, shows products sponsored by an SAP Hybris customer, and is integrated with SAP Hybris Profile.

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Premiere Night

We’re using the term ‘premiere’ in it’s broadest possible sense here. Both Bullseye and Infinite Cart have been around for quite a while already. But we’ve only just installed the demos in our showroom, a.k.a. The Hybris Labs Innovation Space. The perfect cover to organise a nice little party. Buy some beer, invite all your colleagues and give the do a fancy name to make it an official occasion – “The Hybris Labs Premiere Night”.

We started the evening with an exclusive not-quite-premiere of our latest video. But then it was time for the real thing. Lots of our colleagues hadn’t had the opportunity to see a live demo of Infinite Cart before, so they were genuinely interested. Perhaps the beer also played a part…

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The second new big attraction in the showroom is Bullseye. Give ’em what they what they want…sweets, flashing lights and a beer in their hands…at the end: Everybody’s happy.

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