Hybris Labs in 2016 – The Year of IoT

Parallel to the SAP Hybris Digital Summit  2017 we want to take a look at the past year through the eyes of Hybris Labs. We decided to name our 2016 “The Year of IoT”. The very first Labs IoT prototype does of course date back to 2014 and came in the shape of the original Smart Wine Shelf. But what we like to refer to as the “mastery of IoT” involves achievements such as the replication and adaptation of our prototypes, enabled through YaaS, the distribution of our demos to events across the globe, and the very first Hybris Labs prototype with an SAP Hybris customer.


BASF & Hybris Wine Shelf

After showing Bullseye at the SAP Hybris Global Summit in Feb 2016 it was “HEINEKEN” who first approached us with a customisation request for an internal event. The result was the beer selector which we then later also showed at the Hybris Americas Customer Days in Fort Lauderdale.

“BASF”, a world leading chemistry company but also one of Germany’s largest wine distributors, decided to take the Bullseye prototype one step further. The BASF & Hybris Wine Shelf is the first pilot project Labs engaged in together with a customer and is currently in use in the BASF “Weinkeller” in Ludwigshafen.


Bottomless shopping carts and robots on trucks

There was more to the past year than just Bullseye. The close collaboration with the SAP Hybris customer “hansgrohe” allowed us to frequently present our Infinite Cart prototype in an eye-catching setup and produce a video that is equally stimulating to its viewers.

Without living up to the clichés that are commonly associated with this term, Hybris Labs are often referred to as rock stars. Reluctantly accepting those honours, we did manage to get one of our team members on a tour bus – the “Beyond CRM Truck”. His name… her… its name: Pepper.

Pepper was the only one of us tough enough to deal with life on the road. As an extension to Bullseye, Pepper handed out candy to truck-visitors all across Europe.


The golden age of computed artificiality

In the past our lay on the digitization of the physical retail space. In 2017 Hybris Labs will be exploring the potential of virtual reality, augmented reality, and artificial intelligence in the shape of voice controlled digital assistants and conversational commerce. We’re hoping to present the first results of this research in spring. With other words: New Hybris Labs prototypes are coming soon!

“What the computer in virtual reality enables us to do is to recalibrate ourselves so that we can start seeing those pieces of information that are invisible to us but have become important for us to understand.” – Douglas Adams

Perhaps we’ll even find the question to the answer “42”…

Spicy times for Infinite Cart

After having accomplished their mission at the FMI Midwinter Executive Conference in Scottsdale, Georg and Nick’s next stop was Mexico City to support the local SAP Forum. Our Mexican colleagues are so fond of Hybris Labs, they even adopted the original version of our very first IoT prototype, the Smart Wine Shelf. It looks quite happy in its new home.

Another thing that made us very happy in the Mexico City office, was to see that we’re not the only ones playing with Lego and Raspberry PIs. Without having any sort of solid evidence to support such a statement (apart from Augmented Commerce), Hybris Labs will of course claim to be the trendsetter in this field.

But the actual reason for traveling to Mexico was to train some colleagues in the art of Infinite Cart. Not only were they going to show it at their SAP Forum, they’re also going to be taking Infinite Cart to various events across Latin America and will then add it to their showroom as a new attraction.

The actual show went just as well as the rehearsal and, thanks to a lovely booth design, attracted quite some attention.

That was the end of Georg and Nick’s trip, but stay tuned if you want to know how things went in Colombia.

What?! Were you expecting some kind of cliché statement or photo in reference to the term “spicy” in the title? Well what can we say…

Leveraging Labs limitlessly

We might be regretting that headline pretty soon… ‘Limitlessly’ is slightly exaggerated. Those of you who know Hybris Labs better or have been following our blog will in fact debunk this statement as a blatant lie. ‘Leveraging’ is a bit dicey too actually. ‘Labs’ is fine though.

What we have been trying to do and are continuously succeeding with, is making it possible for SAP teams around the world to show and in some cases even rebuild our prototypes without our physical presence. The two latest examples of this sort of collaboration were presented by our colleagues in Mexico and Japan.

Wine Shelf Mexico

In Mexico it’s the original Smart Wine Shelf that’s creating a buzz. It was stored in the US for quite some time, so we’re happy to see it in action again. After all, it was the very first wine shelf we built and in a way marks the beginning of the Labs era as you know it today.

Our Japanese colleagues decided to go with Infinite Cart. Even if we need to invest some time to ‘leverage’ our demos and make sure they work, we think it’s definitely worth it. Because at the end: Everybody’s happy.


That would make it one on each continent…

…Smart Wine Shelves, that is. It looks like the guys from SAP South Africa are planning to build one. Well, since the Smart Wine Shelf will no longer be supported by the end of this year, it’ll be Bullseye in the wine shelf version. But that count’s!

“‘The benefits for both retailers and consumers are enormous,'” commented Brett Parker, Managing Director, SAP Africa. “‘With so much online competition, in-store experiences now need to be fun and engaging. Not only do concepts such as SAP’s Smart Wine Shelf provide for this, upping the customer experience and ultimately customer satisfaction, but smart technology also provides the retailer with access to valuable analytics.'”


¡Adiós Wine Shelf!

We’re still alive! It’s been a while since our last update and we’ve got quite a lot to catch up on. But don’t worry, we’ll let you relive everything as if it happened yesterday! Just relax, close your eyes, and read…

When our Mexican colleagues asked us to demo the Smart Wine Shelf at the SAP Forum in Mexico City, we were reluctant a first. But then we found out that they would be willing to keep and also maintain it. And after we had already successfully handed over responsibility for the European version to our colleagues in Paris, we saw the opportunity to get rid of… pass on the US version of the wine shelf.

But before we could say goodbye, it was business as usual. Flying around the globe…


Wine shelf in a box…


Wine shelf out of the box…


Wine shelf broken…


Wine shelf fixed… (No, really! It’s supposed to look like that. Honestly!)


Wine bottle re-labeling…


Sexy booth… (That’s actually not business as usual. Very nice, guys!)


Demo time…


And then: ¡Adiós! Here are the keys. Demo carefully!


At the end: Everybody’s happy!


Especially Georg…


The last flashes of wine…

The hybris labs Smart Wine Shelf came to life on May 7th 2014 at the hybris Americas’ Customer Days in Chicago. Nearly one and a half years later we have versions of the Wine Shelf on four different continents. And we didn’t even build all of them ourselves! Would it be fair to say the point has been reached where it can no longer be considered an innovative showcase? Well, at the IT & Business expo in Stuttgart we learnt that our first IoT Prototype still lets people’s faces light up. (Even more so if you give them a bottle of wine after they had to listen to our demo-blabla for ten minutes…)

The Smart Wine Shelf definitely still has some fire in it and it helps us to explain how we believe IoT could change in-store shopping for both consumer and retailer. We like to tell the story around it being something like a physical web page. Actions resemble clicks. Guidance and information for the customer, real-time data for the retailer… everybody’s happy… you know the story.

But by now we should have made our point clear to a considerable amount of people and need to move on. Luckily we found the perfect new owners for it. Our colleagues in Paris will take care of it very soon, and what better place could there be for Smart Wine Shelf than France?! It’ll be in good hands.

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Cutting Edge Technology – we bleed for innovation

It is well known fact that members of the hybris labs team often suffer quite severe injuries when using soldering irons and hot-glue guns. But Anja took this one step further during the setup of the Smart Wine Shelf at the dmexco 2015 in Cologne. She bled for labs.

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But please relax, Anja’s finger was saved! Too dramatic? Well okay, a bottle broke in the transport and she cut herself on the broken glass. From that point on everything went fine. Although Anja did prefer to mainly use her left hand to present the demo.

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Let’s talk about business though now. With 43,384 visitors this definitely counts to one of the big events. And the feedback Anja and Christian gathered was once again very positive. Say what you want, but the Smart Wine Shelf still rocks! Especially when it’s integrated into such an appealing environment. Thank you to our SAP colleagues for providing such a brilliant space! The topic of the entire booth was based on wine. Nice! Simply a good theme for Customer Engagement & Commerce.

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Best Use of Display Technology!

It seems not only we thought the presentation of the Smart Wine Shelf at the 2015 Online Retailer Conference and eCommerce Expo – the biggest digital commerce conference in the southern hemisphere – was pretty cool. The hybris labs Smart Wine Shelf won the award for Best use of display technology.


Thank you once more to the hybris team in Australia for putting such a lot of effort into the presentation!