As COVID-19 strikes the nation, grocery stores are struggling to meet shoppers’ demands in the face of a global pandemic. Crowded and inefficient stores can prove potentially deadly for at-risk populations. Businesses are in need of a way to implement a smart shopping experience that prioritizes the safety and optimization of their stores. This is why we created Grocery Grab, a mobile app that uses augmented reality, pathfinding algorithms, and NCR’s cloud services to provide a quick and contactless shopping experience.
What it does
- Lets user make a virtual shopping list based off of a store's product catalog and get each product's location in the store
- Generates the shortest path between products using a pathfinding algorithm and a travelling salesman problem heuristic solution, allowing for faster circulation of customers.
- Helps the user navigate inside of a store using augmented reality or an interactive map.
- Checkout through the app, freeing up long lines, and ensuring germ-free transactions.
- Outside of COVID response, Grocery Grab can help retailers reduce labor cost and bring the online experience into the brick and mortar store.
How we implemented NCR's API
The retailer will upload the store's items to the NCR cloud using the Business Service Platform and the Catalog API. Each item has attributes including the name, price, location in the store, and the identifying code. Upon launch, the app will make a call to fetch the entire catalog as well as creating a new cart in the cloud through the NCR Selling Engine. Every time an item is added to the cart, the virtual cart is updated as well. Upon checkout, the Selling Engine calculates the total, processes the customers' payment, and deletes the cart from the cloud.
Challenges we ran into
- Creating the (entirely custom) pathfinding algorithm
- No one had any experience in augmented reality
- Getting familiar with NCR's APIs
Accomplishments that we're proud of
- Augmented reality
- Pathfinding algorithm
- Getting the API to work
- Good-looking UI
- We got a lot done in 36 hours, pretty cool
What's next for Grocery Grab
- Implementing the augmented reality into more seamless and interactive technologies such as Google Glass
- Develop a system for retailers to manage information in the cloud.