The earth is NOT a trashcan or a landfill! Recycling decreases litter on land and sea. Using recycled products to create new product reduces carbon pollution.
Why don't people recycle more? How do we inspire them? How do we make increase awareness about what can be recycled to reduce contaminated trash?
Recycling can be fun. If we make it a game and a social experience, we can win hearts and minds.
What it does
People get points for recycling. As they earn points they are scored against other players by day, location, etc - Gamification. Recycle our sponsors products, earn extra points. Share on social media, more extra points! Win the category - extra points (loyalty points). Players can redeem those points with our sponsors. We track the world-wide impact to show the world what we can do - reinforcing the communities accomplishments.
Sponsors have a new channel to advertise and build brand loyalty [supported by research] through increased awards for recycling the sponsors products. [In our example we use Coke as we know they are interested in this space. ]
How we built it
We use the camera on a computer to represent the camera in the trashcan. We send this picture to IBM Watson. Watson determines what is being recycled and calculates the number of points the items represent. Then Watson sends the information to ZXing (QR generator). We use an android app to scan the QR code. The App send the information to scoreboard/website (Heroku) via a database.
Challenges we ran into
Android uses a lot of libraries. AWS and Android don't play nicely. Problems with Scaphold. Not all Macbook cameras work with Watson. . .
Accomplishments that we're proud of
The way we came together with similar ideas about how to improve recycling adoption and melded them into one. We had Watson recognizing items and calculating the point values within 2 hours-and no one had ever used it. Within another hour we were generating QR codes. Then it got tough - databases not working as expected. How can we get the information to the website? To achieve the goal we had to work around the issues and try new solutions - requiring flexibility and teamwork! We worked concurrent tracks to obtain a solution and have back up plans - ALL while having fun and working as a team!
What we learned
If Coke is testing a multi $1M offering that includes on-side recycling with only COKE rewards - Others will be interested as well! They give green coins in Amsterdam to people who recycle - redeemable at businesses they already have 700 people participating - TrashTalks uses less plastic and offers other ways for revenue with sponsorships and loyalty programs.
We know what people are recycling, who and where! This is worth $$$$$$ to sponsors and cities.
IBM Watson is AMAZING: Easy to use and Smart. By using Watson and QR creator we avoided the cost/complication of a IotT device. Android uses external libraries. Heroku is good for fast hosting. Lots about Scaphold and databases
What's next for TrashTalks
From the beginning we had ideas for next versions: Improving the gamification: Personal Challenges, 1 company against another. Ways to earn extra points: Host a challenge for your company or friends - earn extra points. Bonus points for consistency.
We could increase the 'feel' good and gaming aspect of this initiative by adding charities in the mix: if this side of venue recycles more, the sponsor will make a donation to the winning charity - Similar to what they do at football games with fan experiences. Boy Scouts used to collect newspapers - now they can get their scouts to promote recycling in their communities to win the game and earn a donation.