Prof. Dr. h.c. mult. Hasso Plattner

ME310 Projects of the Year 2012-2013

This is already the sixth year of ME310 in Potsdam and this year starts with three projects. Stanford students joined our first team figuring out, how the grocery store shopping experience can be improved. Students from HPI, the Aalto University Design Factory, Helsinki, Finnland and the Kyoto Institute of Technology, Kyoto, Japan partnered in a triangle to invent the future of advertising for Rovio.
Our third team partnered with students from the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland for designing and implementation of real-time predictive services applications for the manufacturing industry.

Improve the grocery store shopping experience - EDEKA

Four IT-students from HPI and three mechanical engineers from Stanford developed MarketSphere, a mobile application and grocery pick-up service that enables young professionals to prepare home-cooked meals without taking too much of their already limited time. It seamlessly integrates into their busy schedules, allowing them to skip over tedious parts of the shopping and cooking processes and to be creative in the kitchen. MarketSphere includes an online system that allows the customer to browse new, exciting recipes while on his commute home. These recipes are organized by cooking skill level, and the user can learn something new with every meal. Our user starts as a novice in the kitchen, and by cooking with our app, he can practice cooking techniques and gain knowledge of how to use ingredients, all of which is provided in each recipe. The system also structures this learning process to keep users motivated: one must complete a certain number of recipes in each level before moving on to more advanced levels. By working through these recipes and levels, the user will gain knowledge and confidence in the kitchen to try new recipes and create their own. Once a customer has chosen a meal to cook, he can either accept the default brands for each ingredient in the recipe, or he can virtually walk through his local Edeka, customizing a meal with ingredient substitutes suggested by Edeka. This allows the customer to choose ingredients that may be healthier, organic, gluten-free, etc. and to personalize the recipe and make it his own. He can additionally purchase common items like a carton of milk or loaf of bread to be packed with his kit to avoid checkout lines in the store. Having a virtual store based on images from actual Edeka stores celebrates the individuality and in-store aesthetics of each Edeka and allows time-pressed customers to still shop at their familiar, local store. When ordering on the app, a customer can choose a convenient location where he can pick up his package. The customer can pass by the food pick-up station where his customized package is locked within a refrigerated space. This package has all of the components necessary to make the meal he ordered with ingredients already measured and prepared, cutting out the tedious steps of the cooking process. Having prepared ingredients in the package reduces the daily mental overhead that our customer feels when having to plan and shop for his dinner and increases his leisure time in the evenings. MarketSphere? increases a customer‘s confidence in the kitchen and allows him to save time in his busy day, while still enjoying a home-cooked meal. MarketSphere? is appealing to Edeka because it showcases the spirit of Edeka and its storeowners by allowing online shoppers to experience the unique personality of their local Edeka. Meal kits and customization also provide potential for increasing selling opportunities by pairing meals with items like wines or spices and by customizing meals with premium ingredients. Additionally, this solution is directed towards a young demographic, and by introducing them to a system that teaches valuable skills and always offers convenient, fresh ingredients, they could become loyal Edeka customers for life.

The future of advertising - Rovio

It is often said in business circles that half of advertising is completely useless – we just don’t know which half. Many companies spend on advertising because they feel they have to, but do not often know whether their efforts are working or not. And with degrees of trust in advertisers as low as 25% in Europe, it is safe to say that most are not doing very well. New technologies and platforms appear at an ever-increasing pace, but surprisingly little has changed in this respect - Bill- boards, TV, print and radio are now accompanied by banner-ads and pop-ups, but the fact remains, they are all being mostly ignored and largely mistrusted. In light of these facts, a group of ten students from three countries was given a less-than simple task by Finnish mobile gaming and entertainment company Rovio: “Revolutionize online advertising". A decisive direction towards an end-result was yet to be found, but four potential key factors for our solution’s success were identified: Enhanced Experience, Trust, Social Interaction and Pull. The winter quarter started out with exploring these directions, and the three country-teams diverged into separate focus-areas. These deep dives resulted in radically different “Dark Horse” prototypes that examined channeling consumer experiences, augmented real- ity and unconventional advertising methods. Testing concluded that each of these prototypes had its merits, but ultimately, the use of consumer experiences proved the most interesting of all. A total of six prototypes were then constructed and tested, which looked at how the communication link between company and consumer could be improved. The whole team then
met in Japan and established a vision for the final prototype: harnessing people’s actual experiences as the most authentic and impactful kind of advertising. The spring term was all about making this vision a reality. This was no easy task, since using user-gen- erated content for the mutual benefit of people and brands can be seen as one of marketing’s Holy Grails; many have tried and failed to achieve it. We bench- marked relevant success and failure cases, analyzed the foundations of storytelling and came up first with over 30 concepts. We then chose six of the most potential to develop and prototype further. The final choice of the exact concept was perhaps the most challenging of the whole year, as all six had merit and potential. However, after considerable evaluating and analysis we agreed on it; a concept that would some weeks later be christened Pulse. Pulse is a system for collaboratively creating, experiencing and capturing events; a tool for matching people and brands in a way that is unique every time. It is a mobile and browser application that makes it possible for any group of people to create an event simply by taking a picture. And not just any event, but a Pulse-Event. These events capture all the pictures taken at them in real-time, and show up on a “Heat Map” to attract other event-goers. And what’s more, each event has a sponsor – a brand that helps users in enjoying their event experiences with something called Smart Content. In this way, brands become part of our experiences not by interrupting them, but by actually improving them. For brands, it is a completely new kind of tool for brand- building and advertising. For Rovio, it fits naturally in their vision of being a powerful media channel, and a provider of entertainment in all its forms.

Predictive services for critical assets - SAP Labs Palo Alto

The manufacturing industry of today is facing several challenges. International competition is increasing, current markets are decreasing, customers get more demanding, supplier networks become bigger and more complex and also, new legal and environmental regulations have to be watched, just to name a few of them. Beside all that, it remains the goal of every company to generate stable revenue.
There are several approaches to address those issues. New technologies provide real-time access to valuable customer, production and order data. Thoroughly analyzing the latter could tremendously support managerial and operational decision making processes.
Despite these opportunities though, decision are still based primarily on the experience and assessment of local service entities, market analysts or consultingrms. In this project, we took production planners at medium-sized direct supplier companies in the automotive industry as an example. In order to do the production planning properly, access to all information sources is crucial. Just to name a few, it is necessary to see pending deliveries, the current production and open customer orders in context in order to coordinate workers and workstations. Thenancial risk is also very important to consider in the decision making process. Production planners lack su cient IT system support in this process, often the overview is missing. This is something we investigated in this project and came up with a solution that addresses some of the issues we detected.