The inspirational music for today's post is going to come from Jeff Mills, I encourage you to watch the video as well and observe a Dj's legend in action!
Jeff Mills truly is one of the original godfathers of techno. Jeff was part of the core group of music producers that invented techno in Detroit in the late 80's. House music was invented in Chicago around the same time, and in 1998 both house and techno spread to the UK in what was dubbed as the "Second Summer of Love". From there the movement went to Europe which led to the explosion of electronica worldwide as house and techno styles started to blend and merge and new styles emerge.
Jeff does collaborative work with jazz musicians and symphony orchestras. We can learn from these experiments and collaborations about what happens when humans come together to innovate while collaboratively experimenting with old ways of doing things (symphonies / legacy banking systems), new ways of doing things (techno music / emerging technology like AI & Blockchain), and methods that are inherently designed to achieve interesting and new outcomes (Jazz music / Hackathons).
Ok so, with that as the backdrop... let's take a look at what happened at Money 2020 this year! Vantiv sponsored the hackathon and we brought a whole bunch of really cool stuff, and a very big challenge!
Vantiv values passion—not only for payments, but for technology, commerce and improving life. Just as we challenge ourselves in those areas, we challenge you to solve one of the world’s grandest challenges—global warming, food growth/distribution, space travel, medicine, education, inclusion, sustainability etc. You choose your grand challenge and then build an app that helps solve that challenge utilizing Vantiv O.N.E. (One Network Experience). As part of this challenge we are going to bring some hardware to trigger your creativity:
• Amazon Echo — simplify payments using your brainwaves to solve challenges rather than type commands.
• Nao robot — robots will obviously be a useful tool in solving any grand challenge.
• Sphero— what can you do to change the world with a simple, programmable, ball?
• Cubelets— if spheres are not your cup of tea what about stackable, programmable blocks to conquer a difficult
• Verifone Carbon -- We are partnering with Verifone to offer a first look at their new Verifone Carbon product. Drive commerce through new apps and grow the global economy!
Vantiv was able to recruit 8 teams to hack on our API's and create clever new use cases that solved our challenge.
One team used augmented reality and AI/Machine learning to re-invent the experience of being a waiter in a restaurant. The waiter could see hovering above (using augmented reality) the customers head all the types of food that he would be most likely enjoy off of their menu (using big data analytics & machine learning).
Another team (our second place team) used augmented reality to show you the types of skills you could purchase for your robot. For example, if you wanted your robot to teach you tai chi, you could see an augmented view of the robot doing tai chi, and if you wanted to purchase that skill for your robot, using Vantiv payments API's, then the robot would download that skill and then your robot would be able to teach you how to do tai chi!
Our finalist built an iOS app that connected to blue tooth robots as they wander around a crowded room. Each robot would be promoting different charitable organizations, and as you approached the robot you had the opportunity to donate to that cause using the vantiv Apple Pay API. He even imagined that in a future version using blockchain and smart contracts (Etherium) you could donate $100 for a kid to go to school, and the $100 would only be released once the principle signed off using the smart contract that the kid actually attended school.
The grand prize winner built a hack on top of Alexa that would provide business analytics and financial advice to SMB's. You can see the demo that took away over $40,000 in cash prizes here: Voice-powered Clever crowned winner at Money 20/20 Hackathon » PaymentEye
My favorite idea was called share my credit. It used the concept of the tokenized credit card using the Visa API's so that I could give someone $10 worth of credit on their phone. This has so many use cases as I have previously discussed on this blog post: D-Coupled Tokenization or... let my kid p(l)ay!
For more fun photos from the hackathon check out this awesome blog post and overview written by our very own Mark Cafiero: Money2020 Hackathon
The vantiv booth really was amazing, we had demos from many of our products, some of the highlights for me were the fireside chats. Matt Ozvat was having a great time chatting with Karen Webster, check it out here: Vantiv Developers on Periscope: "Fireside chat with Karen Webster from Points. Com" I had a lot of fun interviewing Steve Klebe from Google about the future of Android Pay: Vantiv Developers on Periscope: "Fireside chat with Google on mobile technologies"
A few of the announcements that caught my attention this year were these ones: Visa announces B2B payments using blockchain | PYMNTS.com and Android Pay partners with Visa and Mastercard to bring simple checkout to more places online.
Major themes that I picked up on:
- Blockchain (I like this open source project https://www.hyperledger.org/ by the Linux foundation)
- Mobile payments
- AI and machine learning is making it's way into more and more production products
- Voice enabled commerce is getting real
- Big data and analytics
- Virtual reality and augmented reality are still very experimental in commerce use cases
An update on the current state of each of these large areas could be the subject of many more blog posts.
Briefly, If you are interested in learning more about blockchain, I highly recommend these fun podcasts put out by Breaking Banks!
Well, that amazing mix by Jeff Mills really kept me motivated and cranking away at this post and it just finished, so, that's all the time I have for today, stay tuned to this page for next time! If you are still feeling the Jeff Mills mood, check out this other amazing mix video he put together.