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The BENE Mobile App – A Case Study

The Development of BENE

It is a fortunate thing to be able to work on projects we’re passionate about. Often, the most successful projects stem from a place of passion and service. This is certainly the case with BENE. BENE is a mobile app that connects employees who rely on tips to the modern, cashless age.

In recent years, the average consumer has all but stopped carrying cash altogether. This has made it difficult, in certain circumstances, for professionals and consumers to easily tip staff. There are many situations in which tipping is necessary. Not only that, but there are even more situations in which tipping may not be necessary, but is acceptable and earned.

The Goal:

BENE aims to eliminate awkward tipping situations and was conceptualized by Anna Skvortsova and her husband, Mike.

Seeing The Problem

Both Anna Skvortsova and Mike are active travelers. As such, they spend a lot of their time on the move. However, with such an active lifestyle that seems to always be moving, they seldom carried cash.

Carrying paper cash is becoming a trend of the past for a variety of reasons. There is, of course, innate risk with carrying cash. Not to mention, that with the recent status of things, people are much more wary of passing things back and forth. Cash included. All of this paired with the rise of the virtual market place, ecommerce, and virtual banking apps, cash is nearly all but extinct.

While a cashless world seems more streamlined and more convenient, there are still a lot of market segments that rely on physical paper money.  One of the largest of these segments, is the service-worker segment. Workers and staff members that rely heavily on the tips that they acquire throughout their shifts.

The impact of a cashless society on the tip-based market was driven home to Anna and Mike one evening as they were traveling. After a meal out with colleagues and friends alike, the couple were waiting for the valet to pull their car around. As the valet approached – a moment of panic flew into the couples hearts. It dawned on them, in that moment, that neither of them had any cash on hand in order to tip the valet.

After 100’s of “I’m sorry’s” and a trip to the nearest ATM, the couple was able to tip the valet. Finally. With a sigh of relief, and the awkward moment behind them, they moved on with their evening. However, the moment stuck with them. So much so that the couple continued to discuss the interaction.

The problem:

As society continues moving toward a cashless era with the majority of transactions occurring electronically, service workers and tip-based employees suffer.

Conceptualizing BENE

After the interaction with the valet, Anna and Mike developed a hyper-awareness to similar circumstances that occurred along their trip. More and more they realized how many service workers and tip-based staff were missing out on significant portions of their funds due to a cashless era that they weren’t equipped to operate within.

Hence, the beginning of BENE. The name, BENE, comes from the french word for blessings, and its simple design offers an elegant solution to a real-problem faced by consumers, travelers, and tip-based staff all alike. This started the journey of bringing BENE from conceptualization to reality.

Development Roadblocks and Hurdles

Like with many great stories, they wouldn’t be worth telling without a little adversity. Before BENE was built and developed in part with NS804 and our mobile app development teams, it started in another development shop.

Excited about their new brain-child, Anna and Mike began work with a mobile app developer. As the relationship continued, it became clear that the fit wasn’t good. Not only was the developer missing deadlines, but suddenly, BENE didn’t feel like BENE anymore. At this point, the developer was over 6 months behind, and faith that BENE would ever be finished was wearing thin.

However, in a moment of serendipity, NS804 reached out to Anna about shouldering the rest of the development. Just like that, the project had new life, and there was an entirely new pool of hope for Anna, Mike, and BENE.

Additional Setbacks:

After conceptualizing BENE and bringing it to the initial development house, Anna and Mike were beyond disappointed by missed deadlines and continual delays. At the point of nearly losing faith altogether, Anna and Mike found partnership in NS804, and the project was revitalized. 

Finishing The Job

Once NS804 came onto the project, BENE had a totally new life. Suddenly, the project had completely new legs and was back on track in no-time. After only a few months of working with NS804 Anna and Mike had a real time-line for delivery on the application. Shortly after, NS804 finished developing BENE. Then it hit the app open-market.

BENE has been live for about two months on both the apple and google play store. Since BENE went live, it has quickly been integrated into the hospitality market. The application is a fit for the hospitality industry as it connects service staff, like maids and housekeepers, to the consumers they serve. This finally bridges the disconnect between consumers and the service workers that earn tips, but don’t get face-time with consumers.

The Nuts and Bolts

BENE is a mobile app that aims to eliminate situations in which consumers are unable to tip staff or employees who deserve it. The application takes the core functionality of other banking and fintech applications in order to create a streamlined consumer-to-staff channel. Similar to Venmo or Paypal, the staff member simply creates an account, links their bank, and receives a QR code.

The QR code is so that staff members can print the QR code on their business card or leave-behind. This is material that the employee leaves in the room they served, or with the consumer. With the addition of the QR code, the consumer can then use their smartphone to scan the QR code. After scanning, the consumer is lead directly to that staff members BENE account, and is able to tip them for however much they see fit.

On the consumer side of things, the transaction is just as simple. BENE understands that tipping shouldn’t be awkward in any sense, and that means it should be as streamlined as possible. After setting up an account and linking a debit card or bank account, consumers are ready to tip service workers with ease. Keeping that in mind, BENE allows consumers to tip staff and employees in as little as three taps.

BENE brings more awareness to the tipping culture in America. The application allows hospitality workers, and service workers to have easier, more convenient access to tipping channels. Not only does BENE encourage consumers and travelers to tip appropriately and generously for a job-well-done, however, it also helps connect service workers to the cashless era.

The Solution:

NS804, Anna, and Mike worked together to create BENE, the mobile tipping app that connects tip-based staff and service workers directly to the customers they’re serving, even in a cashless society or non-face-to-face transaction.

Bringing It All Together

NS804 is proud to be a partner on the development of BENE with Anna and Mike. The power couple who conceptualized the idea comes from humble beginnings, and is clearly passionate about giving back to the community, and helping everyone find fair opportunity in the modern world.

As a mobile app developer, NS804 is dedicated to making mobile app development services more accessible to the everyday person. Visit the apple store or the google play store today to download BENE and join the tipping revolution.

NS804 is the premier source for information and knowledge on every and anything mobile app development. Visit NS804 today and get in touch with the mobile app developer of the next generation, ready to take your idea to reality.

An AR Case Study – NS804’s First AR Venture

Takeaways From NS804’s First AR Venture – An AR Case Study

Augmented reality (AR), is still being mastered by tech and software professionals alike. While there have been bounds and leaps made in the pursuit of developing more complex and more robust AR technology. These advances support the delivery of more immersive, realistic, and functional AR applications. NS804’s introduction to building an AR application came a few years ago and was mostly accomplished using the antiquated AR Kit 2. While there have been major advances in the software available to building AR, a lot of the core-concepts NS804 learned through this build apply, and will continue to apply to all AR applications now and in the future. This AR case study will evaluate and address some of the issues and complications that arose through the duration of this AR project. Then, the AR case study will detail some of the main lessons and takeaways from the project.

The Ask

The client in this instance was asking for an AR application that would relay data from machinery and equipment to a collector, without the need for the collector to ever come within eyesight of physical contact of the machine from which they’re pulling data. This data refers to the ‘vitals’ of the machinery and included aspects like temperature, pressure, load capacity, and other integral information regarding the machines maintenance and operational efficiency. This was a complicated project because it involved using coordinates and GPS navigation to pinpoint the equipment location, and feed that information into the AR apps map.

The Obstacles

In approaching this complication there were multiple hurdles that needed to be addressed. Firstly, there was an issue with accuracy. As even the most powerful satellite mapping can only provide an accuracy of five meters, give or take, pinpointing the exact location of the machinery became difficult. What added to this difficulty was the equipments proximity to itself. Oftentimes, different machines would be less than 100 yards away from one another. This accentuates the accuracy issue, providing another obstacle NS804 needed to work around.

In addition to the accuracy being an issue for the machines themselves and their placement on the AR interface, the tags that were required to populate also ran into a proximity issue. The tags would populate overlaying one another, or start to flicker instead of hold solid when appearing in AR.

Another complication occurred in building the perspective of the AR interface. Since there is a specific aspect to positioning in AR, and since AR was still brand new at the time; there was a lot of learning and trial by error conducted. Luckily for you, NS804 has done the work of pioneering, so they’re in a position to help design, consult, and guide on the most sophisticated and robust AR apps on the market.

Solutions

The solutions for the main obstacles above were all integrated and related. The first aspect of the comprehensive solution to these problems revolving around positioning and placement had to do with orientation. In AR, everything has to be oriented to true north – it’s how the position of virtually everything is calculated. This anchors the AR interface which was the first step to solving these issues.

Once the app was oriented toward true north, the next step was creating a more user-friendly perspective. In the first iterations, the perspective was delivered through a sort of cone-view. This was disorienting and hard to use. Instead, the app was designed to place the user in the middle of area they were surveying. This allowed the user to then use the AR app as a sort of lens, and as they moved it along their survey-area, different tags would populate.

This leads to the next issue that NS804 needed to address in order to deliver a functional, and user-friendly experience to the client. As the user viewed their survey area, and information tags began to populate; the info-tags would begin to flicker in and out. It was soon discovered that these info-tags would flicker if they were set to the same depth. Setting the tags to varying depths solved this issue, making it possible to keep the tags from overlapping and flickering in and out.

All-in-all the bulk of the complications that arose during this build were involved with the visual aspect and perspective in one way or another. NS804 was able to successfully deliver the client-ready version in about 60 days and after around 25 iterations. Being at the onset of the AR-era, NS804 could build an app of similar capability today in 2-3 weeks and more than half the iterations. This is massive jump in efficiency stems from more advanced and more robust AR design software available, as well as the experience involved in building this AR app and learning a lot of the core theories of AR design.

Key Takeaways From the AR Case Study

This AR case study should highlight a variety of important lessons regarding the development of AR applications, the trial-and-error process, and knowledge that comes with experiencing an AR design and build firsthand.

True North: In designing an AR application NS804’s first big-lesson was in orientation. Orienting everything that renders within the AR universe to true-north is how the entirety of an AR application locates everything. This enables other functionality of the AR like mapping, and positional population – as was necessary in this design.

Centered Perspective: This was another positional setting that NS804 learned in regards to creating AR applications. Centering the user perspective within the AR universe allows an expanded and more user-friendly visual field. Rather than viewing the world through a distorted “cone-view”, centering the user allows for a more comfortable user experience, plus it’s less straining on the eyes.

Layering: The third lesson related to positioning and orientation, as well as the visual experience – had to do with layering the environment successfully. This involved placing information-tags that carried the sought-after data at different depths within the AR environment. This eliminated the issues that were posed by overlapping tags that had a bad habit of flickering.

Prepared to Pivot: The final takeaway from this client project was be flexible and capable of pivots. After the successful delivery of this build; the client immediately began discovering additional uses for the software that would require additional builds and versions. These future visions revolved around converting the AR application into a marketing and sales tool. While these iterations have yet to be realized, the ability to adapt, evolve, and improve should always be the foremost priority of software developers and mobile app designers.

This AR case study illuminated a lot of knowledge into AR design for NS804, and it’s our hope that it acts as a good guide for other industry professionals looking for documentation on developing an AR application.

A similar project undertaken by NS804, today, could be accomplished in a fraction of the time. Rather than a two-month turnaround with over 25 reiterations, and a prolonged testing period, NS804 could deliver the same level of an AR application in a 2-week-timeframe. This is capable today because of learned knowledge from the original project, an upgrade in AR building software available, and more accessible and comprehensive information regarding AR that is also available.

NS804 is dedicated to making mobile app development services of any scale, available to anybody. Armed with years of experience across industries, softwares, and platforms NS804 is an excellent choice for appreneurs looking for assistance designing their next mobile-app venture. Get in touch with NS804 today to start the design-discussion, and receive expert-level guidance on your mobile-app venture.