Shape Challenge finalist Yopine wants to provide new ways to foster audience engagement
Post by Glen German, Product Marketing Manager, AT&T Developer Program
In February, we invited students, developers, and entrepreneurs to enter a product or app in the Shape Challenge. Unlike hackathons, the Shape Challenge focuses on working products and prototypes – meaning a lot of the kinks have been ironed out. We recently announced the semifinalists for the Augmented Network category, where we asked for submissions of network or content delivery challenge solutions. Now, we invite you to get to know a little bit more about Aisle411, a semifinalists in that category.
We asked Washington, D.C.-based Yopine team members Gary W. Mendel, Kevin J. Ostrowski, and Thomas A. DePasquale to tell us all little bit more about their project.
Yopine is a simple, fun, and beautiful way to engage people.
What is the purpose of Yopine?
We enable brands, broadcasters, and publishers to engage with their audiences in low-friction, meaningful ways.
What was your inspiration behind the development of Yopine?
Our group of friends could never decide on the location for our annual ski trip….we needed the ability to take a simple poll.
How long has Yopine been in development?
The project has been in development for three years.
What are some challenges you have encountered while developing Yopine?
Perfecting our patent pending IP, which enables us to pin our content onto mobile networks of any kind.
How did your team overcome those challenges?
We designed, iterated, tested, failed, iterated, tested, failed, iterated, and repeat….
How do you think smart networks will change our data and browsing habits in the future?
Yopine’s ability to expand the utility of existing networks without any additional investment or cost, enables brands to reach customers, viewers, and fans where they live…on their smart devices.
What’s next for Yopine?
We want to expand our product line to include live crowd gaming and event simulation. We naturally want to sell to brands, teams, and networks so they can use Yopine digital polling in their online and offline properties.
What is your development background?
I went to work for Accenture in 1992 as a COBOL, C and C++ programmer for five years. After that, I moved to Platinum technologies and worked with large-scale enterprise software development and implementation.
How did you form the Yopine team?
Existing friends, and we outsourced development.
Preferred coding languages?
Favorite development tool? Why do you like it?
Github because it is a simple, but powerful project house.
I am most passionate about wireless networks. We have only scratched the surface of their utility. New and amazing things are being created everyday, with a vast amount left to discover.We have a consumer app, but it is not the core of our business. Yopine is more of a platform than an app.
What advice do you have for up-and-coming developers who may have an idea that they want to turn into a reality?
Write a business plan. Don’t be lazy, there are no shortcuts, unicorns are imaginary.
How important is it for companies like AT&T to hold innovation challenges like the AT&T Shape Challenge for pure technological innovation?
Infinity important. Without the likes of AT&T sponsoring entrepreneurship and innovation, some of the best and coolest things might never see the light of day. It is the social responsibility of leaders like AT&T to seek out, exploit, and promote innovation at every turn.
Interested in learning more about Yopine? Come see the team’s live pitch at the Shape Challenge Finalist booth, Saturday, July 16th between 12PM and 5PM.
Register for Shape
Join us at Shape being held at AT&T Park on July 15th and 16th and discover innovative ways tech is shaping our future. We have a line-up of speakers who are visionaries in their fields including Ray Kurzweil, Jason Silva, Nate Silver, John Stankey and Ralph de la Vega along with panels where participants discuss everything from smart cities to the impact of tech on society. Stroll through interactive exhibits to get a glimpse at how technology is transforming the way we live. Take part in the Shape Hackathon and compete for prizes. Marvel as your kids learns to solder and create things they only imagined at Maker Camp Live. Round out your experience by watching the Shape Challenge semi-finalists present their projects live on stage. Enjoy a performance from iHeartRadio LIVE with Silversun Pickups at AT&T Park. Ready to immerse yourself at a tech expo unlike any other? Sign up for Shape today.