Device Network Coverage for an Interactive Cafe
- End-to-end development of comprehensive software for specific interactive devices of the café
- Complete integration and data synchronization between all devices
- Automated food order processing, from taking orders to billing
Learn about one of Iflexion’s most daring .NET software development projects to equip a leading automotive company’s branded café with interactive panels for instant order processing, guest entertainment and brand engagement.
Seeking to create a brand experience that relates to the daily lifestyle of this new consumer, a world’s leading automotive company decided to revolutionize the market with a state-of-the-art café built around strong promotion of the cars offered by the company. The main idea was to equip the café with specific devices that would equip café with cutting edge food ordering and entertainment technologies.
Our Customer was tasked with the deployment of software that would cover the entire device network. A large-scale innovative project required special knowledge of web development and integration, so the Customer outsourced this .NET software development to Iflexion – a qualified software vendor with profound knowledge of cross-platform and multi-device development.
Our team delivered a complex .NET-based software package installed on the café’s hardware and unifying managers, administrators, waiters and visitors in a single digital space, each user group having access to a limited set of functions.
The solution automates the core personnel workflows - order submission and processing - thus accelerating waiters’ work and eliminating human-related errors. Menu orders are made on individual interactive terminals, where guests visually select and configure brand cars, order or request for test drive nearest dealer and also play games, connect with social networks, and watch branded content related to fashion, tourism, design and sports.
Designed for the needs of everyone present at the café, the system can be used by:
- Visitors ordering food and watching the entertaining traffic
- Waiters responsible for taking orders and servicing clients
- Menu managers updating and modifying the menu content
- Admins monitoring the system work
Interactive Dinner Tables and Bar Counters
At this café there is no need waiting for the waiter. Iflexion developed a module that enables café’s visitors to look through the menu, submit orders for food and have a good time browsing social networks, watching videos and playing games while waiting for their orders. These features are available from the touch screens built in the tables.
As the Customer planned to make the bar counter interactive too, we adapted the implemented dinner table module to fit the screen dimensions of the bar counter terminals, retaining the same functionality.
Automated Order Processing
The Customer gave priority to the system’s performance rather than its visual attractiveness. The task was to develop a solution at minimal cost. In a short time, Iflexion’s .NET software development team implemented a powerful tool allowing personnel to improve the level of customer service significantly. Thanks to the automated order submitting, processing and billing, waiters can serve customers faster and minimize possible mistakes or misunderstandings. The waiter’s panel displays the entire table map and demonstrates the status of every table (vacant/reserved/order accepted/waiter call etc.)
Menu and System Management
Our team developed a separate module for managing the basic system settings, including user account and security management, server setup, recovery and back-up management etc.
Applying solid experience of CMS development, we implemented a user-friendly content management interface providing for instant change and update of the menu data.
Following the Customer’s request, we shifted the main focus to a powerful engine development and saved efforts for UI design, implementing the proven UX patterns. The overall admin panel development was completed in 40 hours.
Touch Screen LCD Video Wall
The biggest interactive screen in the world shows live user generated content including:
- Instagram feed of images with a special hash tag
- Product configurator allowing visitors to find the most suitable product from those offered by the company
- Video player running a list of branded videos
The functionality of the wall is available for visitors in kiosk mode only. Touching the wall, the café’s visitors can scroll the Instagram feeds, play the branded videos and select and order products according to their individual parameters. If the wall is not active, the Customer’s promotion videos are shown automatically.
Besides the everyday exploitation, the wall is used for the organized shows, such as fashion weeks.
Smart Control Panel
Our team also developed a module for the smart panel located in the middle of the café. Besides gaming and product configuration features, the module interacts with the video wall, providing a distant way of management the wall’s content.
Aimed at personalized UX, we employed technology that analyzes the personality of guests based on their facial expressions, and suggests unique products based on their results. For this purpose, we integrated the solution with a number of 3rd party libraries for the webcam face recognition. Guests can edit the details of the proposed product, locate and contact the nearest dealership.
Bringing All Devices Together
When so many modules were developed, the need of consolidating them into a single system emerged. Leveraging both .NET software development and integration, we developed a module enabling interaction between the system’s modules and ensuring smooth integration of heterogeneous data generated simultaneously by the system users of different devices.
The Customer engaged Iflexion for the requirements gathering and analysis, software development and integration. Though Iflexion was responsible for the major part of the project, we were not the only one team engaged. During the development we faced and solved the following challenges:
- Multiple devices. Before starting development, we had to study and analyze all custom devices. Iflexion’s business analysts and technical engineers performed thorough investigation of the electronics.
- A video wall of a very big size. Non-standard dimension of the screen posed a certain challenge for the development. Thanks to the extended experience of adaptive design, our development team solved the challenge successfully.
- Data base synchronization. To unify all processes in one IT environment, we implemented a data processing server that handles simultaneous data flows from different devices.
- Several contractors engaged. Thanks to the established agile practices, our team cooperated with the other Customer’s contractors, assisted them in solving the emerging problems and worked overtime day and night to deliver the solution meeting the Customer’s requirements.
- Frequently changing priorities and dependence on the hardware supply. As the project involved a lot of geographically distributed people, including device suppliers, software developers, the Customer had to adjust the requirements to the changing conditions and deliveries. Iflexion’s agile team adapted quickly to the shifts of priorities and dynamic deadlines.
Combining automated food delivery and cutting-edge entertainment services, the café serves an interactive recreation center rather than a traditional café. For the Customer it marked the beginning of a new individual communication approach to the consumer and powerful promotion of the branded cars.
During the first month the cafe received 10.000+ visitors, who published 4.500+ photos on Instagram.
The café’s visitors booked 328 car test drives and the company gained incredible feedback in earned media. The Customer was satisfied genuinely with the result of collaboration and is currently considering engaging Iflexion for his next project.
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