Project Description

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Bringing AR Innovation to Ricardo’s Marketplace

At Ricardo AG, I’m a product designer with a passion for innovation and an eye for turning ideas into reality. In 2022, I found myself facing a common challenge: the daunting task of listing used items for sale. It was tedious, time-consuming, and felt more like a chore than anything else. The frustration and lack of motivation got me thinking about how I could simplify and make the process more engaging. That’s when the idea for Ricardo Lens was born.

The Spark of an Idea

One evening, while sitting in my living room, I asked myself: what if listing items for sale could be as simple as pointing a camera at them? This was the spark that led to Ricardo Lens, a project that aimed to use augmented reality (AR) to scan items and estimate their value instantly. The idea was straightforward: open the camera, scan an item, and receive a rough price estimate. Users could switch between buying and selling modes with a simple tap, making the entire process interactive and fun.

Scenario A
Buying experience

Imagine you’re standing outside a store, eyeing a jacket in the window. You’re curious if you can find the same item or something like it in a secondhand store. So, you whip out your phone, open the Ricardo app, and use the Ricardo Lens feature (which is kind of like Google Lens). You snap a picture of the jacket, and voila! The app shows you all the similar options available on Ricardo’s marketplace. It’s an easy way to find what you’re looking for without any fuss.

Scenario B
Selling experience

Picture this: your old phone has been lying around in your living room gathering dust. You’ve been thinking about selling it, but never got around to it. Now, there’s a solution – the new “Ricardo Lens.” With this innovative tool, you can use AI to assess the rough value of items in your space without any hassle.

The Hackathon that Changed Everything

In late 2023, I saw an opportunity to push Ricardo Lens forward. The Swiss Marketplace Group was hosting a hackathon, and I was determined to participate. However, none of my immediate team members were available or interested in taking on the challenge of completing the project in just two days. It was a setback, but I was undeterred.

Thankfully, two talented engineers, Jonas and Sergiu, who shared my passion for innovation, signed up for the project. With Jonas handling the backend and Sergiu focusing on Android development, we had the bare minimum to kickstart the project. Despite our day jobs, we worked nights and weekends to bring Ricardo Lens to life.

A Triumph at the Hackathon

During the hackathon, Julia presented Ricardo Lens with enthusiasm and energy. Our hard work paid off as we won the title of “Most Impact on Business.” The response from the audience and the management was overwhelmingly positive, validating all our efforts and sleepless nights. The success at the hackathon was just the beginning.

Following our win, Ricardo Lens caught the attention of the company’s leadership. I had the honor of presenting it to the board of directors at the Swiss Marketplace Group. The project became a company priority, eventually transforming from Ricardo Lens to Ricardo AI, with a focus on integrating AI-driven automation to streamline the buying and selling process. The buying journey is being released on Android.

Figma
Prototype

Android
hackathon implementation
Lessons Learned

Reflecting on this journey, I learned the importance of resilience and patience. Even when others doubt your vision, it’s crucial to stay true to your beliefs and allow the universe to arrange the perfect timing. If I had pitched Ricardo Lens at the 2022 hackathon, it might not have been as successful as it is today.

So, if you have a wild idea that others can’t quite grasp, don’t give up. Keep pushing, stay patient, and believe in your vision. With the right timing and the right team, you can turn even the wildest dreams into reality.

Ricardo AI

You can download the Ricardo app from the Google Playstore to try it out on your Android device. Selling experience and iOS coming soon.

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Acknowledgments

I want to express my sincere gratitude for whole hackathon team especially to Jonas and Sergiu for their dedication and hard work. Without their commitment, Ricardo Lens would have remained just a dream. Thank you for believing in the project and helping to make it a reality. To the rest of the hackathon team, thank you for your support and energy. This success belongs to all of us.