Applications User Experience Beacons Developer Challenge Promotes Innovation, Collaboration

By DJ Ursal, Oracle Applications User Experience

The entrepreneurial spirit came alive during the Oracle Applications User Experience (Apps UX) Beacons Developer Challenge recently. There was a true sense of collaboration, not only at the participant level but at an organizational level too. We saw a lot of creativity and pushed the boundaries of what’s possible with emerging technologies.

As host of the event, it was a wonderful opportunity to network with best-of-the-best minds within Oracle. We believe beacons are a game-changer in connectivity and the next big technology of the future. This functionality leverages Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology, allowing you to add geofencing capabilities to your application design. Instead of using satellite-based signals to track your users’ locations, highly localized BLE signals from a variety of signal emitters provide a more granular level of interaction with applications.

The Beacons Developer Challange was a 60-hour mobile app-building contest, held in July at Oracle headquarters in Redwood Shores, Calif..The purpose of the Challenge was to give developers, designers, and internal entrepreneurs the chance to work together to build apps, bring awareness to “the Internet of things”, as well as to promote collaboration across Oracle. Participating organizations included: Fusion Technical Architecture, BlueKai Development, Siebel development,Oracle Internet of Things (IoT) Organization, North America Sales consulting group, Fusion HCM Development, Apps Usability and the Oracle Product Development College Hire Program.


North America Applications Sales Consulting team as they set out to conquer the developer challenge. 


Oracle Product Development College Hire team takes time out for brainstorming.


The challenge was focused on location-aware enterprise business scenarios, and teams chose their own platform on which to develop a mobile app. We limited this competition to one beacon platform, using iBeacons from Estimote, however others are available such as Gimbal and Raspberry Pi. We wanted to make sure that single-member teams had a fighting chance too, so there was no restriction on the size of the team. To ensure a level playing field, all participants were provided with the same set of sample data to be used for creating their mobile app. Each application was evaluated by judges based on the following criteria:
  • Execution of Entry: How fully developed and implemented the entry is. Does it use the data provided and beacons?
  • Business Value: How useful would the entry be in a business context?
  • User Experience: To what degree does the entry demonstrate new and innovative uses of beacons and Oracle data? Is it a pleasure to use?

Judges included Jeremy Ashley (@jrwashley), second from left, the vice president of the Oracle Applications User Experience team, Jayant Sharma, Director product management, and Mark Vilrokx (@mvolrokx). Not in the picture, Ed Jones, John Hsieh, Dj Ursal and Laurie Pattison.

After two and half days of hard work and coding, nine projects were demoed to our panel of judges at the end of the week. Great ideas were showcased, and choosing the top three proved to be difficult.

Awards and Certificates. 

The first place award went to a solo entry, team Swift, that showcased the power of a framework that was location-aware, using iBeacons. In second place, The AppsLab (@appslab) team implemented a location-aware, social application for the enterprise that connected local employees together to better manage their interactions in the workplace by sharing information, such as location. Team OCH1 came in third with their app that utilizes beacons to change the way we look for resources in the office.

The Apps UX Beacon Developer Challenge was sponsored by the Oracle Product Development College Hire Program, Oracle Facilities and Oracle Spatial and Graph. A big thank-you goes to our fantastic on-site support staff, which included people from across different organizations within Oracle.

The Apps UX Beacon Developer Challenge event staff.


At the end of the day, it was not about the prizes, but building passion for creating new ideas and concepts, new experiences, in a fun and engaging manner, and promoting an innovative social network that allows one to connect with like-minded people, crossing organizational boundaries.

The Oracle Apps UX developer challenge mission is to fuel innovation and promote collaboration by connecting people, ideas, and technologies from various organizations across Oracle. By collaborating in the developers challenge and working together, the employees got a chance to contribute  their best skills while learning from the other members of the team. Team members learnt from each other by sharing information, discussing options, debating the best solution, and by actively using skills on developer challenge project.

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Check here for news and upcoming events from Oracle's Applications User Experience team on the Oracle Applications Cloud and more.

Misha Vaughan
Misha Vaughan, Senior Director, Applications User Experience
@mishavaughan on Twitter

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