Kuala Lumpur, 19 April 2021 – The recently concluded ATLAS Hack Virtual Hackathon, Malaysia’s first Smart Retail Hackathon which was held from the 5th to 7th of March, with its Grand Finals on the 13th of March saw amazing innovative ideas developed by Malaysian tech talents for the retail vending space. ATLAS Hack was organised by ATLAS Vending, the largest food & beverage vending machine operator in Malaysia & Singapore as named by the Malaysian Book of Records, in partnership with corporate innovation outfit JomHack Malaysia.
The retail industry has seen many challenges recently due to the COVID-19 related restrictions, but this has also created many new opportunities for innovation with businesses being forced to go through some kind of digital transformation in order to adapt to the current norms. There’s also a pressing need to make vending machines more automated than ever to reduce manual labour, and to provide contactless purchasing experience for customers to remain safe in this COVID-19 era. Vending machines can lead this trend of providing smart-retail solutions to suppliers and customers.
ATLAS Vending has taken this opportunity to further encourage innovation within the retail space, and also engage more tech talents in Malaysia to be interested in retail businesses through this event.
“We know that there are so many incredible tech talents in this country and it is time for ATLAS Vending to create more programmes to engage these talents and work with them to create better opportunities for Malaysian talents, while improving our retail ecosystem,” said Amy Gan, the Head of Marketing & Ancillary Sales of ATLAS Vending.
“The participants at ATLAS Hack 2021 were really amazing, and developed highly innovative projects that we are keen to explore further. We would love to implement and commercialize some of the winning ideas and even offer job opportunities to some of the talented participants,” she added further.
This inaugural hackathon for ATLAS Vending saw 35 teams competing to create innovative projects based on the 4 major challenges provided by the organizers. The teams were also presented with various bounty ideas to work on. ATLAS Hack offered a generous prize pool of RM25,600 in cash prizes. The top 3 teams walked away with RM10,000, RM5,000 and RM2,500 respectively. The remaining top 10 teams (4th to 7th) received a RM300 consolation prize each, while 3 bounty prizes of RM2,000 each were also given to the teams who best executed the bounty ideas given by ATLAS Vending.
The overall Champions, team Visi with members Vincent Wong, Edison Tan and Vee Han impressed the judges the most with their contactless medication vending machine project. Team Veo with members Tan Jun Wei, Roland Chieng Ung Lung and Soo Mun Chong came very close in 2nd place with their contactless ‘gesture-based’ purchasing solution, while team UpAI with members Chen Wai Yang, Chen Zi Ying & Choy Jun Hao clinched the 3rd spot with their version of contactless ‘face-recognition-based’ purchasing solution. The bounty prizes went to teams 404 Not Found, BorneoHackers and Veo for working on the suggested bounty ideas and executing them really well.
The 3-day virtual hackathon was conducted through an interactive virtual event platform, where teams were guided by highly experienced mentors from both ATLAS Vending and JomHack to help them finish up their projects on time. ATLAS Hack was a great success and an excellent start for ATLAS Vending in actively engaging the tech community of Malaysia, and is looking forward to organizing more similar events in the future to create amazing opportunities for our local talents.