If you look through some of my projects, you’ll see that I’m lucky enough to work regularly with Verve Live Agency, helping them realise some of their bespoke, off-the-wall ideas for their distinguished client list. This is always fun.

For the latest project they wanted a short customer journey application that allowed the customer to play a quick game. They wanted to initiate this journey with the customer tapping their contactless AIB card - the perfect mix of hardware and software.

This app was launched at Ireland’s biggest festival, Electric Picnic as well as at two secret locations in Ireland prior to the festival. Verve created a gigantic vending machine to house the app, and customers were invited to interact and win merchandise.

This was a fun project that involved getting knee-deep in some Arduinos. I used an Adafruit breakout board to handle the contactless debit card (NFC) interaction without having to wade into the regulated world of online banking. Our app simply detected the presence of a contactless debit card (without reading any information) and converted this into a keystroke that could be read by our web application. Simple.

Thankfully, it worked perfectly and went down a storm at the festival. Have a look:

— A playthrough of the interface

— The NFC reader for detecting beeps

— The final installation out in the wild