Our first meeting with Henry was April 21st. Our second meeting was May 2nd and was recorded. The recording can be found in the attachment.
The team's mentor this year was Henry Turco, a software engineer who has worked at a variety of locations in his life. Currently, Henry works at r4 Technologies as a Senior System Architect, however previously he worked at such companies as Havas Worldwide Digital and Barnes & Nobles in such positions as Director of Software Engineering and Project Manager: Store Systems. Henry's LinkedIn profile is attached to view further specifics. Henry's deep experience with software engineering was ultimately able to inform the team about many technical sides of Sprout and how Sprout could actually be implemented as an app.
Henry was a vital asset in informing many more technical components of Sprout, as well as providing feedback on Sprout in general. In our first meeting, Henry backed up our idea of updating Sprout over time to include more applications, citing that this is a common thing many companies do. This made us confident in putting forward in this profile that while Sprout's main application is education, a Sprout 2.0 or 3.0 may prove to have other uses for other target markets as well. Another thing Henry talked about in our first meeting was various services Sprout might rely on to actually perform its complex features. Henry noted such services as IBM's Watson, and we discussed how services like these might be implemented into Sprout's technological base. With this came also the aspect of paying for these services if we used them. Ultimately, this discussion informed us of various avenues we could take in developing Sprout, and the team ended up utilizing services in developing the prototype.
Our second meeting was equally beneficial. Beyond talking about the prototype and further technical details of Sprout, other notable topics that were brought up were the UI design of Sprout and pricing. For the UI, Henry talked about an ideal scenario of full-AR, with live options popping up on the screen as you scanned the page. The group and later the entire team got behind this idea, and ultimately we decided that this is the ideal UI Sprout could achieve. Of course, this would be very taxing on the phone, so again some more talk was done about using outside services and computers. The current UI we have for our functioning prototype is a simple scanning and options menu, and variations of this could perhaps be presented in our first couple of releases, however as Sprout grows we could move to develop that full-AR UI. Next, for financing, various options were discussed, such as subscription-based pricing and perhaps selling user data to educational/textbook companies. The latter option was something the team didn't really think about, so we were grateful that Henry opened up that avenue for us. Ultimately, this assisted us in deciding how we would finance Sprout (we ended up incorporating these two financing options), and the meeting overall was quite helpful in deliberating more about Sprout's infrastructure.