Key Questions

Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile USA are striving for best customer experiences and engagement with our customers at points of sale and service. In this challenge we are looking for best possible ways how to use technology to improve our customer experiences in XR environments.
Here are some key questions and use cases that might help you to understand some challenges we would like to solve. This is not an ultimate list of use cases or challenges. Any ideas or solutions that helps us to improve customer experiences and engagement in-store or at home are highly welcome!

Keeping customers close

How can we as Telekom overcome physical distance and interact with customers and each other in the best possible way?
Exemplary Use Cases:
How do you start shopping at home and finish in store (or vice versa)?
How can product knowledge and solution selling domain expertise be presented using an avatar with agency in XR?
What are the most innovative solutions in a hybrid XR environment for education, training or collaboration?
Exemplary Use Cases:

Make the invisible visible

How can we as Telekom overcome physical distance and interact with customers and each other in the best possible way?
Exemplary Use Cases:
How can eye tracking be used to determine customer intent and interest in a retail setting to prioritize information display?
How can visual search (identifying objects seen through cameras on mobiles, AR glasses or else) be used to support an in-store customer journey?

How can session specific customer analytics (e.g. head gaze, eye tracking, speech input, gesture interaction, visual search, bio sensors) be used to avoid cognitive overload when presenting digital data?

Ensure easy access and usability

How can we ensure that all customers can easily access and profit from enhanced XR customer experiences?
Examples:
How can a customer friendly user interface look like, that allows for support interaction?
How can we develop device agnostic applications for customer interaction (phone AR, tablet, VR, specific AR glasses)?
How can we use multimodal input to create a touch free shopping experience in a physical retail store?
How can we use semantic scene understanding to identify common physical surface areas in a store (e.g. wall poster, product information tag, POP promotion, sales sign, sales register, demo station) and then automatically grab the images and locations of these to allow the faster production of a digital experience?
How can we use AI/ML to anticipate customer needs to provide context based information in XR environments?

Realize robust usability

How can we technically implement solutions in order to realize a robust usability of use cases in-store or at home.
Examples:
What does XR Imply for future platform and network capabilities (e.g. low latency network & performance, edge computing)?
How can we remove safety issues (e.g. dizziness, nausea) for a better customer experience?
How do XR hardware & applications need to evolve to improve customer acceptance?
What are promising alternative technologies?

Design future customer experiences for human-centered technology

How can we revolutionize customer experiences in-store and at home to deliver best-in-class service?
Design the future touchpoints for customer sales and service!
How can XR serve customer needs in moments that matter?
How can we best possible present our products in a hybrid environment?
How can future customer interaction look like? Think about robots for self-service, avatars, hybrid services, etc.
Design a fusion of technology and design (e.g. sales/service counter, smart home) that serves a greater customer experience in sales and service!

Frequently Asked Questions

Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile USA are striving for best customer experiences and engagement with our customers at points of sale and service. In this challenge we are looking for best possible ways how to use technology to improve customer experiences in XR environments (augmented, virtual, mixed reality) - in-store and at home. Our current challenge is all about: “XR in a hybrid environment: Keeping customers close and improving experiences in-store and at home”.

 

The challenge runs in two streams and applicants can choose between the following ones in which they wish to participate:

  • Solution Development Stream: Deliver innovative XR solutions in the form of a minimum viable product (MVP).
  • Concept & Design Creation Stream: Live beyond the status quo – deliver a tangible research or design concept on future customer experiences.

The solution development stream is typically for startups, developers or other XR experts who already have a more mature solution in place to work upon.

 

The concept & design creation stream is typically for researchers and designers with early-stage ideas that would like to work on a tangible research or design concept on future customer experiences.

 

During the submission phase you only need to submit an idea proposal as part of the application form. Make us curious about your idea and describe what you will achieve during the following development phase. And if your idea proposal has been selected under the TOP 10, you can move on and work on your proposed tangible solution during the development phase.

 

If you are not sure, write us at challenge@telekom.de.

 

The top 10 teams from each stream will be invited to pitch their solutions at the award ceremony in Bonn (Germany) and get the opportunity to meet with high-level executives and decision-makers of Deutsche Telekom and explore various cooperation opportunities with one of the world’s largest telecommunication companies.

 

Benefits for the top 10 teams of each stream:

  • Travel expenses to the award ceremony will be covered!
  • Access to top experts & mentorship from Deutsche Telekom & T-Mobile USA
  • Opportunity to showcase your solution in our T-Shops

Prize money for the best teams:

Solution Development Stream:

  • 1’st prize: 150,000 €
  • 2’nd prize: 100,000 €
  • 3’rd prize: 50,000 €

Concept & Design Creation Stream:

  • 1’st prize: 75,000 €
  • 2’nd prize: 50,000 €
  • 3’rd prize: 25,000 €

T-Challenge is a worldwide invitation for developers, experts, creatives and researchers from academia, R&D institutes, startups, agencies and industry to provide innovative solutions for specific challenge fields.

 

It is important to note that it is not designers, experts, agencies, university chairs, entire R&D units or companies from industry who apply, but rather individual people or teams from all over the world who are employed at universities, R&D institutions or companies apply independently and therefore are eligible for the challenge.

 

Furthermore, employees from Deutsche Telekom AG and affiliated companies in the Group and governmental organizations are not allowed to apply to or participate in the T-Challenge Program.

 

By submitting your proposal to the T-Challenge Program, you represent that your Principal Investigator:
(a) does not participate in his role as an employee of a government entity (other than an accredited academic or research institution);
(b) has not been a director, officer, employee, intern or contractor of Deutsche Telekom AG or its affiliates within the 12 months preceding application to the T-Challenge Program (“Ineligible Personnel”);
(c) is not a member of the immediate family or household of Ineligible Personnel.

 

Submitters must be at least 18 years of age. As an exception, Telekom is free to allow a submitter who is less than 18 years of age to participate in the T-Challenge, provided that the submitter’s legal guardian/s has/have declared his/her/their consent in writing prior to the filing of submissions by the submitter.

 

Furthermore, your idea has to cover the challenge topic: XR in a hybrid environment. Furthermore, your idea has to follow the guidelines of the described streams (Solution Development Stream or Concept & Design Creation Stream). The relevant submission deadline for both streams (first phase) close on January 31, 2022 at 23:59 CEST. The relevant submission deadline for your idea is January 31, 2022 at 23:59 CEST.

 

You can submit your applications online by filling out our submission page (apply.telekom-challenge.com) until January 31, 2022 at 23:59 CEST.

 

Make us curious about your idea and describe what you will achieve during the following development phase. The contest language is English. Only ideas handed in in English will be considered.

 

Those selected will then be notified via email by February 20, 2022 and will have the time to submit their final work until May 22, 2022.

 

Yes, it will be possible to save your application, edit and delete it until the end of the related submission phase. Once the submission deadline arrives, your application will be automatically submitted, and it will be locked from editing. Please note that we will only consider applications that include all required information before 31st January 2022, 23:59 CEST.

 

All innovative ideas are welcome. If you have more than one innovative idea, you can submit these under the same login online at our submission page – either in the same stream or in another stream.

 

We want to give each member of the selected TOP 10 the greatest possible flexibility to work on their final solution. Nevertheless, the final results of the two participant streams should meet the following core guidelines.

  • Solution Development Stream: Deliver innovative XR solutions in the form of a minimum viable product (MVP). You are able to deliver a measurable improvement and develop an advanced MVP during the development phase.
  • Concept & Design creation Stream: Deliver a tangible research or design concept (prototype) on future customer experiences during the development phase.

At the end of the development phase you will pitch your ideas in front of a Grand Jury in Bonn (Germany). You will need to prepare a pitch deck in the preparation phase (template will be provided). You will also need to demonstrate your tangible solution. In case the final solution includes a software or code, it needs to be uploaded to the provided Git space.

 

A minimum viable product (MVP) is a solution with basic functionality. It is a simple yet complete product. It is devoid of many advanced features and only focuses on the core of the idea. The distinctive feature of a minimum viable product is quality. Many people mistakenly think that an MVP is a raw version of a solution. But a MVP implies a simple product, and at the same time, it must be of high quality to interest the target audience. This includes easy navigation, beautiful design, and an intuitive interface.

 

During the development phase we would like you to deliver a tangible research or design concept that you can present during the final pitch & award ceremony. Typical examples of a prototype could be:

 

  • Design prototype: deliver something tangible, like a film, collage, click-dummy, 3D Model, etc.
  • Technical prototype: you should deliver a functional and tangible technical prototype of your idea.

 

This list is not limited. If you have questions, write us at challenge@telekom.de.

 

The challenge application will take place in two phases. In the submission phase you should make us curious about your idea and describe what you will achieve in the development phase. The applications will be accepted from  October 15, 2021 until January 31, 2022, 23:59 CEST. The selected TOP 10 ideas for each stream will be notified via email by 20th of February 2022 and admitted to the development phase.

 

In the development phase from February 21, 2022 until May 22, 2022, 23:59 CEST we are expecting you to work on the development of a minimum viable product (for the solution development stream) or a tangible research or design concept (for the concept and design creation stream).

 

The results of your work should be uploaded on the submission platform (and gitlab) until May 22, 2022, 23:59 CEST.

 

Soon after, the selected teams (up to 10 for each stream) who can pitch their solutions in front of the grand jury, will be announced.

 

The pitch session and award ceremony will be held on June 1, 2022 in Bonn, Germany. Please mark in your calender the dates from May 30, 2022 until June 1, 2022. These are dates where you should plan to be in Bonn for organizational reasons (e.g. install your solution, technical readiness, dry-run of the pitch session).

 

The evaluation and selection process of the T-Challenge is designed to create an open, accountable, multi-step selection process based solely on the merit of the submitted ideas. All submissions shall receive the same opportunity.

 

Each eligible submitted idea shall be evaluated by expert evaluators from DTAG or selected partners. The main selection criteria are a clearly expressed concept, which in the view of the evaluators holds the most promise to have significant impact on the customer experience and the fit with Deutsche Telekom’s and T-Mobile USA strategic goals.

 

The selection and announcement take place in two phases.

  • The review of all ideas in the submission phase will be finalized by latest February 20, 2022. Soon after, the selected TOP 10 will be informed via E-Mail.
  • The review of the TOP 10 results in the development phase will be finalized by end of May, 2022. Soon after, the selected teams (up to 10 for each stream) who can pitch their solutions in front of the grand jury, will be announced.
To submit your idea, you have to register with a password. The provided information will be used for challenge purposes only. Your personal data will be deleted 6 months after the award ceremony in Bonn. The implementation partner Schaltzeit GmbH will support Deutsche Telekom AG for administration of the submitted material according to German law. The Personal Data is stored in a datacenter in Germany; the transmission path will be secured by TLS/SSL-coding. By submitting your idea within this challenge, you consent that T-Mobile USA, Deutsche Telekom AG and its subcontractors Schaltzeit GmbH and BeMyApp Inc. will collect, process, and store your data according to the T-Challenge Rules.