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A Year of Innovation: Highlights from 2023

Summer Swann
December 11, 2023
hands holding sparklers

2023 has been a year of breaking records here at Yeti – Guinness World Records, to be precise!  Let's rewind and take a look back at a year packed with innovative projects and accomplishments in our year in review.

2023 has been a wild ride for the Yeti team. We helped clinch a Guinness World Record, successfully navigated projects ranging from tourism to skincare, took a deep dive into AI and IoT, and continued building our library of valuable guides, resources and articles. Join us as we revisit the innovative strides, ambitious projects, and collective triumphs that defined our remarkable year!

GoCar: Driving Innovation

A highlight of 2023 was our engagement with GoCar, a popular provider of cutting-edge GPS-guided city tours.

GoCar’s distinctive approach provides users with the opportunity to embark on self-guided tours through major cities in compact, three-wheeled, GPS-equipped vehicles. During these tours, users enjoy immersive audio narratives that provide insights into the surrounding landmarks and attractions.

Prior to our engagement, GoCar faced several of critical challenges that required immediate attention, including dependence on an outdated legacy system, a lack of scalability and flexibility, and a cumbersome content management system - all of which made scaling GoCar next to impossible.

To help GoCar move forward successfully, we crafted a comprehensive solution for modernizing both their mobile app and internal infrastructure. To facilitate managing, storing and leveraging media files, we implemented a custom content management system (CMS), which additionally allows the GoCar team to quickly and easily edit existing tours and create new ones - previously a significant barrier to scaling.

Our engagement with the GoCar team is ongoing, and we’re currently working on some exciting new projects - so be sure to stay tuned!

CIC: Fostering Inclusivity

Inclusivity in university computer science programs is a well documented issue, with women making up only 20% of computing majors. Northeastern University’s Center for Inclusive Computing (CIC) is a groundbreaking initiative that aims to tackle this issue and increase the number of women graduating with undergraduate computing degrees.

As part of their initiative, the CIC’s data program collects historic and current enrollment, persistence, retention, and graduation data from 57+ universities. This data is then used to help diagnose where in the curriculum schools are losing students and to shed light on the efficacy of implemented interventions.

Prior to our engagement, the CIC relied on data manually entered by their partner schools and a predominantly manual analysis process - an approach that was not only time-consuming but also prone to errors. To address this, we developed a dynamic data collection tool that allows partner schools to effortlessly upload enrollment, retention, and graduation data, and which empowers the CIC team to efficiently analyze the data using a compatible data visualization tool.

Smile Train: Breaking Guinness Records

For the past several years we’ve built the donation forms used by Smiletrain, a nonprofit organization focused on providing cleft palate care for all - so when they asked for our help with  setting a Guiness World Record, we were incredibly excited.

Smile Train's objective was to set the Guiness World record for the "World's Largest Online Album of Smiling Mouths." To help, we developed a website capable of collecting and showcasing over 20,000 user-submitted photos.

The final product is a homepage that displays all of photos that have been submitted, each of which is numbered, as per Guinness rules. An open-source camera library allows users to snap their own photo, and guidance elements are utilized to ensure that every photo captured is within Guiness guidelines. To allow the Smile Train team to effectively manage and review photo submissions, we integrated a CMS using Hygraph.

Through this effort, Smile Train was able to set the Guinness World Record for "World's Largest Online Album of Smiling Mouths.", with a final total of over 21,000 smiles!

Yeti's AI Hackathon

Earlier this year the world began seeing AI-powered application proliferating across nearly every domain imaginable. With tools like Chat GPT and MidJourney allowing users to  accomplish an impressive array of tasks in mere seconds, we knew it was time to get our hands dirty and begin unearthing the ways AI could bring the software to the next level.

To provide the Yeti team with an opportunity to begin exploring the possibilities of AI, we organized an AI hackathon that tasked participants with conceiving, designing, and developing an AI powered application… all within a single day.

The Yetis were divided into four teams, each tasked with showcasing AI's transformative potential in reshaping our digital landscape -  and the outcomes were remarkable. Ranging from an application with the capacity to translate any spoken language to a chatbot adept at providing accurate answers to the incessant "why" questions posed by curious young children, our teams successfully crafted purposeful solutions to real-world challenges by seamlessly integrating AI into their respective applications.

Resources, Guides and Articles

In 2023, the Yeti team was focused on exploring the expansive possibilities presented by AI and IoT technology - and this years content reflects that focus. From expert perspectives on the AI revolution, to step-by-step tips on how AI tools can be leveraged to enhance  professional and creative processes and beyond, we covered a lot of ground.



Team Retreats

Here at Yeti, our team thrives on strong interpersonal relationships and a sense of adventure. When we transitioned to remote work during the pandemic it was quickly apparent that we needed to find a way to regroup and come together in person a few times a year. To facilitate this, we chose to set aside time for bi-annual retreats focused on bonding, fun and internal company processes.

This year, the entire team had the opportunity to meet up in Park City, Utah for a winter retreat, and San Diego CA for a summer retreat. While in Park City the team enjoyed skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing - and in San Diego we had the opportunity to utilize the software we build for GoCar, with everyone taking a GPS guided tour around the city. Alongside all of this we had the opportunity to work on company processes, and most importantly, bond and team build.

This year, our entire team had the opportunity to come together for two unforgettable retreats—one amidst the snow-covered landscapes of Park City, Utah, and the other beneath the sun-drenched skies of San Diego.

In Park City, the team enjoyed skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing - while San Diego provided the opportunity to utilize the innovative software, we developed for GoCar,  embarking on a GPS-guided tour and exploring the city. Above all, this years retreats provided us with the invaluable opportunity to come together, bond and team build while working on company processes.

If you’re responsible for organizing your company retreat, be sure to check out Retreat Planning 101: Crafting an Unforgettable Team Bonding Experience for our tips on how you can make your next retreat successful and productive.

Cupcake: Spreading Joy

Over the past few years we’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with Cupcake Wines on their immersive marketing campaigns. These campaigns provide Cupcake customers with the opportunity to scan QR codes under their wine cap and be transported to an online environment full of opportunities to interact with the brand through quizzes, games, AR filters and more - with each interaction earning entries into a sweepstakes boasting incredible prizes.

This year our partnership with Cupcake reached new heights with three new immersive brand experiences: "Love is Wine," "World of Joy," and "Summer of Joy", each of which offers unique brand experiences. To learn more, be sure to visit our Summer of Joy case study!

Reflecting on 2023 fills us with immense gratitude. Here at Yeti it's been a year of extraordinary opportunities, innovative projects and exceptional individuals - and we want to extend a heartfelt thank you to each of our clients and partners for entrusting us to breathe life into their visions. As we eagerly anticipate the adventures that 2024 holds, we wish you a joyous holiday season and a spectacular New Year ahead.

Summer is Yeti's Marketing Manager. When not working, you can find her searching for thrift store treasure, hiking in the Sierra Nevadas, camping in her vintage camper, cooking vegan treats and reading anything she can get her hands on. Summer lives surrounded by wilderness in the remote mountains of California.

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