30 developers attend Walgreens event to integrate QuickPrints technology into prototype photo applications in under 5 hours

Hack day highlights company’s continued efforts to foster mobile innovation through relationships with third-party developer community


DEERFIELD, IL – Aug. 13, 2012 – This past Saturday, Walgreens hosted its first Mobile Photo Hack Day at its downtown Chicago office. The event gave developers the opportunity to meet, collaborate and showcase their creative implementations of the QuickPrints SDK in their applications.

The successful, single-day hackathon attracted a total of 30 developers making up 14 photo hack application demonstrations. Developer demos were judged based upon the unique features and functionality of the application and the completed integration of the QuickPrints SDK, which was determined by the photo print output created at the on-site photo lab.

The applications were reviewed by a panel of judges that included: Scott Regan (head of marketing, Apigee), Ari Fuchs (lead API engineer & developer evangelist, Aviary), Brett Goldstein (commissioner, Chicago Department of Innovation & Technology), Kevin McGinnis (VP of product platforms, Sprint), Terry Howerton (founder, TechNexus) and Jasbir Patel (senior director and general merchandise manager for photo, Walgreens).

“I would like to thank all the talented programmers who found very creative ways to use QuickPrints SDK in third party apps,” said Abhi Dhar, Walgreens chief technical officer for e-commerce. “Although ‘appathons’ are more common in places like Silicon Valley, it was our goal to bring the concept to Chicago and take advantage of the city’s burgeoning tech industry and its growing pool of talented programmers.”

The winner of both the Judges’ and People’s Choice Awards was Smilesback, developed by the husband-wife team of Mr. Bhabani Sahu and Mrs. Prachi Sahoo. Smilesback (watch their app demo video) reminds people about important dates such as anniversaries, birthdays and others occasions that are perfect for personalized, last-minute photo gifts.

“We wanted to build something that helps people and can make a difference in their daily lives,” Bhabani Sahu said. “QuickPrints is about convenience and speed and that really fits with our goals for the Smilesback app.”

The Smilesback team won a total of $5,000 in cash prizes along with a 6-month mentoring and residency program through event partner TechNexus, a Chicago-based technology incubator and collaboration center.

In July, Walgreens extended its innovation in mobile technology with its developer portal that allows third-party software developers to integrate the Walgreens QuickPrints software development kit (SDK), which allows iOS and Android mobile users to print photos directly from their smartphone to most Walgreens stores nationwide in about an hour. The launch of the QuickPrints SDK marked the first time that Walgreens has provided an open interface for third-party application developers to integrate Walgreens in-store services.

The Walgreens QuickPrints SDK, already implemented within seven partner applications, allows third party developers to integrate a print service within their existing mobile application and earn a revenue share from photo orders printed and picked up at a local Walgreens location. More information about the QuickPrints SDK program and its partners can be found on the Walgreens Developer Portal and through a dedicated Twitter handle @WalgreensAPI.

About Walgreens

As the nation's largest drugstore chain with fiscal 2011 sales of $72 billion, Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) vision is to become America’s first choice for health and daily living. Each day, Walgreens provides nearly 6 million customers the most convenient, multichannel access to consumer goods and services and trusted, cost-effective pharmacy, health and wellness services and advice in communities across America. Walgreens scope of pharmacy services includes retail, specialty, infusion, medical facility and mail service, along with respiratory services. These services improve health outcomes and lower costs for payers including employers, managed care organizations, health systems, pharmacy benefit managers and the public sector. The company operates 7,919 drugstores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Take Care Health Systems is a Walgreens subsidiary that is the largest and most comprehensive manager of worksite health and wellness centers and in-store convenient care clinics, with more than 700 locations throughout the country.