Pizza Hut: Innovating on Mobile Ordering

Pizza Hut: Innovating on Mobile Ordering

For the second March Madness in a row, Touchlab partnered with creative agency droga5 to remind America how easy it is to order from Pizza Hut. We were the mobile innovation partner on a very fun build with great partners. In year one, 64 pairs of these Bluetooth-enabled high-top sneakers were created by Dominic Chambrone, AKA “The Shoe Surgeon.”  Based on the great success of the first edition, year two will see the first opportunity for the public to purchase these revolutionary kicks, this time in limited edition “marinara sauce” Red and “pizza crust” Wheat.


Client Challenge

Pizza Hut needed a mobile innovation partner capable of meeting strict March Madness deadlines and with enough experience to introduce a radical form of mobile ordering.

Touchlab’s Solution

Pie Topps with the appThe Pie Tops app, completely separate from the brand’s main app, integrates the Bluetooth tech embedded in the shoes and allows consumers to order their favorite pizzas to their current location.

Our Doppl code sharing platform gave us the speed boost we needed to build two native apps (Android & iOS) in the almost impossible time of 3 weeks in year one. Close collaboration with the creatives & producers at droga5 and the mobile development leadership at Pizza Hut & Yum helped us accomplish quite a bit in a short period of time.

We were pleasantly surprised to hear that Touchlab was launching their cross-platform development tool, which builds both versions in approximately the same time as developing just the Android version. We knew this was the way to go.” —Grace Wang, droga5

In year two we expanded functionality, added deeper integration with the brand’s APIs, deployed to the Google Play Store & Apple App Store, and encountered all the normal unexpected surprises that come with every software build. Thanks to great relationships with great partners and a strict adherence to our DRY mobile innovation methodology we delivered on-time and on-budget. Post-release iteration  and support is greatly simplified because of the Doppl-based standardization of the code and architecture.



Delivered native Android and iOS apps on-time and on-budget using our Doppl code-sharing tech. Our DRY mobile innovation methodology improved collaboration among many teams helping to produce an innovative product that yielded great results for our client and partners.


Final Thoughts

Innovative solutions are easier to produce through great collaborations. Pizza Hut partnered with the great minds at droga5, who in turn sought out the talented Shoe Surgeon and were kind enough to bring us into the mix on the mobile side. We’re quite proud of what we’ve all produced together and of what our team’s inventions and processes brought to the table.

It was very collaborative working with the Touchlab team. We were able to talk through user scenarios and come up with the best solution for all of the unknowns. It was reassuring to know we were working with such experienced developers. If any bugs came up, we were able to quickly resolve the issue.” —Tasha Cronin, droga5


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Finally, of course, since you read all the way to the end you deserve a reward. So here are two, very innovative, incredibly professional, and almost offensively punny, shoe jokes.


  • I bought shoes from a drug dealer, I don’t know what he laced them with but I’ve been tripping all day.
  • If a crocodile makes shoes, what does a banana make? Slippers.
Jane Goodall Institute: Mobile Innovation for Tracking Deforestation

Jane Goodall Institute: Mobile Innovation for Tracking Deforestation

When the Jane Goodall Institute approached us to build their first mobile app, Forest Watcher, we were more than excited. We had the opportunity to build something with a lasting impact on communities suffering from deforestation and non-profits battling to make a difference. Forest Watcher is the brainchild of The Jane Goodall Institute (in partnership with Global Forest Watch (GFW), some great folks at the Google maps team, and Touchlab and was funded by the World Resources Institute (WRI).

Touchlab partnered with these organizations to put Global Forest Watch data into the hands of local African decision-makers by harnessing their capacity to monitor forests using mobile technology and creating a model that can be replicated across the globe.


Client Challenge

The goal of the mobile solution was to improve forest conservation on the ground by enabling local stakeholders with limited and occasional internet connectivity to use and contribute data to the Global Forest Watch platform using mobile and cloud technologies.

Tracking and preventing deforestation is a complex logistics problem that was normally managed with inefficient manual paper data entry. The network connectivity for a potential mobile solution in Africa and digital literacy was also low. The local government needed to control how deforestation data was shared and played a critical factor in the development of the mobile solution. 

Touchlab’s Solution

We understood that Forest Watch was the organizations’ first mobile product and that user features needed be defined. Through design thinking exercises, user surveys and workshops with clients, we defined the features that would deliver the most value to users.

The Forest Watcher App serves as a real-time tracker for forest rangers, local community members, farmland owners, and other affected parties. Forest Watcher users can download offline maps over wifi, and use the app to find GFW alerts, mark areas with signs of tree removal, and upload field data such as photos. With crowdsourcing, more frequent reporting, and accurate documentation, local decision makers and conservationists can collect evidence, track damages, and perhaps prevent further loss by visiting deforestation hotspots.

See below: Lilian Pintea presenting the Forest Watcher App at Geo For Good 2015


After countless months of testing in the field, the beta version of Forest Watcher has launched in Uganda to promising reviews and feedback.

  • “Around 90% of users are able to use the beta and the alerts generated to guide their activities.” – Lillian Pintea (client stakeholder)
  • “Because of the alerts I know where illegality is occurring and also make follow ups.” – Actual user feedback
  • “It will make my work EASY, get proper information from forests without having to move randomly.” – Actual user feedback

The beta and product we developed was expanded upon by the Global Forest Watcher team and our initial product was eventually also developed for iOS. You can view the current iteration of the product here.