Turn boring paper and electronic receipts into fast, fun mobile games to earn real-life rewards.

“By delivering value directly to consumers, we can open up a world of opportunity.”

Ed DeCaria

Senior VP, New Productsat IRi


IRi, known for its insightful data analysis, aimed to pioneer in consumer purchase data collection and utilization. The company sought to deepen its understanding of consumer behaviors through innovative engagement strategies, transitioning from traditional consumer "panel" data collection techniques to modern mobile technology solutions.


The IRi Receipt Games iPhone app project represented a strategic initiative to directly engage consumers by turning retail receipt analysis into an interactive experience. This app sought to incentivize user participation in data sharing through gameplay mechanics, enhancing IRi's capabilities in collecting valuable data while offering users a unique and enjoyable experience.


IRi challenged Eight Bit Studios to create a consumer-facing iPhone app that would gamify the process of receipt data collection, moving away from legacy data collection methods. The goal was to leverage modern mobile technology to increase voluntary user participation in data sharing by integrating engaging and rewarding gameplay.


Eight Bit Studios developed the IRi Receipt Games app for iOS and Android. The app leveraged OCR technology for efficient receipt data analysis and developed micro-games to transform user interaction into an enjoyable experience. By establishing a social API connection and creating a rewards system offering PayPal cash and Donors Choose gift cards, the app aimed to boost user engagement and incentivize participation, significantly improving upon existing apps by offering rewards for any store, product, or service, and for receipts from any time period.


The IRi Receipt Games iPhone App project notably succeeded in harnessing micro-games to boost user engagement and initiated a strategy for international expansion, particularly focusing on Australia and New Zealand. Despite these advancements and the promising potential for market-specific adaptations backed by collaborative efforts, IRi ultimately decided not to commercially launch the product. This decision, informed by considerations beyond the scope of this case study, underscores the complexities and strategic decision-making involved in bringing innovative products to market. The project's journey, from concept to completion, not only leveraged existing development efforts but also offered valuable insights into the potential and challenges of gamifying shopper loyalty through modern mobile technology.




The project kicked off with a strong foundation in research and planning. Eight Bit Studios and IRi aligned on project objectives, scrutinized the existing prototype for reusable elements, and dived deep into user experience research. This phase was crucial for defining the app’s core functionality, including the integration of OCR technology for receipt scanning and the conceptualization of engaging micro-games that would drive user interaction.

  • Code Review: Eight Bit Studios evaluated IRi's prototype app to determine reusable code elements, optimizing resource allocation for game mechanics and design enhancements.

  • OCR API Integration Exploration: Focused on understanding IRi's OCR API specifications, this effort aimed to ensure seamless data extraction from receipts, crucial for the app's core functionality.

  • Engagement Strategy: The planning for social API connections and notification systems was undertaken to foster user engagement and retention.

  • User Experience (UX) and Interaction Design: Extensive research and analysis were conducted to gather insights into the target market and inform the app's design and user interface strategies.


As the project moved into its delivery phase, the focus shifted to implementing the technical infrastructure and crafting an intuitive user experience. Key milestones included:

  • Design Iterations: Iterative design incorporating client feedback to refine the app's branding, UX, and UI.

  • Game Mechanics Development: Focused on creating engaging micro-games based on the interaction patterns and storyboard concepts developed earlier.

  • Mobile Development: iOS and Android development, optimizing app functionality and design to meet each platform's specifications. Adaptations in UI/UX, game mechanics, and system integrations ensured seamless operation across devices.

  • User Trials and Feedback Integration: Conducting user trials to gather initial reactions and incorporating this feedback iteratively to improve the app's design and functionality.

  • Back-End AND OCR Integration: Significant efforts were made to integrate back-end services, including OCR technology for analyzing receipt data.

Ready to embark on an epic app quest