Hologistics, a possible killer app for Holochain?

No this is not about an app framework to compete with Amazon! But yes it could lead to something big, but not like Amazon.

Having followed the general development process and some Holochain projects, I’m still waiting for a potential killer app that could drive the adaptation of Holochain immediately after the stack has reached a basic usability level. I know that there are already projects listed in this forum that have great potential, but INMHO they are quite complex or they compete with existing applications that have an existing user base of several million.

Of course I like the platform ideas which are targeted by Holo REA, bHive, Shiro or Hylo, but on the other hand I see a killer app as something much more simple, at least as MVP to build a decent user base. And yes it should be a mobile app, even if I take into account that Holochain is still far away to run native on mobile devices. But this can be mitigated through building the first version with a web-server and Chapperone.

I did some writing and building concept about how to rewire our somehow crazy and fragile supply chains, but came to the conclusion that, it either too early or too complex to succeed in this field. But finally during last weeks I found a way to enter a kind of supply chain edge with a mobile app that potentially could be used by everyone and would allow to scale a Holochain network superfast.

The app itself isn’t something really new or super exciting it is more or less a clone of a existing Android app for food inventory / grocery management. But such apps are an ideal use case for Holochain for the following reasons:

  1. Privacy, your food and other stockage are sensible data, syncing over a cloud puts your data at risk to get abused.
  2. Normally you sync your data with others of your devices or with family and friends. Holochain can work that way server-less, which could be a game changer when the net is down in time of crisis.
  3. The app that I think is worth cloning is a German app called “Vorrat”. The design is a bit clumsy, but the functionality is great. For example, you can share or merge your shopping list as groups, which is helpful during a pandemic or generally when living conditions continue to deteriorate.

Of course to use the app in a broader sense it would require some additional functions as:

  1. Basic Chat function but with the ability to chat context related, which means you can chat about a certain product or shopping list.
  2. Product data with an EAN code should be stored in the DHT because they are given and don’t need to be private. That reduces also dramatically the necessary time to do a first inventory of your goods.
  3. A rating system connected to the DHT stock data could lead to further functionalities as adding environmental or health meta data to the product and enables the users to choose their products more accurately. It also could lead to some revenue streams when it would be possible to include the producers or retailers into the platform.

Ok, you may ask why should one use such apps ? I’m convinced that the trend of stocking of food and essential goods will not disappear after the pandemic, it will be turning in some new more or less essential lifestyle. If you are doing it already now you may have noticed, that it is not so easy to track products with an expiration date. You want to have an idea which ones of your stock does need to get consumed soon. A food inventory / grocery management app can do here a great job, especially if it is designed with privacy in mind and is super easy to use.
As I am not a developer but equipped with some other talents I would be happy if some techies could be interested in this and help me to make it happen.

Note: the app needs another, more simple branding then Hologistics !


I’m not a developer, and after I read your Post, one thought occurred me. What about pharmaceutical home stock, where the expiration date, I believe, to be much more armful? I don’t believe there’s an App to track that (at least to my knowledge).

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Indeed you can track pharmaceutical home stock with an app like https://inventory.sebag.de. With the built in EAN code scanner you can also get automatically the official descriptions of the products. But I wouldn’t dare to use it for such products out of privacy concerns. So an app to track and share pharmaceutical home stock data confidentially doesn’t exists.

I like the idea of a small tool that has the capacity to grow so that it touches more areas. Something simple, necessary, and so… unspectacular… that it flies under the radar of big enterprise players until it’s too late :wink:

I’m becoming more and more attracted to the idea of using Holochain + Holo as a ‘local first + cloud backup/sync’ offering. And I think a developer could build an actual sustainable business model by charging for Holo sync — check out https://actualbudget.com/ for a (non-Holo) example.

I’ve long wanted a ‘shared grocery list’ app, especially if were to alert me about impending outages based on my purchase history. That would be pretty cool. For me the biggest challenge would be in entering accurate enough info to make it more useful than a paper shopping list, but without introducing a data entry burden. Packaged goods are easy because the app could just scan the EAN, but most of the stuff I buy is produce or bulk goods. Could be a fun UX challenge for someone! :slight_smile:

I see a great opportunity to connect something like this with HoloREA, or more specifically, a project like Shiro - coordination for local food communities - #2 by ViktorZaunders and start building local supply chains.


Yeah it is quite a job to keep your lists a jour, it depends on the kind of household you are running. If more then one people are involved in shopping / purchasing or the groceries are far away the effort to keep the lists up to date is minor to the benefits you get. Especially if you can manage bulk orders as proposed be Shiro in the form of buyers clubs. A further iteration of the app could be in adding plugins for different e-commerce platforms. With this it would be possible to organize bulk orders semi automatic.


This sounds very interesting and also something I would like to see happening on Holochain!
Maybe I’ll add some more references/ideas:

  • Grocy is also an open source inventory manager.
    It is intended to install onto your own server, and they have also a mobile front-end (fdroid)
    I was actually thinking if it would be possible to just ‘change’ the server implementation and for example partially reuse the front-end.
  • For EAN codes linking to actual product information, I would have a look at openfoodfacts. This is already a huge piece of work in gathering freely accessible information about thousands of products.
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Thanks for the input will have a look at their mobile app. The demo looks quite ERP like, it seems to be an overkill for a normal household. I think it ev. makes sense to integrate it somehow with #kizuna, integrated chat seems to me a crucial functionality.