Hermes is a custom iOS keyboard platform that surfaces information from external services relevant to the current conversation. It operates using both text commands (intent-based, like Slackbots) and natural-language (assistive, like WeChat sticker suggestions). Recommendations appear above the keyboard and can be injected as text into messages. They also provide deep linking into other applications, like Yelp and Uber. Short URLs intelligently proxy to platform-specific deep links, which also helps create viral effects.
Conceptually, Hermes examines a then-nascent trend in mobile interfaces around contextual information at the messaging layer. Within the next year, Facebook Messenger added contextual Uber deep linking, and Google introduced smart reply for Inbox—suggesting a potential future design pattern where assistive linking is a thin layer of mediation in our message-based social interactions.
Hermes won the grand prize at Greylock Hackfest 2015, which included $10,000 and lunch with Instagram founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, and Greylock partner John Lilly. The hackathon was invite-only and judged by John Lilly and founders from the Greylock Partners portfolio.