People who are actively seeking to date or find a relationship have come to rely on technology – online dating sites – to try to find someone. If you are looking for a meaningful interaction, “swiping” falls short. For instance, it takes about 1,000 image swipes on a dating site to get one date. That one date will last only 1.8 hours and often leads only to disappointment. It’s a highly inefficient, superficial, and impersonal way to find a true long-term connection.

According to Psychology Today, 1 out of 4 women and 1 out of 3 men have admitted to “catfishing,” the process of luring someone into a relationship by means of a fictional online persona. That puts people at risk and, as Adam Cohen-Aslatei Founder & CEO of S’More sees it as a big business opportunity. S’More is the world’s first anti-superficial dating app that is focused on creating a safe and inclusive way to build meaningful relationships using the latest technology.

The Problem of Scaling

Adam is no newcomer to the online dating industry, having developed his first dating app in 2008 while at Harvard grad school. He wanted S’More to be 100% “Catfish Proof”, creating a safe and real place for people to meet and interact. S’More first developed the dating app in-house with a limited image recognition feature using a third-party solution. In less than 18 months out of Beta, S’More grew to more than 250,000 users. As S’More started to add users and the business began to grow, it got very expensive, very quickly with services that were always “on.” S’More wanted an option that would allow the app to use a different more scalable service in real time. Amazon Web Services (AWS) fit the bill with its on-demand model. During the onboarding process at AWS, S’More’s AWS account manager recommended working with Innovative Solutions, one of their AWS Premier Consulting Partners.

“AWS has some really amazing technologies that start-ups like S’More can easily take advantage of to quickly and cost efficiently scale their businesses. In addition to Rekognition, S’More uses Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), which allows the company to scale its computing resources along with the growth of its community.” – Adam Cohen-Aslatei, Founder & CEO at S’More

Solution – Safety First?

Moving S’More to AWS was key to scaling the business, deploying AWS Lambda allowed the app to run code without provisioning or managing servers. Furthermore, combining the facial recognition technology of Rekognition with Amazon DynamoDB and AWS Machine Learning has achieved real authentication, better than any other dating app on the market. To further shield the user from bad actors, Innovative Solutions included category detection which is so sophisticated that it can detect and screen for hate crime or explicit content in the frame of an image. Furthermore, the technology being deployed by Innovative serves as an automatic moderator and can defend against overly suggestive clothing and explicit nudity. It is the kind of technology that will change the industry.

“Before AWS, it was challenging for S’More to re-verify users with a 3D selfie if they changed their profile photo – the technology they had made the process rather clunky, confusing, and cost-inefficient.” – Justin Copie, Owner & CEO at Innovative Solutions

Innovative Solutions developed a custom API functionality and combined a handful of services, based on a reference implementation provided by AWS. As part of the app’s onboarding process, the user uploads multiple photos, then facial recognition is performed to verify that the people in the photos match each other, confirming the identity of the one unique individual. AWS maintains a library of celebrity images and uses that library to reference against celebrity photos being uploaded to a profile. It also goes through a checklist of blacklisted faces which have been commonly used to catfish in the past. These are faces they see used repeatedly. Innovative has developed a way to verify against that ever-expanding library of faces during the onboarding process.

How it works

During the user onboarding process, S’More sought to leverage a form of biometric detection known as “Liveness.” Innovative Solutions was able to incorporate Amazon Rekognition into the solution. Liveness detection is not a built-in capability of Amazon Rekognition but the engineers at Innovative used the capability of Amazon Rekognition to implement liveness detection, both on the client side in the native IOS app, as well as validating it and doing some additional checks on the server side.

As S’More users are being onboarded, they are guided by the IOS app with prompts that rely on Innovative Solutions’ application of Amazon Rekognition. The first screen asks you to move your face into a blue bounding box rectangle. As soon as the IOS facial detection capabilities recognizes that your face is in that rectangle, it changes color to indicate success. A new prompt displaying a yellow box within the now rectangle asks you to move your nose there. From the beginning of this part of the onboarding process, there are screen captures being taken of the individual which are being sent to the backend. Once the nose is in the yellow box and has been confirmed, the previous screen captures are compared and validated for liveness.

“Rekognition is used to identify where the facial features are in calculating the Yaw, Pitch and Roll of the individual’s head, then validating that the nose facial feature has been moved to where the yellow box has been drawn.”– Mike Krauklis, Senior Cloud Architect at Innovative Solutions

If the algorithm validates liveness, then additional validation is applied, using a high-quality selfie frame taken during the first liveness test and compared to the other images the individual uploaded to their profile. Further verifications are conducted by referencing the AWS blacklist file and AWS machine learning. All those calculations are performed to verify that it really is a legitimate “live” S’More kind of person. Even though AWS has had this technology available, this is the first instance of it being applied in this unique way.

Leveraging AWS technology, the partnership of S’More and Innovative Solutions has broken new ground in online dating security. It is the hope of Adam that every other dating app takes note and follows suit in keeping their users safe. Providing S’More users, a safe and inclusive way to create meaningful and genuine relationships is a great way to use technology for good.

“I would recommend Innovative Solutions to anyone. They offer a lot of great talent, a lot of great solutions, and they are great to work with. This was our first project with them, and we are hopeful that we will have future projects with them.” – Adam Cohen-Aslatei, Founder & CEO at S’More

Check out our video on S’More


Quarem’s industry leading lease management software comes from technology and people working together.

The Challenge

Quarem’s web application architecture included a front-end web server which was directly accessible over the Internet. Due to this being a single webserver, they were leaving a business-critical application open to potential issues. The fact that the application was on a single web server, the likelihood for downtime, due to a server issue, was very high. The server environment was not easily scalable to meeting the growing business needs. There was also a possibility that the server could have been over-exposed through configuration mistakes. For all of these reasons, Quarem knew it needed a change.

The Solution

Quarem, with the help of AWS and Innovative Solutions, created an EC2 Auto-Scaling Group for the webserver and launched at least two servers in multiple availability zones. An Application Load Balancer was set up to direct traffic to the Auto-Scaling Group and to terminate SSL traffic. Quarem migrated their DNS to Route53, to be able to send their traffic to the load balancer in the zone apex record. With these changes, Quarem was able to build a more secure and scalable environment both internally and externally for their customers

Fieldtex Products, Inc.

Fieldtex is a private family owned company that operates out of a 55,000 sq.ft. facility in Rochester, NY and employs over 190 people.

It was founded in 1973 and is made up of three divisions:

Division 1: Fieldtex Cases – Their contract manufacturing division that produces soft sided carrying cases for portable electronic equipment for medical and military markets, wearable medical and military garments, and other textile innovations.

Division 2: Fieldtex Medical – Their First Aid Supplies division, distributes stock First Aid Kits, custom First Aid Kits, and First Aid supplies to emergency medical corps., schools, cities, towns, youth team sports leagues and the general safety marketplace.

Division 3: OTC Benefits Solutions – Works with Health Plans and other organizations to offer Supplemental Over the Counter Benefit Programs to members of Medicare Advantage Health Plans.

The Challenge

Fieldtex had multiple applications hosted with a relatively expensive offsite provider. As part of a tech refresh most applications were migrated to new hardware and their public facing .com website was the only application being hosted on two large legacy servers that were significantly over-provisioned (two 16×64 servers). Source control was not in place and there was no formal release process.

The Solution

Innovative proposed migrating their .com website to AWS, leveraging appropriately provisioned Amazon EC2 instances in AWS Elastic Beanstalk environments. AWS CodeCommit allowed for the website’s code to be to be version controlled. AWS CodePipeline was leveraged to create application packages that could be deployed to the AWS Elastic Beanstalk environments. Amazon Aurora Serverless was used to minimize infrastructure costs and operational overhead while providing flexibility in the case of unexpected bursts of traffic. Amazon SES is used to send email.

Innovative also created an integration with Office 365 APIs to push notifications to Microsoft Teams whenever a manual approval is needed. This was accomplished by creating an Amazon SNS topic for manual approval steps that triggers an AWS Lambda function that pushes to Office 365.

Van Hook Services

Van Hook Service Company (Van Hook) is located in Rochester, NY and has served the upstate New York for over 45 years in the Industrial/Commercial Refrigeration & Air Conditioning industry.

Van Hook provides expert system design, replacement, service and installations. They have developed a new way of providing their customers with outstanding HVAC&R services, called, GENESIS. The use of new custom created information technology provides their customers with the information and management tools they need to oversee their substantial investment in all mechanical equipment serviced by Van Hook.

The Challenge

Van Hook had a custom .NET web application running on two EC2 instances in AWS. Each EC2 instance was an independent application environment: Test & Prod. Deployment of the Van Hook web application was a manual process consisting of creating a deployment package on a developer’s computer and manually pushing files out to the Amazon EC2 instances via Remote Desktop. This process required significant developer overhead and was susceptible to human error (logging into the wrong server, copying the files to the wrong web application, etc).

The Solution

Innovative put in place a process where packages created on developer’s machines can be uploaded to an Amazon S3 bucket via the AWS CLI Amazon S3 cp command. The Amazon S3 file upload triggers a AWS Lambda function which then calls AWS CodeDeploy to install the uploaded package onto the correct Amazon EC2 instance. HTTP headers in the Amazon S3 upload request determine onto which Amazon EC2 instance the new package is deployed. Leveraging this approach rather than deploying via the AWS CLI directly provided a history of application deployments archived in Amazon S3.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.