Bringing an idea to life: How AccessoAR came to be
—–extra live demo video at the end of this blog
——no pattern markers required. no preliminary pictures need to be taken
One fine day I began bowling ideas with Robert, Triangela´s CEO about how IT would look and feel like.
With him being the technical mastermind behind all we do, I knew I would get a fair quote regarding the resources and time we would need to invest in having IT done.
“When do we start?” he asked rhetorically, and that´s when I realized we were going to do IT.
Six months later, AccessoAR has already won a national start-up competition, been selected in SLUSH 100 out of 2 500 european startups, been featured in the news as well as put us at the negotiation table with two major fashion retailers.
This is a story about our road into the unknown and how we succeeded as a team.
After a good couple of days of research, I feel ready to prove my point. With a pen and paper in my arsenal, I go to Robert´s desk. A woman who loves fashion, glitter and shiny things pitching about an easier, more convenient and engaging way to buy accessories online. This can´t go wrong!
It doesn’t. Excitement is written all over his face.
“We will, however, need to learn how to talk to a machine. Moreover, to teach a machine how to learn by itself.”
That sounds complicated. Probably too complicated for a newly blossomed company like our Triangela, I think out loud.
Robert smiles: “You are aware of how much I enjoy challenges.”
Hours later the plan is signed, sealed and delivered to our team. The developer and UX/UI designer who have been by our side on different projects before, seem really hipped about the potentiality of creating something out of the box; and definitely out of the norm.
“Transforming the screen on any phone, tablet or PC into a mirror so that anyone who buys headbands, jewelry, hats, caps, glasses or piercings online could get a glimpse of how they look with these items on; long before they would ever proceed to checkout.”
Such a vision was what I have to run by two male developers with ten to fifteen years of experience in hardcore programming. And when none of them meets me with the slightest negative comment, I know I am on to something.
Who said accessories were just for girls and who believed tech wouldn’t fit in just perfectly?
After three weeks of back and forth with our design, we have come upon the friendliest and freshest of appearances. Working with her (our interface designer) on each wireframe is one heck of an experience; a pleasure really, as it comes so naturally.
As we move forward with the project, I can tell we share the same sense of the product; from functionalities to structure, we have accounted for all we imagined AccessoAR to be.
Organizing focus groups with buyers who on average visit online retail stores at least five times a month also provides us with the right amount of feedback required.
In the meantime, the guys are taking the first steps into architecting and programming the inside technology.
Yes, reaching the point where AccessoAR recognizes eighteen distinct human body parts without the help of a headset or pattern marker is not as easy as one would think. Where to add that it will figure out on its own where a ring or earring sits without making use of vocal commands or “drag and drop” efforts from the end user. All of the above, in real time. Well, that´s the dream and we are not budging an inch.
Third to sixth month.
Intense months of development and testing enrich our understanding of how machines work. Our first machine learning expert joins the team middle way through summer and the improvements are obvious in a matter of weeks.
Proverbs say that patience is a virtue; and in this game, old sayings totally and undoubtedly apply. Though we all see the positive outcomes of our efforts, none considers bragging would be wise. Not yet, as work is still to be done.
The progress catches our eyes and fills our souls with gratification. After months of constant thrive as well as investments in capital and time (of course) we would all wish to scream from the top of our lungs with the great news about how machine learning and augmented reality will optimize online shopping across the world. Yet we can´t. The two words floating in the air are: NOT YET.
Once the patent application becomes official and AccessoAR starts acting more and more self-assured, the clock strikes marketing time.
A presentation video is chosen as our original take on the popular phrase HELLO WORLD.
From now on we traverse into a whole new realm: that of exposure and customer education. It´s not going to be easy, but we don’t intend to conquer the market on our own. We roll up our sleeves and begin planning for the future.
A phrase like “No rest for the wicked” takes a positive connotation behind Triangela´s doors as our team still doesn’t lust after a break.
January 2019 after a national win at Uppstart 2018 in Sweden and a place in the top 100 of Europe in Finland.
Though AccessoAR has grown a pair of wings to partner with e-commerce shops (big and small) in the fashion and retail industry, the people behind the magic spend their days increasing its levels of agility and training it in more complex problem-solving.
Why the strive?
Why has this particular mission graduated from a software solution many would use to cash in fast to a research project meant to be shared with people everywhere?
Because it can literally bring a change; because it can literally make a difference. And when the goal resembles something larger than the immediate short-lived profit, we approve of trial and error and take our time to master our lessons.
To us AccessoAR has been from the very beginning:
- Enjoyment and entertainment for the online buyer;
- Freedom for online retailers, far from expensive third-party advertisers that charge by the hour or specific thresholds of customer traffic;
- An environmental friendly and cost efficient way to purchase online for both merchants and fashion lovers;
- An equal opportunity for businesses big or small to be competitive by hosting a personal shopping experience for all their customers straight on their web or app stores.
No matter which side of the aisle you find yourself on, you will have to admit that online shopping needs a makeover; and with the technology behind AccessoAR, that makeover is one message away from brightening your day whether as a customer or a retailer.
So spread the word about AccessoAR and let us know if you would like to meet us over a cup of coffee. Wherever you are! 🙂