PointShop hack uses AR to aid gadget buying – TechCrunch
Another hack presented on stage hereÂ at the TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2016 hackathon uses AR to contextualize gadgets with the aim of helping consumersÂ better understand what theyâre looking at, find a localÂ stockistÂ andÂ even buy the gizmoÂ there and then.
The two person team, Yosun Chang and Anuj Agrawal, demoed the hack working onÂ an iPhone, pulling in company data about Apple via the CrunchBase API, showing a map for locations to buy the device via a MapQuest API, and using SAPâs Hybris API to power an ecommerce option.
OneÂ neat feature of the appÂ the team created as they hacked overnightÂ lets the user tap to see a visual comparison of the real world object they are looking at with a related product injectedÂ into the frame digitally, suchÂ as the iPad in the below photoÂ â a neat way for a gadget buyer to size up alternatives or related products.
âPeople like to buy random things that they see,â said Unity developer Chang, explaining the rational for the hack. âWe were thinking originally what if you can use reality as your primary key â usually a primary key is a string or an integer somewhere but what if itâs the objects? And every object is made by a company thatâs probably in CrunchBase.â
âYou want to know about the company, and a lot of times people buy stuff without knowing, like, what Belkin does other than sell connectors,â she added.
While the initial application makes most sense for gadget buying, the team reckons it could be expanded to useful for buyingÂ almost anything.
âIdeally youâd be able to point it at any device and it would do the same experience where it would give you alternate results, maybe be able to let you do size comparisons, maybe let you do product comparisons, maybe even pricing information, likes sales,â saidÂ Agrawal, the teamâs backend developer.
And while he noted there are of course other AR apps (software andÂ hardware) that inject product info around objects, the team stillÂ reckonsÂ their treatment brings something freshÂ in terms of how theyÂ present info to uses and their choice of data sources.
Once the app recognizes the object it shows a selectionÂ of captionsÂ linked to it byÂ lines, much like a diagram. These text annotations can be tapped to expand/pullÂ in more info/buying options.
âItâs a friendly presentation, the way itâs interactive,â Agrawal added discussing the UI.