Imagine an artist sketching a masterpiece on paper and, with one click, transforms his creation into a digital collaboration with a partner in a different timezone. In another instance, consider a shopper’s questions answered in real-time in augmented reality before making a purchase. These examples depict how the pace of innovation is blurring the boundaries between the physical and virtual worlds. The present-day technology market is filled with products ranging from kitchen appliances to games that are pushing the limits of AR technology.
Amidst the innovations, NY-based Lampix has emerged as a unique enabler of a tabletop augmented reality platform—a one-of-a-kind computing device. Resembling a contemporary LED table lamp but with a high-definition projector, stereo speakers, and depth-sensing camera, coupled with blockchain-based image sourcing that “trains” Lampix to recognize, reveal, and react to the visual world.
In an interview with CIO Applications, George Popescu, co-founder and CEO of Lampix, shares his insights on how the company utilized their expertise in virtual reality and blockchain technologies to offer an out-of-the-box augmented reality device.
The Dawn of a Smart Tabletop Lamp
Lampix was born out of a simple yet revolutionary idea: we wanted to create a solution that could employ the functionalities of MS Word—Cut, Copy, Paste, Find, Replace, and others—outside the scope of the application. Such a solution could bring advantages to a user in manifold ways. Let’s consider an instance of a person who has a 20- page paper document and wants to replace a word in all the pages. Altering them manually would be quite a tedious task. With Lampix, we wanted to remediate such problems. Lampix’s camera, which includes functionalities like document recognition and optical character recognition (OCR), helps users recognize text and highlight words on a physical document, create a digital version of the document, and replace the intended words. The capability of this robust lamp doesn’t end there.
Lampix can transform any flat surface into a smart surface using machine learning and computer vision
In a retail environment, Lampix is used as a virtual directory that can recognize products, share its description, and usage methods. We also have a comprehensive enterprise solution. Currently, it is in its beta stage, and we shall soon be rolling out the full-featured version.
PIX Ecosystem—Its Foundation and Significance
While the Lampix device is unique in its form factor, it relies on computer vision algorithms to recognize objects in the physical world and add to it augmented reality. This is similar to the technology used in self-driving cars that understands its surroundings (through computer vision) and responds accordingly. To make this possible, the system requires large datasets of example objects to create deep neural networks that can be leveraged throughout the system. While working on Lampix we realized the scarcity of such datasets which spurred the conception of the PIX ecosystem—a blockchain token system. We are the first in the industry to build an image mining blockchain platform effectively crowdsourcing an image database.
Transformative Customer Experience for a Coffee Shop
Lampix helped a coffee shop enhance their customer engagement strategy. On a typical day, a customer would enter the shop and interact with the waiter to understand the specialty of the different kinds of brews available. This mundane and uninteresting way of engagement often loses the interest of customers. Installing Lampix significantly changed all of this. A customer visiting the cafe now can learn more about the brews, the beans, and how they are prepared through interactive AR projections. Customers can even use Lampix to select their own ingredients and customize their coffee order according to personal preference. Similarly, this frees the server up to make a more personal connection with customers. This invigorating experience helped the coffee shop become popular among customers and gain more value from their business.
Trajectory of Growth
Our current strategic mission is to commercialize our developer edition hardware for enterprises, which comes equipped with a robust toolkit to spark the creative app development process. At the same time, we are also planning to onboard more development partners in our effort to scale our enterprise solution package in the coming years. In a nutshell, our vision is to gain even more traction for Lampix and make it a go-to device for home, offices, stores, and factories—freeing humans from digital screens.