Big Data

Pikkart offers mobile augmented reality solution delivered on IBM Cloud

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Pikkart AR IBM Design ThinkingBy Tech Target’s definition, augmented reality (AR) is the integration of digital information with the user’s environment in real time. Unlike virtual reality, which creates a totally artificial environment, augmented reality uses the existing environment and overlays new information on top of it.

For example, one of the first commercial applications of AR technology was the yellow “first down” line that began appearing in televised US football games in the late 1990s.

Pikkart S.r.l. is an Italian startup that specializes in AR. It is is the only Italian company — and one of the few in the world — to have its own proprietary framework that enables users to add digital content to real content with the aid of mobile devices.

Introducing Pikkart AR Discover

Pikkart’s most recent AR development is called AR Discover. The solution is a mobile app that can recognize objects and environments and link content to them. For example, users could visit a museum, point their mobile device at a piece of artwork and learn more about it with associated content such as information sheets, pictures, videos or 3D elements. Likewise, a factory worker could access information about operating a piece of machinery or perhaps a shopper in a retail store could gain access to exclusive sales.

Developers working with the solution simply take a few reference pictures and load them into the software to automatically create a model that is associated with AR content.

Using a cloud recognition system

Pikkart uses its cloud recognition system (CRS) to perform fast image searches of a dataset of hundreds of thousands of pictures. When a user frames a marker with their camera, the image is sent to cloud servers that find the matching image (if it exists) in less than one second using advanced algorithms.

The CRS is scalable, which keeps the app itself lightweight, up to hundreds of thousands of images. The mobile device, with its memory and compute limitations, doesn’t have to do the heavy lifting.

Getting started with IBM

Pikkart participated in an IBM Design Thinking workshop, then joined the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program and has been running its business on the IBM Cloud since the beginning. The company determined that it needed the reliability, elasticity and bare metal option that IBM Cloud offered.

Additionally, though Pikkart is still in startup mode, it has customers from around the world. The company must be able to localize its application in the closest cloud to its users to support consistent application performance anywhere in the world.

Realizing real-world benefits

Pikkart has its own proprietary framework, which allows developers to give shape to their ideas in a simple and intuitive way, without the need for any additional technical expertise. Pikkart AR is compatible with both Android and iOS operating systems.

With IBM Cloud, Pikkart customers have the speed and flexibility they need for AR applications from gaming to retail marketing to industrial. Customers can also feel confident about IBM Cloud security and scalability. Both are important factors in the dynamic AR market. Furthermore, running its business on IBM Cloud means Pikkart can be very close to every customer it has, anywhere in the world.

The company counts manufacturers, supermarkets and a tourist board among its customers.

Learn more about IBM Design Thinking.

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