Imaginate, An Augmented Reality Based Enterprise That Aims to Change The Way We Shop
Imaginate Software Labs Pvt Ltd is a bootstrapped startup working in the sphere of Augmented Reality and is one of the 100 startups that will be a part of this year’s Startup Chile program, which entitles them to an equity-free seed capital of $40,000 apart from other benefits.
We spoke to Hemanth Satyanarayana, CEO of Imaginate to share more about his startup and why they chose to apply for the Startup Chile program. “Basically we are a bootstrapped company. Apart from the other benefits that come with any incubation program, one of the most important reasons for applying to the Startup Chile program was for the equity-free seed capital,” Hemnath said. “Also, we believe it will give us a good opportunity to explore the Chilean market. It is no doubt a small market but a quickly growing one.”
Imaginate is an Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) based technology enterprise, which offers innovative visualization products and services which enhance the consumer experience of reality. Their product is called Trialar, a digital interactive platform that helps shoppers try out clothes and accessories instantaneously, virtually and seamlessly. There are two versions available – DeskTrialar for physical stores and WebTrialar for e-commerce stores.
In terms of hardware, the DeskTrialar carries a 55 inch LCD screen whose size can be varied according to requirement, some cameras and some motion sensors. A core i7 processor handles all the computing and analysis.
As far as the software is concerned, three broad dimensions that make this possible are computer vision, image processing and computer graphics. “I have used a combination of computer vision and computer graphics that helps get data from users. The technology is being patented and a couple of retailers in Hyderabad have used Trialar as a pilot. We detect body sizes and faces and then augment it in the virtual arena,” Hemanth said.
The hardware costs sum up to around 2 lakh rupees and Imaginate has no plans to make money out of the hardware. “We’ll be selling the hardware at cost price. Our revenues will be coming from the software which we will provide as a service i.e. we plan to make this a SaaS product,” says Hemanth.
Interesting Things to Note
They have filed for two patents, one of which is for a Virtual Locomotion Controller which basically uses a HMD (Head Mounted Display) and thus creates a virtual environment. The second is a Virtual Collaborative Shopping platform. This is particularly interesting and I find it really appealing. This platform will help you share your virtual trial room with your friends across the globe. I believe this can work really well for many people assuming most of us always want someone along for shopping so that we can take a second opinion.
One more interesting feature is that of comparison. There is a compare mode on the DeskTrialar using which you can compare up to four different clothes at the same time, virtually put on your body, thus giving you a much appealing comparison.
Imaginate also made an Augmented Reality based training system for the Indian Army which basically works more or less like Google Glasses and creates a virtual war field with terrorists, thus, helping in training the soldiers. The positions of the terrorists have varied orientation depending on the position of the soldier. In this case the reaction time is tracked and reports generated accordingly.
Personally, I find the product really interesting. I do believe the Indian market is a little young and immature to try out something like this but who knows, with commercial spaces becoming costly each day and with stores having to set up more number of trial rooms, this can actually address a major concern in coming days. Also, I believe the WebTrialar in particular will be helpful in driving sales for e-commerce companies as users would now have the ability to try on dresses virtually before purchasing them. Of course, the implementation needs to be spot on but assuming that is done perfectly, it does have the capacity to bring about a significant amount of change in the way we shop, both online and in stores.