Augmented reality is one of those things where users will try an app once, and then never open it again. There are a number of reasons for this: For one thing, for it to work users need a specific piece of paper or object to point at, or users need to hold their mobile phones up to their faces to make it work. There’s also the problem of apps not having any awareness of the world, meaning that content or characters “float” in space, which basically breaks the illusion for anyone using an AR app.
Dekko aims to solve all those issues, by providing a context-aware platform for creating AR apps. It built its technology from the ground up, taking into account a user’s location, awareness of his surroundings, and spatial movement of the device to create more true-to-life AR applications. More importantly, though, it helps developers who have never used augmented reality and those who don’t have any specialized knowledge around the technologies to quickly and easily build those types of apps.
At launch, Dekko’s technology works for UNITY 3-D programming language. It allows developers to create augmented reality experiences that take a user’s current environment into context, as well as those that build whole new experiences around imaginary characters that can operate in those surroundings. It can also be used to create digital copies of real-world objects and allow users to interact with them on their devices.
It already has three patents pending, and has been working with a number of both content partners to help them build out great augmented reality experiences, as well as distribution partners to enable those experience to happen on a number of different devices.
Its 40+ content partners include game developers, toy manufacturers, world-famous characters from the entertainment industry, and some Oscar-winning special effects companies. On the distribution side, it’s working with some of the top smartphone manufacturers and carriers, as well as chipset manufacturers and social, local, and gaming companies to get its tech in as many people’s hands as possible. And it says that it has another 50 developers signed up to test it out pre-launch.
It expects to have commercial apps built on the platform out by the end of the year, but in the meantime has been working on some proof-of-concept apps that show the power of the technology (video below). Those who wish to play with the full-fledged app can download it from the Apple App Store.
Dekko was founded by husband and wife team Matt and Silka Miesnieks, and has an all-star lineup of AR experts on board. The company has eight employees currently, and has received $1.9 million in funding from Echo Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Venture 51, Blumberg Capital, Launch Capital, Thomvest, Eniac Ventures, and Zig Capital, as well as angels like Howard Lindzon, Erik Moore, Dan Conway, and Raymond Tonsing.