Ambarish Mitra just revealed Blippar’s next-generation app at TechCrunch Disrupt London 2015. By just pointing the app at everyday objects, the app identifies and categories nearly everything in the frame. The app launches in two weeks in an effort to become a visual browser.
The most important challenge is making augmented reality apps work every time. As Mitra explained to moderator Josh Constine, the reason people use Google is because, well, it works every time.
Blippar’s app currently lets you photograph a product and instantly get information like price, nutrition information, and where you can buy it nearby. But soon, the app will let a user just point the camera at a wide range of items and, like magic, identify items on the fly.
In an onstage demo, Mitra used the new app to identify various items like different kinds of fruit and flowers — even a kitten.
Mitra sees Blippar’s branding as its way to stand out from other companies attempting to become a visual browser. He explained that Blippar currently does not build products for other companies and the company only produces one product.
When pressed about investors, Mitra didn’t reveal some undisclosed investors even as Constine insinuated that some could be search companies like Google and Microsoft. Mitra rebuked the suggestions, though the talk closed with speculation about whether such companies should build visual search capabilities into smartphone platforms.
“I think they should. And I think they should work with us.”