Software companies we admire: Markable

October 02, 2015

Dave Kruse

Uncategorized

This is the first of a blog series on companies implementing new and creative uses of software applications and mobile apps.

This is the first of a blog series on companies implementing new and creative uses of software applications and mobile apps. Often this includes using machine learning and predictive analytics, both of which will become more and more an intimate part of the software development process.

I know one of the developers at Markable. He’s based in Madison, Wisconsin. They have an api for photos that can detect the type of clothing from a photo. That’s impressive. It’s like shazam for clothing.

Here is a screenshot from Markable’s website:

I’ve never used it, so I’m not sure how well it works. The idea is sound but it’s not revolutionary. It’s greatness is all in the execution. If it works well, you can imagine seeing a photo on facebook, being able to click on the “must-have” clothing to see what it is and then actually purchase it right then.

Taking it one step farther, what if you were wearing the Microsoft HoloLens and as you walked around it would tell you what people were wearing. To do this in real-time could be tricky but if Markable took a snapshot of the desired clothing then it shouldn’t be too much different from their current process.

What other applications could be developed that could help you detect objects?

Some immediate other uses would be other attire: shoes, watches, sunglasses, jewelry. But let’s think beyond this. What other products/services could software eat up and spit out? Any product out there in the world, but what categories would make the most sense to tackle next?

What about categories that are fairly similar to apparel where products aren’t already known by the industry? Construction equipment could work but the people in construction don’t need to be told what a hammer is. It needs to be categories where discovery would be valuable.

Plants and flowers would be awesome. I imagine this wouldn’t be easy. It wouldn’t be very valuable from a commercial standpoint but lots of hobbyists would love it.

People’s faces. Lots of companies are working on this. This would be ideal with Google Glass so when you walk up to someone you know who they are. This use case isn’t too new.

What about the in the business to business space? It could be quite useful for training.

Imagine that you’re a new college grad that just started work at a large John Deere manufacturing plant as an assistant plant manager. You won’t have a clue what anything is initially. Using something like the HoloLens, the entire manufacturing plant could come alive. You would know which line is scheduled for what and you’d be able to quickly understand how to operate each line, because instructions would appear before you as you walk down the line.

You may not be operating the line but you’d know how. And this would work for any of the hundreds of people who start at the plant over the course of years. Training is expensive. Machine vision and clever software applications could make it much easier especially for the Millenials where digital is in their blood.

What other ideas do you have?

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