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Developing Mobile Apps with Human Components

Chic Sketch - sketching you as a fashion icon

Chic Sketch – sketching you as a fashion icon

Have you ever wanted to do something impossible? Have you ever wanted to create an artificial intelligence, something straight out of science fiction – an app which can see, hear, interact and understand, just like a human being?

It turns out there is a solution. If you need human level capabilities, then you have to provide a human, to supply those capabilities.

This is the secret of CamFindApp. CamFindApp tells you what things are. If you supply CamFindApp with a photo, and indicate an object of interest in that photo, CamFindApp will tell you what that object is.

How can anyone afford to employ people to service mobile app users in this way? Because every request only takes a few seconds. I mean, show CamFindApp a photograph of a chair, and a few seconds later, the word “chair” appears on your phone. So every person who is employed by the company behind CamFindApp, has the ability to process thousands of photographs per day. Assuming the CamFindApp team is working at a reasonable level of capacity, each identification experience only costs the CamFindApp company a few pennies – especially if the team of “identifiers” is working in a low wage country.

Another app, Chic Sketch, also uses a “human component”.

According to Digital Trends

Chic Sketch is an app for turning a picture of yourself into a fashion illustration that looks those designers’ sketches. It doesn’t manage this by using clever filters and photo-manipulation algorithms, however: there’s actually fashion illustrators waiting in an office, ready to look at your picture and draw a sketch of you on the spot. First, you download the free app. After that, you either take a picture of yourself in-app or choose a picture from your photo library (it has to be a full head-to-toe shot), and upload it to a fashion illustrator. It won’t be instant, of course, since a real person is doing the sketch, but you can check out the quality of the sketches on Chic Sketch’s website.

The catch? It costs $10 per sketch – so choose your photos wisely.

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My point is, if you have an idea for a mobile app which you think would be incredibly popular, but everyone tells you the app is impossible – that current technology isn’t good enough to implement your dream mobile app feature – the solution might be, don’t use technology. Sometimes the solution is to build a team of human beings into your mobile app solution.

If you have a difficult mobile app requirement, and would like to discuss your idea with a software expert, please contact me.

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