Yarden Michailovici-Cohen, a graduate of ORT Braude’s Industrial Engineering & Management Department, has partnered with the pioneering new PointView startup company. PointView is developing an app that will let manufacturers make product information available to their customers via a quick and simple visual search.
“The app lets you use your mobile phone camera to scan any object – home appliances, medical equipment, machines, etc. – and immediately receive information like assembly, installation, operating, and troubleshooting guides,” Yarden explains. “You can scan any button or part of the product, and in just a few seconds you get the relevant details, like step-by-step installation instructions. While making things easier for users, the app will also help the companies themselves, because we’ve created a user-friendly platform for them that will let them develop their own visual product search.”
Can you tell us a little about the technology that makes this possible?
“We’ve created a unique object recognition algorithm that lets the company take a snapshot of any product with a mobile phone. A single photo is enough for full identification. We’ve also included a ‘traffic light’ indicator that lets users know in real time if the object has been identified successfully. Of course, the technology also makes it possible to photograph every part of an object and attach relevant content to it, like videos, PDFs, images, website pages, and so on.
Didn’t anything like this exist before?
“No. Today we have QR scanning technology, but this is very limited, or there are various Augmented Reality solutions, but they are expensive and complicated to implement. Our platform lets any company produce a user guide, operating instructions, or troubleshooting tips in minutes, based on visual search. This creates a unique customer experience while also significantly reducing support costs. These technological capabilities have been developed for companies that are entering an advanced new world, and just didn’t exist before.”
Yarden joined PointView after gaining 15 years of experience in the operations field, where she has held several senior management positions. She is also currently the owner of the Plans Consulting firm, which specializes in leading successful corporate change processes. In addition, Yarden is an active member of the Advanced Manufacturing Institute team, helping to promote the adoption of advanced technologies by manufacturers around Israel.
Yarden introduced the new startup at the Galilee Accelerator for Smart Industry, which is sponsored by ORT Braude. It was also recently unveiled to leading industry figures and potential investors at the Industry 4.0 Startups Summit, held in Karmiel.
How did the Galilee Accelerator help to develop your product?
“Mainly it helped us to focus. Before, we were a bit all over the place and going in several directions at once. We learned that a startup is energy, first and foremost, and we have to focus that energy. Once we took that onboard, we were able to make a big leap. We’ve refined our messages, built a business model, and now we’re at a point where we can start recruiting investors to fund further development of the module. This will require an investment of about $5 million, and I’m confident we can achieve that.”