The idea started as a startup project under an academy in Italy built by Apple called the Apple Developer Academy, the academy is created between a partnership between a University in Italy and Apple itself. It was built to create a community of a new generation of technology entrepreneurs and leaders with its goal to train the students on how to design, develop, launch, and market apps. Eventually, they even taught us how to create and run a business out of it. We were given projects to do time to time and in total, we worked on 4 total projects year-round. But the most interesting project we worked it’s our last one, an AR Facial Recognition ap.
Our last project was all about the intersection of Face Recognition, Augmented-Reality, and Social Networking. We spent a lot of time brainstorming and thinking of an idea that could be useful for people and that could solve a real-world problem. To that extent, we were a “Think Tank”, much like the CIA. This project itself was presented to Lisa Jackson, VP of Environmental and Social initiatives at Apple.
As you can see from the picture, our idea was founded upon the technologies of Face Recognition and Augmented-Reality. It had stickers like clickable buttons on the screen that bring you to the user’s social network page. The idea is to change the way we connect and meet people. We wanted to create the concept of getting to know someone to happen in an instant. It’s a digital business card and you activate it by launching the app and pointing the camera towards the person’s face and BOOM, you have all the necessary and important information of the person.
5 months later, Google launched its AR stickers feature on its Google camera app.
Our team definitely had fun brainstorming, designing, and developing the idea and product. We didn’t really care much about anything else besides the fascination with technology itself. This is the one reason why we didn’t take any action to go after Google back then. However, this year, 2020, has given me a lot of time to think about it. So I’d thought It would be a great idea to tell our story by writing this Medium article. Quarantine has definitely made us reflect on our life choices in the past.
One of our slogans for the project is “Express Yourself”.
Not only Google took the name “AR Stickers” or “Augmented-Stickers” from our app or AR in the form of graphic stickers, but Google took our whole idea of a Social AR Face Recognition app. It’s not the first time a big corporation rip big and creative ideas from developers and designers from around the world and I totally acknowledge it, however, It’s still a story worth telling. Next time you find a genuine potential in your idea, product, or a trademark name that big corporations like Apple, Google, Facebook, or Microsoft might use for or benefit from in the future, do establish Intellectual Property rights. You never know, life can be rough in the NFL.
Maybe be our biggest mistake and the best lesson learned is that we should’ve taken legal action by then. Now, there’s not much we can do about it. I’m still open to ideas so if any of you got any, I’m open ears.
Thank you for your time! Feel free to let me know what you think of the story and please, get in touch with me if you have any comments or any feedback about what’s covered. All views are my own and don’t reflect any views held by the power above.