In today’s society, technology is growing faster than you can say “onomatopoeia” (well okay, maybe not that fast, but it’s still pretty fast). We have moved from desktop computers to laptops, from wire connections to WiFi, and from flip-phones to iPhones, and even more! However, one creative entrepreneur saw this rapid growth and decided to take it to the next level.
Entrepreneur Ambarish Mitra is on his way to make Blippar the first successful augmented reality app, which lets people look at real-world objects through your phone camera. First, it’s important to understand that a “blipp” is “the action of instantaneously converting anything in the real world into an interactive wow experience.” Essentially, this app can scan regular items and make them into an interactive experience for everyone to use. People would have to download an app that is currently active in multiple app stores, called Blippar, and then use it to scan an object. For example, say a user decides to scan a bottle of Heinz ketchup (I’m specifying the brand because the app works with brands as of right now; it hopes to expand its database to multiple unbranded objects in the future). The app would recognize the shape and other markers associated with that bottle, and *hopefully* recognize it as a bottle of Heinz ketchup. Now this is where the magic comes in. To make it an interactive experience, the app uses that reference and triggers pre-programmed information on the app, which means a recipe book pops up on screen with recipes of potential meals with Heinz ketchup as an ingredient. This association constant works with multiple other objects as well, so if a candy bar was scanned, a game could be triggered that was associated with that candy bar. Mitra doesn’t plan on stopping here, though. He aims to make the whole world into a searchable database. For example, he plans to have it where holding your phone up to an orange might give a location of the nearest grocery store, or to what type of fruit it is, and more. He wants to bring a new meaning to the words “search engine”, and he truly believes he can succeed amidst the fierce competition of tech giants.
Mitra’s creative process stems from multiple different components, but mainly from his vision and excitement for the future. As stated in Collin’s and Amabile’s “Motivation and Creativity”, there are three important factors for creative output: intrinsic task motivation, domain-relevant skills, and creativity-relevant processes. Ambarish has definitely worked his way up because he believes in his ideas. In fact, when he was 17 years old, he was actually living in a slum in New Delhi, India, and his creativity helped him start and sell multiple businesses. Now, as he heads Blippar and other ventures, he has over 88 million dollars invested in his project from other companies who share his vision (any resemblance to Slumdog Millionaire, anyone?). Otherwise, he has worked in the IT industry for some time as well, gaining those relevant skills, and eventually quit everything in pursuit of his augmented reality app. Mitra’s creative processes revolve around collecting the information around him, envisioning the next step forward, and then actually executing the idea. After he started seriously working on Blippar, he started to face tough competition from companies such as Google, but believes that this is just a side project for bigger companies. He believes that the only way to success is to actively focus on this project, and is currently expanding on that dream to make virtual reality the new reality.