Dekko have announced radical plans to create what they have termed a real world (augmented reality) operating system for mobile devices. Dekko is a new San Francisco-based company founded by husband and wife team Matt and Silka Miesnieks who previously worked at AR outfit Layar. Soon they hope to release developer tools for mobile based on powerful computer vision algorithms.
The system tracks the world in front of the device be it phone, tablet or Goggle Glass to build up a 3D model of the scene. Different items can then be inserted into the scene such as social interactions, directions or game characters. The difficulty in doing this is finding reference points in the real world. Many existing AR apps require anchor points that are already know by the system such as targets that need to be printed off and placed on a surface to begin.
Dekko is working jointly with developers to build apps rather than just opening up its tools. Miesnieks feels that the company occupies a unique space and has privileged and complex algorithms. He concedes that a tension exists between framing Dekko as a tech platform versus a stand-alone app. “Augmented reality has the exciting potential of a goldmine, but no one has come out with a nugget of gold,” Miesnieks mused. “We need to go in ourselves to get the first nugget before selling shovels to others.” Dekko announced an additional $1.3 million of seed funding to add to $1.9 million funding last September mostly. This should help Dekko scale up its OS and make good on the AR promise of a seamless experience between digital and real.