Mirror on the wall- summary of 2017
Abyss Glass is a Polish company that manufactures interactive mirrors. We could hear about the company for the first time in 2015, when the startup received the statuette „Market Discovery 2015” from the organizers of the Independent Students’ Association. “It was a big credit of trust, a huge motivation and a fuel which gave us power to work”- says Jakub Kapuścik – co-founder of Abyss Glass. Today, the manager of the team of programmers, who deals with the development of video analysis, RFiD tags and many other projects related to interactive mirrors, such as the virtual trainer on the mirror. The company is famous for its production of interactive mirrors, which were refined over the past two years. During that time, the mirror from the prototype phase evolved into a technologically advanced product that has surpassed all initial expectations of the founders.
What is Abyss Glass mirror able to do today?
„The first challenge we have faced was the quality of the displayed content” – says Jakub Rawicki, manager of production and hardware department. „Our mirror is a unique combination of glass and a special matrix. It’s a balance between crystal reflection and clearly displayed content. This is one of our major advantages over the competitors. The reflection in the Abyss Glass mirror is only 10% darker compared to the ordinary mirror. The other product functions are distance and presence sensors. It was the first functionality that made it possible to interact with the customer. During that period we were basing on a surprise effect. The person passing in front of the mirror had the opportunity to see interesting marketing content besides a reflection. However, this had some limitations. The customer did not have the possibility to fully interact with the content displayed on the mirror. Based on our observations, we added another function – touch interface – which we initially strongly refused.
Currently people are used to the face that almost everything is touchable. It was the same with the mirror – if something is displayed on it, it automatically means that it is touchable. Many times during tests users were asking “is it touchable?”. It wasn’t. But we reacted to the need of the market by installing touch frames in the mirrors, which have 100% touchable, extremely sensitive and precise surface. It was a good move. With all of mentioned features on the mirror it was possible to create an advanced content that drew attention of every passer-by. From that time first regular orders and revenues appeared.
How to increase sales?
We went with the flow. After adding touch frames, we came up with an idea to better target customers. Google AdWords became a rolemodel we wanted to follow. Everyone knows that if you spend too much time on the website with, for example, mountain bikes, then for the next two weeks these bikes will follow us on all websites. We asked ourselves a question – “how to target content in real time on the mirror? The answer was video analysis. Absolutely new chapter in our company. We have installed cameras in mirrors, which were monitoring people standing in the front of them. We developed neural networks. After two months, they recognized gender and whether someone was smiling or not with an effectiveness of 65%. This solution had huge potential, but it was not perfect. We have intensified our activities thanks to which today the effectiveness of our networks is 95%! In addition to gender and smile, even more detailed facial parameters have appeared. Thanks to which we can define the recipient more precisely and present more personalized content. These parameters are age and gender. Example? In a cosmetics store we display products for acne skin for teenagers and cream for wrinkles for mature women. Currently networks are learning to recognize the color of hair and eyes and complexion. It will be mostly used in cosmetic and hairdresser industry.
Not only interactive mirrors
Collecting data about users turned out to be a hit. „Thanks to that our customer knows more about his customers and can prepare a better offer for them” – adds Marcin Motyka – one of the founders, who deals with key customer service at Abyss Glass. “ Abyss Glass web dashboard collects all data about the customers“. „But the most important feature which we often emphasizeis the fact that we do not create personal customer profiles. For example we only know that a young girl appeared in front of the mirror, she spent a moment in front of it and finally smiled. However, we do not have information about her personal data, which means, we do not know the name or surname and we do not store the image of her face. The trace of this person is written in the line of code and can be combined with hundreds of other similar traces to serve as statistics on customer behavior in various industries. This is undoubtedly the future of offline advertising and digital signage – personalization and the creation of the legendary omnichanel. Will this happen tomorrow? I do not think so ” smiles Motyka. „Omnichanell is a process stretched over time, which evolves thanks to such innovations as interactive mirrors and an advanced camera system, under the mysteriously sounding name of Abyss Cube, which we are currently working on. We can say proudly that the first pilot implementation of the Abyss Cube system will take place in the first quarter of 2018 in the nationwide gastronomic chain. What is worth emphasizing – this will be the first implementation of Abyss Glass not containing a single mirror in the installation. ”
„It’s a big change that was impossible for us to imagine when we started Abyss Glass 2 years ago. Thanks to the ability to adapt and respond quickly to market needs, you can achieve the biggest success. Adaptation is a key word „- says Arkadiusz Adamek – one of the founders of the company. „A lot of work behind us, but even more ahead of us. Today we have over 80 installations, also outside Poland, in countries such as Australia, Russia, the Netherlands and the USA. However, this is a marginal part of our sales. The goal is to reverse the ratio by 2019. We are also changing the structure of the company. From the hardware company we are now, we are predicting transformation in 2020 into a startup based mainly on the softwares in the SaaS model. Today revenues from subscriptions consist ⅓ of revenues for 2017 and cover 90% of our fixed costs. However, this situation will soon change. By the end of 2018, we will expand the team almost twice from 13 on board to 25. In order to implement our vision dynamically and effectively, we have decided to issue additional shares that will enable the investment of interested entities. We mainly refer to industry investors with whom we plan to establish sales synergy. Additional capital acquired by the end of February 2018 in the amount of approximately PLN 1.5 million will enable the company to implement plans for the coming year. „
*successful implementation after one year of operation