Examining the Routes of Panda and Bitstrips, Possible Reality Eyes Universal Compatibility


Creating and designing an app like INTARACT has been an amazing experience in innovation and product development.

Starting with a very straightforward idea -- an app that allows users to create lifelike 3-D digital avatars using a single 2-D photo -- we’ve crossed many barriers en route to alpha testing. We’ve made major advancements by bridging the gap across the uncanny valley and creating realistic hair for digital avatars. And while we enter this next stage of development, which involves designing a number of gaming environments where our avatars will interact, we’re also working on our e-commerce platform, which will allow users to make in-app purchases like branded merchandise to further customize their avatars.

It’s a process that involves constant, daily innovation, which has actually been one of the most rewarding parts of starting Possible Reality and creating INTARACT. But like many developers, as we move closer to our product launch, we’re also considering the bigger picture and how to ensure that our platform will achieve universal compatibility, not only with all hardware devices, but also with major tech giants like Facebook, Apple, and Snapchat.

Considering the number of SDKs that are currently available, it has become increasingly easier for independent developers to ensure that their products will be compatible with all devices, but considering bold steps by companies like Panda and Bitstrips, we want to make sure that the Possible Reality INTARACT app is able to stand on its own, while also having crossover functionality within other applications.

Bitstrips, for example, the company behind Bitmoji, was acquired by Snapchat in 2016, and has become a staple of Snaps in-app functionality. However, Bitstrips actually started out on Facebook, and was eventually leveraged away to its new home via corporate buyout. Perhaps the hefty price tag made the decision to go exclusive with Snapchat much easier for Bitstrips, but what about companies who envision and independent future, like Panda.

Recently releasing a speech recognition AR stickers function in its video app, Panda has been heralded as creating one of the next big things in augmented social media. But what is to say that Facebook is not already creating a similar function for Instagram stories, or Snapchat doesn’t have its eyes on its own voice activated stickers?

For now, Panda founder Daniel Singer is attempting to remain independent with his intriguing new product, but which strategy is ultimately better, and should developers design and create apps with universal compatibility in mind or target one particular platform?

Photo Courtesy TechCrunch

Photo Courtesy TechCrunch

As we create INTARACT, we’ve always imagined a stand-alone app where users can create avatars and interact socially with friends and other subscribers inside our gaming environments. The product is unique because of the digital likeness of our avatars and the speed with which they are created, but it is also bolstered by social and e-commerce functionality. However, we also envisioned a social platform where our users can share clips directly to Facebook or Snapchat to encourage friends to download the INTARACT app. So where is the line drawn?

Ultimately, as we’ve spent time developing our product, we’ve also learned a great deal about the tech landscape, and while launching INTARACT is our primary focus, we also realize that our digital avatar creation technology is of the highest quality, and there are many immediate applications to this type of feature.

Imagine games like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds or the EA Sports cannon? All of these games, along with many of the new releases at this year’s E3 conference could benefit from integrating our avatars, with true digital likeness, into their products, as could Apple, which recently released its new Memoji and Animoji features at last week’s Worldwide Developers Conference.

Of course, signing with one group could prevent access to another, which is exactly where product development intersects with entrepreneurship. Fortunately, in the innovation game roadmaps are often thrown out the window, and companies take massive detours on the uncharted off-roads of the technology super highway.

So, for now, we’re focusing on perfecting INTARACT, and bringing the best and most lifelike digital avatars to the market. But we’re also navigating wisely, learning from Panda and Bitstrips because while it’s always been our intention to create a product that stands out from the pack, it’s also been our goal to create a native, standalone application and AR marketplace, while licensing our avatar creation technology to gaming and tech industry leaders.

Have an opinion? Interested in alpha testing our new AR and avatar products? We’d love to hear from you and share our exciting new products. For inquiries, please contact dshapiro@possiblereality.co