Tech Pitch: DigitalBridge
Launched three years ago, this clever Manchester start-up uses virtual and augmented reality to enable you to properly visualise new home furnishings
Company Name: DigitalBridge
Founder: David Levine
Background: Prior to starting DigitalBridge, David worked in several senior corporate roles delivering tech projects for the likes of BMW, Audi and Nissan.
Based in: Manchester Science Park
Very simply, what does your start-up do?
DigitalBridge helps retailers and consumers in the home décor market overcome the problem of the imagination gap; when customers delay making purchases because they can’t imagine what a product would look like in their own home.
We use augmented, virtual and mixed reality platforms to allow consumers to “try on” products from a retailer’s catalogue in their own homes.
Tell us why there is a need – what did you disrupt?
We have developed a unique tool that allows consumers to virtually redecorate any aspect of their room, from changing wall and floor coverings to adding and removing pieces of furniture.
Some retailers have been trying to develop this technology for a while now, but the current tools only allow consumers to change certain things or don’t allow them to redecorate their own rooms.
Our user experience design (UX) has been developed to allow consumers to take a picture from a phone, upload it directly onto the web-based tool via the retailer’s website, and instantly begin redecorating it.
There is a machine learning aspect of the tool that automatically identifies room shapes and sizes allowing ultimate ease of use for the user. This is essentially an undo button for interior design.
Is DigitalBridge funded?
Yes, most recently we received £100,000 from John Lewis after taking part in its JLAB accelerator programme; where we won a place over 280 rival entrants.
What were you doing before you started DigitalBridge?
I worked in several senior corporate roles including global director for automotive telematics at Vodafone and as international business development director at INRIX (IT IS Holdings Plc) where I was responsible for the sale and delivery of technology projects for BMW, Toyota, Audi, Nissan and Hyundia-Kia, among others.
One day, I came home from work and my wife asked if we could redecorate out lounge – she held up these two wallpaper swatches and asked what I thought but I couldn’t choose because I couldn’t imagine what they’d look like along the whole wall.
After doing some research, I found that existing room visualisation tools on the market were very, very poor so I decided to go out on my own and start a business to solve the problem.
What’s the best thing about being based in Manchester?
There is a very real technology hub growing in Manchester and it’s great being in the middle of, especially being at Manchester Science Park where so many innovative projects and businesses are located.
There is also a great talent pool to draw from. Learn more about starting a business in Manchester here.