With OCR (optical character recognition) technology becoming a particularly innovative new domain for app developers, rich new ways to gather information on smartphones are gradually becoming viable. Companies such as Beijing-based developer Yolu, creator of the popular Yolu Address Book app and most recently Yolu Card Reader, are spearheading such developments in Asia with cutting-edge OCR technology and making networking more efficient for businesses worldwide.
We spoke with Richard Robinson, Co-founder of Yolu, about his company and their newest apps. Richard will be speaking at GMIC SV, and Yolu will be providing its proprietary app at the event (Yolu GMIC SV) to make networking between participants more convenient and effective.
How do you perceive your company’s role in new markets abroad?
I’ve been in China for 16 years since China didn’t even have any consumer internet users back in 1996. Every year China has grown apace with over 1 billion mobile subs and approaching 600 million internet users with more than half accessing the internet through their phones. Up to now the vast majority of companies have been focused on that local growth. But a huge trend in coming years will be Chinese tech companies expanding internationally and we are looking to help spearhead that trend.
Where do you see mobile Internet going in the next year? In the next 5 years?
It will continue into the stratosphere. A great example is the uptake of the WeChat chatting app by China’s largest internet company Tencent. WeChat has experienced the fastest growth of anything on planet earth in history with 200 million users in about 20 months. We will continue to see more amazing growth stories coming out of the mobile internet space.
What are some of the trends you anticipate for platforms, for instance Android/iOS/WP for the next year?
Fortunately the most pronounced trend will be unprecedented growth but that will be tempered by a fractured iOS ecosystem unfortunately. Overall we’re hugely optimistic about smart phone growth and it’s all good for a company like Yolu.
Where do you see smartphone OCR technology going in the future?
Exactly where we’re taking it where our human transcribers actually train the OCR to continuously improve eventually making our in-house OCR the best available anywhere.
Attendees to GMIC SV will be using the Yolu GMIC SV app to better network while at the conference. How can GMIC SV attendees have a better experience with it?
Great question. Yolu makes mobile apps for busy professionals. We feel that while there has been sea change in recent years in that the vast majority of attendees at tech conferences now have smart phones, there has also been very little fundamental change on how those devices have been leveraged to make the conferences more successful for them. So much time, energy and money is invested in attending events and we feel that every resource should be leveraged to have the best shot at success and our Yolu GMIC SV app helps to achieve that.
Prior to the conference, users can identify and reach out to key attendees to arrange a meeting during the conference. At the conference we make it easy for conference goers to easily exchange contact information with each other – all through the app.
Then after the conference we have a connected app – the Yolu Card Reader – that allows users to handily scan all paper business cards they’ve collected during the conference. This digitization of name cards is highly accurate and works across multiple languages.
What is the best aspect of your new app Yolu Card Reader?
There are many terrific aspects: multi-lingual support, its price (free!) and its speed, but the best part of using Yolu Card Reader is the accuracy since we use a mix of OCR and human transcription.