A little more than half a decade ago, touchscreens forever changed the way technology shapes our lives. They paved the way for the smartphone, which, in turn, led to advances in Human Computer Interaction or HCI such as gesture control and eventually, the range of processes that comprise Augmented Reality. Gesture Control gained traction a couple of years ago with the Kinect; smartphones and smartphone apps soon followed. At the forefront of this innovation today is Mageca, a platform for publishing Gesture Control apps.
The full spectrum of HCI solutions
Mageca was founded by three Greek brothers, Stamatis, Spyros and Antonis Argyros. A spin-off from their sport e-commerce company, Sportmania, Mageca was born when the Argyros brothers were developing a virtual fitting room for the 5 stores of the chain. They realised the potential of HCI, and after some market research, found that it was a virtually untapped area.
App stores that focus on HCI usually focus on one specific sensor at a time, which makes Mageca the only online marketplace for Gesture Controlled apps that has the full spectrum of available solutions. The market research they conducted indicated that fragmentation is one of the biggest problems of the niche, and Mageca attempts to solve this problem.
Why it’s great for users and developers
Mageca promotes all kinds of Gesture Controlled apps, although Kinect apps dominate in the store. The range is select as yet, but is in the process of rapid expansion with 30 million current users, and the number predicted to pass 100 million in three years time. Mageca makes it easier than ever for people to discover new Gesture Controlled apps and try them out. People who develop the apps are catered to as well, with various incentive schemes in order to encourage them. Mageca’s team is working on making it easier for developers to promote their work, get more revenue and feedback for their apps and learn more about the field. They are also developing tools to make the user experience richer and more personal. They are active in the HCI community in different ways, such as attending local HCI themed events, sponsoring the first Hackathon for NUI in Miami and much more. Their participation in these events earned them more than 85,000 views for their teaser video.
The human side of HCI
Mageca’s revenue model is simple – they receive a percentage from every app that is sold on the platform. Currently, developers get 90% of the profits from the apps they sell. The company is currently looking for funding, and the team is in discussions with some VCs in Greece, but as their focus is global, they would prefer to find an investor from countries such as the US, the UK, Canada, India, Australia and Germany, the places they are essentially targeting. Despite the Greek startup ecosystem having come up rapidly in the past few years, the Argyros brothers feel that going international is the key. With Mageca, the Argyroses aim to spearhead the way our lives have been transformed by HCI, leading to further innovations and make the process “simple and natural… make it more human.”