Dany El-Eid is the founder and CEO of Dubai-based startup Pixelbug who specialise in augmented reality applications. Dany spoke to us about what led him down this path and Pixelbug's plans for the education sector.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background.
My fascination with emerging technologies started during my formative years while watching the Back to the Future movies. This prompted my desire to actively help create the future, which led me to found pixelbug, my third venture in the digital technology space. Our very talented team was the first to introduce viable commercial augmented reality applications for multinationals such as P&G, Nestle, Lego & Atlantis. Since then, pixelbug has been at the forefront of AR and VR innovations, winning multiple awards and funding by high profile institutions such as Startup of the Year by MIT, Forbes Inspiring Business Leaders and Publicis90.
I'm also an active member of the startup community of the Middle East, helping aspiring entrepreneurs to pursue their aspirations and to reach their fullest potential. I regularly hold keynotes at regional and international conferences and frequently contribute to tech and entrepreneurship publications.
What was it about augmented reality that attracted you to the field?
I was first exposed to augmented reality in its early days when it was still being used for industrial and military purposes over 6 years ago. When I realized how fast smartphone technology was moving and the exponential increase in processing power, I knew that AR and VR would eventually usher in a new age in computing. With my background in both science and arts, I quickly felt a resonance with AR & VR since it's essentially fusing tech with art.
Can you explain how the Colorbug app works to those who haven't seen it?
Colorbug is a family oriented augmented reality edutainment app that brings characters in coloring books to life. Users color in a normal predefined A4 sheet of paper and when they hover their smartphone or tablet over the paper, after having launched our app, they will magically see their creation come to life. It's really digital magic! Abby, a 5 year old girl from Canada even said "this is a Miracle!" the first time she experienced it.
Our users can either explore the app for free through sponsored content or unlock our premium content through in-app purchases. We are about to release an update which will also allow new users to subscribe to our app and unlock all premium content through direct billing exclusively from du.
You can see our demo and explainer videos below:
What benefits do you feel an app like Colorbug can offer to students?
Colorbug is great for students to learn in a more interactive way while still using pen and paper to help develop their motor skills. Kids can explore objects in 3D by moving around the augmented reality scene which can significantly enhance a students understanding of textbook material. Our AR platform is beneficial because it doesn't necessarily replace books, which are still widely used in schools, but rather enhances the experience and makes learning more fun!
Do you have plans for more educational content?
Yes. We definitely want to introduce more education content for topics such as biology, chemistry, astrology and much more; possibilities are endless.
What's next for Pixelbug?
Our road map includes leading edge features that involve embedding AI capabilities into our software. We are also developing a system that allows third party content creators and educators to easily be able to create their own augmented reality experiences. In addition, we plan on releasing a suite of AR/VR products to enhance business objectives in industries such as real estate, healthcare and retail.
How can people keep up to date with your projects and developments?
If you would like to learn more about what we do and get in touch, people can visit pixelbug.com and download our colorbug app on their iOS or Android device for free from getcolorbug.com