Shi Ying Wong30 Sep, 2018
From left to right: Evelyn He and Archy Wilhes He
Growing up in a family which sells fine art pieces, Evelyn He and her brother, Archy Wilhes, identified a common problem encountered by customers in purchasing artwork: Customers could not visualise the artwork placed in their home and often questioned how its physical addition would transform their space.
They saw the huge potential of Augmented Reality (AR) in the art industry and founded Castella, which was based on their inspiration to use technology to bring art into the lives of every person.
Evelyn explains her vision, “Castella is an AR platform facilitating the purchase of artworks . The platform allows users to experience AR exhibitions and visualise how physical artworks will look like in their home spaces. Users simply have to access their video camera through the mobile application to enjoy a 3D projection of the artwork, superimposed onto their home space. This allows them to judge the suitability of an artwork and have a realistic expectation of how the item will alter the appearance of their space.”
She continues, “The art industry in Asia is fragmented and there is no single consolidated portal to access and search desirable art pieces. Besides, the art industry is stuck in old forms of distribution channels. Physically visiting galleries or sourcing artists with limited information is extremely troublesome for customers.”
AR continues to revolutionize the customer experience today. According to a market research by Tech in Asia, Asia is forecasted to lead $120B AR and VR markets by 2020. By harnessing AR mobile technology, businesses like Castella are able to interact three-dimensionally with customers on their mobile devices and provide them with an immersive and stunning visual experience.
Being a small team of two, Evelyn acknowledges that it is indeed not easy building the startup from scratch. She shares her advice to fellow entrepreneurs: “Being an early-stage startup founder means you have to personally attend to all details, with some tasks being repetitive and manual. By keeping grand visions in mind and consistently refining them as you toil through every task, it helps to keep yourself motivated and navigate towards the right direction.”
In the next 12 months, Castella will officially launch its platform for public download in the iOS Application store. They also aim to broaden local partnerships and explore regional markets such as Indonesia and Philippines, bringing new artwork varieties onto the platform for purchase.
Visit Castella’s website to find out more about their work.
From 24 April 2018, TRIVE has announced that it will administer the grant free-of-charge, without any requirement of sweat equity or payment.
Interested entrepreneurs are invited to apply for the grant at TRIVE’s website.