How to integrate parts recognition in your app

Being able to identify components and parts via a smartphone makes the search for an article noticeably easier. It offers the user a fast and accurate method for identifying and finding parts without a long and frustrating search process.

Positive user feedback as well as an increase in number of orders from the aftermarket online stores has lately led to soaring interest in an application for object recognition.

Our customers often also find themselves in the following situation:

  • The majority already have an online store with its own app developed at great expense, time and effort.
  • In most cases, the app has been developed with the help of an external software developer and is now serviced by an in-house team. The team is generally not technically qualified to develop the app further.
  • The online store in use is optimised for the desktop environment and should ideally not be modified to any great degree for parts recognition.

This is why most of our customers ask me the following when we first meet:

  1. Is it difficult to expand my existing app to include parts recognition?
  2. What data has to be prepared, and how is it made compatible with my existing online store system?
The Partium is easily integrated!

You find the answer to these two questions in RestAPI. But what exactly is RestAPI, and how does it help when expanding shop-apps and adding extra modules and functionalities?

RestAPI is an API (application program interface) that enables communication between two different programmes. This means that information is exchanged between two programmes via the API, and this information can in turn trigger specific actions.

But how am I to understand RestAPI works in connection with mobile applications and the search for spare parts? Well, let’s start with our customers’ first question:

  1. Is it difficult to expand my existing application to include parts recognition?

In short: no. The customer’s existing application is expanded with a button which contains a module for “search for part”. This module is usually offered by the supplier as a complete unit and can be integrated with minimal effort.

The user photographs the part to be identified and the image is transferred to the identification-backend via the RestAPI. This is also where the identification of the part takes place. Once successfully identified, the backend communicates the result with possible additional metadata and other linked information to the app right in the user’s hand.

The effort involved is in other words minimal: a button that opens the module has to be added. And from then on it is only a matter of deciding what other content should be included.

  1. What data has to be prepared, and how is it made compatible with my existing online store system? 

The object recognition module is connected to the customer’s online store system via electronic interfaces. Once the object has been identified it has a unique number. Now it is possible to establish what metadata to transfer from the store to the customer’s app: price, availability, parts description, etc. It is of course also possible to attach other systems with further information, such as maintenance guidelines, pictures, documentation and similar.

Conclusion

The expansion of existing applications to include object recognition is simple and requires no major changes. The recognition module is delivered as a complete unit and can be connected immediately.

Linking the online store system, ERP and CRM applications is equally easy. The data is prepared, collated and accessed via electronic interfaces. The application content is customised to include all relevant information for the individual use case.

Would you like to find out more? Then don’t hesitate to contact us!

Would you like to know more?

Bernd Steinberger @ Humai