As an exclusive sneak peek preview of the upcoming Visual 1st conference to be held virtually on October 19 – 20, we sat down with one of the many captivating presenters, PicUP.Ai:

– A little about you, what is your background? 

It was back in 2018, the founder of PicUP.Ai Jeff Tang was struck by the idea of starting the platform when he first met his business partners Bill and John. Bill and John are successful entrepreneurs who have deep roots in e-commerce. Recalling the tedious process of preparing thousands of pictures for product launching, they

Portrait of Yong Tang. Founder of PicUP.Ai
Jeff Tang. Founder of PicUP.Ai

complained about the painful experience of manually picking up color pixel by pixel in order to remove background from images. It would take dozens of designers many days to optimize product photos while stranded in an 800-sqft office without AC, sweating in hot summer when they started their very first e-commerce business about 10 years ago. There has to be a better and more efficient way than using the hard-to-learn Photoshop. Jeff proposed to create an automated image processing platform and the idea was hit off. PicUP.Ai was born in 2019 as an incubation project of Winroad Holdings Limited, which is based in Hong Kong.    

 

– What is PicUP.Ai? What does it solve? 

PicUP.Ai is an automated one-stop photo and video processing platform. It aims to empower the creative community by simplifying and standardizing the used-to-be complicated manual processes. PicUP.Ai leverages the power of artificial intelligence to boost efficiency for customers in various areas such as graphic design, e-commerce, print-on-demand, photo and video processing applications, etc. It wishes to put wings on users’ imaginations by freeing their hands. 

The primary products of PicUP.Ai include cutout.pro and cheerful.video. Cutout.pro is dedicated to tailoring its products around customer’s workflows with a suite of coalescent AI image and video processing features including background removal, picture retouch, photo enhancement, photo colorization, avatar, and animation creation. Cheerful.video offers online interactive and collaborative virtual studio solutions for screen recording, video presentation, lecture, and webinars. 

screenshot of cheerful.video
Replace backgrounds to live videos with cheerful.video background solutions.

– Who is your customer: Businesses with a lot of images or individuals creators?

The goal of PicUP.Ai is to make visual content and art creation easily accessible to everyone who have design needs in the creative community. We are committed to serving freelancers, solopreneurs, and entrepreneurs by alleviating them from intimidating tasks (e.g. image background removal in volume) and equipping them with affordable cutting-edge tools to create values. PicUP.Ai helps designers, App developers, photographers, and e-commerce practitioners to create outstanding products for tomorrow.

– Does PicUP.Ai perform better for some type of image rather than others? Like portrait vs. food or action vs travel? Anything it will not work with?

Our AI tools work well for a variety of image types including portraits, animals, food, vehicles, skies, real estate, travel, old family photos, and so on. In rare cases, the deep-learning-based AI tool might fail to generate perfect results for images with really poor original qualities (e.g., extremely blurry, low resolution, or lack of contrast).   

Screenshot of cutout.pro automated background removal solution
Cutout.pro automated background removal solution

-  How does PicUP.Ai fit in the metaverse? How about VR and AR 

It may take many years to build the essential elements (virtual identities, environment, assets, and interaction mechanisms) for the digital world defined by metaverse. Among these, contents and experiences are core parts that will be contributed by individuals, solopreneurs, and entrepreneurs. Since day one, PicUP.Ai strives to provide original and self-assembled solutions in vision technology to empower the creative community. It will play a critical role in connecting the contributors to the metaverse. As an infrastructure builder, PicUP.Ai develops the cornerstones and building blocks of VR and AR such as background cutout, avatar creation, and animation. 

– Could PicUP.Ai be used in a photo app? Or integrated into a camera or glasses?

PicUP.Ai delivers the best quality results to our customers with great efficiency in terms of speed and volume. Therefore, we power our services through advanced deep-learning models on GPU servers. PicUP.Ai’s technologies can be integrated into a photo app via API calls. On-device (camera or glasses) solutions are evaluated case by case and could be developed for the best interest of our client.  

– Visual ai is a crowded space with the biggest companies involved ( Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Apple). How does PicUP.Ai stay ahead and grow? 

PicUP.Ai is run by a swift and forward-looking team with a great combination of product, technology, business, and operations. We stay on the frontline of the market and closely interact with our customers regarding the demand and quickly react to offer cutting-edge tech solutions in the best possible way. We dive deeply into the specialized area within our service scope to rival the tech giants. With continuous investment into R&D and a relentless drive for engineering perfection, PicUP.Ai is devoted to providing the best quality, secure, and stable services. At the same time, we closely keep eyes on the market trend and technology advancement and make optimal business decisions to stay ahead and grow.   

– Could PicUP.Ai technology be used for other usages, like helping fix satellite, military or medical images? 

PicUP.Ai provides technologies for general purposes such as e-commerce, print-on-demand, graphic design, App development, social media picture optimization, and so on. It is our mission to provide everyone with the convenience and creativity empowered by technology. We provide services and support to freelancers, solopreneurs, and entrepreneurs in order to make life better and easier. On the other hand, we do not support activities that compromise or sabotage the privacy, safety, or well-being of the public.    

 graphics showing Picup.Ai solution offerings like cartoon animation, video editing and background removal
Some of the video and image enhancements offered by PicUP.Ai

– What do you look forward to the most from the vision 1st Summit? 

We value the opportunity to share and communicate with the vision tech community. We are thrilled to learn the current development of the industry and hope to collaborate with potential partners to revolutionize the world. 

– In your wildest dream, what would you like to see PicUP.Ai  offer that technology cannot yet deliver? 

Going forward, opportunities and challenges co-exist while we are building an ideal metaverse together. PicUP.Ai would like to see ourselves be amongst the contributors in breaking through the fundamentals in offering people the freedom to live desired life in real and virtual worlds. We will continue to explore and research the area of real-time technologies for 3D reconstruction, motion driven, and virtual incarnation. 

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It is still time to get your ticket to the Visual1 st conference and hear from some of the top companies in the visual space. This year, also hear from those who move the video space during the DYI Video summit.

Kaptur is a proud media sponsor of the Visual 1st conference.
Main photo  by Designecologist from Pexels

Author: Paul Melcher

Paul Melcher is the founder of Kaptur and Managing Director of Melcher System, a consultancy for visual technology firms. He is an entrepreneur, advisor, and consultant with a rich background in visual tech, content licensing, business strategy, and technology with more than 20 years experience in developing world-renowned photo-based companies with already two successful exits.

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