PLNAR AWARDED PATENT FOR NEW TECHNOLOGY

  • Patent US 2019/0051054 A1 for Using Augmented Realty to Measure and Model 2D and 3D Spaces

Austin, TX – This patent represents the application of PLNAR’s unparalleled approachto measuring and modeling spaces. Using the techniques described in the patent, PLNAR surpasses previous tools by employing Augmented Reality. Users can instantly create 2D AND 3D floorplans within the app, which are accompanied by detailed reports that include enhanced photos and user annotations.

“Technology is advancing rapidly. To receive this patent shows not only the hard work that we have put in to drive technology forward but how people are ready to see how Augmented Reality will be used in practical situations.” -Andy Greff, CEO

Quickly gaining recognition as a leader in the Augmented Reality space, PLNAR’s technology is making an impact across numerous business sectors. Predominantly, it is being utilized by major insurance companies as a virtual claims solution. PLNAR is also present in prominent real estate brokerages, interior design firms, and is being used by professional and DIY interior renovators around the world.

About PLNAR

PLNAR offers the fastest, simplest, and most complete interior measuring and modeling system on the market. Leading the industry in innovation beyond the preceding entertainment-driven applications of Augmented Reality, PLNAR is making a noteworthy impact by delivering real-world application.

To learn more about PLNAR, please visit www.plnar.co

Intelligent Enterprises – The Importance For Insurance Companies To Make The Shift Now

The landscape of the insurance industry continues to evolve with emerging technologies, and that rate of progression is accelerating. Companies still hanging on to legacy practices are not only falling behind, they’re in danger of becoming completely obsolete.  

Becoming a dynamic “intelligent enterprise” means setting a precedence for workforce empowerment AND customer experience via innovative digital solutions. In January of 2019, Accenture reported 90% of insurance executives now have a coherent, long-term plan for technology in place. More than 60% report that technology is already having a significant impact on their claims and underwriting processes. This transformation is paramount to increasing the strength and influence an organization has on the market. Not only do you have some of the largest organizations creating substantial competition, vying for top position, but this digital disruption created a slew of newcomers. These companies offer an abundance of innovative digital products and services proving to have tremendous influence.  

For instance, take these three companies that are changing the very nature of insurance; and demonstrating what it means to provide empowerment through increased efficiency, agility, and transparency: 

Tech startup Hippo cites itself as “a fresh approach to the home insurance market, which has seen little innovation in over half a century.” Hippo has a fixed focused on exemplary customer experience. It uses AI in a variety of ways, from gathering and utilizing agile personal and market data insights, to aerial imagery assessments for damage updates and/or predictions, all to provide an experience truly new and unique to the market.  

Cystellar, a cloud-based big data analytics platform provides real time geospatial insights for live catastrophe and continued risk monitoring. Pulling data from satellite imagery, the (Internet of Things), and drone-based surveillance, the platform enables predictive analytics. They’ve made a huge impact with their primary data focus on helping insurers and their clients avoid damaging events, especially in the colossal agricultural and food sectors. 

Finally, PLNAR offers the only interior virtual claims solution for comprehensive data collection designed for insurance. It utilizes an Augmented Reality app and cloud-based reporting for Claims Adjusters to fully scope a claim in less than half the time. Measurements, photos, annotations (scope notes), and 2D & 3D floor plan models are packaged in a customized report in just minutes. With real time reporting to carriers, customer satisfaction is improved by offering a higher level of transparency and service.

PLNAR’s Pro Report Builder

“The operational efficiencies you can capture by applying technology to the middle and back office are a huge, real-time measurable benefit.” – Greg Baxter, MetLife 

The key staples of disruptive products and services are agility, proactivity, responsibility, transparency, and relevancy.  So how does a legacy insurance organization begin to pivot? It starts with a rapid re-prioritization of organizational focus and assets, a deliberate evaluation of products and services to implement, and a willingness to collaborate with advanced technology business partners.

In my next blog post, I’ll discuss the impact that AR/VR is having on the insurance industry. For further information on the previously mentioned disruptors, click the links below. 

Hippo www.myhippo.com | Cystellar www.cystellar.com | PLNAR www.plnar.co 

Insurance Executive and Strategist Andrew Robinson Joins PLNAR Board of Directors

Austin, TX – March 6, 2019PLNAR, an InsurTech startup and provider of a virtual claims solution for interior property and casualty (P&C) insurance claims, is pleased to announce that insurance executive and industry strategist Andrew Robinson has joined the company’s Board of Directors.

“I have an entire career of insurance and claims experience,” said Andrew Robinson. “And, as an insurer’s largest cost center, claims is an area desperately in need of innovation. In the past few years, this space has seen both an increase in on-demand workers and new technology adoption. The introduction of new technology is integral to the financial growth of the insurer, the TPA, and even the independent adjuster. I see PLNAR as a transformational innovator in this space.”

Robison is currently co-CEO at Groundspeed Analytics and a senior advisor at Oak HC/FT, a premier venture growth equity firm investing in healthcare and financial services technology, where his focus is on InsurTech. His background also includes executive leadership roles at Crawford & Company, The Hanover Insurance Group, and Diamond Consulting (now PwC Consulting).

“As we look at our next steps and ways our product strategy may need to evolve, Andrew’s experience will be invaluable to keeping us in touch with the needs of the industry,” said Andy Greff, CEO of PLNAR. “We are looking forward to his participation and contributions to the team going forward.”

PLNAR’s patented solution utilizes augmented reality (AR), machine-learning, and computer vision to deliver a comprehensive enterprise solution for the claims ecosystem. PLNAR’s powerful app and cloud products capture all the context needed from a claim, in real-time, including required 2D and 3D measurements, photos, and annotations. PLNAR immediately digitizes the output into 3D models and comprehensive claim reports that can be accessed from any device via the PLNAR cloud. Using PLNAR, adjusters can capture onsite data 50 percent faster than using traditional methods while also reducing back-office entry time with integrations and APIs. PLNAR enables new virtual claim business models and makes existing business models more efficient by driving additional revenue and increasing customer satisfaction.

Apple Measure – Competition or Collaborator?

On June 4th, Apple announced a ton of new features associated with their ARKit 2.0 release.  Today (September 12th), Apple announced they are coming out with their own Measure App in iOS 12.  https://www.cnet.com/news/ios-12-turns-your-iphone-into-a-virtual-tape-measure/. As you can see from the video, it will be an Apple App (similar to Stocks) included in iOS 12 (Releasing in September 17th), that allows a user to measure along any plane.  Effectively, it is a simple tape measure app.  Folks have asked if this is competitive to PLNAR and/or how does this impact PLNAR?  We believe this is great for PLNAR for a number of reasons.

AR is still in its infancy.  This app and Apple’s release of ARKit 2.0 shows Apple’s continued investment in this technology which is great for us and other AR developers. Additionally, since Apple is releasing a measurement solution, the underlying accuracy of the measurements via ARKit will continue to improve and which we will leverage and benefit from.  Most importantly, It also creates a tremendous amount of awareness and exposure for AR.  Now users will be more comfortable using AR tools.

From a revenue perspective, this will have little impact on our business.  The majority of our revenue comes from businesses leveraging our App and cloud solution.  We are a B2B2C solution.  Apple’s focus is on the individual user, not a business.  The apps that rely on advertising or in-app payments via consumers will be impacted most.  Apple doesn’t create solutions for specific businesses.  Also, PLNAR has expanded to be much more than measurements.  We are providing use-case based flows for the Insurance and Home Products space.  In the Insurance space, we have designed flows that capture the data required to virtually settle:

  • Water day claims
  • Small fire claims
  • Flood claims

We are building out Home Product estimation and purchase flows for:

  • Flooring purchases
  • Window treatments
  • Kitchen and bath remodeling

The heart of our solution is built around collecting context from the room in the form of:

  • Pictures of the space
  • AR-Enhanced pictures which project the photo in the 3D space
  • 2D and 3D measurements of walls, windows, doors and other structures
  • Summary measurements of a room or rooms (e.g. total wall surface area less windows)
  • Ability to annotate and make notes in AR about the room (e.g. Look at the water damage here)
  • Project location data to for logistics and fraud purposes

All of this data is synched with our enterprise cloud portal built for business teams and we are enabling a virtual desk model for claims and sales via our portal deliverables.  We create:

  • Comprehensive PDF Project Report
  • 3D web view of room
  • AR Enhanced photos are embedded in the 3D web view – http://plnar.co/demo/3d/kitchenWithPhotos/
  • Generate CAD files for exports
  • Location maps
  • APIs for easy integration into back office systems.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dX6aICKg8m0

Saying Apple Measure is like PLNAR is like saying Apple Notes is going to replace your CRM. You can record information about a customer, separate them out into groups and even store across devices with Apple Notes.  But no company runs their sales off of Apple Notes.  There is no integration possibility and support for enterprise processes and teams is non-existent.

At the end of the day, the Apple Measure app will bring awareness and investment into the AR space.  Apple continues to focus on the individual user and not enterprises.  Our enterprise solution will continue to flourish and we will continue to add features that solves real-world business pains.  All the other ARKit feature announcements will enable much more advanced features of our system and will have a huge, positive impact on PLNAR going forward.

Andy Greff

CEO PLNAR

 

PLNAR Raises $3.9 Million in Series A Funding

PLNAR Raises $3.9 Million in Series A Funding


NEWS PROVIDED BY

PLNAR 

Aug 20, 2018, 10:47 ET


AUSTIN, TexasAug. 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — PLNAR, the augmented reality (“AR’) solution that creates, fully measured, real-time 3D models of any room, announced today a Series A investment of $3.9 million led by InsurTech, FinTech and healthcare venture capital fund ManchesterStory Group. Additional funding comes from The Venture Reality Fund and Colopl Next, Inc. The financing will be used to fund PLNAR’s expansion in the insurance claims and home improvement industries.

PLNAR’s property claims solution captures all the data necessary to virtually settle interior insurance claims by allowing the user to easily gather the full context of the damaged area including measurements, summary reports, photos and 3D models. The platform is designed to integrate seamlessly into existing insurance industry claims applications.

“Having ManchesterStory lead our round really underscores the value PLNAR brings to insurance carriers looking to reduce cost and cycle time in the claims process,” said Andy Greff, CEO of PLNAR. “The additional investments from The Venture Reality Fund and Colopl Next speak to the way we’re enabling the enterprise, with AR technology that solves a variety of challenges for different home improvement related industries.”

“Historically, measuring rooms as part of an onsite insurance claims adjustment has been a manual process completed in difficult, sometimes dangerous, environments,” said Matt Kinley, managing partner of ManchesterStory. “Using PLNAR’s, AR-enabled, data capture system to measure and create a 3D model of the site for further assessment, improves the speed and accuracy of onsite data collection. PLNAR is well-positioned to help insurers reduce LAE (Loss Adjustment Expense) and overall operating expenses, while improving loss prevention and fraud detection efforts.”

This new funding will also support PLNAR’s expansion into home improvement markets, allowing businesses in the remodeling industry to use the PLNAR solution to grow sales, digitize processes, and improve the customer experience.

“By incorporating cutting-edge AR tech to build a comprehensive claims solution, PLNAR has the vision and the product roadmap to transform the way customers and insurance carriers interact. What PLNAR is doing fits our thesis for enterprises adopting disruptive AR solutions to enhance customer satisfaction, to improve their operational efficiencies and profitability,” said Marco DeMiroz, co-founder and General Partner of The Venture Reality Fund.

Colopl Next also believes in PLNAR’s potential in the insurance industry and beyond. “Using AR and computer vision technology, PLNAR provides a useful AR application with a practical purpose,” said Shintaro Yamakami, CEO of Colopl Next. “We expect the service to be used broadly and to make AR closer to our everyday lives.”

PLNAR’s funding announcement follows a series of customer launches, including Genpact’s InspectorPro solution and SaaS product launches, the release of the company’s iOS SDK, and a suite of PLNAR enterprise options for professionals in the home renovation, specialty contracting, interior design, and insurance claims industries.

Going forward, PLNAR will continue to focus on research and development around computer vision automation, design, and usability. PLNAR will also launch a comprehensive virtual claims solution for flood, fire, and water damage which will enable adjustors, inspectors, and home owners to easily leverage the platform.

Users can learn more and download the app by visiting http://plnar.co.

ABOUT PLNAR 

Smart Picture Technologies, Inc. (dba PLNAR) is an Austin, Texas based software startup that generates fully measured 3D models of any room in real-time. PLNAR’s virtual claim solution helps insurance carriers settle small property claims faster, by enabling adjustors to be more productive and by facilitating the migration of the carrier to a desk claims model. For homeowners, PLNAR is currently available on the App Store and will launch on Android devices in Fall 2018. For home improvement professionals and enterprises, PLNAR is available as a comprehensive suite of SaaS products at http://plnar.co.
ABOUT MANCHESTERSTORY GROUP 

ManchesterStory Group (ManchesterStory) is a VC firm investing in early-stage InsurTech, FinTech, and Healthcare companies delivering solutions that accelerate digitization of the $4.6 trillion insurance industry. Areas of interest include emerging technologies enhancing underwriting and pricing, digitizing distribution, lowering claims expenses, improving customer experience, and digitally-enabling asset and wealth management. For more details, please visit https://www.manchesterstory.com.
ABOUT THE Venture Reality FUND 

The Venture Reality Fund (“The VR Fund”) is a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm focused on early-stage investments in the virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) spaces as well as relevant Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies. The firm invests globally in innovative companies across a wide variety of sectors from infrastructure and development tools to content and applications, to help entrepreneurs bring industry-defining technology to market faster. The firm’s first exit success, Owlchemy Labs, was finalized within The VR Fund’s first year of operation. As part of its commitment to educating and strengthening the ecosystem, The VR Fund publishes industry insights including quarterly global VR and AR landscapes detailing the market’s growth, new investments and increased international impact. It is also a proud partner of the Women in XR initiative, which connects female founders and women-led businesses to capital and resources. For more information, please visit TheVRFund.com.
ABOUT COLOPL NEXT, INC. 

Colopl Next (https://www.coloplnext.co.jp) is the corporate venture capital arm of Colopl Inc, a Japanese game developer. Operating several funds that account for a total of $100M+, each fund has a particular focus, such as young entrepreneurs, VR/AR, and emerging technologies. We make investments globally; in fact, more than half of our portfolio companies are based outside of Japan. With “Entertainment in Real Life” as our group’s mission, Colopl Next supports startups while utilizing Colopl’s knowledge and experiences of developing user-first products.

 

SOURCE PLNAR

Related Links

http://plnar.co

https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/plnar-raises-3-9-million-in-series-a-funding-300699423.html

Using AR to Train New Hires

The use of augmented reality in training new employees

Within just the last couple of years, virtual and augmented reality have become valuable training tools for people in all kinds of industries. Carson Palmer—the former quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals—famously used virtual reality in practice to simulate defensive schemes, go through his progressions and find open receivers.

Similar types of training regimens utilizing augmented and virtual reality are being applied across various verticals, property and casualty insurance among them.

Existing workflows at insurance carriers, restoration experts, interior designers and others are ripe for augmented reality integrations. Adopting such training functionality—which is commonly called XR, for extended or mixed reality—can revolutionize how businesses train and prepare their employees for real-world scenarios.

PLNAR—the augmented reality app that can automatically generate 3-D models, measurements and annotations of rooms—adapts that training functionality into guided workflows for claims (for instance, helping a trainee assess and mark up water damage or high water mark after a home suffers from a flood, or help a new employee at an interior design company create a compelling room design).

The benefits of integrating AR into training regimens are many. First, it creates a sort of gamification of training that wouldn’t exist otherwise, making the training process more appealing for users. Instead of reading a set of instructions or listening to a manager, trainees are able to experience a scenario first-hand.

According to Training Industry magazine, implementing AR into training better enables trainees to learn, and to store those lessons in new ways:

“Rather than having to remember what they learned during training, users can directly reference that information in real time. This decreases the procedural demand on memory, lightening the cognitive burden of the task, and allows AR users to dedicate more attention to completing the task with a higher degree of accuracy and quality.”

As AR technology proliferates and becomes cheaper, corporations will be examining how to best utilize it to create new criteria of excellence and new standard operating procedures that can be applied across the entire employee base. To learn how you can get in on the ground floor in augmented reality training, contact Andy Greff @ andy@smartpicture3d.comClick here to visit the PLNAR website.

PLNning for remediation

The American restoration and remediation market is worth an estimated $210 billion. As more companies enter the market, remaining competitive could be particularly challenging in 2018-2019. And yet, it could also present very real opportunities for those willing to seize them.

Small businesses and nationwide franchises—as well as insurance companies looking to create their own restoration offerings—are facing stiffer competition and are under pressure to attract and retain talent.

According to the ”State of the Restoration Industry 2017,” a study conducted by BNP’s Market Research Group, the three biggest challenges for responders were:
  • Finding skilled workers (74 percent)
  • Retaining labor (52 percent)
  • Competition from nationwide franchises (40 percent)

At the bottom of that list is the adoption of new technologies; only 19 percent of respondents considered it a major challenge.

The adoption of new technology, however, could directly affect individual restoration businesses’ ability to address finding and retaining talent while remaining competitive in an increasingly saturated industry.

Some employees of restoration businesses are young, digital-friendly millennials. Finding new, sexier ways of implementing technology across the business can provide that company with a unique opportunity both to find innovative ways to engage their employees with new tools while simultaneously optimize existing processes.

Remediation is also a labor-intensive business. Any piece of technology that reduces the man-hours required to complete a project — such as PLNAR, which generates real-time 3D models, measurements, and annotations of rooms — should be considered a success. Similarly, technology can provide a significant boost to a company’s competitive advantage.

PLNAR, for example, rids businesses of the tape measure and clipboard, empowering them to quickly evaluate entire projects, such as a flood that caused extensive water damage on a property or across an entire neighborhood or city. For restoration businesses which focus on residential water damage, this can be an especially lucrative opportunity. According to the Insurance Information Institute, “90 percent of all natural disasters in the U.S. involve some type of flooding.” Those businesses willing to invest in new technology now will be better positioned to handle flood damage immediately following a disaster, helping them increase capacity while also ensuring the customer is provided with fast, reliable service.

Technologies like PLNAR can also help remediation businesses better partner with insurance companies to process claims. The ability to fully digitize the dimensioning process, quickly annotate—even with voice capability—and produce real-time 3-D models could make for a compelling case when insurance carriers are searching for partners to handle cleanup and restoration.

As R&R Magazine recently wrote, “Technology is exploding; software is paving the path toward ultimate efficiency and mobility for restorers. Our smartphones are just as functional as having a computer on the jobsite.”

To learn more about how to integrate PLNAR into your restoration and remediation business, contact Andy Greff at andy@smartpicture3d.com. See how PLNAR can help your business.

Making the case for a sustainable remodeling business

Brands have known for some time that consumers are willing to pay more for sustainably sourced or environmentally friendly products or services, which today includes everything from food, cosmetic products and clothes to solar-powered lawn mowers, phone chargers and speakers.

It’s fascinating how quickly the consumer zeitgeist aligned with socially responsible companies in almost every industry and sector, which is especially true for younger generations. According to “The sustainability imperative: consumer expectations and how to grow with sustainability,” a 2016 report published by Nielsen, 66 percent of consumers are “willing to pay more for brands committed to positive social and environmental impact,” an 11 percent increase from 2014.

Younger generations are much more likely to align their purchasing behavior with social responsibility, according to the same report.

Seventy-three percent of millennials and 72 percent of Gen Z—along with 51 percent of baby boomers—are willing to pay more for sustainable products and services.

There is a clear business incentive, then, for any brand to identify ways in which it can integrate sustainable practices into its business model, especially if the cost to do so doesn’t outweigh the corresponding increase in profits it may see from consumers who look to do business with sustainable companies.

PLNAR reduces carbon footprints.

Remodeling companies, for instances, can integrate the PLNAR app into their sales processes to reduce their carbon footprints. If a kitchen and bath remodeling company makes a dozen onsite sales visits a day and only converts half of them, the carbon cost of driving to six customers who were just looking for an introductory quote—rather than intending on making a serious purchasing decision—can add up to a sizeable amount over time.

Now imagine that a company was able to eliminate those six extraneous trips by asking the customer to download the PLNAR app—which helps users create floor plans and projects using AR technology—to identify qualified leads before ever heading onsite.

That’s not even counting the spike in brand equity a company would likely experience from marketing a sustainable business practice to its customers, nor does it account for the fact that such a marketing campaign might appeal to a younger generation that is spending more and more on renovations. According to a recent Forbes article, millennials “invested 7 percent more in their home in 2016 compared to 2015, bringing their average spending level to $26,200.”

As discussed above, millennials are the most likely to spend more on products and services that align with their own belief systems. Except, in PLNAR’s case, they wouldn’t have to spend a dime more and are actually saving time when they use the app, thus essentially doubling the incentive for businesses to adopt practices that engage younger generations without actually asking them to spend more.

If you want to learn more about how PLNAR can help you engage with younger generations through sustainable business practices, contact Ted

Kalomiris at ted@smartpicture3d.com. Click here to visit the PLNAR website.