Information should flow like water and float like air, easy to reach, easy to grab.
I was bored, so I went to medium.com to find any interesting article to read just so I can get through the day. but one after another I kept cycling through various suggested articles and while juggling through these articles I was also taking notes on the notepad where I had pasted all my favorite lines, quotes, stats from these articles that I was reading, somewhere in the middle of this I started to worry that now I’ll have to save these notes and email them to myself as I always did, so that I can access it later on my phone and even after all that it won’t be organized, so it hit me – using my existing knowledge of technology I should build a workaround that would make the it easier to grab text from anywhere with a single click on my smartphone.
First I tried Internet. Found a few apps that would scan text and convert it into digital form but they required more than one click they actually required 3-4 clicks just to get to the piece of text I knew I want. So I started to think of ways this text can be distinguished from it’s surrounding on demand as in whenever the user wants he/she should be able to denote this part of text in real time, then it hit me HIGHLIGHT yes highlights is a used and tested method of declaring interest on a particular piece of text be it on paper or digital screens, that’s how it became clear to me that I will have to create a mechanism which can detect text with background color that separates it from the surrounding.
After a month of tinkering I had a piece of code which could scan any text highlighted with color “yellow” and the first piece of text that I scanned with it was “Hello World” written on a piece of napkin.
Once I had the proof of concept, It was time to think about the user experience. How can I make it so easy for the user that he/she can just pick up the phone, point it at some highlighted information and done. I had no reason to add even a single additional click to this flow, so I started with a simple camera view and a button to capture the image, everything else I tried to automate based on various triggers placed along this flow. It took me another 3 months to design, code, test and deploy the app to Google play store.
Now it was time to launch, but How was I gonna do that? I knew no reporters, I had no big global network with whom I can share this news. So I did what every other indie hacker would do, submit it to platforms such as Product Hunt. (https://www.producthunt.com/posts/autopick) That’s how AutoPick was introduced to the world on 7th June, 2018 and fortunately it was received really well by the community, probably the reason why you have stumbled upon it today. Cheers.