Innovative Russian software solutions start-up Mobile Angels, which specialises in mobile apps that use augmented reality technology, is setting up operations in Lithuania. The company aims to establish a team of 25 highly qualification information systems specialists in Lithuania within three years. The news comes on the back of the successful launch of the company’s most recent project, a mobile app for skiers with augmented reality functions.
“We are focused on producing geographical information systems and mobile applications that help people feel comfortable in new or unfamiliar terrain,” says Sergey Tsymbal, CEO of Mobile Angels. “So far, our largest project was the mobile app Snow Angel Ski Guide intended for skiing enthusiasts. The app was welcomed extremely warmly by the market, so we are now developing new products which are even more technologically complex, which will soon be ready to present.”
Mobile Angels considered a range of potential locations in the CEE region before selecting Lithuania as the site for their new development team. The decisive factors in Lithuania’s favour were its wealth of competence in the IT sector and its strategic location, providing easy access to key markets for Mobile Angels. These advantages meant the Baltic country was chosen ahead of Estonia, Latvia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the other countries which were under consideration.
To date, Mobile Angels’ most significant creation has been the Snow Angel Ski Guide, an application which is designed to help skiers to safely navigate ski resorts. They can create routes based on a range of criteria including ability level, places to visit (such as panoramic views and restaurants), and the amount of time they wish to spend on the mountain. The app is unique as it is the only audio guide for skiers and snowboarders on the market. The app will be available for skiers across 30 resorts in the Alps this winter, and the company plans to roll it out to the US next year.
In August, Mobile Angels unveiled another major project, the free route tracking and sharing application Squiro. Useable without registration, the app is aimed at active leisure enthusiasts who want a simple and easy-to-use personal assistant to navigate them on their adventures, and to track their activities, take photos and share their experiences with friends.
Another navigation application, this time featuring a full and extensive augmented reality experience, is due to be launched this coming December. So far, detailed information on the project, and the tech solutions it will use, are confidential, but like Mobile Angels’ other products, the app will be designed for those fond of sports and active leisure activities.
The prospects for augmented reality based applications and software have never looked brighter. The popularity of the augmented reality game Pokemon Go has shaken the global IT and gaming markets this year, posting a record €176 million profit in its first 30 days. Yet analysts believe augmented reality’s greatest potential lies with technology used in sectors other than the gaming industry.
Ugnius Ramanauskas, leader of the Technologies team at foreign investment development agency Invest Lithuania, believes the potential for using augmented reality in business and commerce is huge. “It is thought that the largest success in this sector will be for applications with augmented reality functions that address the needs of industry, e-commerce, infrastructure and a range of business areas. Solutions are already being used by Volvo, Ikea, Starbucks and other globally known brands,” Mr Ramanauskas points out. And he is confident that the presence of Mobile Angels in Lithuania will accelerate the growth of this sector in the Baltic state. “The product currently being developed by Mobile Angels will be the first step of the Lithuanian IT sector into a growing, challenging and promising market,” he says.
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