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UEA entrepreneur to launch ground-breaking app

A UEA student is calling on the public to help launch a new app, which will revolutionise product placement in films and television.

Meenkee, developed by PhD student Alex Ross and his team of engineers, allows users to point their phone at a product or item of clothing worn on screen, and immediately go to the site that will provide you more information or sell you the item – something not possible until now.

The app has been in production for 18 months, and has already caught the attention of major companies such as Google, IBM and Saatchi & Saatchi. Ikea said: “You are the holy grail to advertising!”

Founder Alex, studying in the School of Art, Media and American Studies, needs members of the public to help beta test the app at a launch event to be held on 1 December at the Enterprise Centre, UEA. The event will allow potential users to try out the app and feedback their views on how it works.

Alex said: “It is vital, when developing new technology, for it to fit the needs of the user it is aimed at, make life easier for them and above all, be fun. Bringing people in to help test it allows us to make sure it will do just that. My startup enables smart-phones to interact with images & audio, in advertising, film & TV. Think product placement on steroids, with everything on screen branded and accessible via your phone. So if someone wants to buy Tom Cruise's leather jacket or the sofa he is sitting on in his latest blockbuster, all you have to do is point and click.”

Praise for the app includes:

•“Alex: It is great you and your super impressive team are building this.” Google, Mountain View (CA)

•“ZTB has great people, an innovative concept and a hunger to succeed. Our future economic success depends on disruptive tech start-ups like ZTB.” Graham Stuart MP, Select Committee Chairman, House of Commons 

Finbarr Carter, UEA Student Enterprise Officer, said: “Meenkee is a perfect example of exciting disruptive technology – something which could create a really have a huge impact on and change the market – and we’re excited to be supporting Alex in bringing it to the market. Understanding the needs and wants of real customers segments is essential in designing products and services that people actually want. If we can create products that fit customers’ needs, they then just sell themselves.”

UEA Student Enterprise helps entrepreneurial students turn their dreams and talents into a business reality. The service provides professional help with building confidence and developing ideas with, one to one business coaching and start up mentoring. In addition the service provides practical skill-based workshops, to empower students on their journey; funding, to help reduce the personal risk and access; and access to a huge network of support, from legal advice, to industry insight.

The Menkee launch party takes place from 7-8:30pm on 1 December in the Sir Brandon Gough Lecture Theatre in the Enterprise Centre at UEA.

Booking is essential to attend the launch event.

For UEA:  https://mycareercentral.uea.ac.uk/students/events/detail/576666/zaptobuy-presents-meenkee

For non-UEA attendees: http://menkee.eventbrite.co.uk.

There will be free food and drink. Space is limited so those interested are urged to get in touch quickly.

Find out about student enterprise at UEA