This App Makes Finding Replacement Parts as Easy as Snapping a Photo

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A new startup called PartPic wants to make replacing nuts and bolts as easy as taking a picture and placing an order. The company uses sophisticated image recognition software and an immense parts database to automatically identify a range of nuts, bolts, and screws. Its goal is to replace the need to manually page through an immense parts catalogue or go all the way to the hardware store to have a loose part identified. 

According to WIRED, users need only take a photo on their phone of the part they need replaced, and the PartPic app automatically provides an identification. PartPic claims its app currently identifies parts with approximately 80 percent accuracy. However, the company is still in the early phases of its research and development, and expects to improve its accuracy even more over time. Co-founders Jewel Burks and Jason Crain are teaming up with parts suppliers, helping them digitize their catalogues, and making everything easily searchable. 

“We’re identifying the exact match,” Crain told WIRED. “It’s important if you’re looking for a 2.5 inch screw with zinc finish and a grade of five and a thread size of eighteen, and you don’t need anything other than that, for us to be able to identify those specific details to really be a solution for this industry.”

Jewel Burks, who also works full-time as the entrepreneur in residence for diversity markets at Google, was inspired to create the app while trying to help her grandfather find a replacement part for his tractor. "It was really tough," she told USA Today. "I wanted to create an easier and more simple way for people to search for a part and that’s what really got it started." Together, Burks and Crain hope to develop an easy-to-search parts database that will help both individuals and businesses place orders for replacement parts.

[h/t WIRED]