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This Consumer-Level AR App Targets A $400 Billion Industry

This post was originally featured on Forbes.com on October 23, 2017

It’s an all-too-familiar experience: the toilet’s leaking and the plumber can’t schedule a visit until sometime next month. Ryan Fink (no relation) realized there had to be a better, one-tap solution for home improvement needs like these, problems that often just require a quick consultation and a trip to the nearest hardware store. Video collaboration was great, but it lacked the ability to graphically pinpoint problems and notes couldn’t be stored or linked to a broken faucet or a missing gasket. Picking up where video left off, Fink co-founded Streem, a mobile app showcasing the potential for AR to change the way we fix things.

Streem is getting a jump on the AR market in a big way: the company estimates home services to be a $400 billion industry. With the launch of this app, virtual “visits” from home service professionals are more like something out of your favorite sci-fi show. Using a mobile device as a bionic handyman — part interface, part diagnostic assistant — users of Streem can show home service professionals the leaky sink or deck that needs refinishing and receive initial live quotes and support without the hassle of scheduling a home visit.

The Portland-based company, founded earlier this year, is projecting profitability in the next six months. Left to right: Brian Gram (Manager, Sales & Customer Success), David Martin (SW Engineer), Ryan Fink (CEO, Co-Founder), Sean Adkinson (CTO, Co-Founder), Trey Trahin (Sr. SW Engineer), Patrick Ezell (Head of Growth).

Although initially focused on consumers, the seven-member team realized service professionals could really benefit from the app. It’s also where the app takes a cut: Streem charges a subscription fee to home service professionals, but they’re quick to cite the benefits of time saved in providing quotes and sourcing parts. One painting company managed to triple the number of quotes they’re able to provide, according to Streem, while others have improved their margins on service contracts.

The app is also partnering with IAC/InterActiveCorp’s HomeAdvisor, integrating their Instant Connect feature into the AR app. The next time your dishwasher won’t drain, Streem will be able to help you connect with a pro in under a minute, diagnose the problem, and arrange a repair visit.

“Hello, Kitchen!” Streem shows off how easy it is to ID manufacturers, appliances, and parts. (credit: Streem)

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