We are visionaries, dreamers, software engineers & cyberpunks, working together to create something wonderful.

For over two decades, we have been dreaming about an incredible new medium. One that has the potential to transcend the most vivid of imaginations; and fundamentally change the way we work, play and interact with our world.
But when we started planning our endeavour, we found that the technologies necessary to bring our visions to life, were not suitable or powerful enough.
So we've been quietly inventing new ones.
We are deep in R&D and busy developing our product, so we're not quite ready to show the world yet.
But when we are.
As we travel along our journey, our computer vision R&D is also helping companies and their customers achieve things they could never do before.

Like visualising paint colours on their walls, live on their mobile device.

Back in 2011, we released a mobile augmented reality SDK. We wanted to empower developers so they too, could explore this emerging medium.

As we built it from the ground up for mobile, it was very fast and used very little memory. So there was more room for creative content.
It made us happy to see people making cool stuff with our technology.
It was also used by some of the most recognisable brands on earth.
And we learned a lot by making cool things for them too.
But we've decided to discontinue our SDK.
Other companies are doing a fine job of that now. And we need to focus…

…on building something wonderful.

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String wins Innovation Of The Year 2015 in Berlin

28th September 2015

String and AkzoNobel have won the prestigious Innovation of the Year prize at the Digital Communication Awards 2015 for their pioneering Visualizer app, besting a strong line-up which includes HSBC, Audi, Nestlé and Barclays Bank. The jury recognized String and Akznobel for their strategic approach, creative conceptualization, effective implementation, efficiency and results, in creating the Visualizer.

The pioneering app appears just as popular with the general public, reaching five million downloads on the same day it won the Innovation of the Year. This includes a tripling of users in Brazil.


Visualizer Shortlisted for GMA 2015 Most Innovative Mobile App

9th March 2015

We're super excited and proud to announce that the AkzoNobel Paint Visualizer app featuring our proprietary Computer Vision technology, was shortlisted in the Most Innovative Mobile App category at the 2015 Global Mobile Awards.


AkzoNobel's Pioneering Visualizer App Wins Major Technology Prize

12th November 2014

The pioneering Visualizer app launched by AkzoNobel's Decorative Paints business earlier this year has won a prestigious honor at the 2014 UK IT Industry Awards.

A world first in augmented reality technology, the free app enables users to see in real time what a room will look like in a wide range of different colors – before any paint is applied to the wall. The innovation beat seven other finalists in the Innovative Mobile App of the Year category.

“Color has the power to change people's lives and we're delighted to have been recognized for an innovation which is designed to give consumers and professionals more confidence and inspiration,” said Corinne Avelines, Global Head of Digital & eCommerce at AkzoNobel Decorative Paints.

“The Visualizer gives people the freedom to experiment and make bolder choices and highlights how we are increasingly embracing digital innovations alongside our product innovations in order to solve problems for consumers and ultimately grow our business.”

Marketed through the company's decorative paints brands (Dulux in the UK, Coral in Brazil and Flexa in the Netherlands, for example) the app was developed after talking to more than 5,000 customers, designers and painters.

The core innovation behind the Visualizer is the Computer Vision technology which enables the user to apply realistic virtual paint to their walls, in real-time, without affecting picture frames and other furniture. Compatible with both Android and iOS devices, it is currently available in 44 countries and will continue to be rolled out over the coming months.

“We're always looking for ways to share our global color expertise and encourage customers to express themselves through the use of color,” added Avelines. “Enabling people to picture rooms before they paint them is not only fun, it's also a great way of combining digital technology with personal design vision.”

To download the app, visit the Apple store or Google Play and search for Visualizer, plus the name of your local AkzoNobel paint brand.

We're Hiring

You've read our story and seen a little of what we've been up to…

We are looking for world class talent to join our rapidly growing team and currently have the following positions open:

Software Engineer - Augmented Reality - C++

As a Software Engineer at String, you will be joining our pioneering, highly creative and ambitious Cambridge team to build the next generation of our award-winning Dulux Augmented Reality Visualizer app, used by millions of people around the world.

As such, you’re not just an engineer. You’ll be an important part of the entire product process from understanding and solving users’ pain points and workshopping new features, through to post-delivery retrospectives.

As String’s culture emphasises mutual personal growth, you must possess the self-awareness and egolessness required to relish kind and constructive feedback, while also being comfortable in reciprocating to your peers for their benefit. You must have deep empathy for your users and peers, so you can understand how you can craft genuinely useful products together.


Responsibilities

  • Collaborate with product managers, designers, computer vision scientists and engineers to conceive and build new app features
  • Acquire and maintain excellent knowledge and insight into contemporary C++
  • Craft delightful user-experiences, while maintaining performance and stability
  • Work with platform engineers to design, build and scale new and existing features
  • Triage and fix bugs
  • Write clean, readable and maintainable code

Requirements

  • Experience writing code using modern C++
  • Strong CS fundamentals: data structures, algorithms and programming languages
  • Experience developing, releasing and maintaining high quality iOS and Android mobile applications with demonstrably strong coding, debugging and analytical skills
  • Experience in building modern UI screen layouts
  • Excellent understanding of best practices for asynchronous communication, concurrency and threading
  • A disciplined approach to development, testing, documentation and code structure in a team environment
  • Self ­awareness, empathy and a desire to improve not only your skills but also your peers’
  • Craftsmanship and attention to detail
  • Deep empathy for your users and peers

A typical week at String will involve

  • Workshopping new features with your peers
  • Learning about new iOS & Android technologies
  • Helping your team triage bugs and troubleshoot production issues
  • Deeply reviewing code to maintain quality
  • Mentoring other engineers

Nice to Have

  • Experience with OpenGL, Objective-C, Swift & Java
  • Experience with Android + iOS UI SDKs
  • Experience of working in small, fast moving teams with an emphasis on autonomy, accountability, ownership
  • Experience with video processing and encoding formats
  • Experience with parallel computing, GPGPU programming and low level performance optimisations on mobile devices (NEON, INTEL SSE)
  • Fluency in 3D and matrix mathematics
  • Strong interest in Mixed and Virtual Reality

We strive to build a work culture where everyone is valued and respected equally. That goes for our hiring process as well. If all of this resonates with you, there’s a good chance that you might be a fit for us and we might be a fit for you. We’d love to hear from you so we can explore that possibility.

Please complete the form below to apply:

Contact

If you're interested in discussing strategic partnerships or how our computer vision R&D may be able to help you and your business please contact us below and tick the consent box.


If you're looking for the Showcase markers click here
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Cookie Notice

Last updated: 27th June 2018

This Cookie Notice explains how String ("String", "we", "us", and "our") use cookies and similar technologies to recognise you when you visit our websites at http://string.co/ (the "Website"). It explains what these technologies are and why we use them, as well as your rights to control our use of them.

What are cookies?

Cookies are small data files that are placed on your computer or mobile device when you visit a website. Cookies are widely used by website owners in order to make their websites work, or to work more efficiently, as well as to provide reporting information.

Cookies set by the website owner (in this case, String) are called "first party cookies". Cookies set by parties other than the website owner are called "third party cookies". Third party cookies enable third party features or functionality to be provided on or through the website (e.g. like advertising, interactive content and analytics). The parties that set these third party cookies can recognise your computer both when it visits the website in question and also when it visits certain other websites.


Why do we use cookies?

We use first party and third party cookies for several reasons. Some cookies are required for technical reasons in order for our Websites to operate, and we refer to these as "essential" or " necessary" cookies. Other cookies also enable us to track and target the interests of our users to enhance the experience on our Websites. Third parties serve cookies through our Websites for advertising, analytics and other purposes. This is described in more detail below.

The specific types of first and third party cookies served through our Websites and the purposes they perform are described in the table below (please note that the specific cookies served may vary depending on the specific part of our Website which you visit):


Types of cookie

How to refuse


Necessary website cookies:

Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

 

Because these cookies are strictly necessary to deliver the Websites to you, you cannot refuse them.

You can block or delete them by changing your browser settings however, as described below under the heading "How can I control cookies?".


Preference cookies:

Preference cookies enable a website to remember information that changes the way the website behaves or looks, like your preferred language or the region that you are in.


 

To refuse these cookies, please follow the instructions below under the heading "How can I control cookies?"


Statistics cookies:

Statistic cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously.


 

To refuse these cookies, please follow the instructions below under the heading "How can I control cookies?"


Marketing cookies:

Statistic cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously.


 

To refuse these cookies, please follow the instructions below under the heading "How can I control cookies?"


Social networking cookies:

These cookies are used to enable you to share pages and content that you find interesting on our Websites through third party social networking and other websites. These cookies may also be used for advertising purposes too.


 

To refuse these cookies, please follow the instructions below under the heading "How can I control cookies?"


Cookie Declaration


What about other tracking technologies, like web beacons?

Cookies are not the only way to recognise or track visitors to a website. We may use other, similar technologies from time to time, like web beacons (sometimes called "tracking pixels" or "clear gifs"). These are tiny graphics files that contain a unique identifier that enable us to recognise when someone has visited our Websites or opened an e-mail that we have sent them. This allows us, for example, to monitor the traffic patterns of users from one page within our Websites to another, to deliver or communicate with cookies, to understand whether you have come to our Websites from an online advertisement displayed on a third-party website, to improve site performance, and to measure the success of e-mail marketing campaigns. In many instances, these technologies are reliant on cookies to function properly, and so declining cookies will impair their functioning.


Do you serve targeted advertising?

Third parties may serve cookies on your computer or mobile device to serve advertising through our Websites. These companies may use information about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide relevant advertisements about goods and services that you may be interested in. They may also employ technology that is used to measure the effectiveness of advertisements. This can be accomplished by them using cookies or web beacons to collect information about your visits to this and other sites in order to provide relevant advertisements about goods and services of potential interest to you. The information collected through this process does not enable us or them to identify your name, contact details or other personally identifying details unless you choose to provide these.


How can I control cookies?

You have the right to decide whether to accept or reject cookies. You can exercise your cookie preferences by clicking on the appropriate opt-out links provided in the cookie table above.

You can set or amend your web browser controls to accept or refuse cookies. If you choose to reject cookies, you may still use our website though your access to some functionality and areas of our website may be restricted. As the means by which you can refuse cookies through your web browser controls vary from browser-to-browser, you should visit your browser's help menu for more information.

In addition, most advertising networks offer you a way to opt out of targeted advertising. If you would like to find out more information, please visit http://www.aboutads.info/choices/ or http://www.youronlinechoices.com.


How often will you update this Cookie Notice?

We may update this Cookie Notice from time to time in order to reflect, for example, changes to the cookies we use or for other operational, legal or regulatory reasons. Please therefore re-visit this Cookie Notice regularly to stay informed about our use of cookies and related technologies.

The date at the top of this Cookie Notice indicates when it was last updated.


Where can I get further information?

If you have any questions about our use of cookies or other technologies, please email us at dpo@string.co.


Privacy Notice

Last updated: 27th June 2018

String respects your right to privacy. This Privacy Notice explains who we are, how we collect, share and use personal information about you, and how you can exercise your privacy rights. This Privacy Notice applies to personal information that we collect through our services (including our website).

If you have any questions or concerns about our use of your personal information, then please contact us using the contact details provided at the bottom of this Privacy Notice.

General

When you use our services, we and other organisations may collect some information about you and the devices that you use to access them. You may choose to share your information with us (for example, where you contact us by email to ask a question about our services) and some information is collected automatically using cookies. You can find out more information about the cookies which we use in our Cookies Notice. If you do provide us with information, it is important that you inform us of any changes so that we can keep the information which we hold about you up-to-date and ensure it remains accurate. We will co-operate with authorities as required by disclosing any details which we hold to them (which may include your identity, contact details, and information about any devices used to access our services).

Quick links

We recommend that you read this Privacy Notice in full to ensure you are fully informed. However, if you only want to access a particular section of this Privacy Notice, then you can click on the relevant link below to jump to that section.


What does String do?

String is an Innovation & Technology Group, headquartered in the United Kingdom. We operate across many fields including computer vision, cloud, machine learning, data science, cross-platform consumer applications and enterprise applications.

For more information about String, please see http://string.co/.


What personal information does String collect and why?

The personal information that we may collect about you broadly falls into the following categories:

  • Information that you provide voluntarily

    We may ask you to provide personal information voluntarily: for example, to provide your contact details in order to register an account with us, to subscribe to marketing communications from us, and/or to submit enquiries to us. The personal information that you are asked to provide, and the reasons why you are asked to provide it, will be made clear to you at the point we ask you to provide it.

  • Information that we collect automatically

    When you use our services, we may collect certain information automatically from your device. In some countries, including countries in the European Economic Area, this information may be considered personal information under applicable data protection laws.

    The information we collect automatically may include information like your IP address, device type, unique device identification numbers, browser-type, broad geographic location (e.g. country or city-level location), and other technical information. We may also collect information about how your device has interacted with our service, including webpages accessed and links clicked. Collecting this information enables us to better understand the users of our services, where they come from, and what content is of interest to them. We use this information for our internal analytics purposes and to improve the quality and relevance of our services.

    Some of this information may be collected using cookies and similar tracking technology, as explained below.

  • Information that we obtain from third party sources

    We may receive personal information about you from third party sources, but only where we have checked that these third parties either have your consent or are otherwise legally permitted or required to disclose your personal information to us.

    The types of information we collect from third parties include statistics and usage patterns and we use the information we receive from these third parties to maintain and improve the accuracy of the records we hold about you and the services we provide to you.

In general, we will use the personal information we collect from you only for the purposes described in this Privacy Notice or for purposes that we explain to you at the time we collect your personal information. However, we may also use your personal information for other purposes that are not incompatible with the purposes we have disclosed to you if this is permitted by applicable data protection laws.

If you provide us with information about someone else, please ensure you have the person’s permission to do so for the purposes detailed in this Privacy Notice. By providing personal data relating to another person, you confirm that you have their consent to do so, or are entitled to consent to the processing on their behalf (for example for children where you have parental responsibility).


Who does String share my personal information with?

We may disclose your personal information to:

  • our group companies, and third party services providers who provide data processing services to us (for example, to support the delivery of, provide functionality on, or help to enhance the security of our services), or who otherwise process personal information for purposes that are described in this Privacy Notice or notified to you when we collect your personal information;
  • any competent law enforcement body, regulatory, government agency, court, or other third party where we believe disclosure is necessary: (i) as a matter of applicable law or regulation; (ii) to exercise, establish or defend our legal rights; or (iii) to protect your vital interests or those of any other person;
  • an actual or potential buyer (and its agents and advisers) in connection with any actual or proposed purchase, merger, or acquisition of any part of our business, provided that we inform the buyer it must use your personal information only for the purposes disclosed in this Privacy Notice; and
  • other persons if you have consented to the disclosure.

Our legal basis for collecting and using the personal information described above will depend on the personal information concerned and the specific context in which we collect it.

We will normally collect personal information from you only: (i) where we need the personal information to perform a contract with you; (ii) where the processing is in our legitimate interests and not overridden by your rights; or (iii) where we have your consent to do so. In some cases, we may also have a legal obligation to collect personal information from you or may otherwise need the personal information to protect your vital interests or those of another person.

If we ask you to provide personal information to comply with a legal requirement or to perform a contract with you, we will make this clear at the relevant time and advise you whether the provision of your personal information is mandatory or not (as well as of the possible consequences if you do not provide your personal information).

Our legitimate interests include, for instance, improving our platform, undertaking marketing, or for the purposes of detecting or preventing illegal activities. We may have other legitimate interests and if appropriate we will make these clear to you at the relevant time what those legitimate interests are.

If you have questions about or need further information concerning the legal basis on which we collect and use your personal information, please contact us using the contact details provided below.


Cookies and similar tracking technology

We use cookies and similar tracking technology to collect and use personal information about you, including to serve interest-based advertising. For further information about the types of cookies we use, why, and how you can control cookies, please see our Cookies Notice.


How does String keep my personal information secure?

We use appropriate technical and organisational measures to protect the personal information about you that we collect and process. The measures we use are designed to provide a level of security appropriate to the risk of processing your personal information.

Where we have given you (or where you have chosen) credentials which enable you to access certain parts of our services (such as usernames and passwords), you are responsible for keeping these confidential.

The transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do what we reasonably can to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of any personal data that you disclose online. You accept the inherent security implications of using the internet and we will not be responsible for any breach of security unless we have been be in breach of applicable laws, and then only to the limits set out in any relevant terms and conditions.

Our services may contain links to and from the services of our partner networks, advertisers, affiliates and members of our corporate group. If you follow a link to any of these, please note that they should have their own privacy policies/ terms of use, and we do not accept any responsibility or liability for them. Please check their privacy notices before you submit any personal data to them.


International data transfers

Your personal information may be transferred to, and processed in, countries other than the country in which you are resident. Our data servers are located in Ireland where the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is directly applicable.

We may also transfer or disclose your personal information to our service providers, professional advisers, and to such other persons as we consider necessary for the administration of the services and our business. We will ensure all appropriate technical and organisational measures are in place when sharing personal data in accordance with this Privacy Notice.


Data retention

We retain personal information we collect from you where we have an ongoing legitimate need to do so (for example, to provide you with a service you have requested or to comply with applicable legal, tax, or accounting requirements).

When we have no ongoing legitimate business need to process your personal information, we will either delete or anonymise it or, if this is not possible (for example, because your personal information has been stored in backup archives), then we will securely store your personal information and isolate it from any further processing until deletion is possible.


Your data protection rights

You have the following data protection rights:

  • If you wish to access, correct, update, or request deletion of your personal information, you can do so at any time by contacting us using the contact details provided below.
  • In addition, you can object to processing of your personal information, ask us to restrict processing of your personal information or request portability of your personal information. Again, you can exercise these rights by contacting us using the contact details provided below.
  • You have the right to opt-out of marketing communications we send you at any time. You can exercise this right by clicking on the unsubscribe or opt-out link in the emails we send you. To opt-out of other forms of marketing, then please contact us using the contact details provided below.
  • Similarly, if we have collected and process your personal information with your consent, then you can withdraw your consent at any time. Withdrawing your consent will not affect the lawfulness of any processing we conducted prior to your withdrawal, nor will it affect processing of your personal information conducted in reliance on lawful processing grounds other than consent.
  • Whilst we would prefer you to come to us first with any complaints, you have the right to complain to a data protection authority about our collection and use of your personal information. For more information, please contact your local data protection authority.
  • We respond to all requests we receive from individuals wishing to exercise their data protection rights in accordance with applicable data protection laws.


Updates to this Privacy Notice

We may update this Privacy Notice from time to time. When we update our Privacy Notice, we will take appropriate measures to inform you, consistent with the significance of the changes we make. We will obtain your consent to any material Privacy Notice changes if this is required by applicable data protection laws.


How to contact us

If you have any questions or concerns about our use of your personal information, please contact us using the following details:


Post

Data Privacy Officer
String Applied Technologies Limited
184 The Bradfield Centre, Cambridge Science Park
Milton Road, Cambridge
Cambridgeshire, CB4 0GA
United Kingdom


Email

dpo@string.co


The data controller of your personal information is String Applied Technologies Limited.


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Visualizer



The Visualizer app from AkzoNobel, is a free Augmented Reality tool for iOS and Android, which enables consumers to re-colour their walls while viewing the results live on their mobile device, as they move around the room.

Choosing colour for the home can be a stressful experience, and in the UK alone it is estimated that 3m households a year give up on painting projects at a cost of over £200m. By providing a tool to quickly visualise paint colour, in-situ and in real-time, consumers can quickly and confidently choose the right colours for their home, prior to using paint testers.

For AkzoNobel, the app also promises to significantly shorten the sales cycle through e-commerce integration, while strengthening their global brand portfolio, encompassing some of the world's best known paint brands such as Dulux, Flexa, Nordsjö and Coral.

The Visualizer was launched globally throughout June and July 2014, in over 40 markets, in 18+ languages and across 25 brands.

String's fierce drive and passion, and their unwavering confidence that they could invent the necessary core technologies, enabled us to bring this challenging project to reality. We're very proud to lead the industry by providing this ground breaking tool for consumers, and we're excited about our partnership with String moving forwards.

— Stewart Longhurst, AkzoNobel Head of Digital Operations

Development of the Visualizer

In 2013, AkzoNobel partnered with String® on what was initially an R&D project, to explore the possibility of a computer vision based broad wall visualisation application. Computer vision is a discipline within the field of computer science, which focuses on processing and applying visual data from the real world, in a similar way to how our own eyes and brains work.

Handling the diverse range of room environments and lighting conditions which may be encountered, presented a number of technical challenges. In order to overcome these, String® researched and developed proprietary algorithms bespoke to the Visualizer, to analyse and process live video from the device camera.

These algorithms identify broad areas of interest - in this case, walls - and then isolate household objects, such as TVs, picture frames and furniture, to prevent them from being recoloured.

Ambient lighting conditions in the room are measured, so that when the ‘paint' is applied, shadows and subtle variations are retained for more natural looking results. Finally in order for the virtual ‘paint' to remain locked to the wall surface as the user moves around, custom software was written to process positioning and orientation data, from the device's hardware sensors.

Key Technical Requirements

  • CV based solution, rather than relying on time-of-flight or FLIR sensors, due to the current saturation of traditional camera-based devices in the market.
  • Automatically isolate features such as windows, doors, TVs and paintings when applying virtual paint to existing walls.
  • Process and analyse the real-time ambient lighting conditions to ensure natural looking results when re-colouring, retaining surface shadows and subtle variations.
  • Track the environment and user inputs to remember walls that have previously been painted during that session.
  • Provide an immersive experience for the consumer with high frame rates across a broad range of consumer tablet and smartphone devices.
  • Deliver as a cross platform SDK for integration into the broader Visualizer application.

User Experience Design

Due to the amount of screen space required for the Visualizer's camera feed, one of the key design objectives was to keep on-screen clutter to an absolute minimum, to avoid hindering the fluidity of the user's journey, while providing all the tools they need.

Leveraging our commercial experience in interaction design, we built an in-house custom prototyping framework which allowed the team to rapidly design, iterate and test interaction concepts from desktop to mobile, prior to final API development.

Some of the concepts the team explored included accelerometer-based gestures for rapid clearing of paint within a scene, simple touch gestures to refine colours and swipe-able colour palettes, in addition to standard touch events.


While many ideas were discarded in order to reduce user friction, key features such as single tap-to-paint, visual paint anchors (with inertial fade-outs), masking tape, inclusion of the colour swatch on screen grab, and low light notifications, all emerged from this process and were implemented in the release.

Our belief is that technology should work like magic: providing a delightful, easy and useful experience. This ethos remains at the core of all of String's technical and creative endeavours.

Future

The uncompromising vision for the project required String® to break new ground in this field and what you see today represents a first step towards that vision. On-going research and development will bring significant advances to future versions of the product.