AppSeed turns your sketches into functioning app prototypes

Kickstarter project AppSeed allows you to photograph your sketches on paper or a whiteboard and turn them into a functioning prototype of your app.

Kickstarter project AppSeed allows you to photograph your sketches on paper or a whiteboard and turn them into a functioning prototype of your app.

(Credit: The AppSeed Team)

In a bid to streamline the app creation process, Canadian design studio Transmitter has created AppSeed — an app that uses real-time computer vision to automate the process of turning a two-dimensional sketch into a functioning prototype right on your device.

It looks super easy to use. You draw the page elements inside two crop marks and then photograph the sketch with your phone's camera. The app then identifies the crop marks and automatically sizes the sketch to fit the screen. It also identifies separate enclosed-space elements on the page — the user can then go through and choose, from a drop-down menu, the element type, such as a map, a button or a text input field.

"The secret sauce behind AppSeed is the use of computer vision to search your sketch and isolate individual elements," the team said. "Specifically, we use the wonderful OpenCV to isolate lines and drawn shapes within your sketches. We then use our own algorithms to identify the UI elements. These are generally identified because they follow a visual pattern (for example, an enclosed rectangle can be taken as a button). That drawn element is then copied from the original image and made into a button with the drawn shape as its up state."

Once you have a prototype on your phone, you can export it as an HTML5 app or send it to Photoshop via PS Connection, which will separate out all the elements into their own layers for individual editing.

This will allow designers and developers to showcase their ideas to clients, co-workers and backers without having to undergo the fiddly middle process of manually coding an app from design to prototype.

Initially, AppSeed will be available for iOS, with an Android version further down the line, should the project reach its stretch goals.

The app alone is being offered as a reward for the CA$8 pledge tier, and you can get the app and sketchbook combo for CA$30. For CA$40, you can also get five crop-mark whiteboard stickers. Head over to the AppSeed Kickstarter page for more information.

 

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