CNBC Disruptor 50

Blippar: Using technology to transform the 'illiterate'

Blippar: Using technology to transform the 'illiterate'

Move over Google, Blippar's visual discovery technology could become the new way to search.

This week, CNBC released its fourth annual Disruptor 50 list of privately held-companies that have developed revolutionary technology to change the industry.

Blippar was No. 9, using technology to utilize what it calls "discovery behavior" through the use of augmented and virtual reality. The technology allows users to point their camera at nearly any object, and the app will recognize it and provide additional information about the object, including where to buy it and how it is connected to everything else in the universe.

Jim Cramer spoke with Blippar co-founder and CEO Ambarish Mitra, who said he believes there is a suppressed curiosity in human beings today. Often they walk around and are curious about such things as a flower, design or beautiful car, but don't take the time to find out what it is. Blippar could change that, especially for those who may not be able to read.

"Think about what it could be doing for the illiterate people in the world," Mitra said. "That's where our long-term vision is. To bring in a sense of knowledge powered in the world, and that is what this knowledge graph is doing."

Blippar app on smartphone.
Source: Blippar

Mitra was inspired to develop the London-based company after joking with a friend that he would like to bring the Queen to life on a banknote. What started as a joke between friends then prompted the creation of a business.

Mitra began his career in technology when he was living in Delhi, India. After running away from home, he began to live in a slum selling magazines and working in a tea stall. He applied and won a contest with an idea to empower women to use the internet.

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"Everything I have ever built in my life has been empowerment oriented. That is the person that I am, and I feel that there is a lot to give. Technology is genuinely the biggest equalizer in the world," he said.

According to Mitra, people like Elon Musk should not fear Blippar's use of virtual reality.

"This is human information that already exists. All we are trying to do; we are bringing parody and we are bringing distribution, which is really, really good for the world."