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Product and Topic Expert
Product and Topic Expert

Creators: Massimo Barreca, Andrea Colombo

Roles: Founder and Frontend Developer

Location: Pavia, Italy

Solution: Keer

If you’re the kind of person who has stacks of boxes in the garage in need of organization, Keer might be the right solution. Keer uses physical QR codes connected to your own personal digital notes, so you can store any kind of information you need on every item from your home or office. The product has already gathered positive reviews ahead of its official launch and even surpassed its Kickstarter goal within 24 hours. They’ve also published this epic promotional video featuring a cat and lightsaber:

What was the inspiration behind Keer?

Massimo: We’re an engineering society, and usually we work on large projects for energy plants. When the first pandemic came, everyone of us was locked down at home and I think I actually enjoyed it. I was overworked and a part of our job just faded away. We started to use the time to understand what else we could do, to place ourselves in the market after lockdown for the part of the job that we didn’t have anymore, and looking at how we can recycle ourselves in this space.

We had the first version of this idea in 2015. We tried to develop document management for companies using QR technology, so if you have a power component, for example, you could mark it with a QR code and reach the project documents behind it. We were working with big companies, but many of them didn’t want to change their solutions.

During the lockdown we talked on the phone a lot about this idea and were creating something in Wordpress just to see how it would work. After the lockdown, we set up the first focus group. A lot of people didn’t understand what it was about, but I think that’s normal. Italy is not very good with real innovation, not open for new perspectives or new kinds of solutions in work, where you already have inertia. After the focus group we realized we needed an actual mobile app, even though we didn’t know anything about coding.

How does Keer help people organize all their information?

Massimo: We have a lot of digital information around us, a lot of it stored in places like Google Drive or Dropbox and we are often overwhelmed by all this information. Maybe it’s a piece of information we only need once in a while, and then struggle to find it several years after writing it down.

We asked ourselves, what if we can find information exactly where and when we need it, just like a sticky note with digital information? You can print your own QR and then upload anything to go with it. It’s pretty basic, but very useful and you don’t need any skills or preset URLs to use it.

A good example is with cardboard boxes with a lot of things inside and you don’t remember what’s in there a year after. If you’re trying to find something in all the boxes, you can take pictures of what’s inside that will show with the QR code, so later you don’t need to go and open each one. In your kitchen, you can put the Keer on the fridge and write down what groceries you need from the store or a recipe you want to try. The family member who goes shopping can open the app and then see everything listed there without having to ask what’s needed, so it’s a very multi-purpose app.

You also managed to reach your funding goal on Kickstarter in 24 hours, was the team happy/surprised with that result?

Massimo: We wanted the product to be as accessible as possible. It has to be cheap and simple. We want it to be used by a large number of people, so we set a very low budget goal on Kickstarter. Our goal was not to raise a large amount of money, but to start building the community.

How was the development process in SAP AppGyver?

Andrea: At the beginning it was a little bit challenging because I wasn’t used to working with it. It’s low-coding, but there was still some coding. I found out that most things are well documented in the forums, and people are often working on answering questions so that helped me figure out most things. For the frontend, I didn’t have much trouble, but making AppGyver work with external services, social logins–that was more challenging. I was quite surprised with how easy it was to work with the frontend because I’ve never worked on an app, and was able to quickly figure out how AppGyver works and also to learn some new things. I think we made a good choice.

What would be your advice to other first-time developers in SAP AppGyver?

Andrea: My advice would be to do what I did, which is just try, fail, try, fail. If you have trouble, you can look for a small hint that would light the spark to help you solve it. For the most part it has a simple interface, and it is intuitive. The solution is there, you just have to adjust your idea to what you can do with the platform and find the balance.

What’s next for Keer?

Andrea: We’re planning to launch in September, so we need to make some improvements and implement some other features.

Massimo: We also plan to set up an Amazon shop for stickers so that people can get a lot of them for a low cost. That’s it for now, but there is a lot to do. We want the product to be known, to present it everywhere, and we hope for the best.

👉 Follow along with the launch of Keer.