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Inkhunter, an augmented reality app that lets users preview tattoos, is launching a marketplace for tattoo artists. The Ukraine-based company’s 8 million users can already upload a tattoo design or select one from Inkhunter’s library and see how it will look on their skin via AR. Now a new marketplace will connect users to a local artist who can create an original design. Inkhunter is part of the Y Combinator summer 2018 class.

How many regretful bearers of a tattoo wish they could have seen the design on their arm before it was inked on for life?! Inkhunter, then, feels like a near-perfect marriage of technology and human need. Few purchases are as risky as a tattoo; Inkhunter leverages AR to minimise that risk. Look across industries and you can see AR innovations tapping into the same kind of expectations. See the Ikea Place AR app: test that sofa in your living room before you buy.

Want to apply the underlying lessons here? Take these points to your team:

  • It’s easy to be blinded by the bells and whistles of a new technology (whether it’s AR or something else). But great innovation starts with human needs. If you’re going to adopt emerging tech, question one must be: what human need are we serving?

  • Speaking of human needs: people will forever be social, and local, creatures. Inkhunter’s latest move sees it become a community that connects users to local artists. If you’re creating a new tech-fueled solution – have you built in the idea of community from day one?

You spoke, and we listened: over 90% of you who fed back about the new Innovation of the Day format said it’s a hit: so we’ll be sticking with it for the foreseeable future. Many thanks to everyone who took the time to write in – we’re always so happy to hear you love our daily innovations as much as we do!
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