HADDONFIELD, New Jersey (WPVI) -- "When I was Charlie's age, I became obsessed with cards," said Ted Mann. "I loved it when I was a kid, but I hadn't done it until recently, as Charlie got into the hobby."
Ted dusted off his baseball card collections as Charlie piled his Pokemon cards high. Like many collectors, the father-son-duo wondered how much their paper treasures were worth.
And as the two enjoyed a special hobby together, a unique idea was born.
"Professionally. I've spent the last 10 years of my life running companies in the field of computer vision, visual search," said Ted. "Charlie was the one who had the inspiration to say, 'Dad, that same technology, wouldn't that work really well on trading cards?'"
Thus, the "CollX" app was born. As its name describes, it helps users collect, organize, and trade cards using image recognition technology.
"You can just take a picture of any sports card ever and find the average price, the comps, everything that you really need to know," said Charlie.
Currently, the app supports sports cards such as baseball, basketball, football, hockey, and soccer. But in just a few weeks, it will add support for the Pokémon Trading Card Game, Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game, Magic: the Gathering, and professional wrestling cards.
Working with the app has given Charlie more confidence to conduct trades with his classmates. But more importantly, it has given him an idea for the future
"When I grow up, I kind of want to be just like my dad," he said. "I sort of want to make an app, too, or like, maybe continue my dad's app because my dad just really inspires me."
In the same way, Ted is most grateful for the bonds he has built with his sons.
"I love building a business, but for me the best part is just getting to spend time with Charlie, get to spend time with my other son, August," he said.
Ted thinks the trading card craze is not slowing down any time soon. And despite how quickly kids grow up, he thinks that he and Charlie have created something special to hold onto.
"Hopefully, we've got the relationship now, that it will hopefully carry through till he's older," said Ted. "And maybe one day gets to do it with his own son."
The CollX app is growing with 70,000 users just three months after its launch. To learn more about, visit their website.
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