mixed reality solutions for industrial automation

Spiral has graduated from the Airforce powered by Techstars accelerator.

May 31st 2020permalink

The full conversation of Warren Katz, Managing Director of the accelerator and Dr. Will Roper, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics

Virtual answer for MRO training

May 20th 2020permalink

Aerospace newcomer, Spiral Technology, is focusing its efforts on MR and has developed prototypes for the HoloLens.

Startup Profile 2020: Spiral Technology

April 21st 2020permalink

Spiral Technology’s head-worn augmented reality (AR) systems could help ship owners reduce costs while easing the burdens placed upon workers tasked with maintaining and repairing complex maritime equipment. More details here.

Technology Overview 13 — 20th February

February 19th 2020permalink

There is not much industry news this week, but something we found.

Augmented reality will help preserve the world's oceans. The Sea Shepherd Organization for the Protection and Conservation of Marine Animals, together with the digital studio Resn, with the help of AR, demonstrate to the world the damage caused to fish by catching unwanted fish species - by-catch. Through the mobile application Below the Surface AR, available on iOS and Android, users can see the underwater scene in augmented reality mode, where dolphins find themselves in fishing nets, resulting in death. The goal of the project is to show people how detrimental to the oceans are the consequences of bycatch, which is not punishable.

For a long time no news was heard from Ubimax - and in early February, the company entered into a partnership agreement with the Japanese Outsourcing Technology Inc. The purpose of cooperation is the entry of the Ubimax Frontline platform into the Japanese market. Outsourcing technology Inc. will provide advice and assistance in integrating the AR platform for its customers.

Technology Overview, 9 February — 13th February

February 12th 2020permalink

Chinese start-up Nreal suspends production of its smart glasses due to outbreak of coronavirus. The release dates for the consumer version of Nreal Light glasses are also at stake. In addition, a number of technology companies have refused to participate in the Mobile World Congress 2020, which will be held in Barcelona on February 24, including Amazon, Facebook, Intel and Nvidia.

Despite the Nreal problems mentioned above, the Chinese startup is expanding its presence in the global market. Nreal Light glasses participated in the filming of the UK wireless giant EE commercial, which demonstrated the benefits of 5G technology. In the video, the Hollywood star Kevin Bacon, as well as many others, wear Nreal Light glasses through which they see the musical performance in augmented reality mode (though it is not yet clear whether AR was used in real time.

Technology Overview, 30 January — 9 February

February 9th 2020permalink

New AR headset was released this week. This time, the newsmaker was the Japanese technology giant Canon with its Mreal Display MD-20, designed for corporate customers. Earlier Canon has introduced its own MREAL Display MD-10 AR device, but the huge price of $ 82,260 scares off most customers. The new model is likely to be significantly cheaper, although so far the release dates and the price of the device have not been disclosed.

Daqri begins selling its patent portfolio and brands. The sale will be managed by Rock Creek Advisors and Hilco Streambank, which previously sold patents of another manufacturer of AR-glasses company Osterholt Design Group (ODG). In total, 175 patents and 175 trademarks registered in 65 countries and domain names, including  daqri.com, were put up for auction.

Meanwhile, Google is making it easier to purchase its Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2 - now corporate customers and developers can purchase the Glass Enterprise Edition 2 bundle directly from resellers, for example through Mobile Advance. Recall that earlier, for buying smart glasses, corporate customers had to look for contacts with Google solution providers.

On Monday at the San Francisco Photonics West conference, Lynx startup introduced its Lynx Mixed Reality Headset, which will be the first official MR device powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 chipset. The new wearable AR / VR model with two 1600 x 1600 pixel displays and a 90-degree field of view will be available this summer for $ 1,500.

Technology Overview, 23 — 30th January

January 30th 2020permalink

Travis Hoium has published an article on Fool.com about why Microsoft has chosen AR rather than VR priority. According to the author, the main reason for this step was the unique market for corporate clients. As we know, Hololens 2 are intended for industrial use, as evidenced by the high cost of the headset. Which, in turn, makes Hololens sales not as impressive as sales of Oculus VR devices. If we take into account the appearance of new competitors for Microsoft in the AR market in the face of Facebook and Apple in the coming years, we can assume that the prices for Hololens and Magic Leap One will be reduced. The full version of the article can be found here.

In the meantime, Jamco America joins companies using Hololens to service equipment. Aircraft equipment and services provider has partnered with startup The Object Theory. Thanks to technology from Object Theory, a Jamco America’s mechanic will be able to remotely receive step-by-step instructions in conjunction with computer images through Hololens glasses to help maintain aviation components.

Technology Overview, 16 — 23th January

January 23rd 2020permalink

Everyone is talking about how light and small AR glasses they have, but Mojo has gone further and is already testing a contact lens model with augmented reality. The lenses come with an optional accessory that attaches to the head and provides wireless power and data transfer. Since the lenses are a medical device, the company is waiting for approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), after which Mojo Lens can be used for demonstrations.

Another sector drew attention to AR-technology - this time the mining business. Romios Gold Resources has signed a contract with NexTech AR Solutions Corp to supply NexTech 3D / AR multi-channel services. A mining company from Toronto will conduct staff training using augmented reality, as well as demonstrate their exploration projects, both for investors and potential investors.

Spiral Technology Joins the Air Force Accelerator Powered by Techstars

January 22nd 2020permalink

Spiral Technology, an augmented reality company headquartered in Singapore, was accepted to the third cohort of the Air Force Accelerator Powered by TechStars. The company is on a mission to simplify how the industrial workforce interacts with technical information.

Spiral builds a software platform for augmented reality devices that delivers information contextually when and where it is needed and powering technicians with the machine intelligence enabled by the new capabilities of the headsets.

From the first days of the program Spiral will join forces with VeriTX, a blockchain-based B2B marketplace for Industry 4.0, aimed to develop a comprehensive solution for aerospace maintenance. The resulting integrated solution will enable a service technician to order a part for delivery, or instantly license and 3D print the part through VeriTX's digital marketplace, right from within the Spiral AR maintenance system immediately upon discovery of the faulty part.

An integrated solution will help re-invent the approach to supply chain in Aerospace maintenance with blockchain technology underpinning the transformation,

said James Regenor, Founder and President of VeriXT.

The growing sophistication of industrial equipment, desire to capture intellectual property currently residing in the heads of experts, tightening cost controls and need for automated validation of complex technical operations trigger the need for smart virtual assistants for manufacturing and maintenance professionals.

Archiving expertise residing in the heads of key personnel, and combining that with historical maintenance information and technical references, then reproduced and displayed seamlessly and instantly to any technician anywhere are critical capabilities for retention of corporate know-how and readiness of military equipment and vehicles

said Warren Katz, Managing Director of the Accelerator.

The TechStars program will open the US market for Spiral while working with the Air Force will support our ambition to meet the standards of the most demanding of customers.

Augmented reality is ideally suited for industrial training and remote technical support,

points out Frank van Liempt, Head of Aerospace Solutions at Spiral.

While our platform also has these capabilities, we see tremendous scope for production solutions whereby the powerful headset sensors are leveraged for quality assurance

adds Frank.

The accelerator has a successful track record. Currently, in its third iteration, the 20 companies that have gone through the program have won more than $20 million in Department of Defense contracts for prototypes and products.

For more information please visit https://www.techstars.com/content/accelerators/air-force-accelerator-powered-techstars-proudly-announces-class-2020/

About Spiral Technology

Spiral develops an augmented reality platform for knowledge capture, maintenance training, correctness checking, and validation of technical tasks.

About VeriTX

VeriTX is a trusted digital commerce marketplace for buying and selling digital and physical assets and maintaining trusted maintenance and lease records.

About Techstars

Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. Techstars founders connect with other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders, and corporations to grow their companies. Techstars operates three divisions: Techstars Startup Programs, Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator Programs, and Techstars Corporate Innovation Partnerships. The Techstars accelerator portfolio includes more than 1,900 companies with a market cap of $25 billion. www.techstars.com

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Technology Overview, 9 — 16th January

January 16th 2020permalink

A few weeks ago, we wrote that Mualana Abul Kalam Azad University will introduce a subject studying AR/ VR/MR technology. And now the world-famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) begins the search for specialists in the field of virtual and augmented reality. The MIT Horizon initiative (as part of the MIT Open Learning) aims to select a team of experts in the field of AR / VR for the development of training articles and content for training workers in new technologies.

PwC, meanwhile, published the results of its new study, according to which by 2030 AR/VR technologies will bring an additional $ 4.1bn to the UAE economy, which will increase the country's GDP by 1 percent. AR and VR will also help create 42,000 new jobs over a decade (the question is: how many jobs will be reduced as a result of the introduction of these technologies?) Globally, the greatest impact of AR/VR will have on the economies of Finland, Germany and the UK, where AR and VR will add to The GDP of these countries 2.64%, 2.46% and 2.44%, respectively.

In mid-December, we wrote about setting a trial date for the Magic Leap lawsuit against Nreal. The court hearing was scheduled for January 15, 2020, however, a wave of new lawsuits prompted both parties to postpone the first hearing until June. Judging by the active growth of the AR-headset manufacturers market and counterclaims against Magic Leap from Nreal, the American startup is likely to lose from this lawsuit, whatever the result. Many suspect that with such suits, Magic Leap wants to crush its competitors in the market of AR / MR devices.

And Nreal has a new rival from Hong Kong, Pacific Future startup. At CES, the company introduced its Am Glass AR glasses, which are very similar to Nreal Light glasses. The device also has a 52 degree field of view and is equipped with two cameras, but in addition to them, Am Glass has an RGB camera mounted in the middle of the frame. Pacific Future is still lagging behind its competitors in the Chinese market, but based on the presentation, we can say that the startup is ready to compete in the Chinese market and even enter the AR market of the West.

Technology Overview, 3 — 9th January

January 9th 2020permalink

The main source of news was the CES 2020 exhibition, held from January 7 to 10 in Las Vegas.

The first news was the appearance of another augmented reality glasses manufacturer from China. 0glasses introduced RealX AR glasses with a 1080p display with 50 degrees field of view and interoperability with productivity apps. RealX are going to seriously compete with their fellow countrymen from Nreal. 0glasses plans to release several thousand devices in the first quarter of 2020. For this, the company has entered into partnership agreements with China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom. Another surprise of the exhibition was the demonstration of the prototype AR-glasses from Samsung. During the presentation of the Samsung GEMS (Gait Enhancing & Motivating System) (exoskeleton to help people with less mobility), a company employee took out AR glasses and called a virtual physiotherapist. But Samsung did not announce the release of AR-glasses, but rather presented a vision for the near future.

Vuzix was also at the exhibition and also presented its new product - the new generation AR-glasses M4000. These glasses will be the last in the M-series. The M4000 features a fully-transparent waveguide display, a 12.8-megapixel camera and 4K video. The device also has a protection class IP67 from dust and water, and a noise-canceling microphone.

Technology Overview, 26 December — 3 January

January 3rd 2020permalink

Atheer has partnered with ThirdEye Gen and will use its AR platform on ThirdEye Gen X2 MR glasses. The initial certification passed by the platform will expand the Atheer corporate customer base thanks to the multifunctionality of the X2 glasses. Also, recall that ThirdEye Gen MR-glasses are the lightest device on the market, weighing only 300 grams.

Augmedics unveiled their AR system to help surgeons. The xvision spine (XVS) system is designed to facilitate the work of the doctor during spinal surgery. Xvision spine (XVS) accurately determines the position of surgical instruments in real time, and then a virtual picture is superimposed on the patient’s CT data. After that, the surgeon sees three-dimensional data in the headset and not distracted from the surgical process.

Teachers at Mualana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology MAKAUT will learn immersive learning methods that include augmented, virtual and mixed reality technologies. It can be assumed that more and more universities in the world will introduce similar courses for their teachers and students.

Technology Overview, 19 — 26th December

December 26th 2019permalink

On the eve of the New Year, there is not very much news, as usual, but we found something.

Working with VR / AR / MR is much simpler: Varjo is creating the world's first Varjo Workspace MR interface, which allows you to work simultaneously in a two-dimensional and three-dimensional world. Developers will be able to use Microsoft Windows applications and switch between virtual and mixed reality modes.

On Vuzix's blog, their Director of Business Development and Strategic Relationships Matt Margolis talks about the first experiences and prospects for using Vuzix Smart Glasses in medicine. For example, now during the operation, the doctor broadcasts what is happening through the glasses to his students, which allows you to train medical students from all over the world without leaving the operating table. Also, doctors visit zoos or theaters and broadcast what is happening through Vuzix Smart Glasses to bedridden patients, which eliminates their loneliness.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Technology Overview, 12 — 19th December

December 19th 2019permalink

After Taqtile AR startup won the Creator’s Grant from Magic Leap, the startup received $ 3 million in funding from Broadmark Capital. Also, Magic Leap announced a partnership with a startup in which Magic Leap will sell Taqtile's Manifest solution to its corporate clients.

Some more news from Magic Leap. This week, the HyperloopTT team used Magic Leap One glasses to showcase their next generation commuter rail system. Details of the railway plan with Magic Leap glasses were developed by Nomtek.

Remember the Magic Leap lawsuit against their former employee Chi Xu, whom the company accused of stealing trade secrets? So, the case is gaining a new turn and Chi Xu itself is filing a counterclaim alleging Magic Leap with groundless legal claims, and also indicates that the purpose of the lawsuits from Magic Leap is to prevent new companies from entering the AR market. A court hearing in this case is scheduled for January 15, 2020.

Scope AR expands its capabilities in AR development and acquires technology company from Israel WakingApp. The WakingApp team, together with Scope AR, will now develop an AR platform for real-time remote assistance called WorkLink

Technology Overview, 5 — 12th December

December 12th 2019permalink

Despite the latest news about Magic Leap issues, the company continues to develop new products for its customers. And on Tuesday, Magic Leap introduced the “Lab” developer toolkit, as well as the Lumin SDK and Lumin OS updates. “The Lab” combines the key developer tools and will be available through the Developer Portal. In addition to this, the company demonstrated a new package of services for corporate clients “Magic Leap Enterprise Suite” with an updated version of the equipment, two-year access to the device manager with enterprise support from Magic Leap and many others. The company also changed the name of its headset. Now, Magic Leap One Creator Edition glasses will be called Magic Leap 1. In general, apparently, things are not going as bad for Magic Leap as everyone expected.

Meanwhile, Google is blocking access to main applications on its Google Glass for ordinary users. Now the company will promote its device for corporate clients.

Qualcomm unveiled the Snapdragon XR2 5G platform last Thursday at the Snapdragon Tech Summit. The new product can provide visual, sound and interactive interaction with AR carriers using artificial intelligence and connecting to a 5G network. Also, the XR2 doubles the performance of the Snapdragon 865 system.

Another piece of news from Snapdragon Summit, and again Qualcomm. Nreal introduced a prototype remote field service application, “AR FieldAdvisor.” The app was developed in conjunction with Qualcomm and T-Mobile Deutsche Telekom. AR FieldAdvisor will allow users of Nreal Light glasses to transmit data to remote experts, and the latter, in turn, will be able to make virtual notes and correct errors in real time.

Technology Overview, 29 November — 5 December

December 6th 2019permalink

Next Reality published an annual investment rating for AR companies. Here we can see both big players and small startups that have reached the initial rounds of financing. Magic Leap remains the leader of the rating: the company raised $ 280 million in 2019, which is the lowest indicator in the last three years.

BellSystem24 has developed a solution for coffee machine manufacturer De'Longhi Japan Corp., through which a remote worker can troubleshoot problems using augmented reality. The system works with Hololens 2 glasses, which enable company employees to interact with virtual products and provide remote assistance to customers.

Bahrain's Gulf Air is launching the AFI KLM E&M MR solution for Hololens in its hangars. The technology has already been tested and certified to train engineers working with the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine, but AFI KLM E&M claims that the solution can be used for other engines and systems.

Technology Overview, 21 — 29th November

November 29th 2019permalink

FoodSafetyTech.com published an article authored by Megan Ray Nichols, in which she talked about the prospects for introducing AR and VR technology into the food industry. As in other industries where AR is already used, the use of technology in the food industry will reduce the cost of training employees and reduce the likelihood of errors on assembly lines. The article also talks about how equipping employees with AR headsets will help to avoid the supply of spoiled products. Read the article here.

Mark Howard also wrote about the potential of AR in staff training and maintenance. In an article published in American Machinist, the author writes about production maintenance problems that AR and VR technologies can solve. The main attention is paid to the training of personnel, as well as to the possibilities of remote assistance to employees in troubleshooting equipment and its repair.

Technology Overview, 14 — 21th November

November 21st 2019permalink

The future of Magic Leap raises even more questions. After transferring the company's patents to JPMorgan Chase, which we wrote about last week, Magic Leap announced the departure of CFO Scott Henry & Effects Wizard John Gaeta. However, Magic Leap continues to raise funds for financing through the E series. Also, Magic Leap, together with Flow Immersive, are launching a new 3D presentation service for Magic Leap One “Flow Editor”. Users will be able to launch the service through the Magic Leap Helio app.

Technology Overview, 7 — 14th November

November 14th 2019permalink

A week ago, the long wait for Hololens 2 to enter the public market ended. Now everyone can buy a new device, though it's not so simple. Next.reality published an article dedicated to the review of Hololens 2 and the conditions for buying new glasses. It is worth noting that the priority in the purchase of Hololens 2 will also be given to Microsoft partners and large corporations, which will affect the processing of orders from individual developers and small companies.

And a new competitor for Microsoft and Magic Leap could be another giant: Apple. The company announced the planned release date for its AR device. According to Apple Vice President Mike Rockwell, the company will release an augmented reality headset by 2022, although this statement contradicts reports from various media that predicted the appearance of Apple AR in 2020.

Does Magic Leap have problems? JPMorgan Chase received patents from Magic Leap as collateral. A similar situation occurred with the Meta Company in 2018. As a result, the company announced its bankruptcy. The transfer of patents to JPMorgan Chase indicates that Magic Leap has serious financial problems. The transfer of patents came to light on Sunday thanks to a Reddit user who was exploring the Magic Leap patent portfolio.

Technology Overview, 1 — 7th November

November 7th 2019permalink

One of our competitors, Kognitiv Spark, has partnered with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). As part of the collaboration, Kognitiv Spark will provide HPE with its MR solution for remote assistance to workers - the “RemoteSpark” platform. The platform will be launched through the HPE Edgeline Converged Edge Systems, which will allow corporate customers to use RemoteSpark through cloud systems or their own internal networks. Recall that RemoteSpark works on Hololens 1 and Hololens 2 glasses.

Meanwhile, Wayne State University's Stress, Trauma, and Anxiety Research Clinic found a new use for Hololens glasses. Dr. Arash Javanbakht and his team use Hololens glasses to combat arachnophobia: patients are shown spiders of various types in various quantities in augmented reality mode, the therapist monitors the patient's condition and, based on this, adds spiders or changes their appearance. Wayne State University is already planning to launch a sale of its xR Therapeutics app, which will run on Hololens 2 in the future.

Good news for developers from Magic Leap. The company plans to release Magicverse SDK 1.0 in the first quarter of 2020. This set of tools will help developers to create applications for Magic Leap One that interact with mobile devices due to the availability of SDKs for Unity, Unreal, iOS.

Technology Overview, 27 October — 1 November

November 1st 2019permalink

According to a study conducted by the analytical company GlobalData, in the near future the demand for wearable devices for oil and gas industry workers will grow significantly. The new devices are quite convenient and mobile in the field, which pushes oil and gas companies to equip their employees with devices with built-in wireless connectivity, artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) technologies. The leaders in introducing wearable devices into their production are BP and Shell, however, other leading oil and gas companies are increasingly paying attention to wearable technologies.

Volkswagen Group UK connects its electric vehicle technicians to the RELS (Remote Expert Live Support) system. Recall that RELS uses the Atheer Augmented Reality platform and RealWear HMT-1 glasses to connect personnel anywhere in the UK to technical experts at Milton Keynes, providing real-time support. Volkswagen Group UK plans to use the system to service the 22 million new electric vehicles that will appear in 10 years.

Here, ABI Research consulting company published its assessment of competing companies in the AR platform market, where PTC holds the first line, mainly due to its strong position in industrial markets. The main evaluation parameters were: customers/partnership /footprint, platform breadth, device support, user experience options, accessibility, and pricing. Eight companies participated in the analysis: PTC, Ubimax, RE’FLEKT, Atheer, Upskill, ScopeAR, Librestream and Fieldbit.

Spiral came third in Singapore Airlines AppChallenge!

October 31st 2019permalink

Spiral Technology was awarded the third prize at Singapore Airlines AppChallenge 2019 being selected among 528 teams!

Case: Visual Measurement Guide

October 30th 2019permalink

We were discovering the new case for aircraft parts manufacturing for the past two months. Quality assurance is one of the most important stages in the process. The thickness inspection of a wing panel which could be five meters long and two meters wide needs to be performed in about a thousand spots. One of the commonly used approaches is to mark these spots by the mylar, a plastic stencil covering the panel. It has a number of problems though: Preparing the mylar Placing it in the correct position Progressing through each end every spot without missing any No control over the range of spots out of range A Mixed Reality solution overlays a virtual layer over the wing surface with the spots to be measured. The marker is used for recognition:

However, in the first trials the grig was unstable while the procedure required high accuracy. We have found a way to stabilize it ultimately:

To assist in performing the inspection further we added an indication of the active point and the output of measurements:

Whether the measurement fits the tolerance range is indicated by color. This prototype was successfully tested and will be used as a base for a pilot product.

Technology Overview, 19 — 27th October

October 27th 2019permalink

Do you remember, in June, we wrote about a lawsuit from Magic Leap to the founder of Nreal Chi Xu? So, the trial still could not start because the Magic Leap legal team did not receive confirmation that Chi Xu was aware of the lawsuit against him. And so, on September 12, Magic Leap received a call from a representative of Nreal Diana Rutowski, with whom the details of the upcoming trial were discussed. It is known that the case will be discussed in court in January 2020.

AR-tools are actively used for the design and manufacture of the new American spacecraft. The world's largest military contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. shared the results of collaboration with Scope AR during the assembly of the NASA Orion ship. The company said that the use of AR-technology has reduced the total training time by 85% and increased productivity by more than 40%.

Microsoft prepared the IoT Signals Report, which published a 20-minute online survey with more than 3,000 people making important decisions in corporate companies. As a result, it was determined that the vast majority of respondents are satisfied with the results of implementing IoT in their business and want to expand the scope of IoT. The report can be found here.

Nvidia introduced the new cloud solution “CloudXR” which will allow developers to connect to streaming AR-content. The goal of the new product is to ensure the launch of high-resolution 3D content in AR headsets without consuming large processing power.

Technology Overview, 10 — 19th October

October 19th 2019permalink

An e-book has appeared in which you can get acquainted with real examples of how AR applications help industrial enterprises reduce costs by reducing manufacturing defects and increasing efficiency. The book was released by the PTC team and you can download it here.

Korry Kobel (director of engineering at JLG Industries) also spoke about the benefits of using augmented and mixed reality technologies. He shared his opinion on the implementation of AR in the construction equipment service sector and, apparently, a large market opens here for developers of AR / MR solutions. Construction companies hope to optimize work processes and attract a new generation of specialists to the industry through the introduction of AR.

Technology Overview, 3 — 10th October

October 10th 2019permalink

Sony introduces its prototype AR headset. The company developed the Ghostbusters Rookie Training game, which will use Sony's AR device, with which users can perform various tasks in a real world populated by virtual ghosts and demons. Having studied the video demonstration of the prototype headset, we can assume that the device will occupy the same niche as Hololens and Magic Leap. The Ghostbusters demonstration will take place at Ginza Sony Park in Tokyo from October 12 to December 8.

We have not heard anything from competitors for a long time, and now the news came from Ubimax. The company announced the acquisition of ESSERT Digital (a leading European company for remote support solutions based on Augmented Reality (AR) for after-sales service). ESSERT Digital solutions will be used on the Ubimax Frontline platform.

SparkCognition, another competitor of ours, announced on Tuesday the closure of a new round of financing. In Series C, SparkCognition raised $ 100M, so the total investment in the company in 2019 reached $ 175 million. The main participant in the new round of financing was Boeing HorizonX Ventures. Now, Pitchbook is valuing SparkCognition at $ 725 million, making it one of Texas’s most expensive AI startups.

Technology Overview, 26 September — 3 October

October 3rd 2019permalink

XRHealth (the leader in extended reality and therapeutic applications) begins a collaboration with Allscripts, whose goal is to develop and create an integrated VR/AR platform for doctors. The platform will provide doctors with all the necessary information about patients, including real-time analysis of the patient's condition.

Continuing the theme of using AR / VR / XR in medicine. At TCT 2019, experts discussed the pros and cons of implementing augmented reality technology in healthcare. It is worth paying attention to the attempt demonstrated by Radoslaw Parma, MD, PhD (Medical University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland) to improve the TAVR procedure (Transcatheter aortic valve replacement): during the experiment, the operator wore Hololens glasses, which displayed specific multislice CT overlay of peripheral vessels . The purpose of this experiment is to help the doctor in choosing the optimal arterial segments to perform a safe puncture. But the glasses did not do the job, as Hololens are too heavy, the resolution is too low, and the battery life is too short. However, doctors are still going to continue testing after the release of Hololens 2 and hope that the new version of the device is suitable for work in the health sector.

Electric Utility Power Plant Operators and Manhole Workers have confessed that RealWear's HMT-1 glasses were more comfortable than Hololens. This is stated in the report of the EPRI (Electric Power Research Institute) on the aspects of the safe use of augmented reality technologies.

Microsoft begins to introduce users to the Dynamics 365 Guides app and has published a series of training videos this week. In anticipation of the release of Hololens 2, this video will be useful for developers to successfully work with the device.

Technology Overview, 19 — 26th September

September 26th 2019permalink

Qualcomm launches its own corporate XR program. In an article by Charlie Fink published on Forbes, the author writes that the program will allow solution providers (such as Upskill, Scope AR, and UbiMAX) to create cross-platform products for Snapdragon XR chips. Recall that Hololens 2 glasses are based on the Qualcomm chip. It is worth noting that such manufacturers of XR headsets as Vuzix, nReal and RealWear participate in the program. The Qualcomm XR Enterprise Program provides developers with access to hardware prototypes, technology roadmaps, and eye tracking technology. This link allows you to become a part of the program.

Optiview remote mentoring technology helps Renault Trucks Co technicians speed up repairs. The staff uses the RealWear HMT-1 headset in combination with LibreStream Onsight Connect software to communicate with Renault Trucks technical support and receive real-time assistance. Optiview can also capture images, play training videos, and access instructions.

Startup Challenge

September 21st 2019permalink

To find the best and most suitable technologies for the aircraft overhaul of the future, an event called Startup Challenge took place in the Innovation Bay to serve as an innovation accelerator. We scouted 2,000 startups from different fields and selected them according to previously defined criteria. In the end, we invited five to the challenge in Malta. Our expert jury decided which technologies we are going to work with in the future. Two made the cut: Evidato Technologies GmbH, a mobile sensor that serves aircraft as a parking aid, and Spiral Technology, a platform for mixed reality solutions that is suitable for remote maintenance, process control and on-the-job training.

Technology Overview, 13 — 19th November

September 19th 2019permalink

XR technology is increasingly being introduced into the field of education. The University of Michigan has already announced the start of using augmented reality technology in student learning processes. The UM has entrusted the Center for Academic Innovation, a full-scale implementation of XR technology, to collaborate with all departments across the campus. The main objective of the Center for Academic Innovation is to initiate new projects for the implementation of XR in training programs.

New mixed reality smartglasses are entering the market. ThirdEye announces the release of new X2 MR glasses for field workers. The company claims that the X2 is the smallest MR headset on the market. Glasses weigh 6 ounces and have a 42-degree field of view. And also, the device is equipped with VisionEye SLAM technology, which expands the possibilities of using AR. For enterprises, ThirdEye offers the ThirdEye Workspace platform, which will provide developers with the necessary tools for working with the device. Glasses will cost $1,950, with a possible discount on pre-orders of $300.

Technology Overview, 6 — 13th September

September 13th 2019permalink

Apple is likely to present their AR-glasses soon. This conclusion was reached by MacRumors after learning iOS 13 Code. The code mentions “StarBoard mode”, and the code also contains the commands “ARStarBoardViewController” and “ARStarBoardSceneManager.” Also, a link to an AR device called “Garta” was found in the internal files. Apple reports show that the company has a hybrid AR / VR device in development, code-named "T288" with the iPhone as a processor.

In May this year, an article was published on the AR Post about the possibilities of using augmented reality technology in the construction sector, as well as how AR is changing the industry now. We have already written about a lot of things from this article, but there is also new information for us. For example, we first learned about the development of an interface for wearable exoskeletons for industrial workers. Also, special attention is paid to the safety of workers, namely: to reduce the risk of injury at the workplace, thanks to the use of augmented reality. Full article here.

Wearable devices and cloud connectivity are the most vulnerable areas in the AR industry - Paul Ryznar talks about ways to ensure cybersecurity and the important role of cybersecurity professionals in his Forbes article.

Technology Overview, 30 August — 6 September

September 6th 2019permalink

Magic Leap continues to expand the scope of its Magic Leap One MR glasses. The new Dinosaur Kit application has appeared in the Magic Leap World store, which is designed to educate future paleontologists using mixed reality technology. Through the application, you will see dinosaur bones in front of you, and your task is to assemble them into a skeleton. If the bones are folded correctly, the skeleton turns into a living dinosaur that moves and responds to your presence. The Dinosaur Kit app is available as a free download and demonstrates MR's tremendous educational opportunities.

Now we turn to the news from another major player in the market of MR-glasses from Microsoft. Last week we wrote about the start of sales of Hololens 2 glasses in September. And now there is information about the terms of sale of the device: Hololens 2 will be available primarily to corporate customers at a pre-order price of $ 3,500 along with a subscription to Dynamics 365 Remote Assist. Microsoft will also provide registered developers with HoloLens 2 glasses with free Unity Pro & the PiXYZ plugins at the same price. We hope that Microsoft will do everything to make the process of acquiring HoloLens 2 as simple as possible and not look like completing a super-difficult quest.

Mixed Reality Should Alter Complex MRO Processes

September 3rd 2019permalink

Large deployments of Mixed Reality in MRO could come quite soon.

Mixed Reality for MRO is not another software package but a whole new approach to aircraft maintenance," stresses Konstantyn Shyshkin, CEO of Spiral Technology. “It will fundamentally change the way technicians interact with information.” Shyshkin predicts it will be applied first to advanced tasks with multiple decision points and options.

Technology Overview, 22 — 29th August

August 29th 2019permalink

The capabilities of MR technology are amazing. Magic Leap & Hololens glasses can now help people with dementia and Parkinson’s disease. The Magic Lines application provides visual instructions with glasses that help the patient move in the right direction, thereby greatly increasing his mobility. It is not yet known whether the application will be available for purchase and whether there is interest in it from medical institutions.

Another AR device is designed to become more accessible to users than those already on the market: Ximmerse introduced its AR glasses called Rhino X. In the video, you can see that the glasses can be used for completely different purposes: from shooting training to development multiplayer games. The Rhino X runs on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chipset with an integrated display panel to reflect content onto the transparent visor with a modular battery system and has a viewing angle of 57 degrees. The device is not yet available in retail and there is no information about the possible price of glasses, so we will follow the news from Ximmerse.

Airbus announces new AR app for the military: Military Sandbox. The application works with Hololens glasses. With it, users can comment, manipulate and interact with maps, which allows them to view the terrain from different points and identify benefits before the actual hostilities. Airbus Defense and Space also posted a video demonstrating the Holographic Tactical Sandbox. Also, Airbus does not exclude the possibility of using the application on other devices, such as Magic Leap.

In conclusion: Microsoft's Hololens 2 glasses go on sale in September, company’s executive vice president Harry Shum said at the World Artificial Intelligence Conference in Shanghai.

Technology Overview, 16 — 22th August

August 22nd 2019permalink

August is not rich in events in the industry, but we still found something interesting.

On August 2, an interview with Soulaiman Itani, CEO of Atheer (name Atheer means Ether in Arabic) was published on the Mahmoud Rasmi page in Medium. Soulaiman Itani told how the company changed its B2C business model to B2B in 2013. According to CEO of Atheer, a large study conducted by the company at the end of 2013 showed that selling their product in the consumer market would require a lot of time for marketing, as well as finding customers. At this time, B2B makes it easy to identify customer needs and profitability in the enterprise. Recall, Atheer is the developers of the eponymous AR platform for manufacturing. Read the full interview here.

Google has developed a new machine learning model that can implement hand gesture controls in lightweight smart glasses. Similar tools use high-tech MR devices such as Hololens and Magic Leap. This recognition method works on the open-source MediaPipe cross-platform environment and is capable of displaying 21 points of hands and fingers. This approach to gesture recognition can make competitors for bulky Hololens and Magic Leap out of light smart glasses.

Technology Overview, 9 — 16th August

August 16th 2019permalink

The largest Indian telecommunications company India Telecom has entered into a partnership agreement with a new manufacturer of AR-headset, startup Tesseract. The new Holoboard AR device is similar in design to the Meta 2 glasses and is also controlled using a hand controller. Tesseract also intends to create a cloud-based AR platform for content and user interactions. By the way, the court banned the company Meta to sale and produce MR-glasses Meta 1 and Meta 2 in the United States. The decision was made by the Delaware District Court on Tuesday.

Samsung introduced the new smartphone Note 10+. A feature of the new product is that it is equipped with a camera capable of scanning AR applications, as well as capturing 3D objects and turning them into animated GIFs.

Crypto Startup WAX (a blockchain-based platform that allows users to create, buy, sell digital goods) in partnership with VR entertainment provider Terra Virtua offer users the ability to interact with digital products in augmented reality mode. The integration of blockchain technology and augmented reality can open up new markets for manufacturers of AR products.

Technology Overview, 2 — 9th August

August 9th 2019permalink

Atheer takes one more step to accelerate the introduction of AR-technology in production and acquires the digital platform Flype. The Flype platform was founded in San Francisco and aims to improve enterprise performance by providing users with a secure connection to digital data and work instructions.

Fieldbit, another developer of AR solutions for corporate clients, has entered into a partnership agreement with Agfa Partners. Agfa Partners is a support service for digital printing and the chemical industry. Through collaboration with Fieldbit, Agfa Partners will have at its disposal technologies to significantly increase staff productivity, reduce costs and minimize manufacturing errors.

Recently, we wrote about the beginning of using Magic Leap One MR glasses for training medical personnel - and now, another manufacturer of mixed reality glasses ThirdEye Gen begins cooperation with Dolphin Medical Imaging, the initial goal of which is to help doctors to find blood vessels for catheter placement. But in the future, ThirdEye Gen plans to significantly expand the possibilities of using mixed reality in medicine.

It seems the release of Hololens 2 is very close. On the website of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) there was information about Microsoft registering a new product whose characteristics coincide with those of Hololens 2. It should be said that the appearance of such a document on the FCC website usually indicates that several months remain before the official release of the product.

Technology Overview, 26 July — 1 August

August 1st 2019permalink

Magic Leap have been the main newsmaker in the industry in these latter days. And the past week is not exception.

And now the US Navy began to use the Magic Leap One headset to train soldiers. The new training system includes training simulations of various combat situations that the military may encounter in real life. The US Navy has chosen AR technology for training soldiers, primarily because of the limited space on military vessels where it is difficult to conduct full-scale exercises.

The news from Magic Leap does not end there. The company introduced the Overture app in its Magic Leap World store. The application is part of Lumin OS's new Background Music Service (BMS). The BMS allows developers to integrate cross-application audio functionality into their apps.

There are news from another major player in the industry — Microsoft. There will be no more updates for Hololens 1. This was announced at Microsoft this week. Due to the early release of Hololens 2 on the market, the company ceases to release important updates for Hololens 1 and transfers the headset to Long Term Servicing (LTS) state.

Technology Overview, 18 — 26th July

July 26th 2019permalink

Let's start with the news from Magic Leap: Stanford Children's Hospital started testing Magic Leap One MR glasses for medical training. Thanks to the CHARM application and Magic Leap glasses, hospital staff and medical students can create virtual rooms with patients and their colleagues, where you can simulate complex surgical operations, as well as monitor patient vital signs. The application is under development, but the developers promise to publish the product on Magic Leap World soon.

Also, Magic Leap will be the main star of the upcoming Siggraph conference, which will be held from July 28 to August 1 in Los Angeles. At the conference, the company will present its new AR-application “Undersea”, with the help of which users can generate the environment of a real coral reef with its inhabitants in real space. The application is not yet available in the Magic Leap World store, so the Siggraph conference is a unique opportunity to get acquainted with the new product of the company.

But this is not all the news from Magic Leap. The company introduced the Lumin OS update for its Magic Leap One glasses. Now a new direct rendering API has been added to the glasses, as well as improved hand tracking technology.

The main competitor of Magic Leap, Microsoft, is also not standing still. And at the Microsoft Inspire conference, which took place in Las Vegas from July 14-18, the company introduced a hologram-translator for HoloLens 2 mixed reality glasses. The new application is a digital copy of a person, which can be supplemented with his speech translated and synthesized from the text. Microsoft also introduced an interesting promotional video for promoting HoloLens 2 in Japan.

Vuzix together with a Dutch startup Zoi Meet presented an application for AR-glasses Vuzix Blade, which allows you to translate conversational speech in real time. Currently, the application is able to translate 11 languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian, Dutch, Arabic, Chinese (simplified), Japanese, and Korean.

Not so long ago, we wrote about the possible problems of the Chinese startup Nreal, related to the claim from Magic Leap. But the company is not distracted by legal proceedings and continues to work. And so, last Wednesday, the Nreal team unveiled a beta version of the Nreal Light smart glasses software development kit. Users can register as a developer and download the SDK through the Nreal website. Recall that the release of the package Nreal Light Developer Kit is scheduled for September, the estimated cost of which will be $ 1,199.

Technology Overview, 11 — 18th July

July 18th 2019permalink

In April, Magic Leap received another $280 million from investors. And the total amount of funds raised for the company reached $ 2.3 billion. The largest Japanese mobile operator NTT DoCoMo has become the next investor. Now, Magic Leap plans to open the latest investment round to attract money from new investors.

Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling (a leading producer of bottles for the Coca-Cola Company) shared its impressions of using RealWear HMT-1 smart glasses and Ubimax UPIMAX XPick solutions in its distribution center in Thessaloniki, Greece: 12 collectors have used RealWear HMT-1 glasses with the UPIMAX XPick solution for shipment orders. With the help of glasses, they saw the required products for picking, and also saw with glasses the right place for locating one or another object on the pallet. As a result, the order assembly accuracy increased to 99.99%, and productivity increased by 8%.

Nvidia introduced the Foveated AR, a display prototype equipped with eye-tracking technology for dynamic focusing and embossed visualization. In addition, Nvidia has created a method for integrating prescription lenses into AR displays and some other significant innovations for the industry. More information about the company's developments can be found here.

In conclusion, one of our competitors, namely, Taqtile, on June 26, received the Microsoft 2019 MSUS Partner Award for Intelligent Cloud - Mixed Reality.

Reactor Updates

July 11th 2019permalink

Scaling up content

We entered an active phase of development focusing on adding new parts and components of an engine as well as expanding the interface. For example, we’ve created the functionality to attach component callout with the description and pictures of a selected part of the engine, and applied it to the engine Oil Tank:

Each callout can also store the video tutorial and allow video and photo capturing. This toolkit is aimed at enhancing the decision-making power of the engineers performing maintenance and supercharging technical training.

Adding new features

1. Click without focusing on anything

There is a special mode in which the user can click without pointing the cursor on anything clickable. It is designed for advancing through the instruction list and for inspections - where it adds the maximum convenience.

2. Click on a real object

Once the real object recognized any its part is becoming an active UI element. The user can zoom on it or change its state depending on the context.

3. Photo catalog and picture taking

Now any of the engine parts can have its own image gallery with the full functionality to manage it: delete, add new or take an actual picture. It would be most useful for all kinds of inspections and quality assurance procedures. Next step would be to add the voice to text notes.

4. Work order instructions for manufacturing

Often the manufacturing instructions are extensive and differentiated in nature containing text descriptions, photos, tables, quality checks, etc.

We created the layout and the functionality for such cases. The instruction layers could be expanded almost infinitely to the right-hand side and collapsed after being processed.

Thanks for reading and see you next month!

Company News

July 11th 2019permalink

Starting from July 2019 we introduce Spiral Monthly Newsletter. It will be summarising our key results in product development, sales, and other corporate domains. The letter will be distributed to the existing and potential investors and will also be published on our website.

Malta, 4 July 2019

Conquering the island

In early June Spiral team has won the startup challenge of the major European airline organised right at the heart of one of the MRO facilities. Following the jury decision, we were awarded the pilot project to implement our solution at the same facility. Both teams are looking forward to scaling the technology for the wider network in the future.

Meetings in the desert

Right after the team kicked-off two other projects with the UAE based clients visiting the facilities, collecting the data and preparing the delivery roadmap. The first prototypes are expected in late August while the full completion is set for the year-end.

We have also agreed to sign memorandums of understanding with two universities providing aviation engineering courses in the UAE. The details will follow closer to the start of the academic semester in September however even now we see massive potential in collaboration with the educational institutions given their wealth of industry-specific knowledge and availability of student crowd keen to try anything technological and new.

Preparing to take-off

While preparing to the VC talks this fall we closed the interim angel investment round in June. We are especially proud to win the trust of the group consisting predominantly of the management consulting hawks and AR industry professionals.

Spiral was invited to speak at the Innovation Panel of the Aero Engines Europe conference to be held in Istanbul in September

Four more people have joined the team in May-June

Sergey Lisitskiy — to lead operations and project activity

Sergey Shyshkin — to take care of all the technical data needs

Alex Verkhoven — as Spiral's advisor in North America

Nigel Poo — to facilitate investor relationships in our upcoming VC round

Technology Overview, 5 — 11th July

July 11th 2019permalink

On July 1, Vuzix applied for a patent for their next-generation new smart glasses in U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. New waveguide-based augmented reality smart glasses are still in development, but Vuzix has already talked about the characteristics of the new device, including:

  • Support for both monocular and binocular viewing systems

  • Sensors for AR and UI applications

  • The glasses work on the Vuzix Smart Glasses platform, which includes the cloud API services and the Vuzix App Store

Now we will wait for the presentation of the finished product.

In Britain, they launched a test facility for the development and testing of digital production solutions. This initiative belongs to a consortium of Rolls-Royce and Accenture, and includes the following smart solutions: factory assembly using augmented reality, visual inspection linked to artificial intelligence and a reconfigurable factory cell. The booth should demonstrate the benefits of using digital technologies in manufacturing and stimulate growth in investment in smart solutions for workflows.

The leading Scandinavian company in the field of AR/VR /XR Bublar Group acquires the Finnish AR-company Sayduck. Recall that in 2018, Sayduck became the first AR-partners of the world's leading e-commerce platform Shopify Inc and helps platform customers transform their digital products into 3D models and demonstrate them to final consumers. The Bublar Group believes that the deal will help implement their plan for scaling XR technology and strengthen the company's position in the retail and e-commerce market.

An article in the NY Times tells about the success of using Microsoft Hololens using the example of a worker from the Kenworths factory. After successful training 21-year-old Toby Bouska Jr. working with the MR device, the parent company of Kenworths, Paccar ordered 50 Hololens glasses for the Chillicothe plant, which employs 2,000 people. In the meantime, it is expected that the new version of Hololens will be in demand by customers from the manufacturing sector, since the new glasses will be better suited for working personnel. Also in the article you can get acquainted with the plans and forecasts of Microsoft for the introduction of glasses of mixed reality in various sectors of the economy.

Technology Overview, 27 June — 5 July

July 6th 2019permalink

A new player has appeared on the smart glasses market: the smartphone maker Vivo unveiled its Vivo AR Glass at the Shanghai Mobile World Congress. The device is equipped with six degrees of freedom (6DoF) tracking. Vivo AR Glass is associated with the Vivo NEX 5G smartphone and will support video applications, face recognition and object recognition applications. While the company has not announced the cost and date of commencement of sales of the device. Also, it is worth noting that Vivo AR Glass is very similar to the glasses Nreal Light - a few weeks ago, we wrote about the possible future problems of the Chinese company Nreal.

RealWear continues to attract investors: on July 1, the company received $ 80 Million in the Series B funding round, and thus, the total investment in RealWear approached $ 100 Million. The investors were Bose Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures LLC (QCOM), Kopin Corporation (KOPN) and JPMorgan (JPM). And the investment round was led by the company Teradyne, which is engaged in industrial automation. Recall that RealWear closed a $ 17 million Series A round in 2018.

Microsoft HoloLens helps preparing the Dragonfly mission to land on Titan. The satellite of Saturn Titan is of particular interest, as it is the most habitable space object. And the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory team developed its mission to study the surface of Titan, and now, a few days ago, their initiative was approved. During the preparation of the Dragonfly mission, the NASA team will use HoloLens glasses to simulate the operation of a robot drone on the surface of Titan. True, the launch of the mission will occur no earlier than 2025.

Technology Overview, 20 — 27th June

June 27th 2019permalink

The Ubimax Frontline platform is now available with Hololens 2 glasses. Ubimax has announced the launch of Frontline Workplace Mixed Reality, which will expand the capabilities of the Frontline platform. Using Frontline Creator, workflows can be supplemented with three-dimensional objects, in cases where ordinary 2D smart glasses are not able to display the entire amount of data required for work, and Microsoft HoloLens 2 perfectly transfers PDF files to the MR-environment (for example, large drawings and instructions). Also, Ubimax notes the enormous possibilities of using Microsoft HoloLens 2 in the processes of personnel training, thanks to the high-quality user interaction with holograms.

Another news from Ubimax - the company announces the introduction of the Frontline platform in all BMW dealerships in the United States. Now technicians, with the help of RealWear HMT-1 smart glasses, will use the Frontline platform to quickly access the necessary information and receive instructions from engineers in real time. Also workers, using voice commands, can document defects found during the repair process. The resulting capabilities will significantly reduce the time of auto repair, as well as improve the efficiency of service processes.

Technology Overview, 14 — 20th June

June 20th 2019permalink

In early March, we wrote about the new Nreal Light glasses from the Chinese Nreal startup and possible competition with big players, such as Magic Leap and Hololens. So, now Magic Leap is suing the founder of the Chinese company, accusing him of stealing trade secrets. “The fact is that Chi Xu (the founder of Nreal) previously worked at Magic Leap and could use access to company secrets to promote his startup. This is indicated by the functionality and design of the Nreal Light glasses," says the legal team of Magic Leap. Magic Leap hopes that as a result of the trial, Nreal will not use the company's confidential information in the future.

A competitor to Magic Leap, Microsoft, attracts new customers: Airbus is very pleased with the growth in productivity as a result of using HoloLens for staff training, remote assistance and design. And on Monday at the Paris Air Show, Airbus announced the start of sales of Hololens 2 software to its customers. There is already the first client - Japan Airlines, which will deploy a training program for technicians, including 3D content and instructions displayed in Hololens glasses. This program will be used on the first Airbus A350 XWB in a fleet of Japan Airlines.

In May, there was news about the development of AR-glasses ThinkReality A6 from Lenovo, where developers talked about the possible competition of their device with Hololens glasses. Judging by the review of glasses ThinkReality A6 from Adario Strange, published on Next Reality, the new device literally disappoints in everything. The reviewer tested the ThinkReality A6 at AWE and, according to him, the interaction with the device reminded him of the experience with devices in 2015, although even Meta at that time was better than the Lenovo headset. The article also notes the inconvenience of wearing glasses - they, according to the author's feelings, weigh much more than the declared 380 grams. We study the review in detail.

Technology Overview, 6 — 14th June

June 14th 2019permalink

SeeDaten invests in excess of $ 100,000 in exploring the possibilities of augmented and mixed reality training tools in the car assembly process. The initiative will be implemented at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR), where students will work with software for augmented and mixed reality and use these technologies during car assembly.

Bosch received the Gold German Innovation Award for its Common Augmented Reality Platform. This platform integrates AR applications and content into employee training. To do this, you can use any mobile device.

GlobalFoundries (an American company with headquarters in Milpitas, is engaged in the production of semiconductor integrated circuits) told about the success of using AR-glasses from RealWear in their productions. In May, GlobalFoundries provided its workers in the foundry with 10 pairs of glasses displaying training documentation. As a result, it was revealed that the time of personnel training was reduced by 30-50 percent. Now the company is going to increase the number of devices for staff up to 100 units.

Technology Overview, 30 May — 6 June

June 6th 2019permalink

In the market of AR-devices is another new player who will compete with Hololens in the military sector. ABOM® presented its augmented reality glasses, which fully comply with military standards and are able to work in extreme conditions. ABOM P3 Goggle glasses are equipped with dual 1080p stereoscopic displays. Also, the device has three-dimensional spatial mapping and extremely accurate tracking and positioning. ABOM expects to find customers in the industrial sector. Considering the over-durability of ABOM P3 Goggle glasses and their compliance with high military standards, the product has good chances to successfully compete with the headset manufacturers we already know.

ScopeAR launched the update package for the WorkLink platform (the platform offers support to working personnel from remote experts in real time using AR-glasses). Updates will be useful for carrying out routine work in which the same processes are repeated - now workers can record and play back work sessions and exchange data with other users. The updated platform is available for use on all major devices, including HoloLens and RealWear HMT-1.

The world's first application of mixed reality for the development of cars has appeared. Volvo, together with the Finnish developer of augmented reality glasses Varjo, presented an application for XR-1 glasses, which will allow manufacturers to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of cars even when designing - by wearing glasses, the driver can control the car by adding virtual elements. At the same time, vehicle sensors will evaluate the performance of the engine and other vehicle systems.

Vuzix M400 glasses are available for pre-order. At the Augmented World Expo (AWE) exhibition, the company announced the start of the early adopters program, within which it is possible to issue a preliminary order for M-400 AR glasses for $1,799. Recall that the glasses M400 operate on the basis of the platform Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1, equipped with artificial intelligence (AI). True, customers will not be able to get the M400 until September, but in order to increase interest in the product, the company added M300XL glasses (available for pickup) to the pre-order package, thus customers will pay $200 for the M300XL instead of the usual $999.

Half a year ago there was information about the possible bankruptcy of the developer of glasses of mixed reality, the company Meta. Judging by the latest news, the company is reviving and returning to the market of augmented and mixed reality. The company's assets are reorganized under the new name Meta View, which gives hope for new investments and news about new products of the company.

The Unreal Engine 4 software package is finally available to Unreal Engine via GitHub for Hololens 2. The package allows for streaming support that wirelessly sends PC-powered rendering to the HoloLens 1 and 2 for display, and then telemetry and odometry sensor data is sent back from the HoloLens to the PC for computation. Unreal Engine 4 is useful for developers without access to Hololens 2 and will allow to create applications without the presence of glasses themselves.

Technology Overview, 23 — 30th May

May 30th 2019permalink

Mixed news for the industry. According to research published in IEEE Transactions, HoloLens glasses from Microsoft are not suitable for working in surgery. The main problem of using AR-glasses in surgery is the inability of our eyes to focus simultaneously on two objects - real and virtual. Also, as a result of the experiments, it was revealed that, when using Hololens, the participants got tired more quickly and were more mistaken compared to working without AR-glasses.

While the possibility of using Hololens 1 in medicine is questioned, Hollywood Exhibit showed how Hololens can transfer fans of science fiction films to familiar spaces and, at the same time, participants can interact with 40 vehicles from cult films (for example, a DeLorean car from “Back To The Future”). Demonstrating the capabilities of MR on the Hollywood Exhibit, Microsoft is hoping for a growing interest in technology from the non-industrial sectors.

A partnership agreement has been concluded between the supplier of quality management solutions for the life sciences Sparta Systems and the platform for the management of work instructions Proceedix. The goal of cooperation between the two teams will be the development of digital solutions to provide remote, timely instructions and relevant documents to the workplace. Also, Sparta Systems and Proceedix strive to save production personnel from paper carriers that are inconvenient to use and do not always meet modern requirements.

Technology Overview, 16 — 23th May

May 23rd 2019permalink

Atheer have created the Request for Proposal (RFP) template for enterprises that use augmented reality technology in production. It is worth noting that the RFP is publicly available and can be downloaded directly from the Atheer website. The new template is designed to facilitate the search for proposals for a new technology, which this or that company has not worked with previously.

Hololens have another competitor: Lenovo launches its ThinkReality A6 AR-glasses, which can attract new corporate customers. The device combines an Android-based headset with 1080p (per eye) (in this parameter, the ThinkReality A6 surpasses the first generation of Hololens, whose display resolution is 1268 x 720, but lags behind the latest Hololens with 1440p per eye). The ecosystem of new glasses is compatible with existing AR content and corporate systems. The weight of the ThinkReality A6 glasses is 380 grams, and they are equipped with Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SOC. Thanks to the 6800 mAh battery, the A6 can operate continuously for up to 4 hours. Read more about the features.

Mimesys is now part of Magic Leap. Last Thursday, Magic Leap announced it had acquired Augmented Reality Telepresence Startup Mimesys. The Belgian startup team had created a spatial co-presence platform that has interested large companies, primarily Magic Leap. After the deal, users of Magic Leap One glasses will be able to participate in conferences in real time using volumetrically captured avatars representing their real bodies.

Google introduced a new version of Google Glass AR-glasses called Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2. The device is intended only for corporate customers and will cost $ 999. Externally, the glasses have not changed much (only received a new rim from Smith Optics). Major improvements were made to the technical characteristics:

  • glasses run a Qualcomm Snapdragon XR1 processor, which allows you to display an image with a resolution of 4K, with a frequency of up to 60 frames per second

  • 3 GB RAM

  • 820 mAh battery

  • Two LED indicators

  • Power indicator

  • Camera indicator, thanks to which others can see that it is on

Technology Overview, 9 — 16th May

May 16th 2019permalink

We stumbled upon a Forbes article by authorship of Sol Rogers, which refers to positive feedback from companies using XR. Companies such as Renault Trucks, Airbus and ZHAL have already claimed that the results of MR implementation in production and in personnel training had exceeded their expectations. Also, the article published a forecast according to which 46 percent of companies said they would use a Trimble XR10 helmet with HoloLens 2 built-in glasses in their productions. Apparently, the XR market expects an increase in demand from corporate clients for devices and software related to mixed reality.

Microsoft introduced the new features of the Spatial application at Microsoft Build. Now you can run Spatial through the application Microsoft Teams. In this demonstration, it was shown how a remote user, using 2D video pane, can interact with 3D content in the Spatial application through a desktop computer and participate in conferences from anywhere in the world. At the same time, the advantages of integration is that the application runs on different devices, and Hololens 2 glasses are not needed for each employee. The user opens the Teams application, then scans a QR code on a tab in Teams through the Hololens 2 after which he enters the Spatial habitat, where he can interact with his remote employees.

Magic Leap is also moving forward and has entered into an agreement with the Brainlab medical technology provider. As part of this partnership, Brainlab and Magic Leap will develop a solution to help doctors improve the quality of interventional research. First of all, the new product will simulate minimally invasive radiological procedures in office conditions, and in the future it is planned to expand the areas of applying of the solution in medicine.

Technology Overview, 2 — 9th May

May 9th 2019permalink

In an article on theverge, Dieter Bohn made a fairly detailed overview of the new Hololens 2 from Microsoft. Note for yourself the most important points of this review.

And the first important thesis that can be distinguished is that the device is primarily intended for working staff, and the main customers should be corporate clients.

In Hololens 2, the following important changes were made: now, to start Hololens 2, knowledge of complex gestures is not required, the device can be turned on using a button, and the glasses themselves are more balanced on the head than the first Hololens - now the center of gravity of the new device is behind the ears, but not in the eyes as before. Also, in Hololens 2 it is possible to change the position of the visor, which allows you to look at the environment with your own eyes without removing the headset.

In Hololens 2, an important problem of the first generation of glasses was solved - a limited field of view. At the slightest deviation of the head, the holograms disappeared in glasses. In new glasses, the field of view is twice as large and has a holographic density of 47 pixels per degree. When moving the head image is not lost from view.

Hololens 2 are now much better able to identify objects thanks to a new set of sensors based on artificial intelligence (AI) - "Azure Kinect". Azure will transfer the computational load to the cloud service, as well as the detailing objects in real time. Glasses can track up to 25 points of articulation on both hands in space and relieves the user from the Air Tap gesture to interact with holograms. This interaction is also influenced by eye tracking technology: with the help of two cameras at the nose, Hololens 2 automatically measure the distance between the pupils and adjust the images accordingly. Thanks to the cameras, the waveguides became better aligned with the holograms on two glass plates (there used to be three). Cameras also scan the retina to connect the user to the glasses. Undoubtedly, this is another plus, although it will add time-consuming when connecting new users.

Still not solved the problem with the batteries. As in the first version, Hololens 2 run on an Intel processor, which requires a considerable amount of energy, which causes a limited time for the device to work without recharging.

Despite the fact that Hololens 2 are available for order, they are still under development, and Microsoft needs to do a lot of work to make its product truly convenient and easy to use, not only for developers, but also for ordinary users. Now we can already say that the new glasses have significantly moved forward from their predecessors in many ways, however, some details, functions and characteristics need to be improved.

Technology Overview, 25 April — 2 May

May 2nd 2019permalink

Vuzix begins to cooperate with the supplier of electrical equipment for hazardous environments by Eaton. The aim of the partnership will be the development of new ATEX Smart Glasses, designed to work in hazardous areas. New glasses will be presented at the Eaton booth during the 2019 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) from May 6 to 9 in Houston. Vuzix also concluded a strategic partnership agreement with the leader in remote visual support, SightCall. SightCall will deliver its video solution for see-what-I-see application on Vuzix ’M300XL Smart Glasses.

RealWear together with UROS developer IoT solutions plan to connect 10,000 workers to the HMT-1 and HMT-1Z1 glasses based on the Qualcomm® Snapdragon mobile platform in Kazakhstan. The project should start at the end of 2019, the purpose of implementing XR technologies is to increase the productivity of industrial personnel and increase the growth rate of the economy of Kazakhstan.

The developer of smart glasses ThirdEye Gen also entered into a partnership agreement with Verizon. Within the framework of which ThirdEye Gen received two patents:

AR Assisted Large Data Streaming for streaming AR content wirelessly OLED Driver for improved display quality

Technology Overview, 18 — 25th April

April 25th 2019permalink

The middle and the end of April were not rich in events in the industry. Apparently the main players have paused and were preparing something grand. And startups are working hard on their products.

But RealWear, after a deal with Shell, which we wrote a few weeks ago about, seeks to accelerate its sales growth: the company appointed Rocky Scales to the newly created position of EVP Global Sales. Rocky Scales is the leader in scaling sales in the digital industry with 20 years of experience. RealWear hopes Rocky will help the company increase global sales and reach new markets.

Technology Overview, 11 — 18th April

April 18th 2019permalink

There is no news at all this week, but from an article on Interesting Engineering.com we learned about interesting AR solution for the construction industry: WakingApp is a studio that visualizes construction projects in AR prior to their implementation and helps companies avoid many mistakes. The main advantage of WakingApp technology is that designers and builders do not necessarily have programming skills - with the help of the studio, staff can quickly create visual objects in AR. And Hololens glasses make it possible to combine 3D and 2D models with real data right at the workplace (video).

Technology Overview, 4 — 11th April

April 11th 2019permalink

Last December, we wrote about a Microsoft $500 million contract with the US Army for the supply of Hololens devices. And now, the military have demonstrated the Integrated Virtual Augmentation System (IVAS) this week. The system is equipped with a modified HoloLens 2 with additional sensors. This system transmits satellite images in real time to soldiers on the battlefield and helps them navigate unfamiliar terrain. Since HoloLens 2 glasses are still large to meet all the needs of the military, the army hopes to supply devices as big as ordinary sunglasses. Working with the army will provide new ideas for improving the functionality of HoloLens 2 for the private sector.

More about Microsoft HoloLens. The Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) began testing Hololens MR glasses to help technicians. The Mixed Reality Remote Assistant Support System (MIRRAS), based on the Kognitiv Spark software, is designed to remotely assist technical personnel on board the ship using voice and video instructions from the shore in real time via Hololens glasses.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) presented the results of the introduction of augmented reality technology in airfreight. Brendan Sullivan, head of e-commerce and cargo operations for IATA, said about 30 percent improvement in cargo handling speed and a 90 percent reduction in errors as a result of using Atheer AR to deliver digital instructions to operators directly to the workplace. IATA plans to expand areas for the implementation of the Atheer platform.

Meanwhile, RealWear reported that their HMT-1Z1 and HMT-1 devices were chosen by Shell to operate their field workers. The equipment supplier is Honeywell, which also provides additional applications and practical knowledge right at the workplace. Currently, Shell uses the HMT-1Z1 for remote assistance. For example, in case of equipment breakdown, an employee can make a video call through the device and receive the necessary instructions from an expert in real time.

Technology Overview, 28 March — 4 April

April 4th 2019permalink

Augmented Reality helps Skoda Logistics employees in their CKD center in Mladá Boleslav. Now the staff uses video and laser projections for more accurate storage of components on pallets. Namely: laser projections show the correct location of parts, and text and video instructions tell workers how to arrange components more safely, and if they are incorrectly placed, the system helps personnel to correct errors. Here is a short video about this system.

As without Magic Leap. The company introduced the Lumin OS update for their glasses. A key change in the new version of the operating system is an improved system for tracking hands, eyes and head poses. Now Magic Leap One identifies eight key poses from different angles, and gesture recognition is possible without certain poses.

In February, we wrote that medical software maker Medivis had received investments to develop the SurgicalAR platform for Hololens and had already presented it at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference. So, last Thursday the company introduced its new product, AnatomyX. Now, besides Hololens, the application also works in Magic Leap One glasses. AnatomyX is a platform that helps students learn anatomy in augmented reality. The new application from Medivis provides detailed three-dimensional models of anatomical structures obtained on the basis of CT and MRI data of real patients. In this case, students can interact with models using gestures and voice commands.

Technology Overview, 21 — 28th March

March 28th 2019permalink

PTC told how to effectively use AR to increase sales. In its blog, PTC identifies three ways of introducing augmented reality technology that will help industrial equipment manufacturers increase sales:

  • Accelerate sales cycles

The AR sales department will be able to instantly react to new customers remarks/wishes, which, in turn, will shorten the time from the initial offer to the conclusion of the transaction. Also, it will allow to demonstrate the product directly at the workplace, due to which the client will immediately estimate the advantages and disadvantages of the equipment and make corrections.

  • Improve customer engagement

Buyers of expensive industrial equipment always in search of the best offer on the market. Therefore, it is important to keep the customer in touch with the product that has interested him. Demonstration of products in augmented reality, significantly increases the interest of the client to the product, and brings the moment of the transaction.

  • Differentiate products

Allocation of its product through the introduction of new technologies, above all AR, today is one of the significant factors for the modern market. Today's buyers welcome any advanced technology that will distinguish a particular product from competitors.

In January, we wrote about the bankruptcy of the manufacturer of the AR-headset ODG (Osterhout Design Group), ostensibly because of the failure of Magic Leap to buy ODG for $35 million. So, this week an article appeared on Next Reality, on the basis of which ODG patent assets were purchased by Mentor Acquisitions One. Interestingly, the business unit of this company in Delaware was opened quite recently, namely on January 16th. The article also states that the address of Mentor Acquisitions One is the same as the address of the main office of Magic Leap (7500 W. Sunrise Blvd. in Plantation, Florida). And if we consider that the Magic Leap office is not located in one of the skyscrapers of New York or LA, but in an area where there are no high-rise buildings and offices of other technological start-ups, we can assume that there is a connection between Mentor Acquisitions One and Magic Leap. While waiting for a response from Magic Leap to the Next Reality inquiry about their connection with Mentor Acquisitions One.

And the manufacturer of the Enterprise AR platform (assistance to personnel in heavy production), Scope AR, received $9.7M of financing from Romulus Capital. Thanks to new investments, the company plans to expand the scope of its AR solutions for AR headsets such as HoloLens.

Technology Overview, 14 — 21th March

March 22nd 2019permalink

Vuzix has entered into a partnership agreement with Verizon, according to which it will supply Vuzix Blade, M300XL and M-Series glasses, as well as Vuzix Basics Video software, for Verizon corporate customers. Vuzix hopes that the first orders will arrive in the second quarter of 2019. The interest of large resellers in the technology of augmented reality pushes positive thoughts about the prospects of the industry.

Next Reality published an interesting article about the pros and cons of the Helio app for Magic Leap One. The application makes it possible to access popular search engines, newspaper applications and the Wayfair furniture buying app, through Magic Leap glasses. True, the article says that you cannot buy furniture, but there is an opportunity to furnish your house with the one you like in AR mode. The main disadvantage of working with Helio, according to the author, is the strong heating of glasses after two hours of use. But at the same time, the quality of YouTube videos was quite impressive. It is confident that Magic Leap will continue to improve Helio, and will attract even more large companies from different sectors to the industry.

A new player will appear on the AR-glasses market. The Chinese company Shenzhen ARTS-STAR Technology, in partnership with Nibiru, is launching the production of Polaroid AR-HMD AR-glasses. Nibiru will supply its AR-system for the new device, including contactless gesture control from Crunchfish.

The Swedish company XMReality made a deal to supply its XMReality Remote Guidance software for the US defense group. The contract amount was SEK 1.5 million. XMReality Remote Guidance is an AR-based tool for remote assistance and knowledge sharing that uses a unique hands-on technology with which you can control other people's hands.

Technology Overview, 7 — 14th March

March 14th 2019permalink

In his article, Mark Gallant from PTC highlighted the main trends of digital transformation that will dominate in 2019. The author paid attention to such trends in automation and digitalization of manufacturing:

  • The use of IIoT and augmented reality to improve the skills of the workforce.
  • Remote assistance to staff through augmented and mixed reality devices. Workers can receive recommendations from other employees in real time, right on the spot.
  • The introduction of digital instructions.
  • Productivity Monitoring with IIoT-connected devices.

Nreal startup from China presented its new AR-system Nreal Light. The startup team wants to combine ordinary smartphones with augmented reality glasses Nreal Light, using a smartphone in the control of the device. Thus, Nreal aims to make AR-devices more accessible to ordinary users. The company says that their new product is an intermediate stage between portable AR-devices based on a smartphone and high-performance AR-devices like Hololens or Magic Leap.

The Hololens 2 team answered additional questions about their product, and also launches a series of videos about the intricacies of the new device.

The main topics of discussion were:

  • Hand Tracking & Interface Interaction.The advantages of hand tracking and gesture control in Hololens 2 compared to the first version.
  • Noise Canceling Mic Benefits & Biometric Security Concerns.
  • Transferring old applications from Hololens to HoloLens 2.

Technology Overview, 28 February — 7 March

March 7th 2019permalink

Magic Leap selected 31 participants from 6500 applications for participation in their grant program "Independent Creator Program", aimed at finding new developers and expanding the content for the company's devices.

On February 25-26, in Barcelona, as part of the MWC 2019, Philips and Microsoft introduced the mixed reality technology for surgical operations. Applications based on the Azurion platform from Philips (collecting critical data during the operation) and with the help of Hololens 2 glasses, will enable the doctor to see the necessary data on the operation in real time, while the surgeon’s hands remain free.

Spiral at MRO SouthEast Asia Exhibition

March 6th 2019permalink

Spiral demonstrated its prototypes at the MRO exhibition in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia in March. Company's profile featured in the event guide alongside with Turkish Technic and Percival Aviation.

Technology Overview, 21 — 28th February

February 28th 2019permalink

Microsoft Hololens 2 is released

Main points on new device:

  1. Flipped visor

    • It's what we've been asked by nearly each of engineers on MRO exhibition
  2. Eye tracking

    • Movie magic click directly on virtual object is real now. We believe it could change drastically interaction in much smoother and clear way. No more five to ten minutes explanation how to handle one's fingers.They call it Direct Manipulation
  3. Battery

    • Promising 2-3 working hours
    • And it seems to be easy replaceable, which gives much more flexibility in use
  1. 2x Field of View

    • Now all of those nice video with visualisations of HL use became closer to reality. But still there's just a clip of real world vie
  2. More powerful, lighter and a little less dorky-looking

With all of these improvements the device is very promising in industrial use. And we've already preordered it.

Spiral Technology will showcase its solutions at MRO Southeast Asia in Kuala Lumpur on 6-7 March 2019

February 24th 2019permalink

MRO Southeast Asia is a two day conference exploring the key issues and concerns in the Southeast Asia region, examining how airlines and their suppliers can optimise maintenance planning to effectively manage expanding fleets.

The event will host 10+ panel discussion, key note presentations and networking sessions. List of speakers includes executives from Malaysia Airlines, AFI KLM E&M, AJW, Frost & Sullivan and others. Two days will be concluded by the exclusive tour to the Sepang Aircraft Engineering Facility.

Technology Overview, 14 — 21th February

February 21st 2019permalink

Perhaps at the Mobile World Congress, which will take place in Barcelona on February 25-28, Microsoft will finally introduce HoloLens 2. You should pay attention to the mysterious video teaser published by HoloLens creator Alex Kipman - perhaps the video shows AI chip specially created for HoloLens 2. The new headset, codenamed Sydney, should be more comfortable to use by reducing the weight of the rim and increasing the field of view. Also, HoloLens 2 will use an ARM Qualcomm Snapdragon 850 processor and a new generation of Kinect sensors. So we will follow the news from Microsoft.

It became known this week that The Manufacturing Technology Center (MTC), one of the leading manufacturing organizations in UK, will help British businesses grow with the help of Microsoft HoloLens. The goal of cooperation between MTC and Microsoft Mixed Reality will be training on using all the possibilities of mixed reality technology, which will improve the quality of customer service and save money and time for manufacturing companies.

Meanwhile, medical software maker Medivis received $ 2.3 Million from investors to further develop SurgicalAR software for Hololens. The platform was presented at the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference. With the help of the Hololens headset the SurgicalAR presents the surgeon a three-dimensional image of the patient, with all the necessary medical data, while the hands of the doctor remain free.

DHL has completed its pilot projects on the use of smart glasses in logistics. AR devices now support the company's warehouses around the world thanks to the Vision Picking solution. Vision Picking increased productivity by an average of 15 percent. With this solution, the staff sees in smart glasses all the necessary instructions for collecting the order, as well as information on where the necessary objects are located. In this case, the hands of the employee freed from the inconvenient paper carriers. As part of its projects, DHL works with three partners:

xPick software from Ubimax

— Devices from Google (Glass Enterprise Edition) and Vuzix (Vuzix M100; M300)

Technology Overview, 15 February

February 15th 2019permalink

AerinX began developing an intelligent inspection system for aircraft inspection with Hololens. With the help of augmented reality glasses, a Hungarian startup seeks to reduce the time it takes to inspect aircraft surfaces from two hours to 20 minutes. The system will determine the exact location and extent of damage to the body of the aircraft. Any defect will be registered in the AerinX database, which will allow analyzing the results of the test remotely.

RealWear is a leader among AR-devices for use in dangerous conditions: State Grid, the world's largest Chinese energy company, has chosen RealWear HMT-1 as the main headset for its staff. The State Grid successfully completed a pilot project in Shanghai, whose goal was to provide remote assistance to technicians in the field in real time, without using their hands with RealWear HMT-1 to work in high-voltage environments.

Some bad news from Airbus: the company announced it was stopping the production of the A380 due to a slowdown in sales. The latest deliveries of the world's largest aircraft, worth $ 25bn, will be made in 2021. This decision was made after Emirates (the largest client of the company) announced the expansion of its fleet from 162 to 123 units.


Spiral Technology exhibiting at MRO Middle East 2019

Mixed Reality for MRO

Spiral in review of Arabian Aerospace magazine

February 11th 2019permalink

Arabian Aerospace has covered MRO Middle East where we exhibited last month. Satair signed a contract with Honeywell for the supply of JetWave high-speed communication system. Satair has also entered into an agreement to supply consumables for Boeing and Airbus with Joramco, a Jordanian company that deals with the maintenance and repair of aircraft.

Spiral Technology was also mentioned.

"Spiral Technology chose to exhibit at MRO Middle East for the first time in 2019 to demonstrate mixed reality technology holographic headset aimed at improving the overall productivity of MRO personnel. The technology overlays a digital layer of information over the physical assets themselves, giving engineers the opportunity to work handsfree and have instructions in view. In particular, the technology aims to allow engineers to increase the speed of their operations while simultaneously reducing the number of errors which ultimately decreases engine turnaround time. “This event is a great combination of conference and exhibition,” said Konstantyn Shyshkin, CEO, Spiral Technology."

Reproduced with permission of Arabian Aerospace.

Spiral at MRO Middle East Summit

February 10th 2019permalink

Konstantyn Shyshkin, Spiral Technology's CEO was speaking at the Innovation Panel of the conference associated with MRO Middle East exhibition on 10 February 2019. Spiral's first appearance at the industry event has met by aviation veterans with interest and enthusiasm.

Press release

February 1st 2019permalink

Spiral Technology becomes a member of the global VR/AR Association

1 April 2018, Singapore ― Spiral is pleased to announce that it has become the member of the global VR/AR Association. Both the VR/AR Association and Spiral are dedicated to fostering growth in the augmented reality and mixed reality industries.

As a member, Spiral will participate in the Association's initiatives in South East Asia and will be connected with VR AR organizations to accelerate the market with smart growth. In addition, Spiral Technology will contribute to the VR/AR Enterprise Industry Sector Report due to be published in March/April 2019.

We believe the tipping point will be in 2020, followed by ramping adoption across industrial sectors. This will follow a similar pattern, though on a smaller scale, as enterprise smartphone adoption over the past decade,

writes Artillry Intelligence, research and intelligence unit

We are excited to participate in the VR/AR Association and to interact with all the worldwide members by shaping the global industry ecosystem together

says Andrii Ieroshevych, Spiral's founder and CTO.

For more information please visit www.thevrara.com.

PDF version

Technology Overview, 24 — 31th January

January 31st 2019permalink

Magic Leap is already involved in the training of astronauts. With the help of Magic Leap One glasses, the new International Space Station (ISS) team sees the on-board instruments and works with them in the augmented reality mode, so the crew prepares to be sent to the station at the end of the year. Earlier, we wrote about the use of the Hololens by NASA, but now Microsoft has a competitor in the aerospace industry.

The manufacturer of agricultural equipment AGCO began using Google Glass smart glasses on its production line. The plant in Jackson, Minnesota, has become a testing ground for testing a new technology on an assembly line. Now, plant personnel use Google Glass glasses to view instructions right at the workplace, and the device also helps train new employees. The first results were more than encouraging:

— 30 percent process improvement

— 50 percent reduction in training time

— 30 percent improvement in quality processing time

New glasses from Microsoft will be much smaller than those Hololens that are already proven in the market. On January 24, a patent was published, which describes the main characteristics of the new glasses from Microsoft. The device looks more like smart glasses, like Vuzix, than Hololens. Despite being compact, glasses should include the implementation of a set of scenarios. Microsoft offers several possible applications for the device:

— Traveling and tours could be supplemented by displaying sightseeing information over real-world architecture and points of interest

— Display of bank transfers in the user's field of view

Other applications include enhancements for shopping, advertising, and even military and identification applications.

Meanwhile, in New York, namely: on the second floor of the J. Erik Jonsson Engineering Center at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute - a new experimental AR / VR laboratory has opened - Rensselaer Augmented and Virtual Environment (RAVE). Students, as well as researchers, entering the laboratory room, can feel themselves on the wing of the aircraft, operate a failed nuclear reactor, or design the crystal structure of the molecule. Thanks to this laboratory, it will be possible to carry out previously impossible experiments, since the use of AR / VR eliminates the possibility of damage to expensive equipment and reduces the risk of injury to participants in experiments.

MRO Middle East News

January 31st 2019permalink

Less than two weeks remained to the MRO Middle East 2019 exhibition. Here's an overview of the related news.

British engineering company Semmco confirmed its participation at MRO Middle East. Semmco develops, manufactures and installs ground support equipment for aviation. Also, the company has a regional office in Dubai, where services are provided to optimize the maintenance of airlines. At the exhibition, Semmco will present a number of unique ground-based platforms and digital panels with access to aircraft.

For the eighth year, the national agency BUSINESS FRANCE has been organizing a French pavilion at MRO Middle East. This is the only national delegation at the exhibition and it will be represented by 21 companies in the 5th, 6th and 7th halls of the Dubai World Trade Center. It is worth recalling that French companies have provided their country with the second line in the global aerospace industry ranking. MRO Middle East — an excellent opportunity to show that France is one of the industry leaders, and other participants to find the right partners and customers among them.

The forecast of the development of the commercial aviation market from Aviation Week. According to the publication, the volume of the MRO market in the region will reach $13.1 billion by 2027. It is also important that in the next decade $100.6 billion will be allocated to service commercial aircraft in the Middle East — 10% of the global market.

Technology Overview, 17 — 24th January

January 24th 2019permalink

Few weeks ago the company developer of AR-glasses Meta was forced to admit itself insolvent due to lack of funding. Also, another manufacturer of the AR-headset ODG (Osterhout Design Group) and the liquidator Hilco Streambank began selling the company's assets about the bankruptcy. Recall that the main reason for bankruptcy was the failure of Magic Leap to buy ODG for $35 million.

Nreal Chinese startup received $15 million from investors to develop Nreal Light smart glasses, including China Growth Capital and Shunwei. The startup team wants to reduce the size of their MR-headset to the size of ordinary sunglasses. Nreal Light is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, and was officially unveiled at CES technology exhibition, which was held January 7-10 in Las Vegas. At this event, Mimesys startup was also noted — the company introduced its version of communication via AR-video: thanks to the capabilities of Magic Leap One, video call participants can now interact with 3D content in combination with holographic video. Mimesy believes that their product will make remote collaboration between businesses and people possible, as well as reduce the cost of permanent trips for personal meetings.

In the meantime, DHL reported on the benefits of using AR technologies in staff training. Thanks to a smart helmet with augmented reality glasses from the Texas-based company Baker Hughes, DHL reduced the time for training new staff for certain jobs to an absolute minimum. Also, the company uses AR for remote assistance to technicians in different parts of the world, which allows saving on long trips.

Then we came across a report on the successes and failures of using AR / VR in production. Who uses and how:

Boeing technicians use AR instructions for the circuits in the process of assembling the electrical wiring of the aircraft, which frees their hands from paper carriers and shortens the manufacturing time for electrical wiring by 25 percent, and also increases productivity by 40 percent.

Welsh Water uses AR to provide instructions and information about processes (for example: information about the correct values of sensors and scales), thereby reducing production risks to a minimum.

Ford is using AR to help designers and engineers. With the help of augmented reality, specialists can view digital structures and parts, being like a part of a car, reducing the time of construction analysis by several hours.

GE Transportation thanks to AR increased the number of maintenance tasks completed by 59 percent. The staff looked through the instructions and tasks without departing from their workplace while servicing the locomotives.

In an article on TechWireAsia.com, two major changes in the market over the past 2018 are highlighted:

— solution developers began to focus more on enterprises than on ordinary consumers

— manufacturers of AR / VR-devices create easier and cheaper products for wide use

The market for AR devices grew by 1.1% in 2018 compared to the previous year, mainly due to companies like Vuzix and Epson. At the same time, the growth of Hololens slowed down, this is explained by the expectation of the release of the next-generation device from Microsoft by February 21st.

MRO Middle East Summit

January 17th 2019permalink

The MRO Middle East Summit will be held the day before the main exhibition - February 10th. The event will be held at the Conrad Dubai Hotel. Previously, the conference was called Airline Engineering & Maintenance Middle East, for many regional as well as global airlines and equipment suppliers for the industry. The MRO Middle East Summit will last one day and gather more than 150 participants to discuss the prospects and new opportunities of the aviation market. Registration will begin February 10

Topics for discussion at the conference will be:

— Industry Dynamics: Regional Analysis and Forecast

— MRO in the Middle East – Embracing Growth and Seizing Opportunity

— Regulatory Updates and Operational Implications

— Maintenance Optimisation and Cost Reduction Strategies

A discussion we should pay attention to. The speakers will talk about ways to reduce the cost of servicing engines throughout the entire life cycle, as well as provide an overview of possible warehouse management strategies and optimize supplies.

— Exploring Innovation in MRO

This is the most interesting topic for us. First of all, due to the fact that one of the speakers will be our CEO Konstantyn Shyshkin ,. Also, within the framework of this discussion, Oscar D'souza - Emirates technical support engineer, Arun Chhabra - CEO 8tree, Birkan Güneralp - SVP QA Turkish Technic, moderator - Steve Williams Chairman Vaayu Group. The topic will discuss the possibilities and prospects of using AR / VR technologies in the airline industry, the effectiveness of integrating new technologies into workflows, as well as speakers will talk about digital transformations that will save staff from working with paper media.

— Big Data, Prognostics and Predictive Maintenance

— Dealing with the Deficit – Building Momentum for the Arabian Workforce

— Regional leasing

The conference will close Aviation Week Network spokesman Alex Moriarty at 5:40 pm.

MRO Middle East

January 10th 2019permalink

From February 10-12, the Spiral.Technology booth will be presented at the MRO Middle East 2019.

Middle East MRO has been held annually in Dubai since 2016, namely at the Dubai World Trade Center and was the leading platform in the region to attract customers, study competitors, and discuss problems in the area of commercial aircraft servicing. The organizers claim that MRO Middle East is an ideal place to search for both suppliers of equipment and solutions, clients and partners for companies from the aviation industry. At the moment, the number of participants in the MRO Middle East 2019 has reached 129, and in 2018 178 exhibitors were represented at the exhibition.

The main participants of the exhibition are suppliers of equipment and technological solutions for servicing commercial aircraft. From year to year, such aviation industry giants as Boeing, Bombardier, Etihad and Lufthansa present their stands at the MRO Middle East. Platinum sponsors of the event are HEICO Corporation, Satair and StandardAero, and Aviation Week is the main media partner of the exhibition.

ARC Advisory Group released their forecast for 2019, where they assumed what the main technological trends would be this year. And according to the ARC forecast, one of the main trends of the year will be the augmented reality, namely: the increasing use of AR technologies in equipment maintenance, information transfer between staff and training new employees. So, as companies that already use AR, have significantly improved the process of personnel training, reduced equipment downtime and the risk of errors. Interest in technologies of augmented reality will only grow throughout the year - which is good news.

Technology Overview, 27 December — 3 January

January 3rd 2019permalink

Before the New Year, Vuzix and AccuWeather have announced the start of a strategic partnership. Now users can view AccuWeather weather data in Vuzix Blade Smart Glasses smart glasses. The debut demo from Vuzix and AccuWeather will be held in Las Vegas in January.

Continuing to sum up the year, you should pay attention to the report from PTC. It highlights several important trends in the development of AR-technologies in the industry:

Using the capabilities of the AR, enterprises strive to find new sources of revenue, improve the quality of customer service, and increase the uniqueness of their products and services. Great attention is paid to maintenance instructions, which helps reduce downtime and equipment repairs.

In conclusion, we invite you to familiarize yourself with the list of the largest AR investments and an overview of the main events in the industry for 2018.

Technology Overview, 20 — 27th December

December 27th 2018permalink

In September, we wrote about the problems which met the Meta company. As a result of trade disputes between the United States and China, investors from Сhina decided to suspend the next round of company financing. And Meta publishes a new video in which the company recalls its viability in the development of augmented reality headsets. Also, in addition to the video in which users are introduced to the Meta Viewer application, the company reminds that Meta 2 AR glasses are more accessible to customers than expensive Magic Leap or Hololens.

Recalling Magic Leap, it should be mentioned that the company introduced the Lumin OS update for its Magic Leap One glasses a few days ago. The update is now available on the Creator portal for all users of Magic Leap One. It is worth noting that the main changes are around the application Helio, thanks to which the developers got a lot of new useful things.

Firefighters already use smart glasses. During the terrifying fires in Northern California, the fire department of Menlo Park used the drones and Epson Moverio smart glasses to assess the scale of the disaster. The use of drone and smart glasses helped to manage the localization of the fires without risking their lives.

Summing up the year for the industry, the impressive investments were made in AR / MR technology. First of all, Magic Leap, which attracted another $ 461 million from Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund last March. New large contracts signed by AR / MR companies and new areas of using augmented reality technology came around this year. A recent high-profile deal between the US military and Microsoft on Hololens for army purposes could push other countries to use MR in training their soldiers. Also there're huge rise of the interest to MR technologies among manufacturing companies and the health sector. The MR companies are ready to cooperate with each other, despite the competition and a small market so far. It can be assumed that the number of transactions between competing companies will continue to grow.

Technology Overview, 13 — 20th December

December 20th 2018permalink

There're plenty empty news box for this week. So let see what is in lates press release from Honeywell.

Honeywell began using blockchain technology for the sale and purchase of aircraft parts. Thanks to the new e-commerce platform GoDirect ™ Trade, airlines, air carriers and other customers get access to new and used aircraft parts directly through the website. Thus all documentation, images and prices of products are located in one place. Also, the platform gives access to a review of information about buyers and sellers. Using GoDirect ™ Trade increases trust between market participants. Every item purchased on the platform will be delivered as soon as possible. No need to wait for confirmation of the availability of parts from the seller. This platform will greatly facilitate the process of ordering and delivering the necessary parts for airlines.

Technology Overview, 6 — 13th December

December 13th 2018permalink

Gartner Research during the Gartner Infrastructure and Operations Conference highlighted possible AR / VR technology issues last week. According to an article published on December 10 in Data Center Frontier, the main barrier for wider implementation of AR / VR technologies may be the lack of space for storing virtual and augmented reality content data, since AR / VR content takes up 20 times more space than HD video. Also, the article discusses the problem of safe storage of AR-data - companies working with this technology should now pay more attention to ensure the safe storage of data.

Here, Capitol Region Accelerator announced a competition for $ 50,000 for AR / VR companies. Start-up and early-stage companies have to fill out an application for participation before December 21, 2018. The selection will take place from January 28 to April 13, 2019. In addition to an investment of $ 50,000, Capitol Region Accelerator will create the start-up development plan and offer its mentors for companies.

The California Institute of Technology has developed the Cognitive Augmented Reality Assistant (CARA) app for HoloLens. The application is designed to help visually impaired people — HoloLens scan the environment and identify physical objects, then the application using sound commands informs the user about the presence and location of objects in space. Application developers have already tested their product by paving a route through the Beckman Behavioral Biology building in Caltech for volunteers. As a result, each test subject successfully passed the route with the help of Hololens glasses. The team is still finalizing the application and improving the computer vision algorithm, so the date of the official release of the product has not yet been announced.

Spiral visited 2018 MEBAA Show in Dubai

December 11th 2018permalink

The 2018 MEBAA Show is the business aviation exhibition held in Dubai on 10-12 December. It was anticipated to attract nearly 9,900 visitors and was featuring new aircraft models and technologies. The static display was showcasing of a range of jets including the HondaJet, Sukhoi Superjet SSJ100, Airbus A340-500 and a Pilatus PC-12NG. Upon visiting the show Spiral's team engaged with the number of major engine manufacturers exhibiting on the event and established links with representatives of their MRO facilities in the region. Seasoned aviation experts acknowledged the benefits of the Mixed Reality in jet engine overhaul and line maintenance.

New development are expected in Q1-Q2 2019.

Technology Overview, 29 November — 6 December

December 6th 2018permalink

In September, we wrote about a tender announced by the US Army to search for a technology company for the delivery of 100,000 MR devices worth 500 million dollars. Among the bidders were Magic Leap and Microsoft. And on December 1, it became known that Microsoft signed the contract for the supply of mixed reality devices with the US Army. Under the contract, Microsoft will provide the military with 100,000 Hololens Glasses worth $ 480 million. This headset will be used in training soldiers, as well as in combat conditions. Today it is the largest and most significant contract in the industry, which can encourage many major players to invest in the MR sector.

The article by Sophie Charara shows examples of how XR technology accelerates the fourth industrial revolution. The focus is on the interaction of XR and IoT, and how this interaction changes the usual working methods and stimulates companies to industrial innovation. The article also presents an example of the use of XR by Volkswagen concern personnel. The auto giant plans to have trained 10,000 employees of XR technology in logistics and manufacturing by the end of 2018.

In the meantime, Google, apparently, is preparing to release Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2. The date of the official release of the new version of the glasses is still unknown. According to the available data, the operating system of the device will be Android 8.1.0, and the glasses will have 3 GB of internal memory. The new Qualcomm processor will increase the battery life and increase the performance of the device. Also, a new model of glasses will be released with a higher resolution camera.

Use case: documentation use in aviation maintenance

December 1st 2018permalink

During of various inspections the maintenance engineers are using instructions with a step-by-step guides. There're also a lot of manuals for the inspection process, as well as reference materials with information about the equipment (images, diagrams, drawings), instructions for assembling and disassembling engine and its components. Every action the engineer is taking should be strictly corresponded within the docs and checklists.

All of that leads to a massive amount of every day printed papers. Manuals and references book are constantly in use by technicians and also presented near by every working place.

The instant access, usability and especially search the data provided by paper based docs are extremely weak. Some of them already are the e-docs but the access still is very delayed due to distance separation of technical part and place where laptops are used.

Thus common disadvantages of paper documentation are following:

  • The hands need
  • Delayed updating and actualization of the data
  • The search of the information
  • Remoteness from the workplace

Transferring the all kind of documentation to mixed reality solves these problems as well as gives number of advantages which can be provided neither paper docs nor the standard computer based materials. Some of these advantages are revealed in following cases:

  • The occurrence of non-standard damage.
  • The spare parts order.
  • The deeper understanding of assembly and disassembly of the engine by providing multimedia sources of information.
  • Ability of instant contact with the manufacturer

Aviation maintenance is still apart of the active use of mixed reality. But there are several examples of the introduction of advanced electronic documentation in other sectors.

One of them is the BMW entrusted the quality control of the assembled cars to Google smart glasses. Employees of the concern now remain in the car and see plans and inspection instructions in their glasses. When testing a vehicle, workers should conduct 10-25 tests and document them. Previously, for this, the staff needed to move from the car to the terminal. Now, workers remain near the car and document the inspection process with smart glasses, and in the event of a defect, transmit information to competent professionals.

Technology Overview, 22 — 29th November

November 29th 2018permalink

An article which talks about the areas of potential use of AsR and the potential of the entire industry, has been published on Forbes. For example, using AsR and gestures, users manipulating logical blocks create programs without the need to deeply understand programming. In agriculture, Plant Vision is going to create a common AI-base for plant breeding. AsR will help to visualize the cultivation of plants in difficult conditions. Also, AsR technologies will assist in the search for diseased plants. The article also states that visual media is still the most inclined to make a profit from the introduction of AsR.

PTC (in August, we wrote about their success) acquires the company Frustum for $70 million. Frustum is a Boulder, Colorado-based generative design software company that develops software by which engineers and designers can use all the capabilities of AI to create their products. With this acquisition, PTC wants to strengthen its position in the design and modeling market.

ByOwls VR Design Studio presented a VR simulation for staff training. The video shows the Airbus Turbine in virtual reality - the staff can disassemble the turbine into many parts, and then assemble back in a virtual environment.

Technology Overview, 15 — 22th November

November 22nd 2018permalink

Magic Leap decided to expand the application development team for their products. To do this, the company has created the Independent Creator grant program. The program will provide developers with grants in the amount of 20,000 to 500,000 US dollars, as well as technical and marketing support.

The AR display with the largest viewing angle in augmented reality would be presented this week. At the Interservice / Industry Training, Simulation and Education 2018 (I / ITSEC) conference, which will be held from 26 to 30 November in Orlando, SA Photonics will present the Head Mounted Display product for the first time - this is a viewing angle of 147 degrees, a resolution of 3840 x 1200 and display SA-147 / S WARDS (HMD). The device is planned to be used in trainings for personnel in the military and commercial industries.

Technology Overview, 8 — 15th November

November 15th 2018permalink

It was hard to find interesting news from the industry this week . But there is some news - Toyota launches testing Hololens in production processes. The auto giant has already demonstrated a video where it uses the device and its set of applications of augmented reality Dynamics 365. In addition, Toyota is testing Layout and Remote Assist applications from Microsoft. Layout helps engineers understand whether bulky equipment fits in one place or another in the workshop, and Remote Assist is a challenge to the remote assistance of other specialists. Recall that Toyota is not the first company in the automotive industry that uses Hololens - companies such as Ford, Volvo, Jaguar and Renault Trucks have been used the device for a long time in their production and service operations.

Technology Overview, 1 — 8th November

November 8th 2018permalink

Korean startup LetinAR received $ 3.6M from investors to develop unique components for AR-glasses displays. Investors are: Kakao Ventures, Naver Corporation, DSC Investment, Korea Asset Investment Securities and Platinum Technology Investment. LetinAR company offers an alternative solution for optical systems, without using waveguide optics. LetinAR's PinMR lenses reflect light from the display using mirrors, which in its turn are smaller than the lenses mentioned. Thus, the user can see his surroundings in natural light without any extra effects from the display.

A few weeks ago, Magic Leap glasses have become available to users in the United States. And now the company was having a conference, where it has presented the possible applications of its device and published five videos about it. The video on the use of glasses in medicine has had quite a big impact out there. Magic Leap are focusing on educating medical staff using XR technology.

BDC Network published an article which discusses the prospects for the use of AR-technology in construction. Particularly, using the example of the design of the SmithGroup headquarters, one can see all the advantages of augmented reality technologies. In the process of designing the building, important data was transferred from the usual design model to the model with the addition of augmented reality, which made it possible to optimize the construction process and also ensure the accuracy of control over the coordinates of all the building elements. In this case, possible errors are displayed on augmented reality glasses, this time it is Hololens.

Technology Overview, 25 October — 1 November

November 1st 2018permalink

An article on AviationPros.com is about the recent aviation summit, which is focusing on specialists trainings with the use of AR/XR technologies. The key points in the training of personnel are individual training sessions for technical staff, in which real equipment is replaced by AR/VR simulators. From the article, we can conclude that the popularity of AR/VR in the training of aviation specialists will grow. Organizations used the technologies in training personnel report the improving the efficiency of training which leads by the end to money savings.

Next stop is Barry Cioe's articale, Vice President at BRIDGE Energy Group, on ELP.com, he talks in detail about the benefits of using AR for utility workers. Here's the same conclusion as above — training is most expected area to us AR.

New AR device has arrived. Here's Konica Minolta develops AR glasses for industry. Actually this device is for an Assistant Reality. AIRe Lens smart glasses will be used to digitize data on assembly lines. The device provides technical information and step-by-step instructions for the assembly line operator, while maintaining their mobility. You can control the device using gestures or a keyboard.

Earlier this week Spatial released first collaboration tool in Mixed Reality. It provides 3d avatars to perform presence of people in one room. Also the product has ability to manipulate data and multimedia. Speaking of creators we've found the Spatial is a team from New York of currently 10 people work. The company also has an office in San Francisco. Spatial recently unveiled a prototype of new software that can be used to turn any room into a space for interactive meetings. More about the company: Spatial was founded in 2016 in New York. The founders were Anand Agarawala (also the founder of the bumptop company, which was later bought by Google) and Jinha Lee (included in Forbes 30 under 30 Asia). From this point on, the team has attracted $ 8.3M of investments, the main investors were individuals.

Technology Overview, 18 — 25th October

October 25th 2018permalink

Last week was important information for Hololens users. Microsoft announced the release of a mandatory update on October 10. Thanks to the update, Hololens users can now use additional sharing options. To do this, there is a button "Share", which allows you to send pictures from Hololens to other Windows devices. Also in the update there is a new quick action menu for more convenient access to popular system tasks.

In the continuation of the conversation about Hololens — here it seems the new Hololens 2 were shown. Although we don't know is it a new model or prototype. On the video called OnSight you can see some changes in the device. For example, glasses have sharper edges compared to the current model, and also, you will notice that the headset in the video looks smaller than the old one. By the way, this video was published as part of the NASA JPL OnSight project, which provides scientists with the opportunity to travel across the surface of Mars in augmented reality using Hololens.

Atheer have published an article that gives advice on how to choose the right AR glasses for production. The article highlights five main factors (issues) of choosing augmented reality glasses for production:

  1. monocular or binocular device
  2. glassess’s weight
  3. battery life
  4. display size and display quality
  5. are glasses comfortable during work?

New industry research from PTC indicates an increase in financial performance of companies using XR / AR-technology. Also, the use of AR has allowed enterprises to significantly improve production efficiency. Such results indicate the future growth of financing of the AR market, as well as the expansion of the sectors of using of the technology of augmented relativity.

Technology Overview, 11 — 18th October

October 18th 2018permalink

From now Magic Leap One glasses are available to consumers in the US and the company even offers payment by installments — the price is discouraging customers. After Magic Leap One release, the company's established the L.E.A.P conference meet up with developers and media. The Magic Leap showed up its intention to be open to all requirements. Magic Leap CCO Rio Caraeff said during the conference that the company's primarily target is the people needs and wishes. The main objective for Magic Leap is to facilitate the daily life of a person, both at work and at home.

Atheer’s management changed last week. And they have released the world's first AR platform (AR Management Platform) this week. Thus, Atheer creates a new software category. The platform will provide an opportunity to use AR for solving complex tasks on any devices with any OS, and will also help provide access to technological solutions for 2.7 billion workers around the world, who are still devoid of many digital opportunities. The AR Management Platform provides a real-time production-quality solution, offers digitalization management, offers contextual awareness, a predictive experience, performance analytics and is enterprise-ready.

Here are the first real results of using AR in health care area — Dutch researchers have precise located of a tumor in a patient's brain using the AR. In the Rotterdam Medical Center of the Erasmus’s University, specialists transferred the MRI data to holograms. Then these holograms were visualized using XR. Thus, doctors received an image of the patient's brain with the exact location of the tumor.

The developer of AR-applications for m-commerce and industry Crunchfish has an agreement with the supplier of AR-devices RealMax. The contract provides for the prior integration of the gesture interaction technology from Crunchfish into RealWear HMT-1 devices from RealMax. Crunchfish hopes that this cooperation will strengthen their position in the market of gesture control technology suppliers for AR-glasses in the industry.

Technology Overview, 4 — 11th October

October 11th 2018permalink

There has been no news from Upskill for a long time — and the company has announced recently the beginning of the development of the Skylight platform for Hololens glasses from Microsoft. Although Skylight was designed to work on any device, Microsoft wants to increase the capabilities of the platform for use on their glasses.

The growing presence of Atheer in Europe and South America is pushing the company to expand and improve its team of top managers. And now, Sanjog Gad — the former vice president of software giant SAP, has been appointed new CEO of Atheer. Of course this is an important reinforcement for the Atheer team.

Next Reality has presented a list of the 30 most important investors for the AR industry. The main thing that can be learned from this article is a tremendous increase in the amount of money in the AR industry. Over the past 12 months, $ 3.6 billion has been invested in the industry. Also, the fact that investors are not just investing money in AR/MX companies and waiting for profits, but also enthusiastically exploring and promoting AR technologies in the corporate world — organize many events, exhibitions and seminars, — is also gratifying.

Technology Overview, 27 September — 4 October

October 4th 2018permalink

Another alliance has appeared — DiSTI Corporation, a leading global provider of virtual learning solutions in 3D, and Exozet, one of Germany’s leading digital transformation agencies, announced the start of cooperation. The goal of the alliance is to develop training solutions for corporate clients in Central Europe.

As we've written in March, Volkswagen introduced a remote expert in car repairs. Now the company are going to connect 5 million cars to the Azure cloud platform. Thus they begins a partnership with Microsoft. Through that platform and IoT, the digital services will be delivered to Volkswagen cars all around the world.

Since June, there're introducing of the XR into the health sector. From now the Vuzix smart glasses are also entering that field. The company 1Minuut released a platform Genzõ specifically for the Vuzix M300 Smart Glasses. This solution gives bed-patients the ability to see the outside world through the eyes of people all over the world. The solution also provides the remote assistance to nurses — the doctor can monitor the patient's condition through glasses and give the care instructions directly to the responsible.

More about the AR in medicine. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom have chosen 23 finalists for their humanitarian program “Creating Hope in Conflict”. According to the results, companies will be running tests of their smart glasses in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The goal of the program is to provide remote assistance to medical professionals in DR of Congo from specialists from around the world.

Microsoft give real results of using their Hololens in the manufacturing. Shevron company reduced their expenses on the inspector's trips, as well as the injury risks, at the same time the efficiency shows the significant growth. The company is carrying its monthly inspections of the plant in Singapore directly from the office in Houston using Microsoft's Remote Assist solution. With the help of Hololens, inspectors from Houston remotely identify problems and approve the necessary changes in production, thereby saving the company’s time and money on the efforts and travel.

One can observe how XR-technologies penetrate all spheres of life. So far this is mainly the Assistant Reality, which is becoming popular in medicine. In industry, such solutions are spreading not so fast. Perhaps this is due to the lack of scalability of the solution. Aspiring to new technologies corporations usually have multinational personal and facilities throughout the world.

To fully utilize the potential of Hololens and similar devices the developers should have the essentially bigger and much-experienced team throughout way more specialties such as C# coding, 3D visualization, and game design. Interactions in MR fundamentally differ from the computer and mobile devices interfaces, many of the principles are the matter of further discovering.

Technology Overview, 20 — 27th September

September 27th 2018permalink

A new Next Reality review is out here. This time it's all about leaders in device production. Here you can see many familiar faces. An interesting opinion on the problems of the industry and the possibilities for the XR/AR-headset to enter the mass market was voiced by CTO Meta Joseph Mikhail: "The biggest problem of the AR market is the lack of standards." Once the market is standardized, products will be able to reach the masses. Also, the leaders of production consider it an important step for the industry in recent months — the transition from complex kits for developers to simple applications available to everyone.

An article in the Mozenix blog, which discusses the importance of understanding AR technologies for CTO. In the article, the author rightly pays much attention to the fact that persons making important decisions should understand how to use AR-technologies better, and should improve the profitability of investments in Industry 4.0.

The US military announced a tender for the army supply of technological solutions. The amount of the contract is estimated at $500 million. The contest started — main contenders are well known Magic Leap and Microsoft. The US Army, according to the contract, is ready to purchase 100,000 devices, to display virtual battle scenarios and combat maps.

Market forecast reveals growing. The military has already actively considered the possibilities of using AR technologies for its own purposes. Also, the industry is not staying apart.

While some managers just are going to implement XR-technologies in their workflow others already actively use AR and get its benefits.

However, the main problem is the cost of devices, and IT companies hope to further reduce the cost of XR-glasses to the cost of a stationary computer.

The most important factor of expanding XR apps is the how fast it could be implemented.

And the last but not least. DeepMind and Unity now are in very promising alliance. The companies's teams are going to create "virtual environments" for testing and developing smart algorithms which are meant to solve real-world problems.

Technology Overview, 13 — 20th September

September 20th 2018permalink

A new strategic alliance was formed in the industry — XMReality and Semcon announced the beginning of cooperation. The goal of the cooperation is the possibility to visualize digital content Semcon through XMReality Remote Guidance (knowledge sharing tool with AR support, which allows you to communicate with gestures, speech, chat with the object anywhere in the world).

We've mentioned a lot about AR implementation into the Health industry. There's one more. The Apprentice.io recently attracted $8M to develop its AR AI-platform, designed to facilitate the workflow of personnel in the pharmaceutical and biotechnological industries. The investor was Pritzker Group Venture Capital — this investment group has been helping the technology companies since 1996, when it was created.

Recently, the Magic Leap company announced a list of speakers of the conference L.E.A.P, which will be held October 9 and 10 in Los Angeles. Special attention is paid to the AT & T Communications CEO John Donovan presence at the conference, as his company has already announced its readiness to provide demonstration sites in their stores for AR-glasses Magic Leap. There could be announced the date of sales to start.

Technology Overview, 7 — 13th September

September 13th 2018permalink

Last week we wrote about the successes of Magic Leap, as well as criticism of them. Negative reviews, in the first place, were caused by a limited field of view for the Magic Leap One. The company apparently took note of this and opened a new optics development center in Lausanne, Switzerland, where they will pay special attention to the development of optical solutions and photonics for future devices. In addition to the new Swiss center, the company already has five similar facilities in the US.

While Magic Leap opens new development centers, Meta fully felt the consequences of the trade war between the US and China. As a result of the actions of the Trump administration, Chinese investors suspended another round of financing, which in turn forced Meta to sack or send up to 65% of employees on temporary leave.

Another study shows how great the market potential of AR. Capgemini conducted a survey among business leaders and found that AR and VR technologies will become a major part of 46% of organizations in the next three years. The report also says that 82% of companies have already been using VR and AR, said that such technologies justify and even exceed their expectations. At the same time, many managers say that there is a shortage of qualified personnel in the areas of augmented and virtual reality. Of course, for us this is all very good, but the example of Meta makes us think about the prospects for financing the industry, as the trade war between the US and China can hit the AR market.

Technology Overview, 30 August — 7 September

September 7th 2018permalink

According to the report, Apple plans to release its AR glasses in 2020. At the moment the device is under development. Apple has acquised AR-displays development company Akonia Holographics and this is an important step for the development of their own glasses, the deal is estimated at 12 million dollars.

Criticism of Magic Leap does not cease in recent days, but the company despite everything enters the market of the film industry and concludes a partnership agreement with The Imaginarium Studios. Their first project "Grishnec" will enable to use motion capture in high-level AR-content. Also, Magic Leap presented a demo version of the Helio Experiments application. In the experimental version, there are possibilities for using the Magic Leap ecosystem in e-commerce and tourism.

Fieldbit, a leading developer of AR-solutions for field services, and InfinityAR, a developer of software for AR-glasses, announced a strategic alliance. One should say it's a significant event for the industry. The goal of the collaboration is to create a vertically integrated solution for service organizations. Thanks to this solution, enterprises can provide visual instructions and access to important data for specialists. The data in this solution goes from IoT and therefore it could show all ongoing processes in a real time.

The Next Reality introduces 30 people (NR30) who have had the greatest impact on the augmented reality industry. The site's going to publish this list annually. We also recommend to read the article by Naveen Joshi where he tells about the assistance of AR-technologies in a logistic particularly emphasizes transport services and warehouse operations.

Technology Overview, 23 — 30th August

August 30th 2018permalink

The end of August was pretty calm. Interesting in the industry happened a little, but still we have something to tell.

By the latest news, medicine is quickly mastering the technology of augmented and mixed reality. For example, in the California Children's Hospital of Lucile Packard in Stanford began to use augmented reality as a distraction for young patients during unpleasant procedures.

So, as we said, there is almost no news at this time. But we found two fairly interesting studies on АR. PTC, whose successes we wrote earlier, presented their report, in which they described in some detail the trends of the current market of augmented reality. Also interesting for us was the article by Paul Helzel, in which he analyzed the main ways of using AR in production. This is where we finalize our last update in August, before meeting in September.

Technology Overview, 16 — 23th August

August 23rd 2018permalink

Sharing the main news - Microsoft announced their plans to introduce new glasses Hololens 2 this year. The new headset will be different from its predecessor, first of all at the price. The company hopes that this will increase the demand for the product among enterprises. Also, the headset will include the latest generation of Microsoft's Kinect sensors and a special AI chip for increased performance. Hololens 2 (codename Sydney) will be publicly available in 2019 already. In the meantime, the old Hololens good old glasses were again useful, this time with the help of a headset а mistake was found in the design of the pedestrian bridge at Villanova University in the suburbs of Philadelphia.

On this, good news for the AR and MR does not end. Lockheed Martin is going to use the technology of augmented reality in the construction of space vehicles. Using AR in the construction and design of space modules increases the efficiency of workers, and reduces the number of defects.

At the moment, this is all the news that we found interesting for ourselves. So in the end I would like to draw attention to the research of the prospects of the market of AR and MR. For example, according to the Marketsand Markets report, the AR market will grow to $ 60 billion by 2023. Growth will be provided by an increasing demand for MR and AR technologies in various sectors of the economy, and not only in the US, for example, the use of ARs is interested in emergency services and plans to use technology to monitor the location of a fireman in a burning building. Another study sets us up for a positive wave: Forrester Research Inc. report that by 2025, 14.4 million American workers will use smart glasses, such as Microsoft HoloLens and Google Glass, and large ones will spend 3.6 billion dollars on Augmented Reality glasses. As we see the market's prospects are huge, so we continue to work hard.

Technology Overview, 2 — 16th August

August 16th 2018permalink

While Magic Leap is only entering the market, their main competitors from Microsoft are taking more and more places in the use of AR-glasses. So, for example, the children's clinic Alder Hey is already starting a partnership with Microsoft in order to facilitate the work of surgeons with the help of Hololens glasses, let us recall this is not the first time that surgery has become interested in glasses of augmented reality, here. And on this use of Hololens was not limited. Microsoft also began a partnership with Mercedes Benz, who do not want to lag behind Porshe, and also introduce AR for the training of technical personnel.

And now Toshiba August 8 announced the availability of the solution Atheer on their glasses DynaEdge ™ AR. The company hopes that the DynaEdge glasses with the Windows 10 operating system and Atheer's AiR Enterprise software will simplify the work of ordinary employees in various industries, and will also improve their quality.

Finally. Strategy Analytics conducted research on the AR market, according to which more and more consumers are getting used to the augmented reality technologies on their smartphones, but the AR-devices (Google Glass, Microsoft Hololens) remain unavailable for ordinary users, primarily because of their high cost. But nevertheless, experts predict the growth of the AR market, due to the reduction in the cost of the headset and the transfer of some functions of the device to smartphones.

So, in spite of the fact that AR glasses remain unavailable to ordinary consumers, large companies in different industries continue to introduce technologies of augmented reality. The emergence of new manufacturers of headsets, such as Magic Leap, will add competition to the market, which in turn can make AR-devices even more affordable for ordinary people.

Technology Overview, 26 July — 2 August

August 2nd 2018permalink

PTC ThingWorx already gets the title of the best smart platform from ABI Research, and we just recently wrote about their new products, which include a platform for developing AR applications, a studio with step-by-step instructions and IoT. PTC received the highest score for all evaluation criteria from ABI Research. PTC ThingWorx shared the first place in the field of implementation of Digital Twins technology (which we wrote about recently) with such giants as SAP, Schneider Electric and Siemens.

In their latest press release, Upskill announced the beginning of cooperation with Epson, immediately after the presentation of their new Moverio BT-350 ANSI Edition glasses. Representatives of Epson hope that using Skylight platform from Upskill on this device will contribute to the expansion of the client base and increase the productivity of the staff.

According to information received from RE'FLEKT, BASF Venture Capital invested 3.75 million euros in the German company. Recall that in 2015, another industrial giant, Bosch acquired a stake in the startup RE'FLEKT.

Little bit late we report that Ubimax and Schnellecke Logistics won the Automotive Logistics Award 2018, thanks to the xPick AR technology. During a three-month period, Ubimax, in cooperation with Schnellecke Logistics, developed, implemented and integrated the Vision Picking xPick solution.

Connecting such dinosaurs as Epson, VASF and Bosch to the use of augmented reality devices promises to dramatically increase the number of cases, statistics and the main real results from using this technology directly in combat conditions. So, we can say with confidence that the next round will be a seriously increased demand for software. Here we will come in handy)

Technology Overview, 19 — 26th July

July 26th 2018permalink

Canadian International Data Corporation (IDC) said that 77 percent of enterprises in Canada do not have an innovative strategy, therefore IDC actively uses the potential of the market and invests in innovative technologies such as AR.

Remember that Adion Systems recently introduced its system for ProShop stores, and so their brainchild was published by FrontRunner (FrontRunners is designed to help enterprises evaluate what software products can be suitable for them), as the most suitable system for the 4.0 industry stores that say this really success.

And in Porsche are not limited to the introduction of AR technologies for car maintenance, we wrote about this in detail in June, and we are using the augmented reality in the production line, keeping track of all the possible shortcomings and mistakes made when assembling the car body. The control carried out with the help of augmented reality is the ultimate tool in controlling the quality of the Porsche line, and identifies problems that the most experienced technician can not detect.

You can congratulate Vuzix on making a deal with AMAXpertEye to supply your Vuzix M300 Smart Glasses. According to the agreement, AMA will pay $ 900,000 for points, and will use them in its XpertEye solution for videoconferencing.

So, augmented and mixed reality continues to be used successfully in the automotive industry, not only as a remote assistant, but also for defect detection and quality control - about which just a year ago they were just beginning to talk. The technology is to. is promoted not only in breadth (in different industries) but also inland (new tools and cases).

We also note the growing demand for AR devices, which proves the latest Vuzix deal, although the initial direction to the industrial sector, which the company says in its marketing materials, is clearly corrected by reality - glasses are more interested managers than engineers.


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