ActualWear has raised $17 million for its AR wearable system geared toward staff in development and different heavy industries.
Vancouver-based ActualWear is already transport its hands-free HMT-1, which is mounted through a band that goes round your head or security helmet. It’s a wearable system, however ActualWear CEO Andy Lowery calls it a “head-mounted pill,” because it permits you to view the equal of a seven-inch Android pill when you’re working.
The funding will assist the corporate ship extra of the units to clients all over the world whose staff toil in excessive environments. Columbia Ventures led the spherical, with participation from Realmax.
“We have focused this for industrial use,” mentioned Lowery, in an interview with VentureBeat. “We have architected a wearable laptop that matches into completely different protecting gear, like snapping into a tough helmet. It’s much like [the now-discontinued Google] Glass, however designed for out of doors utilization.”
You can organize the HMT-1 in an effort to view it along with your dominant eye. You modify the viewing pod in order that it’s just under your line of sight, which lets you see all the things in entrance of you with each eyes. In distinction to glasses, you solely take a look at the show with one eye, and you may management the system with voice instructions.
The firm is concentrating on staff in oil and fuel, vitality, telecommunications, utilities, manufacturing, and transportation. Workers in these sectors are sometimes at development websites or refineries the place conventional computing units and even smartphones are usually not usable. The wearable serves as a “third hand” for somebody who has to undergo an advanced restore course of, Lowery mentioned.
The HMT-1 affords distant mentor video calling, doc navigation, guided workflow, cellular types, and industrial web of issues information visualization, and it presently operates in 10 languages. It permits staff to function different instruments wanted for the job, even when climbing a scaffold or tower, in noisy, dusty, and even harmful environments. Allowing the employee to take care of full situational consciousness, HMT-1 is quicker, safer, and smarter than both a pill or good glasses, Lowery mentioned.
“You can use voice instructions to dial your mentor and present them what you’re looking at,” he defined.
Lowery was the previous president of Daqri, one other maker of AR glasses, the place he labored from 2014 to 2016. But he left that firm and began ActualWear in August 2016.
“After seeing the HMT-1 system at work in industrial services, it was clear that it’s the solely system which delivers on the AR and wearable promise for trade at present,” mentioned Columbia Ventures CEO Ken Peterson, in a press release. “ActualWear’s imaginative and prescient is compelling to us, with the potential to remodel how work will get achieved in trade, empowering industrial data staff with real-time info, with out encumbering their palms. ActualWear has confirmed that it has the expertise and ambition to make AR and wearable options perform in precise industrial use instances, and an infinite variety of different makes use of to discover.”
ActualWear started transport a beta model of the system in early 2017, simply eight months after its founding, after which it moved to mass manufacturing six months after that. So far, it has shipped 1000’s of models to greater than 200 clients, and it’s now making about 1,000 units per week.
The system may be clipped to any sort of headgear or wrapped round your head. It has a 12-hour battery, with stronger processing energy and reminiscence than many different units that you’d put on as glasses or head-mounted shows.
Besides Lowery, who labored for a few years at Raytheon, the corporate’s leaders embrace Sanjay Jhawar, chief product officer; Chris Parkinson, chief know-how officer; Brian Hamilton, chief income officer; and Stephen Pombo, vp of business design and human elements.
While the product could remind among the much-maligned Google Glass, it isn’t alleged to look lovely. If you need that, you’ll most likely favor AR glasses, such the type Lowery’s former firm, Daqri, is constructing. But ActualWear is targeted on security, which is why it designed the system as a head-mounted wearable.
“It doesn’t have to look fairly as a result of it goes on an unpleasant helmet,” Lowery mentioned.
This put up initially appeared on VentureBeat by Dean Takahashi.
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