October 11, 2018

Upskill says smart glass software now supports document views

Upskill says smart glass software now supports document views

Mixed reality platform built on Microsoft Hololens product enables hands-free reading of PDF files while maintaining equipment.

By DC Velocity Staff

Wearable technology provider Upskill on Tuesday launched a software platform for the use of smart glasses inapplications ranging from manufacturing to maintenance to repair, enabling tasks that require a view of complex documents while a worker's hands are engaged with a task.

Vienna, Va.-based Upskill said its "Skylight for Microsoft HoloLens" product will enable businesses to deploy mixed reality experiences on the same Skylight AR software platform that currently supports assisted reality and mobile devices.

Mixed reality combines augmented reality—such as digital images overlaid onto a smartphone camera or a smart glass lens—with a larger canvas of data that supports a more immersive digital interaction, the firm said. That approach can help enable workers to complete complex tasks in manufacturing, maintenance and repair, as well as on-the-job training, Upskill says.

For example, applied to third party logistics (3PL) tasks, the Skylight product is a wearable technology software platform that leverages augmented reality to improve efficiency in tasks from vision picking, receiving, loading and unloading to kitting, cycle counting, and maintenance, the firm says.

With its focus on Microsoft Corp.'s HoloLens smart glasses headset, the new Skylight version can provide workers with the extensive views of documentation they need for training on and servicing complex equipment such as the high-speed sorters and conveyors found in parcel fulfillment facilities, Andrew Sugaya, Upskill's director of partnerships, said in an interview.

The low-hanging fruit for augmented reality applications in the DC is with hands-free, vision-picking tasks, Sugaya said. But mixed reality adds the capability for users to access large format, two-dimensional documents like PDF files, opening the door for jobs requiring access to far more information, such as repair manuals or training guides, he said.

A one-minute, 12-second video demonstration of the product shows a worker repairing machinery by comparing his real-world surroundings to a virtual image of an engineering drawing, allowing him to identify specific parts.

"Our customers see augmented reality as the force multiplier that allows them to fully realize the potential of their workforce and digital investments," Upskill CEO and co-founder Brian Ballard said in a release. "Skylight for Microsoft HoloLens will serve as the foundation that delivers the latest advances in visualization, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence in a mixed reality environment."

The release follows Upskill's launch in 2017 of its previous generation of software for augmented reality (AR) devices and its announcement earlier last year that it had landed funding from The Boeing Co. and General Electric Ventures.

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