Apple acquire augmented reality startup Akonia Holographics
Apple has completed the purchase of Akonia Holographics, a tech startup focused primarily on the production of lenses for augmented reality (AR) glasses, according to Business Insider.
The startup, based in Longmont, Colorado and founded in 2012, claims its HoloMirror product benefits from display technology that allows for “thin, transparent smart glass lenses that display vibrant, full-color, wide field-of-view images”.
AR overlays images onto real-world environments in real time, with possibilities including user-specific HUDs, education, live mapping features, games, and more besides.
Business Insider added, “The firm has a portfolio of more than 200 patents related to holographic systems and materials, according to its website”.
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook has repeatedly championed his belief of AR’s mass-market appeal, according to Bloomberg.
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Mr Cook said: “This is one of those huge things that we’ll look back at and marvel on the start of it” during a conference call with investors last year, Business Insider reported.
Apple’s decision to purchase Akonia Holographics suggests a move in earnest towards producing AR headsets, with rumours suggesting such a product could hit the market as early as 2020.
The company already has a series of AR applications available for its iPhone and iPad devices, including the wildly popular Pokémon GO.
Google Glass, a pioneer of this form of wearable tech, has yet to achieve widespread appeal but has nonetheless seen success as a learning aid for autistic children.
Other competition in the field includes Microsoft’s HoloLens technology, although it is not currently designed or marketed for the general public.
No information regarding the date or price of the acquisition is currently available.
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.