This post is an excerpt from Charlie Fink‘s latest Forbes column: Re’flekt AR Finds Sweet Spot, Scores BASF Investment. Fink quoted ARtillry Intelligence in the piece but no money changed hands, as always. Out of respect for Fink, we’ve only posted part of the narrative. You can skip to the full piece here.
Re’flekt AR Finds Sweet Spot, Scores BASF Investment
by Charlie Fink, Forbes, 7/16/17
Re’flekt a Munich-based AR and MR enterprise applications developer focusing on training and maintenance of factories, aircraft, and complex machines, announced a $4.4 M investment from BASF Venture Capital. This follows Bosch’s 2016 investment, the size of which has not been announced. Bosch started as customer and liked Re’flekt’s work so much they invested in the company.
According to ARtillery Research, by 2022 the global market for enterprise AR applications is estimated at more than $14.2 billion dollars. “We all agree that AR has the makings to boost enterprise productivity. The question is when. Typical organizational inertia slows things down, but momentum will build to a tipping point around 2020, which will be followed by accelerated adoption. We saw the same thing with enterprise smartphone adoption,” says Mike Boland, Chief Analyst, ARtillry Intelligence. “Every single company in this space says the same thing: the sweet spot for enterprise AR is assembly, warehousing, repair and maintenance and remote experts.” Re’flekt is focused on the latter two categories.
Re’flekt has developed a SaaS platform called REFLEKT ONE, which allows companies to transform existing CAD data into AR applications for maintenance, training and operations. The system also enables easy access to remote experts, allowing workers to call for support anytime and anywhere. The system uses computer vision to map a CAD drawing to a real object activating AR assistance. Importantly, REFLEKT ONE works across all platforms, HMD, pad, or smartphone, depending on the situation. The CAD is like a giant marker. When it matches with the real world object, it is able to augment the field of view with detailed instructions. Remote experts are able to see the device’s camera view and instruct the worker, even drawing on the image on the pad.
“The Re’flekt platform helps machine operators and maintenance personnel eliminate mistakes and significantly increase uptime,” says Wolfgang Stelzle, founder and CEO of Re’flekt. “We’ve received fantastic feedback from the industry and the rapid growth of our customer base convinced us to take additional strong partners like BASF on board. With the spin-off of our 360-Video-Unit, Viond, in the first quarter 2018 as well as the opening of our offices in the US, we can now fully focus on our core expertise, Enterprise Augmented Reality and increase our technological lead in the space.”
The work Re’flekt has done for Leybold, a leading manufacturer of vacuum pumps, and Getinge, which makes x-ray machines, illustrate how the company enables clients to help themselves by giving them the tools to make their own AR apps.
Getinge was looking for a way to effectively train doctors and nurses to harness the lifesaving potential of their Getinge PulsioFlex visualization platform. With the help of Re’flekt they created a solution to replace complicated user manuals that inevitably get left in a drawer to gather dust. “With essential information always at hand, we see this technology as providing a huge benefit for the medical industry to significantly reduce the risk of errors and save time when configuring and installing our advanced monitoring devices,” said Dr. Martina Reiter, Head of Training, Getinge Pulsion Medical Systems SE.
Disclosure: ARtillry has no financial stake in the companies mentioned in this post, nor received payment for its production. Disclosure and ethics policy can be seen here.