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What seemed like science fiction in the movie Terminator is starting to look quaint. Being able to scan a situation and extract information through terminator vision is becoming a reality with wearables.
Imagine walking through The Gap and having a salesperson walk up to you who knows exactly what size and style jeans you've purchased in the past. OK. That's not happening just yet. But we're getting close with new startups emerging.
Just take a look at Augmate, a NY-based startup launched in 2013 focused on enabling workers in manufacturing, retail and/or in the supply chain use Google Glass, among other wearables to make their job more efficient. Augmate, which internally had been referred to as "Terminator Vision," just raised $2.8 million in a Series Seed round of financing from some pretty strategic investors, including UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund, Siemens Venture Capital, Simon Venture Group, Rothenberg Ventures, Excell Partners, Camp One Ventures, FP Angels, Tim Draper led the round.
Some of the use cases for the technology include managing the supply chain. For example, imagine a warehouse full of inventory. The software (which is integrated with Google Glass) would show what inventory is missing and where to find it, said Drew Austin, co-Founder and CEO.
In another example, a retail associate can look on the shelves and determine what's missing and know whether there's more sizes in the back. No more waiting for the salesperson to say, "Give me a minute. I'll check." Now they can just glance to the side of their glasses and voila they can tell you if they have extra stock in the back room.
In another example, the smart eyewear can be connected to computerized machinery used in textiles and electonrics assembly lines. Engineers and technical staff can assess the machine's performance and know if it's malfunctioning anywhere.
While Augmate is just getting started - my goodness they've just spent the last year practically working out of a coffee shop - they're clearly getting traction. They've also strategically chosen to receive funds from UPS, Siemens (manufacturing) and Simon Venture Group (owner of retail properties) to have partners in industries that involve logistics and supply chain and retail. "They'll strategically help us grow," said Austin.
Right now, its pilot customers - which are not being disclosed - have been given developer tools through Augmate's device-agnostic SDK and an insights platform for data visualization. The company has also launched a enterprise consulting arm, called InnoVision. This consulting firm will help businesses evaluate and pilot wearable technology.
The rather sizable Seed round underscores how much more expensive it is to finance a wearables company. Even though Augmate leverages the hardware and infrastructure out there, the software has to integrate biometrics and environmental conditions. Some of Augmate's engineers have archictectural backgrounds because they need to understand space. "There are a lot of factors going into this new form," said Austin. "There's a ton of R&D [needed]."
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Augmate is a wearable technology company that specializes in the strategy, development, and deployment of enterprise applications for smart eyewear. In addition to the company’s proprietary device agnostic SDK for developers and Insights platform for enterprises, Augmate is also offering businesses a way to evaluate, validate, pilot, and scale wearable technology in real-world environments through its consulting arm, Innovision. Founded in 2013 with a mission to accelerate the development of wearable applications, Augmate works with its partners to bridge the gap between business information systems, sensors in the workplace environment, and wearable devices to capture new insights, implement advanced applications, and identify opportunities for the evolution of the supply chain.
Joined Vator onCo-Founder of Augmate, venture backed startup revolutionizing the workplace through digital eyewear. Mentor at Startfast Accelerator Managing Director NYC at FounderDating Angel Investor & Advisor in Startups.