Vuzix Smart Glasses: Assisting Workers, Not Replacing Them
By Ryan Austin
Not everyone is impressed by the leaps and bounds made by tech companies in recent years. Where jobs are concerned, the exponential growth of technology is a double-edged sword. With self-driving cars on the horizon, millions of workers across the world fear losing their job to machines. If the combined work of Vuzix Corporation (NASDAQ: VUZI), Accenture Consulting, and the Airbus Group foreshadow anything, it would be to the contrary.
Two weeks ago, Small Cap Nation published a video report giving center stage to Vuzix Corporation, leading supplier of smart glasses, augmented reality, and virtual reality products to consumer and enterprise markets. The video comes in response to Accenture Consulting’s article titled, Airbus Soars with Wearables. The article reports on the collaboration between Accenture and the Airbus Group, and their success in implementing wearable technology to optimize the assembly of Airbus aircrafts. Specifically, Accenture and Airbus sought to reduce the time and complexity that comes with assembling cabin seats in the Airbus A330 aircraft. Framed as a “business challenge”, the linchpin of this exercise was Vuzix, the supplier of the digitally enabled, industrial grade smart glasses.
Harnessing the phenomenal power of Vuzix’s smart glasses, Accenture and Airbus developed a state-of-the-art application tailored for aerospace and defence purposes. In less than a month, the application was completed and ready for use on the assembly line. For the operators equipped with the smart glasses and the newly designed application, “using contextual marking instructions, the smart glasses display all required information for an operator to help mark the floor faster and reduce errors to zero. In addition, the eyewear technology also offers interactivity by granting access to features including barcode scanning, data retrieval from the cloud, voice command and augmented reality. Using this innovation technology, all aircrafts’ seat locations can be marked down to the last millimeter and checked for accuracy and quality”. A video embedded into Accenture’s article displays the Airbus operators diligently furnishing the hollowed out Airbus A330. The seamlessness of the smart glass’ integration into the workplace is surprising.
Perhaps, both the voices for, and against implementing futuristic technology into the workplace forgot to take into account the near-future. The mid-point between now, and the age of artificial intelligence: An age of wearable technology. Paul J. Travers, President and CEO at Vuzix commented on the partnership, “We are thrilled to be working alongside Accenture, one of our key system integrators and Airbus on this initiative to reduce the complexity of assembling cabin seats and complete the tasks at hand in less time than conventional methods”. The results of the project were tremendous, Accenture reports an “increased flexibility with reduced training needs, improved ergonomics and increased operator satisfaction, error rate reduced to zero, 500% improved productivity”. On top of the marginal gains in productivity, this initiative marks the “first case of industrialized usage of wearable technology on the final assembly line for a major aircraft manufacturer”. With the cooperative efforts of Vuzix, Accenture, and Airbus culminating in a resounding success, it’s a safe to say that the use of wearable technology in the aerospace and defense markets is a trend waiting to happen.
Vuzix has also acquired three European partnerships: Augumenta, Dosco, and Brochesia. With these partnerships, Vuzix hopes to further expand sales channels in Europe.
Augumenta, a Finland based company, develops industry 4.0 apps for enterprises. Augumenta’s application suite is fully configurable using their innovative studio-tool. The Augumenta Interaction Platform (AIP) software developer kit allows for enterprise users to interact with virtual surfaces and input data with hand gestures. This is enhanced with The Augumenta SmartPanel, which uses customizable Augmented Reality (AR) user interfaces to assume control over medical monitoring and diagnostics, industrial machinery control and test/measurement equipment operations. Buttons, knobs, and other widgets can be utilized via Augumenta’s Virtual Surface interaction platform at the developer’s discretion.
DOSCO, Document Systems Consulting GmbH is a German developer company that specializes in technical documentation. Their SKILL Chat and SKILL Task features allow for hands-free remote support from experts, and step-by-step direction for workers on the field respectively. DOSCO provides workers with a means of retrieving information or problem solving via hands-free augmented reality prompts, minus the time it takes to skim through a manual or workbook.
Brochesia, headquartered in Rome, is the developer of applications that deal with general business detail, remote support, and warehouse logistics. Brochesia provides specialized remote assistance and innovative solutions through smart glass technology. It has features geared for healthcare, security services, as well as news and media communications professionals. Brochesia’s easy to use graphical user-interface is managed by voice or gesture control.
About Vuzix Corporation
Vuzix is a leading supplier of Smart-Glasses, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies and products for the consumer and enterprise markets. The Company’s products include personal display and wearable computing devices that offer users a portable high quality viewing experience, provide solutions for mobility, wearable displays and virtual and augmented reality. Vuzix holds 51 patents and 39 additional patents pending and numerous IP licenses in the Video Eyewear field. The Company has won Consumer Electronics Show (or CES) awards for innovation for the years 2005 to 2017 and several wireless technology innovation awards among others. Founded in 1997, Vuzix is a public company (VUZI) with offices in Rochester, NY, Oxford, UK and Tokyo, Japan. For more information on Vuzix, please visit the company’s website at https://www.vuzix.com/.
Disclosures: Ryan Austin holds no interest in any of the securities or entities mentioned above.
Vuzix is a client of SCN Corporate Connect.