This NoVA company is bringing augmented reality to the manufacturing space - Technical.ly DC

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Oct. 18, 2016 7:29 am

This NoVA company is bringing augmented reality to the manufacturing space

Meet APX Labs.
Upskill software lets you see beyond this.

Upskill software lets you see beyond this.

(Photo by Flickr user U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters, used under a Creative Commons license)

Imagine you’re manufacturing a wind turbine. Sure, you can see what’s directly in front of you — the pieces and parts in whatever state of assembly they may be. But imagine if you could also see, right there in that moment, some representation of the steps already completed and those yet to be embarked upon.

Theoretically, this kind of augmented knowledge could speed up your work process while simultaneously decreasing errors. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Meet APX Labs. The Herndon, Va.-based, 30-person-strong company (pronounced “apex,” FYI) does just this — building enterprise software that pairs with wearables like smart glasses to provide augmented (or “assisted”) reality in manufacturing.

It didn’t start off this way. Originally, the APX cofounders developed this particular software for the military. But according to VP of Marketing Christine Bohle Boyd, the company soon began to see a “massive opportunity” in the commercial world. In fact, Boyd said, the industry approached them.

Now “Skylight,” the company’s hardware-agnostic software platform is used in manufacturing, field service and materials handling for companies like General Electric, Boeing and Tesla.

Despite industry interest and a “major shift” toward more conversation about the industrial Internet of Things, Boyd admitted that APX Labs is still in the “educational phase” of the market. For Boyd, the proof is in the experience. “Once you actually put the glasses on and see the tech, it’s really amazing,” she said. “You kind of get it.”

Founded in 2010, APX raised a Series B led by New Enterprise Associates in November 2015. Earlier this month the company announced a partnership with VMware that aims to streamline the Skylight deployment process.

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