As augmented reality continues its march into the workplace, new tools are emerging to integrate collaboration and visualization tools into virtual and augmented reality.
One application, which recently launched on both iOS and Android, is DOTTY, which provides three-dimensional visualization tools for augmented reality viewers.
Recently accepted into the Plug and Play [Internet of Things] accelerator, Dotty is in talks with several retailers about use cases for its visualization tools for augmented reality platforms.
The company’s first big rollout is an integration with TurboSquid, the three-dimensional image library. “We are working with TurboSquid to convert their library into AR and VR,” says Dotty co-founder Ajay Shah. “We can take any platform and convert it into AR. That’s really what’s going to take AR to the next level.”
Dotty began as a 3D printing insole company in the same vein as Sols, and was trying to beat that company at its own game. In 2014, the company signed an agreement in Oakley and began its pivot from 3D printing to 3D visualization.
Shah met his co-founders at the University of Wollongong in Australia. Wesley McCombe and co-founder Russell Considine were both working on visualization and networking technologies who went on to have careers with Royal Dutch Shell and Itron (respectively). The three came together to work on the 3D printing business to take advantage of the perceived opportunity in the market.
That initial contract was to layer different sunglasses onto scanned images of customers’ faces, scaling the sunglasses to fit in a “try before you buy” feature. Now, however, the company has much bigger aspirations.
“Every other augmented reality company talks about it as putting furniture into your home,” says Shah. “We break things down from complex systems so that the technology can be used for training and teaching on site.”
It’s a market that’s attracted a number of players including Upskill (the former APX Labs), and the Israeli company Cimagine (which was bought by Snap last year).
On the hardware side, Dotty has sewed up a partnership with Osterhout Design Group, the (eye)wearable manufacturer which raised $58 million last year in a deal led by 21st Century Fox.
“3D viewing in augmented reality is a key use case for ODG smartglasses in the enterprise, and DOTTY’s software is helping to push boundaries and offer customers a new way to work in 3D by enabling collaboration in AR from wherever you are located,” said Pete Jameson, ODG COO. “We are excited to offer DOTTY in our App store and to make innovative hardware-software solutions available to those wanting advanced, collaborative 3D visualization tools on our glasses.”
Shah sees uses for his software everywhere there’s a remote workforce or a fella on a factory floor. Or even at places like a magic kingdom.
“An entertainment company has employees at theme parks who are specialized repair people for when something breaks down,” he says. “You can build processes and protocols to fix these maintenance issues, and use a lower pay grade (or skilled employee) to do the maintenance on site.