News: Industrial AR Developer Upskill Secures Funding to Improve Workforce Efficiency

Industrial AR Developer Upskill Secures Funding to Improve Workforce Efficiency

Upskill, an enterprise software developer for industrial augmented reality applications, recently received an influx of funding and a major vote of confidence from two of their top customers.

The company announced today that it has secured Series B funding from Boeing, through their newly-minted Boeing HorizonX investment arm (which was unveiled in tandem with the funding announcement), and GE Ventures, along with existing investors.

"Upskill was a priority investment for our newly formed Boeing HorizonX group, as it puts into action our desire to harness innovative technology to drive efficiency, reduce cost and improve quality in our manufacturing as well as clearly having broad application and growth potential across industries," said Steve Nordlund, Vice President of Boeing HorizonX, in a press release.

Formerly known as APX Labs, Upskill earned the round of funding based on the strength of its Skylight platform, an application that enables a workforce to accomplish process-based tasks more efficiently with AR glasses.

Upskill harnesses augmented reality glasses to make process-based tasks more efficient. Image by Upskill/YouTube

Skylight displays tutorials in heads-up display, responds to voice commands for workflow navigation and knowledge base queries, and allows for communication with remote colleagues for assistance. These features allow workers to concentrate on the task at hand, rather than swiveling between their work and a computer or manual.

Upskill is serving massive customers, who need an industrial AR application platform capable of scaling across their global workforce to drive agility and competitive differentiation. This capital will help us accelerate production and grow our engineering and customer solutions teams to support rapid increases in enterprise wearable deployments globally.

Boeing has deployed Skylight to various locations nationwide for manufacturing, maintenance, and logistics processes. For example, Boeing has seen a 25% improvement in production time, as well as an increase in quality, in assembly of complex wiring harnesses. As demonstrated in the video below, Skylight helps employees by presenting wiring diagrams on AR glasses based on voice commands.

"We have first-hand experience on the value of Upskill's Skylight platform and believe the company's technology will sharpen and accelerate our pace of progress on key growth and productivity efforts, while we help evolve and enhance Skylight through real-world manufacturing applications," said Nordlund.

GE has seen similar productivity gains within seven different business units. For instance, warehouse order fulfillment tasks were completed 46% faster because workers did not have to refer back to a workstation, instead pulling up inventory information on smartglasses.

GE saw a 46% improvement in "pick and pack" times using Skylight. Image by Upskill/YouTube

"With Upskill, we can also support our Brilliant Factory strategy by offering technology that puts data to work in a transformational way, enabling workers to be more agile and effective in their jobs, be it in the factory, the warehouse or in our field service operations," said Ralph Taylor-Smith, Managing Director of GE Ventures, in a press release.

According to Upskill's website, the Skylight platform runs on multiple hardware devices; demonstration videos show the software running on Google Glass.

How does Upskill's platform compare to other industrial applications utilizing AR? Let us know in the comments.

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Cover image via Upskill/YouTube

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