Market Reality: Aira Raises Funding for Visual Interpreter Service
Over the past week, we are seeing more companies capitalizing on services leveraging augmented reality. One company secured funding to expand their service, while two other companies grow its own services through acquisition.
Aira has closed a Series B round of funding totaling $12 million to extend its visual interpreter services to more blind and low vision individuals.
Available now to new users in the United States, the visual interpreter service from Aira enables users to navigate their physical environment through Google Glass with support from live remote agents. The agents are connected to the user's view over dedicated bandwidth from AT&T and are assisted by an artificial intelligence platform that learns users' preferences over time.
The round is led by new backers JAZZ Venture Partners and Arboretum Ventures. Existing backers participating in the round include Lux Capital, ARCH Venture Partners, and Felicis Ventures. National Federation of the Blind also participated as a strategic investor.
"I am inspired by the passion that this accomplished group of investors has for our mission to further enhance quality of life for the BVI community," said Suman Kanuganti, CEO of Aira, in a news release. "By working together we can remove remaining barriers for BVI individuals to live with greater autonomy and confidence."
FDSI's Google-based platform will enable mCloud to deliver its AssetCare solutions via the cloud, beginning with their HVAC unit and mid-size wind turbine monitoring service and eventually extending to field service support.
"The FDSI technologies and capabilities provide mCloud with the proven foundation that brings together people, data and knowledge to improve the health and performance of critical assists," said Russ McMeekin, mCloud CEO, in a news release.
mCloud's AssetCare field service utilizes augmented reality through smartglasses, which allows remote experts to see field technicians' viewpoint and deliver supporting documentation to their displays.
"Joining forces with mCloud enables us to bring this to many more customers while simplifying support and assistance to field service technicians," said Todd Rossi, CEO of FDSI.
Software technology service provider Exadel has launched a new global development service following a series of acquisitions.
These moves give Exadel the talent pool to develop enterprise solutions leveraging augmented reality, IoT, blockchain, emotional intelligence, wearables, sensors, and other innovative technologies.
"We've seen the future of technology innovation in the global enterprise, and it increasingly is dependent on data-driven business value and creative solutions," said Fima Katz, CEO of Exadel. "We understand that digital business transformation requires premium services accessible around the world, and our global presence now allows us to utilize highly specialized resources no matter the project, and more importantly, no matter the scale of the project or location."
Every Friday, Next Reality reviews the latest headlines from the financial side of augmented and mixed reality. This weekly Market Reality column covers funding announcements, mergers and acquisitions, market analysis, and the like. Check out previous editions of Market Reality for more news you may have missed.