Market Reality: Upskill Acquires Pristine

Upskill Acquires Pristine

This week's Market Reality covers a variety of business news from acquisitions and partnerships to competitive and technology assessments to quarterly financial results.

Upskill Bolsters Product Portfolio with Pristine Acquistion

Enterprise augmented reality software provider Upskill boosted their product portfolio with the acquisition of Pristine, an augmented reality collaboration and video streaming software developer.

Pristine's flagship product, EyeSight, complements (and happens to rhyme with) Upskill's own Skylight platform. While Skylight beams guided workflows, knowledge base and remote support to smart glasses for industrial workforces, EyeSight provides "see what I see" live video streaming from field workers to remote support experts, who can in turn share annotated screenshots or documents to the field.

Pristine's EyeSight platform allows users in the field to stream their point-of-view video to remote support experts, who can annotate the video and send supporting documentation. Image by Pristine/YouTube

In addition, Pristine brings engineering and product development talent and a client base that includes the likes of Coca-Cola, Bayer and The Hershey Company, among others.

"There aren't very many new technologies that can deliver this kind of 'out of the box' value creation, which is why adoption of AR technology is accelerating at an incredible pace. This underscores the importance for Upskill to leverage new opportunities that will help us scale and innovate faster than anyone else in the space. The acquisition of Pristine will allow us to do just that," said Brian Ballard, co-founder and CEO, Upskill, in a news release.

Vuzix Sees Big Jump in First Quarter Revenue

For smart glasses maker Vuzix Corporation, the first quarter of 2017 was their best performance in terms of revenue in the last five years, according to financial results the company reported this week.

While Vuzix closed the quarter with $1.21 million in revenue, an increase of 233 percent over the same period in 2016, the company also reported a net loss of $4.18 million

Their performance was highlighted by the volume production release of their M300 smart glasses and a development agreement to provide specialized smart glasses for Toshiba Corporation.

"2017 is off to strong start at Vuzix after achieving $1.2 million in sales for the first quarter, which easily exceeded any of our previous quarters since we sold our military division in 2012," said Paul Travers, President and Chief Executive Officer of Vuzix in a news release. "With over $10.4 million in cash and equivalents as of March 2017, the strong interest in our smart glasses and their growing adoption puts the company on a path towards significant growth in 2017."

Uncorporeal and Radiant Images Combine Forces to Assist AR/VR Content Creators

Augmented and virtual reality developer Uncorporeal Systems this week announced a partnership with digital cinema and rental house Radiant Images to facilitate creation of immersive content.

The partnership will pair Uncorporeal's TruVu volumetric capture software with Radiant's studio and production support services to assist content creators in setup, operation and filming.

Uncorporeal's TruVu capture software goes into action at Radiant Images in Los Angeles. Image via Uncorporeal

"Radiant Images has played a pivotal role in accelerating some of the most exciting advances in entertainment technology, including inventing new cameras for smash hits like the Transformers and the Fast and the Furious series," said Kul Wadhwa, Uncorporeal CEO, in a news release. "Their award-winning team is an invaluable asset to provide studio services that help content creators get up and running with Uncorporeal's technology fast. Together, we're providing a valuable package to spark a new era of VR and AR experiences in Hollywood and beyond."

Vuforia Named Top AR Platform

A competitive assessment conducted by ABI Research places PTC's Vuforia platform, followed by Re'Fleckt and Ubimax, as the top options among 19 competitors.

ABI Research grouped and compared vendors within three categories based on their primary function: SDK-focused, application-focused and usage-focused. The platforms were scored based on innovation and implementation qualities, such as device support, customer footprint and developer accessibility.

By category, Vuforia, along with Wikitude and ARToolkit led the SDK-focused group, while Re'Fleckt, Ubimax were joined by Upskill's Skylight in the usage-focused category. HP's Aurasma, Augment and Blippar earning top marks for application-focused platforms.

PTC recently announced Vuforia for devices equipped with Google Tango. Image by PTC/YouTube

"Vuforia's story has several facets that are responsible for its favorable position: ample market experience, a complete portfolio, and a competitive enterprise supplement through PTC," says ABI Research analyst Eric Abbruzzese in a news release. "The importance of a strong enterprise play cannot be understated. While the consumer market may be the key to eventual AR ubiquity, the enterprise market is this industry's foundation."

Augmented Reality Listed Among Eight Essential Technologies for Business

A report by PwC names augmented reality among the eight essential technologies that executives should consider deploying in their companies today.

As part of their analysis, PwC tracked more than 150 technologies, evaluating them for business impact and commercial viability over the next five to seven years. The other essential technologies are artificial intelligence, blockchain, drones, Internet of Things, robots, virtual reality and 3D printing.

The report is available for download here.

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.

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Cover image via Pristine

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