Upskill updates AR platform for easier enterprise deployment

As the quality and quantity of AR glasses on the market grows, AR software maker Upskill is refining its hardware-agnostic platform for widespread use.

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Upskill is releasing version 6 of Skylight, its industrial AR software platform for smart glasses.

Upskill this week launched Skylight R6, the latest version of its industrial augmented reality software platform for smart glasses.

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After seeing the market for smart glasses grow significantly in the past couple of years -- both in terms of quality and quantity -- the latest version of the hardware-agnostic platform is designed to accelerate AR adoption across the enterprise, according to Upskill CEO and co-founder Brian Ballard.

With the release of Vusix products, Epson's Moverio glasses and Microsoft's HoloLens, enterprise customers are increasingly confident in the value of AR, Ballard said. This summer, the return of Google Glass as an enterprise product "sent really positive signals to the industry as a whole," Ballard said, and signaled a "whole acceptance of AR in the workplace."

With the market primed, Skylight R6 aims to enable companies to build AR applications that leverage their existing infrastructure and databases -- without having to rely on computer scientists.

"That's one of the key things that's going to accelerate adoption in the market," Ballard said. "We've built a ton of the scaffolding under the main product that is extremely powerful when you think about how you deploy at an enterprise scale."

For instance, Skylight Connect is a new tool that enables immediate, codeless integration of Skylight with common databases and web services. Customers can build multiple applications using backend data sources "of any industrial flavor," Ballard said.

Skylight also now comes with more deployment options. While Upskill initially was an "on-premise first" company, Ballard said, it's now offering on-premise, virtual private cloud and full multi-tenant public cloud solutions.

Version 6 also has an updated SDK that enables customers to write applications in any language that embraces modern API standards. The new version also comes with Skylight Application Builder, a simple, drag-and-drop interface that allows non-technical employees to build Skylight Applications. The interface allows users to preview what their application would look like through different varieties of smart glasses.

The new version also comes with Skylight Live, a suite of new, live HD video collaboration tools. The added video features incorporate technology Upskill acquired after purchasing competing startup Pristine earlier this year. They allow companies to directly integrate video calling directly into their Skylight workflow, rather than having a separate collaboration application.

"This is a big deal for customers," Ballard said. "A lot of early adoption in wearables and AR comes from field service and remote expert use cases."

Previous and related coverage:

    Why GE's use of Google Glass marks a turning point for AR

    By exploiting the new enterprise edition of Google Glass and AR software from Upskill, GE Aviation shows how AR is changing the factory floor.

    With Enterprise Edition, Google Glass finds its ROI calling

    Glass's vision as an everyday digital overlay onto the real world was overly ambitious, but the Enterprise Edition scales back enough inhibitors to make Glass a competitive AR option.

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