A Finnish startup hopes their augmented reality (AR) software can help biomanufacturers improve quality control. The software, which runs on special glasses, could help manufacturers automatically log product samples and reagents and reduce the risk of errors in manual workflows.
“Quality control is something we’re very interested in because it has very repetitive tasks, which means it’s easier to model those procedures inside our software,” explains Joel Noutere, the 29-year-old CEO of Sciar Company.
AR blurs the line between the real world and virtual reality. Users can see their surroundings and work as normal, Noutere explains, but can overlay extra graphics onto their view, for example to identify the right tools for a procedure or label product samples.
“At the moment, we’re using QR codes or other kinds of barcodes as they’re rather foolproof,” says Noutere who hopes to program the AR software to use image or number recognition. “This is something we have already started to develop for the AR glasses,” he continues while explaining that many companies already use QR or barcodes to label reagents and other materials, “so it’s possible to integrate client systems with our systems directly.”
Founded in July 2018, the company has just launched a pilot study with the University of Helsinki’s Faculty of Pharmacy and has two other pilot deals in the pipeline. According to Noutere, the necessary applications for AR and cloud infrastructure for their software are already built but continue to be developed based on customer feedback from the pilot studies. Their application is now running on VUZIX M300XL smart glasses, a brand of AR glasses manufactured in the US. However, they’re also working with UROS, a Finnish IT-company that can distribute RealWear AR headsets worldwide. Sciar aims to build their solution to work for nearly all AR-headsets and cloud platforms. “We have the software ready in the pilot phase and, after that, hopefully, three to four months from now, we’re hoping to be able to release our product to any client who wants to try it,” Noutere says.
Although currently self-funded, Sciar is now beginning to approach venture capitalists to help them with the business growth they hope to see in the second or third quarter of 2020.