Andrew Lockley – Exponential Investor (United Kingdom) –
We use the phrase “seeing someone’s point of view” because it’s a powerful metaphor for their understanding of the world. However, it’s always been difficult to literally take someone’s viewpoint – but this is now rapidly changing. The recently relaunched Google Glass eyewear means that people can easily carry an always-on camera, as they go about their daily lives.
As this new vision-sharing technology rolls out, many ordinary tasks may get substantially easier. This change will encompass everything from giving directions, to helping people locate missing items. Commercially, the applications are legion – encompassing maintenance, surgery, security, and many more.
That’s where AMA XpertEye comes in. It’s a system to allow real-time vision sharing – using hardware like Google Glass. Today, I’m interviewing Julien Develle, who’ll tell you all about how his firm is literally changing the way we see the world.
AL: Hi Julien. This is an unusual field. What got you into it?
JD: I attended a famous hospitality school in Switzerland – Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne. However, smart glasses have no obvious application in hospitality – so you might well ask how I ended up in that space! The reason why I am embarking in this journey is simply because I strongly believe in what I do, and how it can help people and businesses. Making and working on something that has clear benefits is something that I am happy to brag about!
AL: Can you explain to me what you were doing at the TechXLR8 show?
JD: I have recently started my journey with AMA XpertEye, and we are setting up shop in London. The problem we are trying to solve is a communication one: how can we improve and add to our world – which is already very connected?
AL: So what’s your vision – and how are you achieving it?
JD: XpertEye is a software company, one of the few that’s able to work on Google Glass and other connected glasses. We’ve been working for the last two years on a video conferencing solution, which enables the user to share his view. This solution is fully hands-free.
AL: So you use the glasses to share your vision with the viewer?
JD: Yes, exactly! We’ve been working on the glasses, to use them as for video conferencing. It’s actually a simple process. We use the mounted camera on the glasses, and have built software to create a video-conference tool. The idea is that the expert will be able to “take control” of the person who is wearing the set, and working on the task. Our solution is completely hands-free, so the “Doer” can focus on his work.
AL: Can you give me a use case?
JD: Train maintenance clients are using our technology. You don’t need to fly in the expert, and try to plan a time when he can come to repair a broken train. Anyone can become the expert, with our technology. You connect your XpertEye glasses, place a call with the expert – and he will be able to assist instantly.
AL: What other features does the package have?
JD: You are also able to share pictures directly to the eyes of the viewer – that could be a map, or a procedure plan. The user will be able to see it directly in the glasses. You can also take a still from the live video – to annotate, or to highlight a specific path or area.
AL: Which glasses are you working on?
JD: We are working on three types of glasses: Google Glass; Vuzix M100; and ODG. Our customer doesn’t have to worry about buying smart glasses; we sell everything as a package. The idea is also to be completely independent of hardware choice. Our solution can work with all those glasses systems – and you have nothing to do when switching glasses. It’s a plug-and-play solution.
AL: So who uses your solution at the moment?
JD: I can’t really give name our clients – as using our system gives them a competitive advantage! What I can tell you is that we are working with large companies: in the gas, rail and manufacturing industries. We also supply the public sector – in areas such as health, urgent care, police and defence. They see our solution as a real cost-saving opportunity… but also very cool tech to use.
AL: What’s the feedback you are getting?
JD: Our product is seen as becoming more mature. In France, we are now getting good feedback from our clients. Our solution is constantly evolving – and we’re working hard with manufacturers to help them build the best glasses.
AL: How do you see the future?
JD: I think that connected glasses will become a commodity – not only for businesses, but also for consumers. At AMA we are at the forefront of this emerging field – and we are doing a lot of evangelism. I think many types of software can be added to glasses. I believe it’s going to become a really practical new technology – with the same impact as the iPad, personal computer, or smartphone.
AL: How can people invest?
JD: At the moment we are not trying to raise money directly. This allows us to focus on our customers – who themselves are the best way to growth a business! We have some resources to help us grow from Ubisoft, our sister company – which is a publicly traded firm.
We’d love to get your point of view: firstname.lastname@example.org.