When troubleshooting an issue during manufacturing or repair work, carrying a manual around, or making a phone call to help is time-consuming and inefficient. Luckily, augmented reality (AR) can provide professionals with a more efficient, cost-effective, and hands-free solution.
Although there are various companies providing remote AR support to different industries, such as Mira, ScoperAR, RE’FLEKT, and the Delta Cygni Labs, there’s only one officially focusing in the use of AR for the pharma/biotech industries.
Founded in 2014, Apprentice.io created “the first conversational augmented reality (AR) and artificial intelligence (AI) platform” for pharma/biotech industries’ lab, line and suite environments. With an extensive domain expertise, integrated industry features, and an in-house research laboratory, the company can easily deliver batch records, tech transfer, R&D workflows, training procedures, troubleshooting, and support.
The Apprentice platform is divided in three modules: the Apprentice Tandem allows operators and scientists to share their physical work environment with remote vendors, colleagues or SMEs around the world, helping them to assess conditions, troubleshoot and receive immediate remote support and guided instruction; the Apprentice Manuals provides operators with greater control, reliability and safety over their work, by allowing them to virtually access critical SOPs, batch records, assays, and other critical information in their field of view, without having to consult a physical manual or guide; and the Apprentice BioCapture seamlessly captures and records handwriting, barcodes, QR codes, voice notes, values from digital number displays, labels, gauges, and even sample volumes for future point-of-reference material.
“We like to say that we don’t just augment reality; we augment human ability,” said Angelo Stracquatanio, co-founder and CEO of Apprentice.io. “AR and AI are changing the way workforces across all industries solve problems and share information, ushering in the next wave of human potential.”
To deliver on the promise of a hands-free solution, Apprentice.io’s platform is compatible with an array of AR smart glasses: Microsoft’s HoloLens, Vuzix’s M300, RealWear’s HMT-1, and Epson’s Moverio BT 350. For more flexible environments, Apprentice also works with the iPhone XS to support mobile solutions with ARKit 2, and ARCore for Android-enabled devices.
After raising $2.5M in funding last year, the company recently raised $8M in a Series A funding round led by Pritzker Group Venture Capital with participation from existing investors, Silverton Partners and Hemi Ventures, as well as new ones, the Venture Reality Fund, and GFR Fund.
Already employed by major Fortune 100 pharmaceutical, biotech, chemical, consumer goods and cosmetic companies across the U.S., Asia, Europe and South America, Apprentice.io will use this funding to develop new products and features, intelligent responses, and new international partnerships.