Augmented Reality Tracking Receives Investment

The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the HTGF are taking a stake in the AR startup Visometry GmbH, a spinoff of Fraunhofer IGD. With its VisionLib engine, the startup has been providing AR tracking that has already been proved in the industry since 2017. The software development kit unites native CAD and 3D data in an automated workflow with image processing. With seed financing, the startup seeks to expand the functionality of the base technology and increase the potential uses of the software into sector solutions.

The VisionLib engine, developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research IGD and marketed since 2017 by Visiometry GmbH, uses what are referred to as model tracking processes. Scientists at Fraunhofer IGD have been researching AR technology for over 15 years, and many customers are already making use of the innovative tracking process. What makes VisionLib special is its reliable and stable object detection. The difference from consumer AR solutions that are already available lies in the direct use of native CAD data-sets for marker-free, model-based 3D object tracking. This greatly distinguishes the Darmstadt-developed software from current AR software. In order to display digital content seamlessly and as part of reality, current computer vision processes produce only a rough reconstruction of the user’s environment based on the situation and the AR overlays only interact with the environment itself or with objects to a limited degree. Low-light environments or dynamic scenarios with heavy movement are a challenge for stable and precise object detection and tracking in the industrial settting. “This is where most industrial AR applications come up short. With our technology, on the other hand, we can bring the content to the objects with precision,” explained Dr. Harald Wuest, managing director of Visometry GmbH.

High utility in industry 4.0
This technology will open up entirely new possibilities. Changes in the object will become directly visible during the assembly process, moving parts such as doors and hatches will be tracked in real time. The context will be captured exactly so augmented content can respond to the change and steadily track during movement. “The Fraunhofer technology is so interesting because developers of industrial AR applications need stable tracking even in changing lighting situations. VisionLib is a universal tracking solution that is, at the same time, robust, accurate and easy to integrate,” said Matthias Unbescheiden, deputy director of Fraunhofer IGD. “By licensing our VisionLib technology to Visiometry GmbH, we guarantee the market direct access to our technology.”

Visometry GmbH is a startup that offers basic augmented reality technology, services and special solutions. Founded in 2017 as a spinoff of Fraunhofer IGD, the company may be young, but the founders and team together have over 15 years of R&D experience in these fields. With their VisionLib product, the company offers augmented reality tracking on an industrial scale: The engine allows for precise “multi-object tracking” in an automated workflow from CAD to AR. Uniting image processing and CAD with a focus on AR solutions to advance industry is the mission statement of this new company in Hessen.

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