Canada’s Royal Navy will be using a new software developed by Fredericton-based tech startup Kognitiv Spark. Kognitiv Spark’s Mixed Reality Remote Assistant Support (MIRRAS) system leverages artificial intelligence and augmented reality, to improve ship maintenance and repairs on navy vessels.
Kognitive Spark’s system can be used by the Navy’s marine technicians, as well as weapons engineering technicians, and would ensure that Canada’s ships maintain readiness for routine training as well as operational deployments.
“Our solution delivers a toolset that can take advantage of the most powerful visual processing system on the planet, the human brain.”
“Innovation and technological advancement are critical to the future of the Royal Canadian Navy. We are continually seeking new ways to leverage emerging technologies in order to enhance our performance alongside and at sea,” said Rear Admiral Casper Donovan, director general of Future Ship Capability for the Royal Canadian Navy. “[MIRRAS] is an exciting tool, because it may provide our sailors with the opportunity to explore a new, and potentially much more efficient way of conducting onboard maintenance.”
MIRRAS is built to work with Microsoft’s HoloLens, an untethered mixed reality headset, that allows experts to see what the lens wearers see from anywhere in the world. A statement from Kognitiv Spark said MIRRAS would allow subject-matter experts to provide guidance and direction, using real-time voice and video, interactive holograms, and live IoT data. The technician could, as an alternative, use locally-stored data to assist with routine tasks when remote experts are unavailable. The holographic support would be used to improve efficient decision-making for both technicians and experts.
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“3D interactive content is more easily interpreted than paper manuals, and therefore reduces any mental fatigue the soldiers, sailors or air force personnel might be facing under harsh and stressful conditions,” said Duncan McSporran, a former military officer and the co-founder and COO at Kognitiv Spark. “Our software allows them to make better-informed decisions more rapidly, with all the information and resources possible in a secure system.”
Kognitiv Spark uses augmented and mixed reality to deliver holographic industrial worker support with interactive 3D content, artificial intelligence, and live IoT data. Kognitiv Spark’s RemoteSpark platform is a holographic worker support solution that uses the power of Mixed/Augmented Reality for workplace remote support.
The startup recently won a Microsoft IMPACT award for Innovation with Hardware, a NATO Defence Innovation Challenge award for Mobile Apps for Defence Users and the Atlantic Canada Aerospace and Defence Association Industry Excellence Award.
Founded in 2016, Kognitiv Spark told BetaKit that it has received equity investment from the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation, as well as a number of private investors. Also, part of Creative Destruction Lab, the startup received non-equity support. It also noted that its own sales revenue has been able to support the company’s operations and growth. Kognitiv Spark did not share any investment or sales numbers with BetaKit.
Kognitiv Spark, which has an office location in the United Kingdom, in addition to its headquarters in Fredericton, was awarded this contract with the Royal Canadian Navy due in part to its security features and its prior ongoing work with the Canadian Army and the Royal Canadian Air Force.
“Our solution delivers a toolset that can take advantage of the most powerful visual processing system on the planet, the human brain,” said McSporran. “We are delighted to deploy our Canadian solution, in support of the vision of the Royal Canadian Navy to introduce cutting edge technology.”
Image courtesy Kognitiv Spark.
Update: this story has been updated to reflect that Kognitiv Spark did not receive non-equity financial assistance from Creative Destruction Lab.
With files from Meagan Simpson