ResolutionTube, a startup trying to bring the promise of augmented reality to support technicians in the field, has raised a $1.5 million seed round led by Madrona Venture Group with participation from Acceleprise Ventures, TechStars’ David Cohen, former Facebook COO Owen Van Natta and others. As any consumer who has had a repair person come to your home only to say they can’t handle the problem can attest, it’s frustrating for both parties (unless you are being charged for both service calls).
This happens across industries, with people fixing wind turbines to those dealing with jet engines or communications infrastructure installations. And as older workers with the knowledge of specific machine designs retire, that expertise is getting lost. But with nearly everyone carrying smartphones equipped with high-resolution cameras and decent data connections, ResolutionTube’s founders think they can solve the problem of sharing detailed and limited knowledge about fixing or installing complex machines using augmented reality.
The 16-month-old Seattle startup wants to provide instant access to experts and allow quick visual collaboration through its patent pending mobile video augmented reality platform. Maybe it’s an engineer directing a field technicians, or a remote worker who also has experience with the issue; the idea is that you can do video or highly visual collaboration in real time and share the results of the collaboration afterward.
Arnav Anand, co-founder and CEO, said that storage element gave the company its name. As he wrote via email, “Even though our current value proposition revolves around advanced collaboration. We store and archive the conversation for future troubleshooting. It aims to be the Universal Resolution Hub in the format of YouTube, and hence the name ResolutionTube.”
It’s an audacious goal, but using AR to help solve complicated problems (like putting together IKEA furniture) has always seemed a far more compelling use of the technology than games. But maybe I’m just boringly practical. ResolutionTube has a Fortune 500 HVAC company paying to use its platform already, which is a good sign.
Anand said the company will use the funding for introducing product features such as superimposing 3D models onto existing video. It will also add to its three-member staff. He also said that the company is looking at heads-up displays like Google Glass, and is looking for people eager to develop for those types of platforms.