Multi-award winning Ultamation, based in Liverpool Science Park, has developed an innovative augmented reality (AR) app, which can be used to control connected devices thanks to the LCR 4.0 business support programme.
When used in a residential setting, the app enables users to control their home appliances by simply pointing a smartphone or tablet at the device. This triggers the presentation of options that control functions including power, volume, channel and contrast.
LCR 4.0 delivery partner, the Virtual Engineering Centre, worked with the home automation solutions specialist to develop a working prototype of the solution and has also advised the business on how the product might be applied to the industrial sector.
As a result, Ultamation is now testing the product based on real industrial use cases to understand how it might help manufacturing businesses to improve productivity.
Oliver Hall, managing director at Ultamation Ltd said: “Initially, the idea was around augmented reality in residential control. However, the work we’ve done with the VEC through the LCR 4.0 programme has made us aware of wider market applications for this type of technology.
“What started as a pipe dream has turned into a piece of technology I can hold in my hand and control devices in a way previously only seen in science fiction films. Not only this, we’ve received valuable PR and marketing support through the LCR 4.0 programme, all whilst owning the intellectual property (IP) rights.”
Dr Andy Levers, technical director at the Virtual Engineer Centre (University of Liverpool) and the technical lead for LCR 4.0, added: “LCR 4.0 is about helping innovative companies in the Liverpool City Region, like Ultamation, develop new products and services.
“This is a great example of a company making the most of the resources available in the Liverpool City Region to develop a product that will help to take its business forward.”
Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the LCR 4.0 programme was delivered in partnership by some of the region’s key knowledge and scientific assets: the University of Liverpool (through its Virtual Engineering Centre), Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LCR LEP), Liverpool John Moores University (Faculty of Engineering and Technology), the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Hartree Centre and Sensor City.