The Fraunhofer-Gründerpreis 2018, worth 5000 euros, was awarded to Visometry GmbH, a spinoff from the Fraunhofer Institute for Graphic Data Processing (IGD). The Visometry team convinced the jury consisting of members from the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and the High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTGF) with their Augmented Reality tracking solutions for the digital value chain within the industry 4.0.
Visometry develops computer vision solutions based on its own platform technology for various AR applications in areas such as production, maintenance & training or marketing and sales. Moreover Visometry's experts also work together with customers to develop tailor-made application solutions and accompany the integration, for example in AR-supported quality analysis. The special tracking technology enables precise and reliable object recognition and tracking even in low-light and highly dynamic environments. "This is so precise that not only classic AR applications can be implemented, but objects can also be compared and measured against each other, or their changed status can be detected," explains CEO Wuest. With VisionLib and its so-called Model Tracking as key technology, the use of AR can be automated and scaled for the first time, because CAD and 3D data are used in image processing so that manual pre-processing steps such as time-consuming preparation with markers are no longer necessary. This benefits the industrial AR market as a whole because other providers can also integrate VisionLib as a module in their own enterprise AR solutions.
Developed at Fraunhofer - successful in companies
Visometry was founded in 2017 by Dr Harald Wuest, Timo Engelke, Jens Keil and Folker Wientapper of Fraunhofer IGD. Theteam was able to win the High-Tech Gründerfonds and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft as seed investors. Visometry has been profitable since their first year and was able to win well-known customers such as BMW, Bosch, Daimler, Porsche and Siemans. The companies are already successfully using Visometry's AR technology.
Excellent: A start-up as a hightech lighthouse
In the jury's statement, Thomas Doppelberger, head of Fraunhofer Venture, paid particular tribute to the fact that the Visometry team had quickly developed a market-ready technology from Fraunhofer research for the global market enterprise AR solutions - estimated at around 16 billion US dollars. "Visometry is a role model for technology transfer from the laboratory to practice. The founding team combines expertise from science with the pioneering and entrepreneurial spirit that we need for the digital transformation and securing the future of Germany as a high-tech location.“
"In technical terms, we were already at the top of the world league during our time at Fraunhofer. The wide range of topics, processes, structures and legal questions that were added whilst building the company were both new and foreign to us. We are happy and grateful to have good support from Fraunhofer Venture and the HTGF before and after the spin-off," says CEO Wuest. Yann Fiebig (HTGF) adds: "We are convinced that the company has considerable growth potential due to its know-how and the exciting market environment. We are thrilled to support the team as we see a growing opportunity to leverage the potential of AR, especially in the industrial environment."