5Pring and Ferrovial call on accelerators to harness 5G
The Future of Construction challenge will provide startups and other small businesses with support in developing and scaling innovations targeted at the construction sector which harness the power of 5G to create a safe, dynamic and efficient construction industry, with a specific focus on health & safety and security; and logistics and site operations.
Applications for the accelerator are now open and should be submitted by midnight on May 14 and successful applicants will start working with 5PRING from July 5. For participation in the Incubator, registration should be submitted by May 7 and ready to start on May 10.
Javier Vaca de Osma, Technology and Processes Director at Ferrovial Construction, said 5pring will give Ferrovial the opportunity to explore 5G potential to leverage innovation for its businesses by accessing a new selection of startups and disruptive solutions.
“With this partnership we are looking to foster the digitization of our construction sites integrating, through 5G, technologies such as augmented reality, edge computing or IoT systems to boost efficiencies while ensuring the safety of our working environments," he said. "5prinG will allow us to identify and test cutting-edge solutions on a real test-bed of innovation."
With construction output in the UK valued at more than £110 billion, accounting for 7% of GDP and employing around 10 million people, the sector is well positioned to benefit from the impact of deploying 5G solutions to increase efficiency and optimise processes such as asset monitoring, as well as reducing costs and emissions.
Applicants with 5G-enabled solutions which leverage augmented reality, computer vision, IoT, artificial intelligence and machine learning, and robotics, and are still relevant to the construction sector, are also encouraged to apply.
Last year, West Midlands 5G (WM5G) and collaborators O2, Deloitte, Digital Catapult and Wayra announced the launch 5PRING to develop the first region-wide 5G testbed.
Robert Franks, Managing Director at WM5G, said it is through partnerships such as those that 5PRING is developing that 5G has the ability to revolutionise the UK’s major industries.
"Ferrovial’s decades of experience will be vital in helping to shape and guide the innovative solutions that we are hoping to see delivered through this programme, transforming their ambitions into reality," he said.
In these disruptive times, Ferrovial recently announced plans to enter the urban air mobility sector (click here) and will "acquire direct or indirect stakes in startups that offer it a meaningful position in future markets".
XYZ Reality receives £20m to develop Assisted Reality
Founded in 2017, XYZ Reality aims to "revolutionise" the construction sector with its Engineering-Grade Augmented Reality (AR) solution, Holosite.
Designed to enable an on time and on budget delivery of construction projects, by eliminating building errors, HoloSite has been available to select customers through an early access programme and has already been used on projects totalling a value of over £1.5bn in the last year.
With approximately 98% of construction megaprojects facing cost overruns or delays and 7-11% of project costs being spent on correcting errors, XYZ Reality’s purpose-built integrated AR solution directly addresses these issues.
With its safety certified AR hardhat, cloud platform and in-built proprietary software, Holosite accurately positions high fidelity 3D design models on construction sites, enabling teams to build it right, first time. The technology system has been used on complex construction projects including data centres, pharmaceutical facilities and airports.
This funding will be used to accelerate the company’s ambition of transforming projects by preparing for HoloSite’s commercial launch in the USA and continuing investment in strengthening research and development. The company is also growing its London team to include key hires across technology, manufacturing, sales and marketing.
David Mitchell, Founder and CEO of XYZ Reality, said developing its engineering-Grade AR solution helping construction teams identify errors in real-time is just the start.
"The next phase is Assisted Reality, where our spatial computing technology will have the intelligence to automatically detect and report issues in the field. And ultimately, the goal is builders building from holograms. Our vision of developing world changing products aligns with Octopus Ventures’ mission of investing in companies that are powering the next industrial revolution. We look forward to building history.”
The latest round of funding is led by Octopus Ventures, one of the largest and most active venture investors in Europe, known for its commitment of investing in companies and founders that are changing the world. Octopus Ventures has a strong track record, spanning investment in health, fintech, consumer, B2B software, and deep tech. This includes WaveOptics, one of Octopus Ventures’ early investments in Augmented Reality, which was recently acquired by Snap Inc.
Rebecca Hunt, early-stage investor at Octopus Ventures, said: "We’ve always invested in entrepreneurs leading industry change and XYZ is doing just that. It's solving a massive problem that costs the construction industry billions every year, using its Engineering-Grade Augmented Reality solution to spearhead a shift in the sector’s approach. The founding team of David, Umar and Murray have deep domain and technical expertise, which we believe makes XYZ uniquely placed to drive this transformation.”
XYZ Reality also announces a new partnership with Mace, for the construction of a hyper-scale data centre in Europe. With speed to market being particularly essential for mission critical builds, HoloSite’s AR technology will have a significant role in supporting an accurate and time effective build for Mace, which last week appointed Jon McElroy its new Managing Director for International Technology.
Mace Technical Director, Stephen Henley, said: “Mace has built a reputation of redefining the boundaries of ambition, always bringing efficiency, innovation and responsibility to our projects. With the implementation of XYZ’s groundbreaking AR system, we continue to be committed to delivering projects faster, safer and better than ever before.”
Five years ago, Heather Bellini of Goldman Sachs Research expected virtual and augmented reality to become an $80 billion market by 2025.
But according to new research by global tech market advisory firm ABI Research, nearly 28 million augmented and mixed reality smart glasses will ship in 2026, while the total global AR/MR market will surpass $175 billion in the same year.
"Major tech players across hardware, software, and services look familiar in the consumer space, contributing to strong and consistent overall growth," says Eric Abbruzzese, Research Director for ABI Research. "Those big tech names, with active investment and product ranging from already available, to announced, to all-but-announced, are creating a consumer AR market that will be dynamic and welcoming rather than struggling and immature."