May 16, 2020

New defense technology could save lives during mass shootings

2 min
New defense technology could save lives during mass shootings
The Guardian system from Shooter Defense Systems can pinpoint the location of a gunman firing shots inside a building. This technology has been picked u...

The Guardian system from Shooter Defense Systems can pinpoint the location of a gunman firing shots inside a building. This technology has been picked up by construction company Gilbane to be installed in its Boston offices. As well as using the technology itself, the company is encouraging its customers to do so too.

Ryan Hutchins, Gilbane’s Senior Vice President, said: “I hope I never have to see it work live. But I do know the technology works.”

The construction company has worked on projects such as the John Hancock Tower in Boston, the Quincy High School building, and the sports centre at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

The Guardian system has been installed in more than 50 locations including a public school in Methuen but the deal with Gilbane could see this rolled out on a much wider scale.

The system uses small wall-mounted sensors to recognise the sound and muzzle flash of gunfire. The data is fed to a computer that identifies the shooter’s location and relays this information to the police. Occupants are also notified via their smart phones that a shooter is in the building. Those nearby will be told to take cover and barricade doors while those further away will be directed to the nearest exits.

In addition to the sensors, the system can be equipped with automatic door locking that upon detection of gunfire will lock the shooter out of every other part of the building.

Jeff Slotnick, senior regional vice president of ASIS International, a Virginia-based organization of security professionals, said that indoor shot detection can save lives, and that it makes sense for certain soft targets, such as schools or shopping malls, where an active shooter could do terrible damage.

But it may not be a sound investment for the typical office or commercial building, he said:  “An enterprise should be prudent. You cannot plan your business around all the possible threats that might occur.”

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Jun 14, 2021

XYZ Reality receives £20m to develop Assisted Reality

Dominic Ellis
3 min
XYZ Reality to use funding led by Octopus Ventures to springboard into USA and automatically report issues through Assisted Reality

XYZ Reality has announced a £20m investment round led by Octopus Ventures.

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."

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