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Strabismusa technology platform that uses augmented reality (AR) to streamline factory procedures, today announced the completion of a combined seed and pre-seed funding round, raising $6 million.
Squint’s AR platform provides factory operators with an intuitive mobile experience, delivering dynamic, contextual assistance that aligns with their surroundings.
Bringing traditional workshop instructions to life, Squint offers an engaging and effective interactive experience that accelerates the speed of learning and improves knowledge retention.
“What brought us to Squint was the combination of an outlier founder in (CEO) Devin (Bhushan), whose background makes him a leading expert in enterprise AR, and a compelling value proposition that is resonating with large clients companies like Siemens, Volvo, and more,” said Jess Lee, a partner at Sequoia, in a written statement. “Squint is using mobile AR, computer vision and machine learning to replace paper binders, sticky notes and human training courses. How it streamlines factory practices is incredibly powerful and has the potential to augment factory operations by transforming how workers interact with machines and applications outside the factory.”
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According to the company, its next-generation technology allows organizations to seamlessly digitize standard operating procedures, eliminating the need for an IT team and relying solely on a mobile phone. As a result, routine tasks such as training, operation and maintenance can be completed more efficiently and with greater safety.
“Our solution is currently being used by companies in the manufacturing and energy industries to help them optimize and scale personalized learning. For example, we are transforming a factory’s standard operating procedures (SOP) with AR,” Squint CEO Devin Bhushan told VentureBeat. “Now, instead of relying on paper instructions and hours of human training, Squint offers operators an intuitive, engaging and contextual way to learn how to operate machines safely, effectively and much faster”.
Bhushan said that Squint’s unmatched flexibility is one of its defining characteristics. He says the platform is the only AR solution on the market that embraces an “open world” approach. Unlike other solutions, Squint allows for on-the-spot content creation without needing a QR code or 3D model to detect objects and align.
“Our implementation process is simple and self-service, giving the manufacturing technology industry the fastest time to value,” he said. “The results have been fantastic, as our first customers have reported that by using Squint, operator training time is reduced by 86%. What used to take weeks and months can now be done in just a day.”
Use the power of AR to streamline factory processes
According to Bhushan, Squint’s self-guided teaching format empowers operators by allowing them to stop at each step of the procedure and absorb the content through their favorite media, such as reference photos, video tutorials or written instructions.
In traditional training scenarios, operators may feel embarrassed or hesitant to interrupt a trainer and ask for help or repeat a demonstration.
With Squint, instructions are always readily available to the operator, minimizing costly errors and improving productivity.
Operators can also use the Squint app to create instant digital “sticky notes” that capture specific equipment knowledge. They can then “lock” these notes in AR for their colleagues to access later.
“It only takes 45 seconds to map a new area in Squint, and it’s the only product in the world that can identify a space or object without a QR code or 3D model,” Bhushan explained. “The benefit of an open world environment without QR codes or 3D models is that we have removed all barriers for a new technology solution to be successful and immediately useful for operators. There is no other solution or platform that can offer this degree of autonomous knowledge capture and flexibility, ultimately providing traders with the information they need to be confident and successful.”
The company’s impressive client list includes industry giants Siemens and The Volvo Group, who have used Squint’s AR technology to streamline factory operations and training.
“Once you see how AR can complement and transform written SOPs with visual and contextual guidance and demonstrations, there’s really no going back. Squint improves the speed of learning by providing each operator with clear and detailed training instructions from their phone or tablet,” said Bhushan. “Squint is always available with an operator, eliminating knowledge or memory gaps, simultaneously progressing at the same pace and gaining site-specific knowledge that enables an operator to troubleshoot local machine performance”.
What’s next for Squint?
With the new funding, the company aims to introduce new verticals to its computer vision, AR and AI projects.
Bhushan said operators have consistently provided positive feedback on Squint’s ease of understanding and effectiveness. The platform equips them with the necessary skills and instills confidence to work independently and confidently.
“We’re especially excited about the new technology we’re developing at the intersection of AR and AI that will make it even easier for customers to deploy Squint across the enterprise. It is in the final stages of development, but we hope to reveal more soon,” he said. “In the coming years, we expect AR to become ubiquitous in the workplace. Just as we have seen with the breakthrough in AI applications, the AR will come out of games and gimmicks. Squint is already helping drive that change.”
Squint’s funding round was led by Bowthe pre-seed catalyst and seed stage Sequoia Capitaland venture capital firm Menlo Ventures, Menlo Laboratorieswith the participation of many other angel investors.
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