Kognitiv Spark, one of the hottest new tech startups in Atlantic Canada, has been named a finalist by Microsoft Canada for the tech giant’s 2018 Impact Awards.
Fredericton-based Kognitiv Spark, which uses augmented reality to help workers in remote locations, said Wednesday the company was nominated as a finalist in the Innovation with Hardware category. The winners will be named at a ceremony in Las Vegas in July.
T4G, a Toronto-based company with large offices in Saint John, Moncton and Halifax, was also nominated for two awards — in the Data and AI Innovation category, as well as Industry Innovation for Manufacturing, Retail or Financial Services.
“For our team, the Microsoft Impact Award nomination is a significant recognition of all the hard work done in building a product that makes a real difference for industrial field work operations and bringing it to market,” Kognitiv Spark CEO Yan Simard said in an email. “We are thrilled to have established such a quality partnership with Microsoft and look forward to see it grow even stronger over the coming months.”
Kognitiv Spark only launched its product last year and months ago said it had already booked more than $1 million in sales. It has also closed a round of funding — the full amount was not disclosed — that included a $200,000 investment from the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation. The company in the past couple of months has graduated from two different tech accelerators — the Creative Destruction Lab Atlantic in Halifax and the Plug and Play accelerator in Silicon Valley.
What Kognitiv Spark does is help industrial companies and other clients help workers in remote locations understand how to use or repair complicated machinery.
Founded by Ryan Groom and Duncan McSporran, the technology uses Microsoft’s HoloLens holographic visualization headset to help an instructor in head office show the remote worker the details of the machinery.
For example, if a soldier or a worker in a remote location encounters a problem with heavy equipment and has to fix it himself, he can contact an expert back at home base. Donning the headset, he can still see the real equipment but he can also see a holographic image of the piece of gear floating beside it. The expert back at headquarters, also wearing a headset, can use the holographic image to show the remote staff member how to fix the equipment. The expert can draw arrows on the image to show the worker precisely what part they are discussing.
Simard has said the company is now accelerating its sales efforts and earlier this year added to its sales force. Going through Plug and Play helped it increase its exposure in California and meet with a range of potential customers and investors.
Simard said the experience “helped to crystalize our global sales expansion strategy. Kognitiv Spark is rapidly expanding its footprint in North America.”