Irish app firm listed as one of three finalists in SAP Innovation Challenge

4 Mar 2013

SMART Visibility, a new manufacturing mobile software developed by an Irish start-up that aims to enable the factories of the future using augmented reality and GPS, is one of just three finalists in the annual SAP Innovation Challenge, a prestigious international manufacturing competition which takes place in Las Vegas this week.

The SMART Visibility concept and solution was developed by Cork-based engineer, Will Wilmot, who saw the opportunity to use smart device native technologies to improve how manufacturing companies can monitor and interact with their production processes more efficiently.

SMART Visibility has partnered with US SAP consultancy company Neoris Inc.

Co-submitted by Neoris for the annual SAP Innovation Challenge, SMART Visibility has now been shortlisted as one of just three finalists for the coveted award.

At the Manufacturing 2013 Conference in Las Vegas, Wilmot will present SMART Visibility in front of an audience and SAP VIP panel of judges, who selected the top 3 mobile manufacturing application concepts based on business value, user experience, and “wow” factor; with the winner being announced on 6 March.

The SMART Visibility app is set to transform the management of manufacturing worldwide and the way workers interact with production processes, allowing them to obtain real-time information from both the production machines and enterprise systems via smart devices. Once implemented, users will be able to view order statuses, view work centre data and view equipment information.

Enabling tomorrow’s smart factories

Using integrated features on smart devices, such as camera functionality, users can read bar codes and will be able to manage and control inventory on the plant floor.

While using GPS location services to provide location-centric data to the user will allow users to focus on data that is central to their location. But that’s not all; as SMART Visibility has also developed a reality portal that will allow users to simply point to the machine device that they require information on and the device can contextualise the actions of the user.

“The way that people are interacting with systems is changing,” Wilmot explained. “People are now expecting all interactions with systems to be as intuitive and simple as common smart device apps. This is driving an expectation of simplicity and performance, and manufacturing systems need to adapt to these new expectations.

“We no longer expect to be limited by standard desktop devices, and now can leverage our smart devices to allow us to view, manage and control manufacturing operations.

“We have created an application that has a user experience that is synonymous with all the great apps on the market. We have deployed practical solutions on the mobile architecture using innovative and advanced technologies of the native mobile application to transform how operations can interact with their manufacturing process.

“Using SMART Visibility, I can simply point my device at a piece of equipment and the device will tell me what’s happening now; as well as allowing me to analyse what’s happened yesterday, last week, or even last year,” Wilmot explained.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years