Ultamation opens up new opportunities with innovative AR app

Liverpool-based Ultamation has developed an innovative augmented reality (AR) app which can be used to control connected devices throughout the home.

The firm, based in Liverpool Science Park, is working in conjunction with the LCR 4.0 business support programme.

When used in a residential setting, the app enables users to control their home appliances by simply pointing a smartphone or tablet at the device.

This triggers the presentation of options that control functions including power, volume, channel and contrast.
LCR 4.0 delivery partner, the Virtual Engineering Centre, worked with the home automation solutions specialist to develop a working prototype of the product and has also advised the business on how it might be applied to the industrial sector.

As a result, Ultamation is now testing the product based on real industrial use cases to understand how it might help manufacturing businesses to improve productivity.

Oliver Hall, managing director at Ultamation, said: “Initially, the idea was around augmented reality in residential control. However, the work we’ve done with the VEC through the LCR 4.0 programme has made us aware of wider market applications for this type of technology.

“What started as a pipe dream has turned into a piece of technology I can hold in my hand and control devices in a way previously only seen in science fiction films.

“Not only this, we’ve received valuable PR and marketing support through the LCR 4.0 programme, all while owning the intellectual property (IP) rights.”

Dr Andy Levers, technical director at the Virtual Engineer Centre (University of Liverpool) and the technical lead for LCR 4.0, added: “LCR 4.0 is about helping innovative companies in the Liverpool City Region, like Ultamation, develop new products and services.

“This is a great example of a company making the most of the resources available in the Liverpool City Region to develop a product that will help to take its business forward.”

LCR 4.0 (Liverpool City Region Four Point Zero) is a part of the Liverpool City Region Local Growth Hub.

The first of its kind in the country, LCR 4.0 is a business support programme for manufacturers wanting to take advantage of the opportunities of the 4th industrial revolution.

LCR4.0 is receiving up to £4.4m of funding from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.