Aye3D displays, in real time, in 3 dimensions on a flat screen
by Startup Montréal
23 October 2022
23 October 2022
This article was originally published on infobref.com
To see virtual objects in 3 dimensions, or real objects from a distance, you usually have to wear a helmet or special glasses. The Quebec-based startup Aye3D has found a way to do without: its technology displays 3D images to the naked eye on a flat screen. This opens up huge possibilities for industrial design, 3D virtual meetings, and entertainment applications.
The first problem the company is addressing is the obsolescence of 3D viewing systems that have been used in many industries for the past 20 years. These systems usually require either wearing a headset or going into a special room, a vault, and wearing special glasses.
“Geologists were among the first to adopt these types of systems,” recalls Mario Genest, president of Aye3D. It allowed them to better see and analyze images of the underground to assess the probability of the presence of hydrocarbons or minerals.”
After this use in geomatics, engineering followed closely. Engineers are using these types of 3-D viewing systems to see the parts and devices they have designed in computer-aided design (CAD) software. “Today, many of these systems are obsolete,” observes Mario Genest. The devices break down, the software no longer evolves or is no longer supported.”
The solution that Aye3D offers is a new way to see in 3 dimensions: on a high-resolution flat screen, without headphones or glasses.
Aye3D’s Fre3Dom monitor uses technology created in Quebec.
“Our monitor displays both 3D images and traditional 2D computer applications in high resolution,” says Mario Genest. “This gives it the enormous advantage of being able to be used not only to visualize already designed 3D objects, but also to design them in real time. So it’s not just a visualization tool, but also a design tool, which speeds up the creation process and makes it more productive.”
The business model is based on selling the device, combined with an annual technical and software support package. For now, the target customers are primarily in the industrial world.
Currently, the company employs 15 people, including six interns.
It is one of 20 start-ups selected this year in the Bourse+ program of Startup Montreal.
It delivered its first monitors last year to leaders in the aerospace sector in Quebec and the United States. “We have just signed our first major partnership agreement to integrate our monitor with the 3Dexperience CAD platform of French company Dassault Systèmes,” says Mario Genest. This will open the doors to larger companies using this platform in the aerospace, automotive and life sciences industries.”
The company also expects to close first sales in Europe soon.
Next steps to watch for Aye3D:
While it is currently beginning its larger-scale commercialization, the company is in the process of raising funds for a second round of equity financing.
Beyond geomatics and industrial design, the company is eyeing the telepresence market.
“Large law and accounting firms want to be able to hold remote meetings with their clients on complex subjects,” explains Mario Genest. These are strategic work sessions where decision-makers must be fully engaged and focused. Traditional video conferencing applications like Zoom or Teams are not sufficient in these cases. We have developed a prototype with a special camera that can be connected to a Wi-Fi network and transmits a live 3D image of a remote speaker. The result is more like a face-to-face meeting than a video conference.”
In the long run, 3D flat-panel display technology isn’t just for the industrial world. In fact, the company is already in discussions with players in the video game industry.