9 August 2018 | by Bridgette Ruck-Jessome

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Kognitiv Spark to Create 12 Jobs Within the Next Year

Kognitiv Spark specializes in building mixed reality communication technology for industrial workers. Their product is RemoteSpark, a mixed reality communication application for the Microsoft HoloLens that enables industrial workers and subject matter experts to connect in real time. The company has recently announced the creation of 12 jobs in Fredericton, New Brunswick, within the next year. The CEO of Kognitiv Spark, Yan Simard, sat down with CyberNB to discuss the company and their recent announcement.

CyberNB: Can you give us a brief overview of Kognitiv Spark and your role there?

Simard: Kognitv Spark is involved in industrial worker support. More specifically, we build mixed reality communication technology for industrial workers using the Microsoft HoloLens platform. Our product is called RemoteSpark. RemoteSpark is all about creating a mixed reality communication link between a field worker performing complex tasks and a subject matter expert, like an engineer, who is sitting in their office somewhere.

As CEO of Kognitiv Spark I make sure the company is healthy and growing. I see my role as maintaining a fine balance between satisfying our customer, satisfying our employees, and satisfying our investors. If we can maintain the right balance between these groups we typically have a healthy, growing company. I manage a triangle, let’s put it that way.

CyberNB: Can you explain RemoteSpark and how that fits in with the Microsoft HoloLens?

Simard: Say that you have a worker in a factory in which a piece of equipment stops working. That person may not have the knowledge of how to deal with that situation. When a problem occurs, the worker can put on the Microsoft HoloLens helmet. They can launch the RemoteSpark app on the HoloLens where they can connect with a subject matter expert, perhaps an engineer, that is maybe 1000 km away. Through a computer, the engineer can see in real time what the worker is seeing. They can talk to the worker while the worker has their hands free. Furthermore, the engineer can provide holographic guidance. For example, the expert can take a picture of what the worker sees, annotate that picture, and that picture becomes a holographic object in the field of view of the worker. The expert could also decide to import a 3D CAD file into RemoteSpark, which can convert it on-the-fly into a holographic object.

RemoteSpark empowers workers to deal with complex situations as they arise. The reason why companies buy our product is because it helps to reduce equipment downtime, it helps to reduce the required travel for subject matter experts, and it also helps with knowledge transfer between the worker and the subject matter expert.

CyberNB: You plan to create 12 full time jobs within the next year. What types of roles are you looking to fill, and what types of skills are you looking for?

Simard: What we need to add over the next year is essentially scale. We will grow when it comes to sales and marketing and client delivery. We need to make sure to support our client base which is growing very fast in North America.

We need people that are good workers with a strong industrial mindset and who have the knowledge to help our clients be successful. On the technical side of things, we need people that are not afraid to create new tech. We are at the bleeding edge here at Kognitiv Spark, worldwide. The people that work here become mixed reality experts by working with us. Then they become worldwide experts as a result because we are right at that edge. We hire people with very strong backgrounds in computer science in general. Ideally people that are good at 3D gaming, 3D design, and video compression.

CyberNB: How do you hope RemoteSpark will affect the rest of the world?

Simard: If we go back to our mission, we are really trying to empower industrial workers to achieve more. We know that over the next 20 years, industrial work is going to be disrupted by the rise of artificial intelligence applications and robotization. As a society, we can feel that industrial workers are becoming less relevant as a result. It is our belief that if we give people the right insight and information in the right format at the right time, not only will they stay relevant, but their level of relevance will increase over time.

CyberNB: What do you hope to accomplish as a company in the next year?

Simard: The next year is going to be about adding scale to what we do. We have a pretty cool product that is the best in the world at what it does, we just have to prepare as a company to serve thousands of customers across the world. That is what the whole year is going to be about. We will start to increase our footprint in North America first, which is in itself a massive market. If we do succeed in North America, we should have the capability to serve the global market as well.

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