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Herndon-based APX Labs has raised $10 million from New Enterprise Associates to bring its software platform for Google Glass and other wearables to manufacturing, health care and other enterprise customers.
The Series A investment from NEA embodies the prediction that the near-future of smart glasses lies in the enterprise, whether that be the sort of heads-up displays offered by Google Glass or more substantial augmented reality overlays provided by ( noticeably less sleek) devices like the Epson Moverio. APX, through its flagship product Skylight, provides both the user interface and the back-end software that could, for example, give assembly line workers data on an individual part as it crossed they field of view.
Google Glass, which is slowly being made available to the general public, is still facing questions over its viability as a mass-market gadget and exactly how the average consumer will put a face-computer to work. That makes the creation of consumer apps for Glass somewhat of a guessing game. For a company like APX, catering to specific on-the-job uses provides a much better defined path to revenues.
"It's absolutely an inflection point," said APX CEO Brian Ballard. "We've gotten enough volume of glasses, mass production is no longer a question, it's now a reality. We see the enterprise as much lower risk, much lower barriers to entry, where there are different adoption issues that face the consumer world, paramount of which is style."