Virtual Reality Meets Drone Technology: Software Company Partners with Samsung

Tim Nash2A Glen Lake native with a military background has helped launch a company that integrates virtual reality and drone usage with other technologies to provide answers to a wide range of workplace problems.

Aveopt is a VR/AR (virtual reality/augmented reality) IT software solutions company whose approach is to integrate VR/AR technologies with other ‘disruptive’ technologies, such as sensor and autonomous vehicle technologies, according to Tim Nash, vice president of technology solutions.

“We’re mostly a software company. We use hardware to redefine realities with practical applications to solve real-world problems,” he said.

Aveopt combines a 3-D Samsung headset powered by Oculus, a smart phone, and drone technology to enable users to create actionable data faster, cheaper and more reliably, according to Nash, a U.S. Marine veteran who guarded prisoners at the Guantanamo naval base in Cuba before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. While the company is based in Ann Arbor, Nash’s main focus has been to have a technology company in Traverse City.

“We want to have an impact on the technology economics of TC,” he said.

By partnering with technology leader Samsung, Aveopt is able to assess and define new applications.
“This enables Aveopt to be at the forefront of a technology revolution with the support of the revolution’s leader,” noted Nash, who attended Northwestern Michigan College in TC before earning an electrical engineering degree at the University of Michigan.

Aveopt’s offerings are built on a single platform technology solution that enables them to be applied across a number of industries and markets, including infrastructure, energy, transportation, utilities, telecommunications, surveying, mapping, construction, real estate, collaborative conferencing, training, simulations, education and the public sector.

For example, Aveopt clients involved in survey and mapping projects can create sections of land plots with a live feed. They can form any polygon with coordinate markers to section off land mass in the live field of view, and then calculate the area within any area created. The equipment can also calculate and measure elevations and depression, lay survey pins and check the status of fence lines.

For military reconnaissance users, Aveopt’s system can enable forward observers to provide real time data to the command center. For example, the drone can fly above a traveling convey and report its speed from front vehicle to trailing vehicle. It can also recreate a “real” environment and events of a military action and provide “total immersion” within that environment for training and forensic assessment of the actions taken. This significantly reduces the cost of training and enables forensic analysis through enhanced modeling.

Some clients utilize Aveopt’s technology for inspections in remote or dangerous locations. It enables them to assess and prioritize the need for maintenance or equipment replacement, thus reducing both the cost of an inspection and the risk to personnel.

“There is a ton of work and innovation occurring in the drone industry right now,” said owner Russell Schindler and founder of the TC New Tech group. “Tim Nash’s products stand out from the rest because they combine drone technology with virtual reality and augmented reality. I really enjoy talking with Tim because I’m always amazed at what he’s working on next.”

So, what is next?
The company will soon debut a special 3-D photography system to assist real estate sellers in showing homes or commercial buildings. Aveopt has developed a specialized integrated software/hardware tool that enables the 3-D tour at a fraction of current costs. Aveopt is partnering Real Tour Vision, a virtual touring company, and Tool Masters of Elk Rapids in the project.

“From a photographer’s perspective, the potential is limitless,” said Nash.

In addition to Nash, other key Aveopt members include CEO Wayne Baer, Art Kahn and Nick Clayton. The company’s advisory board includes Dave Cole, Jerry Miller and Ron Ford.