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Augment Brings Facility Management Into The Digital Era

Based in Luxembourg, Augment is a startup that aims to change the way facilities are managed. Its mission is to bring Facilities Management into the digital era through innovation and collaboration, with the purpose of empowering facility managers by providing them with an efficient and user-friendly platform.

Credits © Fred Moon / Unsplash

Tell us about your startup.

Hosted at the Luxembourg City Incubator, we delve in the Data Management and Facilities Management industries, seamlessly connecting both. Here, our vision is to digitize all facilities to help facility managers make better decisions, decrease costs, and increase business performance through optimization.

We believe in technology for Facilities Management.

Our areas of expertise fall within a very wide spectrum, which include Computer Assisted Facilities Management, Laser Scanning, Drones (UAVs), Augmented Reality, Software Development, Artificial Intelligence, Database Building, Computer Modelling, and Building Information Modelling (BIM).

How did you come up with the idea?

The idea behind Augment originated in Atlanta, in a FM department where I, Rida Klink, was tasked with building a preventive maintenance plan for all chillers within the complex. To do so, data gathering about these pieces of equipment – information such as their location, brand, spare parts, technical specifications, warranty status – forced an investigation into the facility’s documentation.

While the school had a good Computerized Maintenance Management Software (CMMS), developing the plan still took about two months. The problem did not lie in the fact that developing a maintenance plan is a complicated task, but rather in the data available – or unavailable in some cases.

Data duplicates, information mismatches, scattered data and information disorganization in general were the main barriers to the development of this maintenance plan and its implementation into the Maintenance Software.

Looking into solving these issues was the beginning of an idea that resulted into the creation of Augment.

What are your products/services?

When Augment started, its sole aim was to develop a tool that creates a 3D-based databank dedicated to Facilities Management, and populates said databank using AI technology.

An automated data cleaning, classification, and collection software will populate a database with maintenance steps & guidelines, as well as space and equipment information– from both digital and paper sources. This data will later be displayed on a 3D model of the facility accessible via the web, for easy usage, in addition to being BIM compatible – in real time.

We call it a Facility Information Model (FIM). This FIM will be accessible on mobile, computer, and will also be compatible with Augmented Reality devices. It will allow your systems to use the data, and share it. In addition, the development of a 3D model of the Facility is possible if one does not exist.

Who are your clients?

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the need to exploit that data in addition to sharing it with stakeholders arose. Augment decided to react by developing the Smart Viewer, a software that will allow Facilities Managers to manage/monitor their utilities consumption and maintenance requests. It can integrate with the FIM, or be developed on a standalone basis with more limited possibilities.

Augment also specializes in the creation of land surveying models, and existing facilities 3D modeling, as these are necessary for the FIM & Smart Viewer’s development.

What is your business model?

Our FIM’s business model is still under development, as is the product. However, the Smart Viewer will soon have a demo, and will be available for sale in the near future for an implementation cost and a yearly subscription that will depend on the software’s required functionalities.

As the FM world is complex, Augment has decided to develop its solution with various specialists and providers from the FM world. We believe that a holistic approach to FM will yield the best product and services for our clients.

The FIM has seen interest from major players in Luxembourg and the Middle East. Unfortunately, we cannot divulge any further information at this point.

The Smart Viewer has generated interest from commercial property managers, interested in using it to manage tenants’ utilities consumption and maintenance requests. Augment has partnered up with Polaar Energy to connect IoT utilities meters to the Smart Viewer.

For digitization Augment operates alongside Geospatial Minds to digitize the physical environment either via UAVs or laser scanners.

What’s next?

With our digitization partners, Augment is currently working on developing a 3D model of Beirut. After the August 4th tragedy in Beirut, we felt that our technology could be of use and have a positive impact on the livelihood of affected people.

Since Augment implements 3D based User Interfaces, this edge will allow us to develop and integrate Augmented Reality into our software for client facilities, in the near future. We believe this will significantly enhance diagnostics and maintenance efficiency in the Facility Management industry.

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