Down with down time — Queensland aerospace company’s innovative wearable tech set to revolutionise aircraft maintenance

Wearable technology is a hot topic right now. But beyond the fads of fitness trackers and Google glasses, wearable technology is also keeping planes in the skies — thanks to fountx.

Developed by Queensland-headquartered aerospace company TAE, fountx technology is set to dramatically reduce down time and maintenance costs for aircraft operators across the globe.

The hands free system makes use of a wearable computer with a helmet-mounted camera and near-eye display, which allows users to consult on repair jobs in real-time using assisted reality technology.

“The technology allows repair technicians to remotely connect with aviation experts, who can provide guidance via a pair of virtual hands,” says TAE CEO Andrew Sanderson.

Andrew Sanderson recording the second Voices of Innovation podcast

“Using the system is like having the expert in the room, even if they’re on the other side of the planet.”

As well as boosting efficiency in the aerospace industry, the technology has applications across any complex industrial setting, including exciting possibilities in the manufacturing, mining, automotive and medical industries.

TAE recently received an innovation award for fountx, which was developed in partnership with the CSIRO, Australia’s premier scientific body. Years of CSIRO research went into building the advanced assisted reality technology behind the product, while TAE was tasked with commercialising the results.

It’s no surprise that the firm selected to bring this project to market is based in Queensland. The state’s defence and aerospace industries offer unprecedented growth and opportunity.

A recent industry survey shows that the defence industry alone is responsible for 6,500 jobs in Queensland, generated $4.2 billion in revenue and contributed $1.3 billion to the state’s economy.

Queensland’s aerospace sector also contributes 4,500 jobs in aircraft component manufacture and repair services and injected $600 million into the economy during the 2014- 15 financial year.

The Lockheed Martin F35 Fighter Aircraft

Already home to top ranking international defence and aerospace contractors like Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Airbus, Thales, Rheinmetall, Volvo, Haulmark, Rayteon and Sikorsky, Queensland is in a commanding position to capitalise on defence and aerospace supply chain opportunities.

“The potential and scope for what we achieve in the world of defence is enormous, with creative solutions and associated opportunities unfolding by the minute,” says Mal Lane, Director of Defence Industries Queensland.

“The exciting bit is that there are so many opportunities for cross overs with other sectors.”

Opportunities like fountx.

Listen to , TAE’s CEO Andrew Sanderson speak about bringing this new technology to market and the TAE business journey on the Department of State Development’s Voices of Innovation podcast live at Myriad 2017.

The three-day Myriad festival builds on the success of the 2016 Advance Queensland Innovation and Investment Summit, providing opportunities for local start-ups to meet with international innovators and investors.

Want to hear more but can’t attend? The fountx story and Voices of Innovation podcast is available below.