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Business Durham Case Study: Lexicon

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Lexicon is an innovative, fast-paced, tech agency operating at the centre of industry 4.0.  Combining Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR and VR) and nanomaterials it intends to build solutions; making sense of the ever-growing big data phenomenon.

Their work greatly relies on data generated by the satellite and space sector, says CEO Austen Atkinson. “Humankind has never had so much access to data before and the exciting thing is that we can harness it to improve the quality of life for everyone, through smart cities, a transport revolution and innovative ways to keep people safe,” he says.

The County Durham company secured a place on the North East Space Incubation Programme delivered by Business Durham in partnership with the UK Space Agency at NETPark.

Through the incubator’s support they are rapidly advancing on the production of the Vanguard AR Headset, working with the CPI at NETPark to develop nanomaterials for the visor. They plan to have a prototype ready by the end of 2019.

The Vanguard AR Headset will be a paramount addition to the emergency services’ hardware, enabling them to receive critical information from the data feeding directly into the headset which is then projected onto the visor. Lexicon was invited to pitch the concept to big aerospace companies at Farnborough International Airshow in July – an experience that Austen describes as “Dragons’ Den on rocket fuel”.

In July, Lexicon announced its data partnership with Google Waze – the navigation app – to model how changes in road design, traffic flow and smart navigation can reduce congestion and plan future cities. “This is a fantastic opportunity to use data from Waze and satellites and employ AI and AR to plan for a new era in transport and make life better for millions of travellers,” says Austen. Lexicon’s AI team is hard at work on a number of projects using big data to shape industrial and city design.

Alongside Lexicon Science, the group’s Learning business has developed an educational VR experience. Austen has deep knowledge in AR and VR projects in education and entertainment, working with the likes of Google and broadcasters including the BBC and History Channel.

The fast-growing space and satellite sector in the North East has helped turbocharge Lexicon’s growth. “It has been an amazing year for Lexicon. The North East is a fantastic place to live and work and the potential of its satellite and space sector is huge. It is an exciting time to be working in the region alongside so many talented people in our universities and businesses,” says Austen.

The North East Satellite Applications Centre of Excellence annual conference takes place at The National Glass Centre in Sunderland on 28th March 2019. It is the fifth in a series of annual gatherings which focus on some of the key challenges facing the sector. Join us to identify and discuss the real business opportunities from a range of key service providers and end users.

This conference will be looking at the Foresight report on the Future of the Sea and responding to the challenges and recommendations set out.

Click here to find out more about the event


The North East Satellite Applications Centre of Excellence offers opportunities and partnerships to unlock market opportunities within the North East of the UK which will benefit local and national economies.