One of my former coworkers from my factory days has become a golf fanatic. He watches, plays and talks about golf whenever he has the chance. A few years ago, he found a home that was adjacent to a private country club, bought a membership and golfs his heart out. Recently, he texted me: “I’m at 10 under.” He meant his handicap: He always told me that if he got to 10 under par, he’d know he was on his way to being great.

Milestones are important indicators of where one is on a path toward a goal — both for fantasies of the pro tour as well as the realities of business success. When I founded Drishti, I laid out several milestones that would indicate we were heading down the right path. We recently achieved one of those milestones. It’s our own “10 under par,” so to speak: Gartner included Drishti in its July 2018 Hype Cycle for Manufacturing Operations Strategy, 2018 report.

Each year, Gartner analysts assess trends in manufacturing and create a Gartner Hype Cycle, which is a graphic representation of the maturity and adoption of technologies and applications, and how they are potentially relevant to solving real business problems and exploiting new opportunities. Gartner Hype Cycle methodology gives you a view of how a technology or application will evolve over time, providing a sound source of insight to manage its deployment within the context of your specific business goals.* This year, one of the technology categories considered to be “on the rise” is Cognitive Expert Advisor (CEA) tech.

I’m delighted and honored that Drishti was named alongside Bennit AI, IBM Watson, Microsoft and Rockwell Automation as a Sample Vendor in the Cognitive Expert Advisor category.

We feel Gartner analyst Simon Jacobson flagged CEA technologies, including artificial intelligence (AI), as transformational to businesses, for good reason. The volume of data in manufacturing is growing rapidly, presenting both challenges and opportunities. More data has the potential to yield greater insights, and help manufacturers make strategic, impactful business decisions quicker and with more certainty. The challenge lies in harvesting and processing the data, from the right sources, in a timely manner — and that’s where AI comes into play.

By partnering humans with machines — like Drishti does, by using AI to both measure tasks completed by humans in the factory, as well as to guide them — companies can tap data from sources that were either too difficult or literally impossible to quantify in the past. The partnership between humans and machines extends the capabilities of both entities, resulting in truly transformational business outcomes.

Gartner isn’t the only organization out there taking notice of CEA technology, and we feel this recognition is one of a number of milestones Drishti has achieved. We’re onboarding some of the biggest names in manufacturing as customers: truly innovative companies who see the value in adopting technology like AI early because of its promise to upend the industry and provide a huge competitive advantage.

We’re also hiring some of the brightest engineering minds in Silicon Valley and Bangalore to help drive our company forward.

As for my former coworker, his next milestone is five under par, which puts him indisputably on his way to pro-level golf.

We’re headed further down our path, too. Keep watching Drishti to see what five under par means for us.

Read the full text of our Gartner Hype Cycle announcement.

*Gartner Methodologies, Hype Cycle, https://www.gartner.com/en/research/methodologies/gartner-hype-cycle

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Dr. Prasad Akella transformed manufacturing in the 1990s as leader of the General Motors team behind the world’s first collaborative robots (“cobots”), projected to be a $12 billion market by 2025. With cobots, Akella advanced robotics to safely amplify workers’ physical capabilities. With Drishti, Akella returns to the factory to again enhance workers’ capabilities—this time, by driving advances in computer vision and AI.