Alfred University News

Alfred University alumni Simmins, Mayo give presentations at Index AR fall retreat

John Simmins, left, and James Mayo gave presentations at the Index AR Solutions fall retreat
John Simmins, left, and James Mayo gave presentations at the Index AR Solutions fall retreat

Index AR Solutions, a Williamsburg, VA, company specializing in augmented reality services for business industry, held its fall retreat Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 12 and 13. Two Alfred University alumni delivered presentations during the event.


WILLIAMSBURG, VA – Index AR Solutions, a Williamsburg, VA, company specializing in augmented reality services for business industry, held its fall retreat Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 12 and 13. Two Alfred University alumni delivered presentations during the event.

Augmented reality is a technology that uses software applications to superimpose computer-generated images on a user’s view of the real world, providing a composite view. Index AR Solutions is a consulting and engineering services company that delivers augmented reality solutions to industrial problems by creating apps that help improve the efficiency, accuracy and safety of workers.  

Not to be confused with virtual reality, where everything a user sees is generated by a computer, augmented reality keeps the real-world focus, adding elements to enhance the user’s experience. Some examples of popular augmented reality apps include AcrossAir, Google Sky Map, Layar, and Lookator.

Alfred University alumni John Simmins ’84, Ph.D. ’90 and James Mayo ’15 gave presentations at the retreat. Simmins, who earned a bachelor’s degree in ceramic engineering and doctorate in the same field, is associate provost for Research and Economic Development at Alfred University. He provided a retrospective of the use of augmented reality in the electric utilities industry. Mayo, who earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, spoke on his experience with augmented reality at Alstom Transportation in Hornell, NY, where he is a propulsion system engineer.

Scott Sommers, senior vice president of Index AR Solutions, was a participant at the second annual AUenergy Symposium, hosted last month by the Alfred University Inamori School of Engineering. He took part in a panel discussion, moderated by Simmins, titled “Use of Next Generation Technologies for Energy Systems – Augmented and Virtual Reality, UAVs, Blockchain.” Sommers related how his company is helping major utilities by combining the power of augmented reality and eBooks to create highly experiential teaching and field reference solutions that feature rich visual, auditory and tactile elements.

Simmins said Index AR is producing an augmented reality application with instructions on how to operate the Lithoz 3D printer housed in Alfred University’s Center for Advanced Ceramic Manufacturing and Education. The company is also producing several eBooks on Introduction to Ceramics and Introduction to Glass Science as part of Alfred University’s workforce development efforts to help attract more ceramic and glass companies to the Southern Tier.