Retail, Tech, and Innovation Leaders Join North Texas AR Startup’s New Advisory Board

Spacee, a computer vision- and AI-powered augmented reality company, has unveiled a new three-person advisory board in a moment that founder and CEO Skip Howard calls “critical.”

Technology, retail, and innovation—three things that describe Spacee’s business and the three areas from which it tapped leaders for its new advisory board.

The Addison-based computer vision- and AI-powered augmented reality company has unveiled a new three-person advisory board in a moment that founder and CEO Skip Howard calls “critical.”

“We’re at a critical time in the company’s growth as people are returning to stores, and retailers are under pressure to make consumer experiences interactive and engaging while also collecting data on the shopping experience that is on par with e-commerce data,” Howard, who also co-founded Pave Systems and Cancer Gene Connect, said in a statement.

Industry expertise

Spacee has named Brian Crutcher, Jeff Wellen, and Duncan MacFarlane to its new advisory board.

Crutcher, who owns a management consulting business, is the former top executive at local semiconductor giant Texas Instruments. He also serves on the boards of Mariposa Technology and mmTron.

Wellen has held leadership roles from supply chain solutions companies like Advatix to retailers including Michaels Stores, Fossil, and Tuesday Morning.

MacFarlane is a leader in engineering and entrepreneurship at Southern Methodist University, serving as a professor of electrical engineering and holding the Bobby B. Lyle Centennial Chair in Engineering Entrepreneurship. He’s also the associate dean of engineering entrepreneurship at SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering.

“(Crutcher, Wellen, and Duncan) all bring valuable insight on leveraging technology to help retailers thrive…as we continue our product innovations in AI and computer vision this year,” Howard said.

Augmented reality and ‘shelf robots’

Perot Jain-backed Spacee was launched in 2013. Using light and motion, the company’s patented technology created custom augmented reality experiences that let customers interact with 2D and 3D surfaces. The company has developed “shelf robots” that collect real-time inventory data to help improve supply chain operations.

Spacee counts Morison’s, Mercedes Benz, Dell, Intel, and NTT Data as clients. Typically working with clients in the retail, automotive, hospitality, and entertainment spaces, the company entered the gambling industry in 2020 in a partnership with Konami Gaming to develop interactive gaming tables with facial recognition capabilities.

The company appears set to grow, with 13 open full-time, contractor, and intern-level positions listed on its site in areas like software, data, and mechanical design engineering.

“Using computer vision and artificial intelligence, retailers can convert previously dormant walls, tables, and glass to digitally educate consumers, provide product comparisons, and facilitate the upsell of companion products,” the company states in a video on its website.

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