Project Description

Who We Are

At Covarian, we want to accelerate towards a prosperous and clean Earth. Our contribution is to develop new applications and technologies that leave the world a multicultural, tolerant, scientific, and cleaner place: a Type 1 civilization.

Covarian comes from the statistical covariance. We define it as the measure of influence that one location’s data has on another.


Covarian started in Feb 2018 to focus on fixing really hard problems that our world faces. Our background is in geomatics engineering, computer vision, and land survey.

Covarian is a sister company founded by the team at Shapetrace. To understand Covarian, you must understand Shapetrace.

Shapetrace was an investor-backed construction augmented reality startup between 2014 and 2018. It provided a complete field solution with a mobile augmented reality (AR) app that helped construction workers prevent errors. Using a mobile phone on site, architectural 3D designs were overlaid the actual space to let workers “see before they started to build”. During construction, the app used live 3D detection to compare designs to the actual conditions to measure progress and detect errors, which automatically updated the schedule.

We have a lot of battles scars with Shapetrace as we were trying to sell a solution that was ahead of its time. Ultimately, our venture didn’t work out, but man, it made us really, really good at AR. And it made us efficient, lean, and organized.

In its day, Shapetrace won the MaRS Upstart 2015 pitch competition, was shortlisted for TechStar IoT 2017, and was a finalist for ResolveTO 2017, Digifest 2016, TieQuest 2017, Cemex Ventures, and IE Ventures competitions. Shapetrace was an alumni of the Founder Institute, the world’s premier idea-stage accelerator based in Silicon Valley. Our highlights include working with Schneider Electric and EllisDon in Grenoble, Silicon Valley, and Toronto.

We started Covarian because our new mission is very different from Shapetrace’s. It wouldn’t be fair to our old and new investors, team members, and advisors to bring along the baggage.

Shapetrace continues to exist as the creative design and professional services entity of the Covarian team.

Our Team

Ernest YapCo-Founder and CEO
Ernest Yap, P.Eng is the co-founder and President of Shapetrace. He has 10 years of sales experience in the geospatial industry, previously working for Trimble’s Geospatial and Applanix divisions. Ernest is a professional engineer in Ontario, Canada, and he graduated from the Dept. of Geomatics Engineering at the University of Calgary. His interests include the convergence of robotics, 3D mapping, and mixed reality applications. Ernest is a contributing writer for xyHt magazine, which is a trade publication for the geospatial industry.

Ernest led Shapetrace to complete the Founder Institute Toronto 2014 startup accelerator program.

Current Status


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