AR via your mailbox.
They won the UT Challenge, managed to collect over € 109,000 through crowdfunding and will soon be shipping 2,800 pairs of augmented reality glasses to 61 countries. In 2017, the five University of Twente students Maarten Slaa, Niels Ruiter, Leon Schipper, Kay Hoogsteder and Alex Ceha put all their time into making their startup Aryzon a reality. And it’s paying off.
“The goal of Aryzon is to make augmented reality accessible to everyone. AR via your mailbox. Affordable, easy to use and with a wealth of possibilities”, says Leon. The Aryzon is, like the simple virtual reality glasses Cardboard from Google, made of cardboard and you slide a smartphone into it. Unlike the Cardboard, you don’t look directly at the screen of your smartphone with the Aryzon. Instead, a holographic image is projected with a mirror and a lens. This is done via the Aryzon app that you get with the headset.
When the five students were in the midst of developing and launching their AR glasses, they were invited to take part in the UT Challenge. Niels: “The UT Challenge program ran parallel to the preparations for our crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter.” Fellow team member Leon attended all the workshops and training programs that were part of the program. “That critical outside perspective was invaluable to us. As were things like business model advice and information about legal aspects that Novel-T was able to offer.” They never actually expected to win the UT Challenge. “We were already surprised to make it as far as the second round, and we hadn’t even prepared a 2-minute pitch” Niels admits. He would recommend that other students with a business idea take part in projects like the UT Challenge. “Regardless of the outcome, it’ll certainly be beneficial: not just because of the valuable advice you’re given, but also because it’s very useful to build a network.”