Tag: VR

virtual reality VR

SenseGlove: The hand that lets you feel Virtual Reality

Technology is changing jobs faster than ever. Assembly training becomes an important aspect of many companies, but it is expensive and time consuming. However, there might be a solution that can solve those problems, virtual reality (VR).

VR combines the sense of hearing and seeing and gives the illusion of diving into every possible scenario. Yet, there is one missing aspect, not being able to feel what the eye sees. SenseGlove is solving that problem by bringing the sensing aspect into VR.

FROM A SIMPLE IDEA

It all started with a graduation project. Johannes Luijten was towards the end of his Master’s in Industrial Design at the TU Delft when he took on the task to create a robot that would help people recover after a stroke.

 “He created a big robot, a big exoskeleton that was capable of doing all the natural motions in the arm,” says Gijs den Butter, co-founder of SenseGlove. “From a technology point of view, it was a very interesting finding. The challenge was to translate the design into a feasible business.” This was the point when Gijs came onboard.

 The technology that Johannes had developed was innovative, yet too expensive to fit into a sole business case. A more realistic solution was, thus, to take just one element of the whole robot – in this case the hand – and develop it further.

Originally, Johannes and Gijs made it their goal to develop a glove specifically for people with hand and wrist problems to help them guide through physical therapy. 

THROUGH YES!DELFT

The two co-founders realised that they have an interesting idea with business potential  but getting the certification and hitting the market would take a long time. 

In 2015, they joined the YES!Delft Validation Lab to help them tackle that challenge and soon after, decided to broaden their scope. The team saw that there is a potential need in the VR market, but the change in business models meant that they had to completely redesign the glove.  

“The great thing about YES!Delft is that you have a lot of common-minded people around you,” Gijs says. “Being part of such a community makes it possible to exchange experiences and knowledge with fellow entrepreneurs.” 

TO A GROWING COMPANY

Getting to know their market better, Johannes and Gijs made another decision and this time to shift their focus completely away from medical tech to becoming a VR company.  

The change of business model was also partly due to the interest of car manufacturer Volkswagen (VW) shown in SenseGlove. In 2016, they built their first demonstrator and presented it at the CEBIT conference a year later. That was where VW saw their glove and was interested in using it for their assembling training.

They shipped their first development kits less than two years after the company was founded. Their haptic glove combines force feedback to feel restriction, as well as tactical feedback to feel the texture of an object. This combination enables the users to react similarly as in real life.

“Hand presence in VR is one of the most immersive things. At the moment I grasp this bottle in a virtual environment, I feel resistance with the resistance I feel the density and the size of an object. It feels like I’m actually holding it,” Gijs adds.

In the beginning of 2018, the team wanted to make their first batch of SenseGloves. That was when investor and now Operation Manager Niels Bogert joined the team. Currently, SenseGlove is a team of nine full-time employees, two of whom are the original co-founders. 

For the future, they are working on a wireless version that is less bulky, smaller and easy to clean. The Exo Skeleton can already be purchased as a developer kit. Up until now, SenseGlove sold around 100 kits including clients like Google DeepMind, VW, Scania, Fraunhofer and Airbus.

Milestones

November 2014 – Winners of YES!Delft’s Validation Lab  program

April 2015 – STW grand; – Joined YES!Delft’s Incubation Program

 September 2016 – Secured funding from Unique

 End of 2016 – Change of business model   

 September 2017 – Demonstration at CEBIT

 Beginning of 2018 – Investment from Angel investor and COO

 November 2019 – Funding from Forward.one and Value Creation Capital

YES!Funded announces its new Director

Following the need from startups for support in their funding journey, we launched YES!Funded a year ago. YES!Funded is a three pillar proposition service, where we help startups become investor ready, introduce them to relevant investors, and if desired we also provide support with actual funding rounds, both in the form of deal making and grants writing. Our service is unique because we provide support to startups in every stage of their funding lifecycle and we can act based on the specific needs of these startups. 

THE FIRST YEAR

When we started YES!Funded, it was all about solving acute funding problems, building trust from scratch with no track record and infrastructure. Because we realized a lack of knowledge on funding issues, we piloted an Investor Readiness Program. In parallel, we built an extensive investors network and sought collaboration with informal investor circles, platforms and banks, in order to organise quick access to a large investor base. We entered into contracts with several startups, succeeding in closing one equity deal, and executing numerous grants applications together with our partner StasburgReeve. 

Now that we know that there is a large need for support in this area, we are going to further build and scale our proposition. To make this possible, YES!Delft asked Bianca Boelema-Noordhuizen to join YES!Funded as the Director. With her experience in M&A (at Philips), venture capital and angel investments, Bianca has in-depth knowledge of the entire startup investment process. Therefore, this new role and task to take YES!Funded to the following stage fits her perfectly. 

THE NEW ROLES

Bianca will be responsible for managing the YES!Funded service from an operational and strategic point of view, and will focus on developing and building the proposition to a national proposition. This includes building a strong team, implementing the Investor Readiness Program, attracting potential partners, establishing an active network of investors and providing startup access to this network.  

Jan Geert is responsible for the investment advice to the startup community, the deal flow and execution of private investment tracks, and together with StrasburgReeve for the grant application flow. With his throughout experience in the tech-startup and investments world, he can advise startups on anything from business planning and finance to startup funding, investor focus, grants, deal structure and governance.

Carola has been part of YES!Funded from the start and played an important role in piloting the Investor Readiness Program. In addition, she supports the startup and investor communities by bringing them together and building an investor network. She makes sure that investors have access to the right investment opportunities, matching their investment focus with startups needs.

Warp VR YES!Delft success story

Warp VR: Learning by experience, with the help of virtual reality

For large organizations, carrying out safety and procedural trainings for their staff can often be time-consuming and costly. Just think of a fire drill: You need to plan for it, book a designated time slot and make sure that everyone has evacuated the premises according to the established evacuation plan. This is certainly a crucial training, but one that takes a lot of resources, too. 

Now, what if there was another way? Thijs de Vries and fellow co-founders, Adriaan Rijkens , Danny de Bruijn and Guido Helmerhorst, started Warp VR to help organizations create immersive training scenarios using Virtual Reality (VR). And with clients such as KLM, Tata Steel, ErsteBank and others, they seem to be on the right track.

FROM A SIMPLE IDEA

For Thijs, laying the foundation of Warp was a logical step in his professional career. While studying Industrial Design at the TU Delft, he became interested in the psychology of product design. “There’s a lot of psychology going into video games, for example,” he says. “People get hooked, playing for hours, and I was interested in why that happens.”

Gradually, he went on to advising companies on how to use gaming techniques to influence behavior – anything from increasing employee motivation to improving customer experience. After all, influencing behavior for the better has been, and still is, one of his main professional drivers. 

When Thijs, Adriaan, Danny and Guido met in early 2016, they immediately clicked and decided to join forces in the mission to advance learning by using VR. As the core team behind Warp, they create training scenarios for their customers, and by building those with the help of gaming techniques, achieve engaging and immersive experiences. 

Almost immediately after their launch, they signed Dutch airline KLM as their first customer, and that was exactly what they needed to kick-start their business. 

THROUGH YES!DELFT

For team Warp, gaming techniques is what makes experiences both realistic and memorable. “The way games work is by assuming people don’t know anything about the topic,” Thijs says. “They throw them into the deep but create a safe environment for them to learn and make mistakes. That’s how you learn best – by doing and by experiencing.”

Because the training scenarios are so immersive – think a VR-powered fire drill that doesn’t save you the loud blaring of the fire alarm – users are likely to remember the do’s and don’ts of a safety procedure rather quickly. After all, with VR, you are in the situation both physically and emotionally, and that is bound to leave long-lasting memories.

For the team, getting to where they are now hasn’t been without the help of YES!Delft and their team of experts. Warp joined the Incubation Program in February 2017 with the aim to grow their company and make their technology available on a larger scale. 

“YES!Delft has been a great source of a lot of new knowledge in a very short amount of time,” Thijs says. “The program itself has also given us credibility in the eyes of potential customers.”

TO A GROWING COMPANY 

Creating immersive training scenarios is what got the team of four started. Today, they operate a web-based platform where customers can drag and drop their own scenarios and with the help of 360˚ video, completely create their own training programs. What’s more, the platform provides the analytics behind the trainings, enabling companies to gain insights into how their employees – and their organization as a whole – are performing.

Warp has also partnered up with creative companies who can assist customers in creating highly-effective scenarios. “We call these partners Warp Experts and they can help customers with writing scenarios, but also with the media production,” Thijs says. 

Since their early days, the team has not stopped doing customer development. Today, they have several more clients in their portfolio, including CSU, Patyna, the Ministry of Security and Justice and the Dutch Fire Department. For the last of them, they have developed an app training people on what to do if their house is on fire – the app is available here (for iOS) and here (for Android).

“The use of Virtual Reality for training has gained a lot of traction over the last years. In these years, we have learned a lot from working with some of the biggest customers. We have been able to improve our product and we keep on improving going forward. Virtual Reality training is here to stay and we are confident to play a major part in it,” Thijs says.

Milestones

January 2016 – Company founded; – First client signed

September 2016 – Research by the Academic Medical Center (AMC) validated VR learning works better than e-learning

February 2017 – Admission into YES!Delft’s Incubation Program

November 2017 – First major deal, signed contract with KLM

May 2018 – Winner of the VR Rising Star Award

February 2019 – Winner Get in the Ring Award

March 2019 – Winner Learning Innovation Award

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