I guess the majority of us Swiss Alumni know him, as far as I know, he never missed out a Reunion Weekend and he’s often present at all the other events. But just a few people know about his Tech-Startup. The person we’re talking about today is Kordian Caplazi.
Kordian is a long-term member of our Alumni network, he participated in the Company Programme in 2010/2011 and then directly joined YES Alumni. His company, called Backbord, produced bags made out of used sails, but wasn’t his ticket to the start-up hall of fame however, the gathered entrepreneurial spirit didn’t let go of him. "To me, it has already become clear at the beginning of my studies that I would not apply for a job after my graduation. I'm going to start something myself" were Kordian's words.
So, he started his studies in mechanical engineering at the ETH in Zurich. During his master thesis, that focused on augmented reality, Kordian met a fellow student interested in this topic as well. In his thesis he investigated human behaviour to better understand and predict the users’ hand movements. His co-founder (David) investigated on how to guide a technician best by showing the right information at the right place. Thanks to the knowledge gained during their thesis they are now working on a framework for the Microsoft HoloLens 2 as well as hand held devices, that instruct the wearer of the lenses step by step how to fix or assemble a machine. You can imagine this like somebody shows you exactly what to do in every moment – but this doesn’t need anybody, you just need the app. You can find details about Kordian's work on their Webseite (rimon-ar.ch). Or here's a video where Kordian shows how to make coffee with his software - in a regular context the use case would surely be a bit more complicated.
Kordian was stunned by the efficiency. He himself assembled a machine within 1.5 hours, that used to require a three-day training course before having their application. From this moment on it was clear what their master thesis and their new start-up is all about. But still the YES Alumni goes much further, he tells me with fascination: "I found out as part of my master thesis that we can predict the behaviour of users based on their eye movement. For example, we can warn an electrician if he is about to touch a high-voltage cable. The work becomes not only more efficient, but also much safer."
A few applications on the topic of augmented reality (AR) instructions already exist. But the USP from Kordian’s Rimon Technologies, so the name of the company, is that users can create new AR instructions without the need of coding skills. Probably you know websites that can be edited without programming, called CMS (Content Management System). Rimon Technologies offer kind of the same thing, just for creating AR instructions.
At first, Kordian and his colleague started an Instagram channel to find out if there was any need in the market. Already enough to find some interested companies. "We are one of the first players in a market that is growing steadily at the moment" says Kordian. Even the COVID-19 pandemic is not capable to slow down the success of the start-up. Companies can still order new machines, but the specialists cannot fly around the globe to commission the new machine. "The specialist is missing, but someone who knows how to use a screwdriver can be found in every company” explains Kordian. Together with the app from Rimon Technologies, the company is able to get the machine running without the need of a specialist.
At the moment, Kordian and his business partner are busy developing the additional features. With their first customers they are co-creating helpful features to better understand the market need. He says: “at the beginning when working with the first customers you need to balance the business side and the development progress”.
When asked if anything from the Company Programme helped him, Kordian quickly had an answer: “Firstly, it’s the mindset. If you see a process that should be improved, as a CP Alumni you think about possible solutions and try to improve it rather than just get upset about it. Further, by the time you found a company, it really does feel like you've done it all before. Just a little more professional this time.”
There is something that is important to Kordian to pass on to us Alumni: When you have a great idea, share it! Do not think somebody will steal it from you, you are the creator and the visionary behind it. Most likely nobody can see the idea like you do. But other people can help you realizing your idea.
Those are beautiful final sentences which fit to our Alumni spirit. For me personally Kordian represents our Alumni thinking in a great way. He started his studies without exactly knowing on what he will build up a company, but when the opportunity came, he took it and developed it. Thank you for your Alumni success story and continuing good luck, Kordian!
What’s augmented reality?
Behind the term “augmented reality” is the mix between normal and virtual reality. When you wear an augmented reality gadget, you can still see your hand, your surroundings, anything. In addition, you can see virtual layers, placed in your normal view. You can interact with them through gestures and eye movement. If you like to see further examples, check out the video from Rimon Technologies above or just google it ;).