With its spectacular concept, Aero Glass managed to conquer even non-aviation websites and blogs a few years ago. The inspiration to re-imagine aerial navigation came from founder Ákos Maróy’s media art background, his passion for flying aircraft, and his serial entrepreneur spirit.
Aero Glass is a Mixed Reality application that provides pilots with navigation information in true 3D whichever way they are looking. By this, the burden of processing some of the information and the hazards of taking the pilot’s eyes off the sky are eliminated. As statistics show that pilot error is the cause of 60‐70% of aviation accidents, this goes a long way in improving flight safety.
The development of the 3D, 360° augmented reality (AR) solution began in 2013, and an early version of the app was distributed to 200 beta testers in 2014. In 2015, the project won a 2-year grant in the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 SME Instrument programme for research and innovation.
“Aero Glass is one of the most impressive concepts in the area of Augmented Reality for aerospace. At Airbus BizLab we believe it has the cutting-edge innovation factor that could revolutionize the way pilots experience their flights”, said Stefan Holst of Airbus BizLab. “We are excited to see where we’ll go together and the effects Aero Glass can have on piloting aircraft worldwide.”
Airbus BizLab strives to speed up the transformation of ground-breaking ideas into valuable business propositions. Participants have access to the entire innovation ecosystem of the aircraft manufacturer, to an entrepreneurial community of BizLab “graduates”, and, eventually, to an implementation programme to prepare a hand-off strategy.
“Airbus BizLab is a huge opportunity for us. It validates Aero Glass; it is a recognition of our efforts and results by one of the most significant industry players. I think that Airbus’ decades of experience and Aero Glass’ disruptive startup approach could complement each other nicely. The combination of these factors has the possibility to drive our solution to success in commercial aviation as well,” explained Aero Glass’ Ákos Maróy.
Startups that apply have to go through a strict selection process to be accepted to the six-month accelerator. The screening committee includes Airbus Chief Innovation Officer Yann Barbaux and Bruno Gutierres, Head of Airbus BizLabs. Last year, 15 external startups and 27 internal projects were admitted.
The selected projects are given the resources needed to become a commercial reality. BizLab mentors offer support in numerous domains – such as technology, finances, marketing and legal issues –, and help the entrepreneurs with prototyping and market access. The projects also participate in a demo day to raise funding for commercial operation.