Vaonis makes the cosmos accessible through a smartphone (and raises 3.9 million euros in pre-orders).

Since its establishment in 2016, the Montpellier-based startup has continuously strived to make the sky accessible to everyone. This is why they have launched three telescopes connected to an application (Gravity by Vaonis) for the general public: Stellina, which has been on the market for five years, its miniaturized version Vespera, and Hyperia, a hybrid product between a connected telescope and an astronomical observatory, a technological marvel intended for institutions or associations (as it is sold between 50,000 and 100,000 euros, depending on the options). These exquisite tools for astronomers are manufactured in Montpellier, subcontracted to the adapted company APF34.

« I cannot reword »

The Montpellier-based startup is primarily targeting the North American market with its new product, named Hestia.

« Hestia is the realization of an idea I had since the creation of Vaonis because I was convinced that with the evolution of phone sensors, the best telescope would be the one we have in our pocket, which is our smartphone, » explains the young leader. Smartphones indeed have increasingly powerful cameras and image processing tools… It is since the iPhone 13, and equivalent Android devices, that the cameras are sufficiently powerful to observe the sky. However, there is a limit: they can only magnify up to ten to fifteen times and do not collect much light. We address these issues with Hestia. »

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Total solar eclipse

Hestia is known as the « smartphone-based telescope » because it is a device (about the size of a VHS cassette, for those who remember…) equipped with a more powerful eyepiece than that of a smartphone. The device is placed on a tripod, and all you need to do is place the smartphone on Hestia, aligning its lens with that of the device, to observe and obtain clear and detailed images of lunar craters or solar spots. The Gravity by Vaonis app, which connects to the smartphone, helps guide the astronomer.

Hestia est vendu au prix de 250 euros. Comme elle l’avait fait pour ses trois premiers produits, Vaonis a lancé, de la mi-juillet à la mi-août, une campagne de financement par pré-commandes sur la plateforme Kickstarter.

« I cannot reword »

A celestial event that will not occur again until… 2044.

Fabriqué en Asie

The young startup has committed to start delivering Hestia in December and assures its American customers that the product will be delivered on time for the solar eclipse in April 2024.

Cyril Dupuy states that currently, our production schedules are managed by APF34, which produces all of our products except for Hestia. Hestia is manufactured in Asia through a French company for cost reasons.

Vaonis currently employs 22 staff members and is hiring three individuals: an operations director, a marketing project manager, and a sales representative.

Lire aussiUsing its Vespera telescope, Vaonis brings the sky (almost) within reach.

Cécile Chaigneau

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