In a bit of consumer technology news for the books, start-up Vaonis was named a CES 2021 Innovation Awards Honoree, as well as receiving the Best of Innovation Award. The accolades were for its new creation Vespera, the world’s most compact observation station. The announcement was made ahead of the CES 2021 event, which will be held virtually for the first time on Jan 11-14, 2021.
About the CES Innovation Awards Program
The CES Innovation Awards program is owned and produced by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA). The event features an annual competition honoring outstanding design and engineering in consumer technology products across 28 product categories. Prior to bestowment, an elite panel of industry expert judges, including members of the media, designers, and engineers, review submissions based on innovation, engineering and functionality, aesthetic, and design.
What is the Vespera Observation Station?
Vaonis announced in October of this year the launch of a miniaturized version of their high-tech product Stellina, which is a hybrid between a smart telescope and a camera. Named Vespera, which is Latin for “Evening,” the new device is a more lightweight and compact version of Stellina. Moreover, the Vespera allows consumers to access the wonders of the universe with ease.
Equally important, it represents a revolution in the world of astronomy. Two former NASA Astronauts, Scott Kelly and Terry Virts, are working with Vaonis to launch Vespera into the world. Additionally, the smart and fully automated Vespera allows anyone to observe the night sky, capture photos of celestial objects, contemplate the cosmos, and share their discoveries in one place.
Vespera’s Successful Kickstarter Campaign
Surprisingly, an October 2020 Kickstarter campaign for the revolutionary observation station amassed $2.5M in one month. With 2,163 backers, the campaign to bring Vespera to consumers is the most funded project of all time in the category of space exploration. Because of the fundraiser’s success, they were able to start shipping Vespera orders to customers before Christmas 2021.
How Vespera Works
The observation station is super intuitive. Here’s how it works:
- Setup: Simply set up Vespera by unfolding its adjustable tripod legs.
- Press the button: Using the adjustable legs, press the button. The device comes to life and calibrates itself through Vaonis’s Star Field Recognition tech and the GPS of your device.
- Use the app: You can use the app to choose the object you want to observe. Vespera then points and tracks it.
- Decide where you want to go: The app functions as your space center; the place where you choose where you want to go. Another key point is that the interface is intuitive and user-friendly, and you can view any celestial object in their catalog. Features such as personalized recommendations on what to observe based on the astronomical calendar and your geolocation make things interesting.
Vespera’s Big Brother Stellina
Stargazing devotees may be familiar with Vespera’s big brother, Stellina. It is a smart and fully automated observation station featuring a powerful telescope and camera. The telescope is a game-changer in amateur astronomy. Stellina won several awards, including a Red Dot Design Award in 2019 and a CES Innovation Award in 2018.
Whereas the Stellina Telescope costs around $4,000, Vespera’s price is slightly under $1,000. To put it differently, Vaonis just made it more affordable for many of us to see galaxies, admire nebulas and other celestial objects in the universe. All without having to travel to a planetarium or leaving our yards, of course.
The Ultimate Pandemic Boredom Busters
Smart telescopes such as Vespera and Stellina are shaping up to be the ultimate in pandemic boredom busters. Furthermore, the company, which specializes in the production of astronomical instruments, says that “they have seen the number of uses, shared photos, and orders more than doubled since the beginning of the quarantine.”
Between everyone’s obligations to stay home and limitations on travel, individuals long to escape in safety. Enter Vaonis, a young start-up company that makes the starry sky a new playground. Notably, the company is comprised of astronomy, photography, and technology enthusiasts who work to share the wonders of the universe with the world. Stellina and Vespera are the first of a series of devices Vaonis is planning to create. Additionally, all of these creations will be based on the spirit of user-friendliness, shareability, and portability.
Lastly, if you find space fascinating, you may enjoy reading about how the scientists at the University of Pennsylvania recently discovered 139 Minor Planets.