27 December 2023 – The Estonian-Croatian defense industry startup Vegvisir has announced the closure of its first sales contract. In collaboration with the Estonian surveillance system provider DefSecIntel, Vegvisir Core will be deployed to Ukraine in Spring 2024.
While details of the contract remain confidential, Vegvisir’s CEO Ingvar Pärnamäe noted its significance as proof that situational awareness solutions can offer a significant advantage to vehicle troops on the battlefield. He hopes that Vegvisir’s success will boost the confidence of other startups effectively combining hardware and software to bring innovation into defense equipment.
“Governments worldwide are modernizing and expanding their military capabilities in response to escalating global conflicts, which has also led to a significant increase of defense budgets. As a result, the defense sector has become more attractive in the eyes of founders and investors – it has become evident that involvement in the defense sector does not equate to contributing to war; rather, the opposite,” he noted.
According to him, funding can still be a challenge for startups. Hardware-focused startups often raise a red flag in the investors’ eyes due to their need for substantial investments and engineering resources, as well as extended development and sales cycles.
“It took us nearly three years of planning, fundraising, research, development, relentless testing, and negotiations with manufacturers to reach the first contract. This goes to show that even though the risks are high, so are the rewards. If the value created is scalable, there is potential for lucrative contracts with governments over several years that definitely makes the venture worthwhile,” he said, adding that the company is consistently involving new investors to enhance the functionality of the solution.
Vegvisir’s situational awareness system uses vehicle-mounted cameras, an immersive ultra-low latency headset, and supplementary data overlay capability to provide the vehicle personnel a comprehensive 360-degree view of the surrounding environment. This heightened awareness equips troops with the tools to navigate complex scenarios and make well-informed decisions on the battlefield.
Vegvisir presented its first ready-made products at the DSEI trade show this September. The company showcased two versions of the solution at DSEI – Vegvisir Core and Vegvisir Remote. Vegvisir Core is designed to deliver a comprehensive 360-degree view on infantry fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers, combat support platforms, engineering vehicles, main battle tanks, but also in naval domain. It connects the crew into a digital hub allowing seamless interaction and access to digital data. Vegvisir Remote offers a similar experience to Vegvisir Core but is optimized for lower bandwidth, making it ideal for remote use. Its primary application is on optionally manned or unmanned platforms that require remote operation.
Vegvisir technical features
- 4 sensor system modules attached to the vehicle (front, sides and rear)
- 360 degrees field of view by combining different layers of sensor system
- Ultra low latency
- Military grade casings with cleaning system
- Optional thermal sensors
- Head or helmet mounted display (goggles) for Mixed Reality experience
- Intuitive user interaction panel
- Custom 3D virtual engine to support multi-user and channel input
- Additional interfaces available: CAN, ETH
- Custom UI to effectively show data from vehicle or other systems
- Battlefield management system integration with data virtualization and visualization
- Vehicle information visualization
Photos courtesy Vegvisir