Sometimes it’s the ideas that seem weird that ultimately produce the most fascinating results.
Those were the days – if you grew up in the 1990s or had children at the right age back then, you’re bound to remember having crazy water fights to cool down during the summer holidays. No sooner were the Super Soakers and other water pistols brought out than you were good to go! However, try looking for a modern equivalent that combines the fun of days gone by with the latest technological advances and you’ll be disappointed, as there have unfortunately been no notable developments in this field – quite the contrary. Sebastian Walter, who previously worked as a product designer in the automotive sector, came to the same conclusion. The fact he refused to give up and pursued his dreams shows, however, that we have a lot to learn from the start-up scene.
Starting shot for a career in the water pistol business
In light of this gap in the market, it didn’t take Walter long to decide what he had to do and he forged a plan on how to create a better product. Together with a software and electronics expert, he began developing the first prototype for the water pistol of the future. Just a short time afterwards, the two friends successfully applied for support from the Start-up Incubator of the Strascheg Center for Entrepreneurship at Munich University of Applied Sciences. Besides offering financial aid, the Start-up Incubator also gives entrepreneurs practical assistance and a space where they can tinker about undisturbed.
The result of their hard work is the “Spyra One”, referred to by its founders as “the water pistol for dads”. What makes this innovative water pistol stand out is that it doesn’t just shoot one long jet of water but fires lots of small spurts, as the valve only ever opens for a split second. Targeting your opponents is therefore easy – and completely harmless. Only tiny amounts of water are used, with each shot releasing a maximum of 40 ml. The Spyra One offers an experience that is less like traditional water fights and much more like playing laser tag or paintball, although players don’t need expensive specialist clothing or a controlled environment to have a good time. After all, the entrepreneurs’ vision has always been to create a product for spontaneous water fights in the park on a summer’s day.
Cutting-edge technology for summer fun
Production of the Spyra One has not yet started, but the prototype alone is highly impressive and already fully functional. To create the prototype, the Spyra team created a basic frame built using the MB Building Kit System and attached the remaining parts, which were made by a 3D printer using rapid prototyping. This is where our stable yet flexible aluminium profile technology had particular advantages to offer, creating a foundation that held the other components, including the integrated electronics, firmly together. Spyra actually came into contact with item by chance, but you could say it was destiny. Among the other start-ups using the facilities of the Start-up Incubator is the Formula Student team, municHMotorsport. Given that we have been a long-standing supporter of this exciting university sport, as many of our readers will know, it didn’t take long before our MB Building Kit System came up in conversation.
The kickstarter campaign is just around the corner
After using our profile technology to good effect for the first time, it wasn’t long before the next project came around, when we helped the team build test equipment. The structure in question is made from aluminium profiles and is enclosed on all sides with acrylic glass to create a kind of corridor where individual “shots” can be observed to determine how they behave, looking at how far the water shoots and how big an area they hit.
The team of passionate entrepreneurs at the start-up has gradually grown. Marketing expert Rike Brand is overseeing a playful promotional campaign for the Spyra One on Facebook, for example. Summer 2018 will be a crucial milestone for the start-up. This is when the team will begin a 30-day campaign on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, where the high-tech water pistol will be available to pre-order across the globe. Anyone interested in the innovative gadget can help finance production by pre-ordering the Spyra One on Kickstarter and will then be one of the first customers to get their hands on the water gun in spring 2019. We’ve got our fingers well and truly crossed and look forward to discovering more innovative products from this fantastic start-up in the future!