Hello, my name is Ayman Arandi from Palestine. I am co-founder and general manager of Iris Solutions. I hold BSc in Computer Engineering from An-Najah National University at Palestine, and MSc Management, Information Systems and Innovation from London School of Economics and Political Science at the United Kingdom. I have 5 years of experience in technology, entrepreneurship, and product design that I have gained through working at different companies, corporations, NGOs, and prior start-ups to Iris.
It all started with a university graduation project in which my partner Ahmad Rabi and I came up with a new technology that transfers conventional transparent surfaces into a touch responsive ones using image processing. This project achieved several awards on the national and international levels.
It took the team and me nearly a year of research and development to pull off the first commercial version of our touch screen, and that was made possible after our partner Mohammad Na’nish joined it. Our first touch screen was installed at the Nativity Church square information center at Bethlehem, which had a simple touch screen with touristic information. While our most recent project was Jenin Tourism Center, which featured grown-breaking solutions that are the first of its kinds in the whole region. Iris currently serves more than 50 high-profile clients all over Palestine, and is considered as a brand for innovation and creativity here.
Iris now operates in two main domains: Interactive Solutions and Assistive Technology. In the first domain, we provide our clients with intelligent solutions utilizing the power of touch technology to provide & retrieve information in a creative, elegant and user-friendly manner. We offer our interactive solutions to conferences, museums, large retail stores, and telecom companies.
In the second domain, Iris offers sensory technology that enhances the rehabilitation process of autistic and disabled children using a controlled environment of light, music, along with other technological and tactile equipment that can either stimulate or relax the user using a user-friendly touch screen that controls the whole experience in the room. These rooms are called “Sensory Rooms”.
Under the assistive technology, and along with our main product – the Sensory Room -, Iris have launched at the beginning of 2014 a new line for developing video games for children with disabilities & autism. The games are carefully designed based on research and cooperation with specialized research centers providing services for autistic children. The games can be used on multiple platforms: mobile, tablets, and PCs. The games aim to enhance multiple sets of essential skills for children.
Iris have also developed a portable case hosting an array of sensory stimulating equipment and devices. The case – kit – covers and develops diffactory, visual, auditory, tactile and kinesthetic skill for children with Autism. The sensory kits was dispensed for nine different centers across the West Bank
During this 3 years journey – which yet to be completed, the team and I have faced many difficulties; which varied between unstable economical and political environment that controls the market, complicated and unpredictable clearance from the Israeli side whenever we needed to import some goods to enhance our technology, to the bootstrapping strategy that we had to take at the very first stage for the lack of angels and seed funding when we started.
The sensory room at Gaza is an example of on-ground difficulties that businesses face in Palestine. Iris has established the first sensory room in Gaza Strip. This project was a challenge for team as we are located at - West Bank. Moreover, as Palestinians from the WB we do not have access to Gaza due to the Israeli checkpoints which separates both areas. In order to do this project, we have videotaped the process of installation of every solution in the room, and sent the equipment through an international organization, and then we followed up with a technician team from Gaza on Skype for a month until the room was in full operation, and now serving more than 100 children a week!
Last but not least, allow me to congrats my partners: Mohammad Na’nish, and Ahmad Rabi, along myself for getting this recognition by H.H Prince Abdel Aziz ibn Abdallah by the award.