Newly discovered: Benson and Nelson Chiu told HKEJ and PC Market that 1000 machines were assembled by hand and shipped back in July of 2014! How ludicrous is that?
According to the HK ICT committee, one of the requirements for entering the contest is that: “The product, application or service offered by the company must be launched or in operation for at least three months before the date of entry into the Hong Kong ICT Awards 2015” (some time around Jan 2015). This would mean a phantom-like Arist machine was actually released to public long before any backers could have a glimpse of what it actually looks like.
In response to the rising doubts, both the official HK ICT committee and founders of Arist (Benson and Nelson Chiu) responded that the machine had indeed satisfied the requirements. And according to a follow up story written by HKEJ, Nelson claimed that “back in July 2014, He and Benson had already sold over 1000 first generation Arist units to baristas all over the world.”
According to this interview done by the PC Market magazine of Hong Kong here and here, the first generation machines were “assembled by hand and shipped to baristas after they signed a non-disclosure agreement.” If the claim is true, it would mean that Benson and Nelson successfully accomplished one of the most stunning secret operations ever, by shipping 1000 Arist units around the world all under the radar of backers and media alike. There is still no one who has drank Arist coffee and lived to tell the tale.