Designing Sonr

April 23, 2020

When it comes to design we should not only use our imagination but also think about functionality. Such a device as Sonr needed to be small, sleek, hydrodynamic, and minimalistic. Nothing extra and nothing distracting from the main function: deliver sound to the inner ear of the swimmer and not interfere with the hydrodynamics. 

We gathered the designers. Some were armed with photoshop, some with a pencil, and after Dmitri explained his visions and concepts - they started to draw.

3 main feature were articulated:

  • It should not interfere with swimming.
  • It should be without wires.
  • Ears should be free.

It was immediately decided that we would use bone conduction — the conduction of sound to the inner ear primarily through the bones of the skull. Usual bone conduction headphones are located on both sides of the temples, next to the ears.

Dmitri, being a swimmer himself, mentioned that he has been swimming with similar headphones and they were uncomfortable and frankly speaking true torture.

If you swim correctly, then doing the crawl or the backstroke your forearm touches the ear on each stroke and, respectively, brushes against the headphones on your temples. As a result — the hand is rubbed sore in one place, the headphone rubs against the temple and the brains begin to boil, instinctively trying to move the hand away from the irritant in the ear and, at the same time, breaking the technique.

We decided to change the game and make a device truly for swimmers, not just for the sake of beautiful underwater shots or for listening to music but for people who come every day and do lap after lap in the swimming pool, who are passioned about swimming and for those who wanted to win. Therefore, our device will be placed on the back of the head, without disturbing anyone. Then we thought “Why should we be bound just to the back of the head?” The receiver can be placed anywhere under the cap!

Next was the form. First thing that came to mind was a circle: black and small. We decided to call it a “pluck”. The bone speaker should be centered and on the back we had the power button. That’s it. The rest is unnecessary. 

When it was clear what we were creating, for whom, how it should work, and what was the main function — we started to sketch.

And suddenly all the ideas, concepts, visions came to life. 

Time to go to the engineers. Man, they had a good laugh about the ideas. Meaning that it was pretty much impossible to fit all the parts into a tiny case.

And guess what? They did. But we will talk about this a bit later.

Stay tuned.

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