Everything started in our development lab under the name “Garage“. We all know that the greatest things in the world were invented in a tiny garage by some people with big dreams. We wanted to change the world too. Just like them.
Dmitri Voloshin assembled a group of talented people to make his dreams become reality. He was into startups at that time and was very excited to create something unique and out of this world. As we mentioned before the idea came to Dmitri while preparing for IronMan. He could not hear his coach in the water and he thought it would be great to have a walkie-talkie attached to the head. Guess what? It did not work. Dmitri needed some help.
Garage was created, a team was assembled and it was the time to do some magic. Those were the thoughts Dmitri had when he came to them with the idea of an “underwater walkie-talkie” to help coaches improve a swimmer’s technique during practice. The coach holds the transmitter, while a receiver is placed under the swimmer’s cap. The device will function underwater like a sonar. It’s that simple.
Judging by the expressions on their faces it was not going to be “that simple”. When Sergey (CTO) asked how big should the receiver be he did not expect the next answer:
“A tiny one, unnoticeable and round-shaped. No one has ever done this before,” Dmitri said. “Bone conduction will allow it to work anywhere on the skull.”
Dmitri was never a quitter and even when he was told that this is impossible he smiled and answered: “I believe in you guys”.
Maybe it was his faith in this project, maybe the engineers were professionals, maybe the stars aligned in a perfect row but 3 days later the team showed the first results.
They found out that not all radio signal types can pass through water. Let’s say, all sorts of high-frequency Bluetooth and GSM won’t even pass one centimeter deep. Forget the phone with its GHz. Only long, low-frequency radio waves can reach deep underwater. And the longer the radio wave, the easier it passes through the water depth.
There was just a tiny problem: using a frequency with a wavelength of about 2 meters means that a half-meter antenna will stick out under the swimming cap.
“Well, even if not 50 cm, we can make the antenna 25 or even 12.5 cm, but not less than that. It’s going to be big. We can make it look like headphones, but we can’t make it tiny and round.” - said the engineers.
The word “impossible” for Dmitri is like a red flag in front of a bull — he will poke at it until the horns fall off. He often came across the fact that people underestimate themselves. They don’t believe in themselves, but rather, they believe in what others consider impossible.
Well. Dmitri usually asks for things that seem unrealistic, and somehow, unexpectedly people find the solution.
It did not matter if the antenna will stick out of water. It did not matter if it will look ugly. It was important to try. And to believe it will happen. Guess what? It did.
The world starts to wake up little by little and more places are opening from a long quarantine. Since the CDC issued some new guidelines for the safety of those who operate, manage, and use public pools, hot tubs, and water playgrounds - pools and work out facilities are ready to reopen.
The third prototype was on the way. Our engineers armed with smart software and a soldering iron shut themselves in the “Garage” lab for a week with a promise to roll out a new version of Sonr.
Designing the logo of the product is one of the keys to success when it comes to marketing. A great logo sometimes can change everything. Take Nike, Apple, McDonald’s. Simplicity is the answer.