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.
We like to keep you updated on the swimming news and to be aware of what is happening in the world. So today we decided to share with you some updates on opening pools, how to deal with quarantine and how to come back to swimming after the lockdown.
2 weeks ago we told you about our brilliant minds working on the hardware part of Sonr. This week it’s time to meet the software engineers or as they call themselves very fancy: embedded system software developers - Nicolai Levinet and Andrei Zglavoc.
Today we share some updates regarding opening pools in the USA. VOA News reports that IF the pools are reopening this summer they will suffer a lot of changes like screening temperatures on entry, requiring lifeguards to wear masks and significantly reducing the number of swimmers allowed in the water and locker rooms, etc.