Wearable Device Case Study
The Design Challenge
To optimize cardiovascular fitness, athletes target a specific heart rate toensure they are getting the most out of their workouts. Although thereare numerous devices for runners and bikers to monitor their heart rateduring exercise, swimmers have to stop to measure their heart rate oruse cumbersome monitors that are uncomfortable and create significantdrag.
As a college student, Hind Hobeika created a prototype of a monitor thatfits on swimming goggles to provide real-time heart rate feedback whileswimming. Her design won third prize in the Stars of Sciencecompetition. In order to commercialize the device, she founded acompany called Instabeat – its primary goal being to provide swimmerswith a self-tracking, noninvasive experience to obtain a completeassessment of their workout.
However, significant design challenges emerged as the team worked tobring Hobeika’s design to market. The device had to have water-tightseals and last through long-term exposure to sea water, chlorine anddirect sunlight. It also required sufficient flexibility to adjust to anyswimming goggles, but be rigid enough to hold firm against theswimmers head for good heart rate sensing.
To adapt the Instabeat into a commercially viable product, Instabeathired Aavid,Thermal division of Boyd Corporation.
The Aavid Solution
Aavid refined the Instabeat design to be more reliable, compact andoptimized for commercial manufacture. The prototype was created viaa soft tool that held the electronics in place while silicon was handpoured and cast. The prototype was essential to refine the algorithmsand heart rate measurement, but it was not water tight. This led toenhancing the design to use injection molding. However, as injectionmolding is a high-pressure, high-temperature process, this presentedseveral challenges to the electronics. Aavid simulated the process to seewhether the components would survive, and it was determined that thebattery would need to be installed after molding.
In addition to simulation and algorithms, Aavid produced concepts,detailed mechanical design, electrical design, PC board layout, firmwaredesign, heart rate monitor design, packaging design and massmanufacturing support.
The result: A ground-breaking swimming monitor that mounts ontoevery day goggles that can track, store, and display instant feedback onheart rate, while remaining water tight and not hindering the athletes’performance. Instabeat is now poised to revolutionize the way weswim.
For more information on how the Aavid can help you meet yourmechanical, electrical and industrial design goals, contact them here.