"OVAO" is a virtual swimming training assistant, a startup company founded by 5 Lithuanians: Aldas, Justinas, Kamile, Marius and Mindaugas. They firmly claim that this swimming couching device is one of the most convenient and practical of all in the market. It can be used by both - amateur or professional swimmers and triathletes. This device has no analogues and solves a very actual problem, which is faced by many swimmers - tracking swimming training biometrics.
This virtual assistant works much better than a regular wearable smart watch on the wrist and it is much more comfortable to use while swimming. This is due to the simple technology that allows swimmers to attach this device to almost any swimming goggle's strap. The main advantage of "OVAO" is that it estimates the heart rate by measuring the pulse of the temple artery, which provides very accurate data on the heart condition and regime of the whole workout. Everything is measured in real time and can be viewed in the phone app after the workout. The device gives information to the athlete through the light signals - blinking frequency and changing colours. If "OVAO" changes colour to blue, that means that swimmers heart-zone pursuing 60-70 % of MHR (Maximum Heart Rate). This mode is the best for people, who want to lose weight. When goggles turn orange, that means swimmer is speeding up about 80-90% of MHR and it indicates that a person is training to improve the cardiovascular system. This device will allow you to choose a training program based on your goals. It means, that if you are swimming too slow or too fast for the program you chose, "OVAO" will inform you by flashing LED-indicator which tell you that you need to change speed. In addition, virtual swimming training assistant also tracks all important parameters of swimming results, including lap time, distance swam, lap count, stroke rate, average pace, calories burned, etc.
Project uniqueness and complexity gathered numbers of professionals. The team included electrical technicians, mechanical engineers, programmers and investors. It is worth mentioning that this project caught attention of one of the biggest venture capital fund in Lithuania - „Nextury Ventures“ led by famous entrepreneur Ilja Laurs. We are proud that "Micromolds" team, played main role in mechanical engineering area and was responsible for designing the product and its prototyping process.
One of the biggest challenges in housing design was insulation and water resistance at high water pressure. Insulation issue was further burdened with more design requirements: housing had to have sections of transparent surfaces for measuring the pulse of the artery and a flexible LED light transmitter rod.
We used ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) thermoplastic material for housing injection moulding and PC (polycarbonate) plastic over-molding for transparent sections in the moulded housing. Also, we used TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) to encapsulate flexible sensor holder arm and fix it to the main body. We sealed the remaining joints with ultrasonic welding.
Sophisticated structure of the product had to be optimized for injection moulding manufacturability and over-moulding processes. Afterwards, we launched for prototyping and used SLA (stereolithography) and FDM (fused deposition modeling) 3D printing technologies for it. SLA technology is based on photo-sensitive liquid resin which solidifies when illuminated. SLA enables prototyping of flexible parts and in this case was used for clickable button and bendable sensor extension prototypes. We used FDM 3D printing technology for main housing prototype. It works when fused plastic dispenser head moves vertically and horizontally and layer by layer dispenses plastic creating a 3D shape.
We were able to see how new product has been developing from up close. Understanding not only engineering side of project gave us great value in working with teams. We saw how new product is delivered to the market and how important is to maintain "LEAN" mindset when creating MVPs and what challenges startup teams face. We had a lot of communication inside our team which led us to learn that every project detail is more cross-linked than we have imagined. Perceived knowledge has enriched us as a company and encouraged to work harder to reach for more similar projects so we could not only provide with on-demand manufacturing services but also create something new and innovate. We believe that there will be more projects like this in the future and we cannot wait for new challenges.