IOLITE - Open Water Swimming Revolution
IOLITE - Open Water Swimming Revolution
The IOLITE is a revolutionary GPS device giving you real-time guidance while swimming in open water - swim straight and fast with ease!
The IOLITE is a revolutionary GPS device giving you real-time guidance while swimming in open water - swim straight and fast with ease! Read more
About this project
OWN THE COURSE.
INTRODUCING A DEVICE THAT WILL CHANGE OPEN WATER SWIMMING... FOREVER
A PRECISE LINE = A SHORTER TIME.
IOLITE is a high-precision tracking device that is worn on the back of your swim goggles. IOLITE will send real time feedback during a swim directly to your goggles through a small LED array to give you the most efficient swim possible. IOLITE will analyze the direction you are swimming and as you veer off course, the LEDs will notify you what direction you need to swim to stay on course with significantly reduced sighting throughout the process.
LIGHT YOUR WAY TO THE FINISH LINE.
The LED display attaches to the goggles of your choice. The LED display is attached to IOLITE through a small waterproof wire that attaches at the back of your goggles or the swim cap. The lights will indicate if you are on course, slightly to the right or slightly to the left. Once you are back on course, a green light will display indicating that you are right where you need to be. In addition, cadence and pace tracking lights are placed to the right of the directional lights for additional data to be streamed to you during your open water swim.
YOUR SWIM YOUR WAY.
IOLITE will send you data in real time to make sure you maintain your pace exactly as planned. Finish strong with enough energy while reaching your goal speed with indications from three LEDs to the right of the direction LEDs. In addition, IOLITE will help keep rhythm in your stroke with the cadence LED. IOLITE can even tell you the distance you have swum to make pacing easier all the way to the finish.
IOSIGHT is a software program that will provide you with complete analytics after your swim. You can learn what you did during the swim and provide data on what you can do to improve that swim including distance, direction, speed, cadence and more. Included is a complete playback including every aspect of your swim and compare it, side-by-side with other swimmers who have swum the same course.
SO ... WHAT'S THE PROBLEM?
In short: learning to swim in open water!
While learning to swim and then training for Ironman, Steve and Raymond heavily used the swim training advice and coaching from Swim Smooth. They love to analyze data and as they tried to improve stroke efficiency, the data provided by Swim Smooth was invaluable. Their unique approach to swimming using swim types really helped identify the areas Steve and Raymond needed to work on.
Any guesses on the swim type for Steve and Raymond?
Don't know what were talking about when we say "swim types"? Go check out
and see what we are talking about!
Swim Smooth has many articles pointing out the difficulties of open water swimming vs swimming in a pool. Go check out the following articles on Swim Smooth to better understand the difficulties of open water swimming:
PICK YOUR PERK
WHERE ARE WE NOW?
- We have working prototypes all over the world - from the USA to South America, Europe, and even Australia!
- We have our CAD designs all complete.
- We have quotes from Injection Molding companies for our tooling (tooling refers to the molds you need to create plastic parts).
- We have a supply chain for all our parts set up.
- We have Alpha versions of our firmware, desktop, and online software.
- We have our Patent all filed
WHAT DO WE NEED?
- Funding for creation of our Injection Molding tooling
- Funding for a large enough production run to make IOLITE affordable
- Beta testers of the device firmware and the software to ensure it is ready for launch
HOW DID WE GET HERE?
This has been a fun process taking something from just an idea to an actual product. We had lots of setbacks along the way, but it was all worth it!
First things first. What do you do when you have an idea for electronics? Breadboard it!
Here is another one with a full array of LEDs:
We also went through all sorts of circuit designs and firmware approaches. To see a few of them check out this pic:
Of course, we didn't always think we would use LEDs in the eye display. Check out these cool goggles with fiber optic cables! It was cool, but just not bright enough in daylight.
While Raymond totally destroyed Steve at the triathlon Ironman Florida, Steve tried to use an early prototype. Unfortunately a little salt water got in and it stopped working so it was unusable. Here is the unfortunate prototype showing how much damage a little salt water can do to electronics.
We also tried our hand at 3D printing some case designs:
Of course, if you take some 3D printed parts you can make molds from them (or try and fail, try and fail, try and be sorta OK - like we did!).
Of course - what is the fun of having a mold, without and injection molding machine? Steve loves having this bad boy in the garage:
After getting the design refined a bit, you want to hold it in your hand. Here is a painted 3D mold of a final design option.
It all led to the working prototype. Here is a picture with it attached to some goggles and showing the neat little USB adapter to get your workouts onto the computer.
Wanna see what you would see while wearing the IOLITE? Here is an interesting view. When your goggles are on you can barely tell the eye piece is there.
Here is a view a little further off:
OK, now do you want to see this in action!? We could not figure out a way to show the eye piece while swimming, but here is Steve walking down his street and Steve's voice narrating live in all its un-mastered glory!
Here is a screenshot of a swim from Raymond. If the line is yellow, his eye piece showed yellow, and same with red. The nice blue line was when he was going straight. This is a swim where he only sighted a couple times in the first ten seconds then swam blind the rest of the time.
We thought this is a beautiful example because of all the imperfections. There is a bad cross current pushing towards the southwest that pulled him off initially and we had never swam here before so we did not know about it. You can see the long red line with the IOLITE telling Raymond he was off course, and he kept trying to make small corrections but it kept pushing him off. He realized something was wrong so eventually he sighted once more and realized it just had a wicked cross current. So he was able to adapt to the new information and completely trust the IOLITE and you can see how much better he did in a bay he had never swam in before! Pretty cool!
HOW DO WE MANUFACTURE THIS?
Getting manufacturing, packaging, and fulfillment all lined up takes some work. Fortunately we have all the ducks lined up now!
- First we get the PCB boards made in one of the two shops we have lined up - one in the USA, one in the far east.
- At the same time we have all our electronic components ordered. We already have them priced, sourced, and we made sure there are no shortages for the components we chose.
- We have a shop less than 30 minutes away that has 7 injection molding machines and can make in house tooling. This is all priced and ready to go. Once the tooling is done (6 weeks after the end of Kickstarter) they will make our plastic parts - even the fun overmolding.
- We also have a company right next door to the injection molding plant that will do our Pick and Place (that is a fancy machine that quickly places all your electronics onto your PCB boards).
- Last we will do processor programming, final assembly, and box them up. Steve and Raymond have a few kids (teenagers? when did that happen?) all ready to do the boxing!
- We have multiple options for fulfillment including shipping them out ourselves, using a local fulfillment center here in Utah County, or Amazon Fulfillment. This all depends on how successful we are! We can ramp up!
That about wraps it up ... if you have any questions ask away! We'll get them all answered in the FAQ. Please go tell your friends and help us spread the word!
OWN THE COURSE.
Risks and challenges
We have found some great local manufacturers for injection molding, but some parts (like our PCBs) will need to be done further away. While we have been careful in our selection, sometimes manufacturing delays can still occur. In addition we may need to switch manufacturers based on product demand (come on and spread the word!).
Having multiple companies all creating different parts for IOLITE, quality control can be a challenge. We are setting up inspection and testing stations for every component now so that when manufacturing is in full swing we can find issues as quickly as possible.
There is always the possibility of a hardware flaw. We are ready to make any hardware redesign on the fly and have added time in our delivery estimates assuming some changes will be needed.
Steve and Raymond are software developers by trade and we know all the pitfalls around software! While we always test our software to death, there are users smart enough to find bugs. By having beta testers out there as we do the first manufacturing run, our software will have gone through the gauntlet making sure it is as polished as can be.
The IOLITE prototype successfully tracks highly detailed GPS data and uses it to analyse all sorts of information including direction and pace. Most of our testing has been around Utah although we have prototypes being testing in other areas like South America, Europe, and Australia. However, testing outside of Utah has been limited. As we get more and more testing done firmware updates will be inevitable, but we'll be ready before shipping our devices - and the ability to update after the IOLITE is in your hands.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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