Senaptec, a company that provides state-of-the-art sensory technologies and products, had a great idea, but was in need of product development. They were developing the Senaptec Strobe, a pair of glasses that allows athletes in sports like basketball and baseball to train their brains to respond faster to stimuli.
The Senaptec Strobe was part their larger mission focused on cognitive health and fitness. An athlete wears the glasses during training, which strobe to limit vision at specific intervals. This added degree of difficulty hones an athlete’s abilities, and their performance without the glasses is generally improved.
This product was based on proven, licensed technology, and the science on how stroboscopic training enhances anticipatory timing was sound. The glasses also have other health and fitness applications relating to cognitive rehabilitation and therapy. Senaptec approached us with their prototype to help them meet performance, manufacturing, and cost goals.
Simplification and product design
The original concept for this product made sense in CAD, but the actual assembly of the prototype was too complex. It was clear there were major gains to be made by applying creative problem-solving tactics in the mechanical design.
We worked with Senaptec to produce a full ground-up redesign of the product, while maintaining the overall look, size, and shape of the glasses. Senaptec needed the device to be streamlined, more robust, simpler, have more features, and be cheaper to manufacture.
We wanted to make the design both effective and elegant, so simplification, as always, was our priority with this project. We tackled this by combining items that could be unified, eliminating elements that could be removed, and restarting the design with the end in mind.
The total time of development for the strobe glasses took 15 months from start to production. During this time, we fully managed three rounds of prototyping. We reduced the number of unique parts from 22 to 9, which shortened the assembly sequence. We also helped identify high-performing vendors for production and completed testing on the product’s subsystems.As a result, we doubled battery reliability. Battery life was also improved from 3.5 to 4.5 hours. Other improvements included a 35 percent reduction in manufacturing cost and a 50 percent drop in post-delivery returns.The new Strobes have allowed Senaptec to better realize their goals; improving cognitive training for its users. The strobe also has potential biomedical applications for helping patients who are recovering from stroke. The Strobe also has also made an impact in sports. Regardless of the application, the increased availability of the glasses is due to Simplexity’s partnership with Senaptec to reduce costs, streamline production, and remove roadblocks between new ideas and mass production.
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