The team (and story) behind BluArmor’s retro-fit cooler for helmets
One of the founding principles for the BluArmor range of two-wheeler gear was to bring about a fundamental change in rider experience by blending the best of mechanical design, industrial design, embedded electronics and software. These are very diverse skill sets, and assembling such a team that has individual stature to go with a team-first attitude is easier said than done for organizations with a large wallet, let alone a start-up. It requires a huge leap of faith to place one’s trust in a concept that is as-yet unproven in the market, while working with people that one has gotten to know only in the last nine months. This makes me all the more proud of our team, and the way we have come together to translate our idea into a product in a very short period of time.
The first step towards building a product is getting the function right - in our case, realizing effective cooling i.e. good air flow at the right temperature while keeping noise and power dissipation low. Profs. Jaywant Arakeri and Raghuraman Govardhan, professors in the mechanical engineering department at IISc with research interests in thermal management and fluid dynamics, had exactly the kind of expertise needed to address this problem, and readily agreed to jump on the wearable cooling bandwagon.
The sooner one integrates form with function, the faster one gets to a final product. We wanted a well-known name in the Indian consumer industry who could translate consumer understanding into fresh, inviting design. Michael Foley has received a number of accolades for his stunning, contemporary design and fit our need perfectly. He was excited with the idea, and came on board to craft the engineering design and aesthetics for the BluArmor range.
Several months of prototyping iterations followed as we triangulated between cooling, product design and cost finally arriving at a solution that feels good on all three counts.
We believe any team is incomplete without an internal teacher customer, and we are lucky to have two of them in Arvind and Halley Prabhakar. They are both passionate bikers and avid story tellers who use adventure activities as a medium for their stories. Arvind is a designer, photographer and story-teller rolled into one, and drives our customer experience. Halley was road-test editor at Overdrive, and has been our primary tester validating the goodness of the product on the road allowing us to fine-tune it well before the end customer gets to see it.
And finally, there is me, the cheerleader for this stellar team, egging them on to squeeze that last CFM of air flow, that last degree of cooling and that last bit of design detail that will make BluArmor appeal to men and women alike.
We are having a lot of fun creating the BluArmor range, and you will soon be able to get your hands on our first product. Opening for pre-orders on the 19th of Jan! Stay tuned!
p.s.: I haven’t introduced you to our embedded electronics and software teams yet. They are working on a series of products planned for launch through the course of 2018, and will emerge from the shadows along with their creations at the right time.