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Design
Product Development

Bronze Winner

Entrant: Cheil Spain, Madrid
Samsung España - "Samsung Blind Cap"

Corporate Name of Client: Samsung Electronics Iberia

Head of Client Services: Alfonso Fernández Iglesias

Agency Account Director: Sandra Pérez

Agency Account Executive: Asela Botella

Agency Cliente Services : Yann Boudoin

Agency: Cheil Spain, Madrid

Chief Creative Officer: Breno Cotta

Copywriter: Mercedes Laso

Art Director: Ana del Valle

Photographer: Jorge Puente


Description of the Project:
BACKGROUND:
Swimming for the blind has been established as a Paralympic sport for over 50 years. Blind swimmers need an alert to know the exact time to turn, as their disability prevents them from determining this on their own. To do so, over the course of all these years coaches have used a pole with a hard sponge on the end to warn swimmers, which is somewhat denigrating and rudimentary, when bearing in mind that we live in the age of technology.

We want to put an end to this practice. Samsung technology has simplified many daily problems, so why not help improve the daily lives of elite athletes, such as Paralympic blind swimmers?

Our objective was to apply the brand’s mobile technology and the instruments required to improve these swimmers’ lives, eliminating the signal used until now, to make something more subtle and simpler that exercises the same function.

DESCRIBE THE CREATIVE IDEA:
Blind swimmers, like all conventional elite athletes, deserve to have technological advances improve their conditions as athletes. If technology should improve people’s lives, why not introduce it to this sport? 

The proposal was to apply the technology required to eliminate tapping, the touch signal that coaches use to advise swimmers of the exact time to turn. 

Our goal was to make the lives of these athletes a bit easier, giving greater freedom both to the swimmer and the coach. Thus Blind Cap was conceived, the first swimming cap with a vibration system incorporated that eliminates the touch signal. 

The cap, connected via Bluetooth to a smartphone or smartwatch, lets coaches send a small vibration to the swimmers to tell them when to turn, just by pressing a button on the app designed for this purpose. 

THE PROCESS:
Materials have been studied that would imbue the piece with flexibility, seeking the ergonomics that swimming gear requires to prevent rubbing and losses in competition times. Different assembly and hermetic methods were also researched to achieve complete and safe waterproofing. 

Materials were used that were produced ad hoc with 3D printing, along with existing materials. The inside of the product has low energy Bluetooth technology, an antenna, FFC connectors, a battery and vibration system. With regard to materials, silicone and hard cases to assemble everything were employed. Industrial techniques were used to achieve the maximum understanding of swim cap technology, without losing utility in any of them. 

THE FINAL PRODUCT:
To design the electronic device that goes inside the Blind Cap, we drew inspiration from frog’s fingers, creating a flexible and organic products with great ergonomics.

The electronic parts are divided into two elements to make the product as thin and hydrodynamic as possible. These items will be hermetically protected via a hard 3D-printed part. They will be joined by wires embedded in a silicone piece that joins and covers everything. The printed parts are fastened to the silicone with hard parts, thus preventing the silicone from absorbing the vibration.

The technology is distributed in two of the printed parts. 

The first contains the low energy Bluetooth module, the vibrator, antenna and an FFC connector to join the wires. 

The second consists of another FFC connector and the battery.

The silicone piece is translucent and the printed parts are an eye-catching colour, to thus understand that there are high technology parts inside it.

The device is connected to the app by Bluetooth and when the coach presses the button on the app, the signal is sent to the device, transformed into a vibration.

RESULTS:
After the production process, we met with the Paralympic Committee to detail the needs and problems to resolve. Then we implemented the cap at elite swimmer training sessions in categories S11, S12 and S13 (blind categories), who will be competing at the next Paralympic Games.

Blind Cap was presented to Spanish Olympic and Paralympic Committees, which are excited and interested in the project, valuing it as one more step ahead in the world of Paralympic sports. They have stated their intention to change regulations in order to introduce Blind Cap at national competitions. 

As it is not a commercial product, it is only used by the aforesaid coaches and swimmers at the facilities of the committee itself at which the elite athletes train and workout. The idea is for it to be introduced at professional competitions in the future, to replace tapping, and that its production will grow.