The beginning of the Helios smart ring
Introduction of a new wearable
Every company or product starts from somewhere. From a conversation, a thought or an idea. You might be walking around, and an idea pops into your mind and then like a cartoon character a light bulb lits up above your head, and your pupils dilate, and you think that you have something here. Dopamine travels to your brain, and you feel excited and thrilled. This could be the start of something great or something new. Not the same excitement as getting a job at a well-known phone company or at a corporate office where people in black suits walk in-and-out with Starbuck cups glued to their hands.
This is a different kind of excitement because when you get a job somewhere, doesn’t matter where you walk on a road that already been paved, and you just do the same as your predecessor. When you start on your own and doing something new, you build your own road, and you walk your own way. A road is not the right word here because that’s an image of something that’s steady and solid. Think of a tightrope where balance is most important. Putting a little bit of weight on the left or right and you fall.
The Helios smart ring started somewhere around August 2015. I was living at home and doing an internship, not because I had to do it, but because I wanted to have some work experience after my study before applying for a real job. At this point, I never even thought about working with my mother. Couldn’t even imagine an alternative universe where that was a reality. My mother was pitching ideas back than at the kitchen table. These were all different ideas with different backgrounds. Every now and then my mother pitched an idea in the morning when I was eating my oatmeal. Sometimes I felt I was in a Dragon’s Den breakfast special. These were all interesting ideas one way or the other, but it didn’t really excite me until one idea came up.
One day at the kitchen table my mom had a pitch about a smart ring that can track vitamin D and also provides sun protection. At that time I didn’t know anything about vitamin D, but the idea seems cool, useful and new in multiple ways. After that, the idea was stuck in my head, floating around until it gets picked up. I looked for information about vitamin D, and there is a lot to find.
The interesting thing is that you get vitamin D from the sun. The shocking thing was that to find out how many people were vitamin D deficient. According to an article about vitamin D on the National Center for Biotechnology Information written by Dr. Zahid Naeem there a billion people worldwide that are vitamin D deficient or insufficient, even in sunny climates and it keeps growing. Research shows that this epidemic is a result of our indoor lifestyle and the overuse of sunscreen.
Getting vitamin D is important but at the same time staying protected from UV radiation is also important. It’s about the perfect balance. Getting more and more into vitamin D the content was overwhelming, and at this time we knew a lot of vitamin D, and at the same time, there is still a lot of research to be done with new studies and new results still to come. After getting some knowledge about vitamin D, we kept on reading and ordered books about vitamin D and the health benefits were piling up. This is an important product that can actually benefit people was the thought that came up.
After more research, we wanted to develop a tool that can actually track vitamin D. You can be walking around in the sun and feeling good about yourself, but you have no idea how much vitamin D you are making and no idea if the sun was harming you in any way. This was the first thought for the SunRing. Now it’s the Helios ring, but the SunRing was the first name for this smart device.
We made a business plan. My mother who had multiple corporate jobs had a lot of experience in business and development and finance. Where I had no experience in that area but had experience in sales and internet marketing but more or less an affinity for writing and creating content in an original way, we decided that this was something that we could do and should do and the excitement and passion grew.
After that, we got finance from the company my mother worked for. After that came our partners where everybody had an own specialty and the process began. This all sounds kinda easy but from the idea from the kitchen table to the end-product is a hell or a ride with lot’s of ups and downs and smiles and frowns. With a very limited budget, creative solutions and some help here and there we did came a long way. At this moment, the Helios ring is almost finalized. Still, we are balancing on that tightrope every day, and this will continue for a long time.