FreeWavz In The News

New Partnership and CES 2017

New Partnership and CES 2017

FreeWavz is proud to announce that we have partnered with Voxx Advanced Solutions to be our exclusive distributer in North America and Europe. All pre-orders will move to Voxx. All Kickstarter backers who came in at an award level will be fulfilled by Freewavz. Click the title or image to read more about this partnership. In addition to this announcement, FreeWavz will have a booth set up within the Voxx International Corporation's floor at CES 2017. For our supporters attending the convention; you can find our booth at the convention center's Central Hall booth #13517. We would love for you to stop by.
FreeWavz Progress Update
November 16, 2015

FreeWavz Progress Update

FreeWavz has a number of updates on progress to share today. As is known, we are working to set a new standard in Hearable Technology and are committed to bringing a quality product to the market. That said, we have a number of engineering challenges to solve, but we are committed to delivering the Freewavz to market. We are having difficulties realizing ear to ear wireless connection with consistency. The tuning and design of the PCD trace antenna is extremely challenging. 2.4GHZ standard BT protocols work well with single point to point implementation, but running the True Wireless Stereo with one earphone being a master and the other being a slave has caused severe drop outs in the stereo single. This problem has proved difficult to isolate and problematic to solve. We have several RF engineering experts both in the US and at our factory in China working on the problem of re-tuning and redesigning the antenna, but this is taking more time and money. We are also considering options that might allow us to realize another methodology to use a separate frequency from standard BT between the ears for stereo delivery. We are in the process of updating the design of the shrouds on our earphones to give us better Transmissive Pulseox results. We are delighted to have shared in our last update that we have gotten good and fairly consistent resting pulseox readings for both HRM and O2 saturation. When exercising, we saw an unacceptable increase in interference that tasked the proprietary algorithms we developed for pulling out HRM and O2 sat. We have customized shrouds which help fit the earphone more flush to the ear on both sides of the ear’s conchal bowl. This will give us the consistency needed to supply stable HRM and O2 and will actually help fit the driver of the earphone more securely and comfortably on the ear. We are in the process of finishing the design and testing. Although we have seen some success in pulseox readings, we are experiencing less than targeted battery performance. Our engineering team is working on tracking down the power-loss. We believe there may be a higher than anticipated draw from the pulseox but more testing needs to be done to isolate the power drain on the planned 5-6 hour performance. So to summarize, we are going to be delayed and not make production within 2015. We are committed to producing a quality product and are devoting the time and resources to solve all of our challenges. Until we have a better handle on how to provide quality solutions to the engineering issues we cannot provide an updated production schedule. We hope in the coming weeks to share with you an updated schedule. Here is some bright news. Recently, we were given the opportunity to meet with engineers from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Yes the same federal agency that put a man on the moon, has created a program to help startup companies solve technical problems.. Turns out that NASA engineering is very interested in our application of wireless pulseox. They have agreed to devote resources in helping us solve our pulseox challenges that are mentioned above and we have asked for help with the RF issues. Well, that’s about all for this update. We continue to be optimistic about bringing a quality Freewavz product to the market. Sincerely, Freewavz Team
Pulse Oximetry Success + FreeWavz Testing + Factory Preparation
September 12, 2015

Pulse Oximetry Success + FreeWavz Testing + Factory Preparation

FreeWavz are in the midst of very exciting development stages and progress on many fronts. We are very eager to share with you the details of our development. We recently returned from China to meet with our manufacturers, vendors, and factory partners. Preparation is going well and we feel great that our manufacturers will be ready to begin production as soon as we release the final beta, “Golden Sample.” Our custom-made batteries are in the process of being analyzed in our first article betas. We are targeting 5 hours nominal use. ROHS, UN and CE certifications are progressing and we fully expect complete sign off for North American retail shortly. Our primary factory and assembly line is in Shenzhen with 20 work stations from start to finish employing 40 workers. We are expecting to eventually ramp the production line up to a maximum output of 700 units per day. Last month, we received the “First Article” of what we had hoped would be the final PCB Prototype of the “Golden Sample” for Mass Production Benchmarking (GS to MP). Our PCB is very complex with more than 10 layers. This means that fabrication of PCB takes time; especially in the testing phases. We ran into a problem with fabrication of the PCBs. Our engineers and manufacturers are working tirelessly to ensure that the antenna is positioned on our PCB board properly to eliminate any audio “drop outs” or nulls. We were able to test out to a maximum of 27 feet but want to hit 33 feet to conform to the BT spec. Also, the consistency due the antenna performance was not at production readiness. Some testers were able to get stable ear-to-ear testing, while others had significant loss of signal. We went back to the Electrical Engineers and made design tuning adjustments to the trace antennas that should eliminate the drop outs. This is our single biggest headache. We can’t achieve stereo sound sync between the master and slave earphones without consistent RF response around the head. We fully believe that the errors on our PCB around the trace antenna are causing this problem. During fabrication of the 1st article beta prototype boards, a manufacturing error made the antenna run too close on the copper edge of the board. The solution? We have to re-order new PCBs to be fabricated. We expect these to be completed and installed in new housings by the beginning of November. We will need 2 weeks for complete evaluation testing and hopefully, approval of these “Golden Samples” before moving to mass production stage. With parts lead time, we should be able to begin shipping mass production around Thanksgiving. We are giving first production priority to our Kickstarter supporters orders and hope to have all orders and pre-orders shipped shortly after mass production begins. One feature that makes FreeWavz so unique is the Pulse Oximeter. Being founded by an ENT surgeon, FreeWavz needed to have the most reliable method of obtaining heart rate and oxygen saturation. During our testing, we weren’t getting consistent and reliable samples. All of our evaluation pointed to a need to reduce light interference for the transmission of the pulse ox through the ear. We needed to make a design change to the FreeWavz to ensure that the infrared / red light was not being impacted by ambient light and sunlight. After months of testing and tweaking a combination of transmitter intensity and mathematical formulas called algorithms for filtering “light noise,” we still determined that an extra shroud would be our best solution. The solution was a newly designed and patented addition to the FreeWavz that is both functional and comfortable. In conjunction with this newly designed shroud, we are also refining our patented pulse ox algorithms. These are the proprietary mathematical formulas that take our sampling of hemoglobin and heart pulsations to report heart rate and O2 saturation levels via the app in your phone as well as spoken through the FreeWavz themselves. We are pleased to say these additions to the FreeWavz solved many of our testing errors and we are now obtaining consistent and accurate heart rate and oxygen saturation readings in a variety of conditions. We will continue to tweak our pulse ox as we wait for the new PCB fabrication.
Kickstarter Update #31 - June Progress Update
June 12, 2015

Kickstarter Update #31 - June Progress Update

This past month has been packed with a lot of progress and development. We’re very excited to share with you what we’ve been up to! Big NEWS! NO Co-Processor will be used! NO Split Ear Processing! We recognize many of you were quite concerned from our last update that FreeWavz might need either a co-processor or split processing to ensure seamless audio and pulse oximetry. We are excited to announce that no co-processor or split processing is needed! FreeWavz are able to play music and obtain pulse oximetry data simultaneously; a huge accomplishment for our engineers! We did a major board spin which rewired the PCB traces. This means you will be able to use FreeWavz together or independently and obtain all the same information regardless of which earphone(s) you wear. Woohoo! For the first time, you can see the pulseox working at the same time with wire-free music. This demonstration shows how close we are to reaching the finish line! Also we are debuting a new 5-minute video on the technical details of our transmissive pulseox from renowned Critical Care Pulmonologist and FreeWavz Medical Advisory Board Member, Mathew Vadaprampil, MD...[click for full update]
FreeWavz Celebrates Winning Red Herring Top 100 North America Award
June 5, 2015

FreeWavz Celebrates Winning Red Herring Top 100 North America Award

MAITLAND, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Continuing to build on a series of honors for innovation and the potential to disrupt the burgeoning wearable technology market, FreeWavz was selected as a Red Herring Top 100 North America Award winner this week in San Diego. FreeWavz is launching the world’s first wire-free smart fitness earphones with integrated fitness tracking, heart rate monitoring and Bluetooth technology this summer. It was one of only two consumer electronics companies chosen for the award, which honors the year’s most promising private technology companies from the U.S. and Canada. It was selected from a pool of 1,200 applicants. “We’re thrilled about receiving this award from Red Herring and we want to share our excitement with our investors, our customers and all our supporters,” said FreeWavz CEO Mike Kahn. “This award is further validation that there’s a place for us in the booming wearable/hearable market and that we have the potential to truly disrupt the market with our first product.” [click for full article]
FreeWavz Announced as a Finalist for the 2015 Red Herring Top 100 North America Award
May 22, 2015

FreeWavz Announced as a Finalist for the 2015 Red Herring Top 100 North America Award

FreeWavz today announced that it has been selected as a finalist for Red Herring's Top 100 North America award, a prestigious list honoring the year's most promising private technology companies from the North American business region. This unique assessment of potential is supplemented by a review of the company's actual track record and standing, which allows Red Herring to see past the "buzz" and make the list a valuable instrument for discovering and advocating the greatest business opportunities in the industry. "We are very excited to be selected as a finalist for this prestigious award," said Mike Kahn, CEO of FreeWavz. "FreeWavz represents the next evolution of wearable technology, the hottest growing category in consumer electronics." This accolade builds on FreeWavz' existing list of honors received in 2015 for its excellence in technology innovation of the FreeWavz including 2015 CES Innovation Award Honoree and 2015 Bluetooth SIG Breakthrough Award Finalist in the prototype category, and the SXSW Innovations Wearable Technology of the year award in 2015, underscoring its technology innovation in the fitness wearable industry...[click for full article]
Kickstarter Update #30 - April Progress Update
April 17, 2015

Kickstarter Update #30 - April Progress Update

We have a lot of updates to share with you regarding our engineering and production timeline. Our team is going full-throttle right now as we near FreeWavz completion. We are eager to ship a finished product, however, we are facing a delay in production. This newsletter will explain the reasons why, along with our revised game plan to get the best possible FreeWavz to market as soon as possible. We just started a great partnership with a very impressive and experienced engineering team to get us past the finish line. These engineers are experts in Bluetooth True Wireless Stereo, Pulse Oximetry, and have deep experience with consumer electronics products, including wearables. We are excited to add them to our team and help us bring FreeWavz to market! Handling the data exchange from the earphones to the smartphone at 100 samples per second, while streaming high-quality music, is a challenge. Our engineering experts are working on increasing the processing power to ensure the quality of the data exchange and music are seamless. We are also evaluating some alternative methods that may streamline this process. More specifically, we are determining whether to utilize the processing power of both earphones or adding processing power to one earphone to solve the data exchange issues. Either of these solutions should solve the difficulty, so the focus is on selecting the method that accelerates our time to market and serves the product best. Bluetooth transmission ear-to-ear is working which is incredibly exciting. That said, our engineers have identified some electrical changes that will make it even better. We are in the process of making these modifications. The Android and iOS apps are nearing completion and these apps are communicating very well with the FreeWavz earphones. The engineering team has communicated to us that our timeline will be pushed out more than we anticipated, but our confidence level has never been higher. Our schedule now shows engineering completion in late June with production in July. As mentioned earlier, this isn’t ideal for anyone, but we want to get the best version of FreeWavz in the market. This means, Kickstarter supporters can expect to receive their FreeWavz in July, online pre-orders in late July / early August, and into stores mid-August. We are doing something that is revolutionary by making FreeWavz completely wire-free, as well as implementing medical-grade pulse oximetry. No one has ever done the combination before! We have run into some challenges, but we are working our way through it. We can see the finish line, and our team continues to drive forward with passion and commitment of getting the best FreeWavz on your ears. Thank you for believing and for supporting us. We feel confident that FreeWavz will be worth the wait!
"How this ear, nose, and throat doctor's workout turned into a headphone startup" - UpStart
April 14, 2015

"How this ear, nose, and throat doctor's workout turned into a headphone startup" - UpStart

FreeWavz, a Melbourne, Fla.-based tech firm that developed wireless earphones under the same name, is preparing to ship its product to major retail stores in May. The idea of Freewavz started with an ear doctor and a drawing on a napkin. Company founder Dr. Eric Hensen, a 52-year-old physician who specializes in ear, nose, throat, head and neck treatments, often noticed people at the gym wearing wired headphones, adjusting them as they worked out, and some wearing just one ear bud...[click for full article]
FreeWavz selected as a 2015 Bluetooth Breakthrough Award Finalist! - CNET
January 5, 2015

FreeWavz selected as a 2015 Bluetooth Breakthrough Award Finalist! - CNET

"The Bluetooth Special Interest Group has announced the finalists of its 2015 Bluetooth Breakthrough Awards that applaud the most innovative products and applications developed for the wireless protocol today. The awards, as designated by the global trade group dedicated to boosting the wireless standard, are broken down into four categories (Product, App, Prototype, Student). The winners in each category -- along with an overall winner chosen from the first three -- will be announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona." - CNET FreeWavz is honored to be selected as Finalist for the Prototype Category! [click for full article]
"Best of CES 2015"  - Network World
January 5, 2015

"Best of CES 2015" - Network World

"The 2015 International CES kicks off this week, bringing with it an influx of new technology trends and buzzwords. Keep up with the biggest announcements and best new technologies on display in Las Vegas this week."[click for photos of Best of CES 2015] FreeWavz featured on slide 19!
Get more out of all your workouts by using your new FreeWavz.
Check back soon for intensifying exercise tips.
Better workouts = better results.

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