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South Africa, Technology
Lebanese Hind Hobeika is making a splash in the wearable technology market with Instabeat. The company’s flagship product can be mounted on any pair of goggles to measure a swimmer’s heart rate from the temporal artery, while displaying it in real time through coed lights that appear on the inside of the goggles. A competitive swimmer herself, Hind first thought of Instabeat while studying at the American University of Beirut. She was selected to participate in Stars of Science, a pan-Arab reality show featuring young innovators competing to transform ideas into marketable products. There, Hind combined her passion for swimming with her technological background, and won third place in the competition.
Since 2010, Hind has continued building on the original prototype, by partnering with electronics and industrial engineers. Further, she has patented the optical sensor that measures the heart rate from the temporal artery. Although she won several competitions for her product, Hind still needed to raise more money. To do so, she used a pre-order campaign on a crowdfunding platform (Indiegogo) and sold 1,000 devices, raising nearly three times the original amount she needed to invest in design and production.
The finalized device records calories, strokes, flip turns, laps, and breathing patterns, which can be viewed on a dashboard online by syncing the product to any device with USB or Bluetooth capabilities.
Having garnered media attention with her innovative product, Hind has become a role model for young entrepreneurs in the region.
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