BLUARMOR TO REVOLUTIONIZE THE MOTORCYCLING SPACE WITH THE LAUNCH OF IT’S HELMET AC ‘BLUSNAP’

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In the past few years, the motorcycling sector in India is at its peak. India has become the center of attraction for motorcycling manufacturers from across the globe. Brands like KTM, Benelli, Royal Enfield, BMW, etc even went ahead to launch premium motorcycles customized for India at affordable prices. This, in turn, has led to a grown interest in taking up to two wheels by the masses. However, being a tropical country it almost becomes impossible to venture out on motorcycles with a helmet on because of the sweltering heat. To address this issue, Bangalore based AptEner Mechatronics started working on a concept to make bike riding comfortable on hot days and launched the world’s first Helmet AC under their BluArmor range. The company recently launched the latest version of the Helmet AC called BluSnap and has gained immense popularity in the motorcycling community. Designed on the idea of a regular house cooler, the company has successfully managed to develop a smaller and lighter version which fits on to most of the full face helmets with ease.

Our team tested the BluSnap cooler for over two weeks, and were pleasantly surprised by the results it gave. Whether it is riding with your friends on highways or commuting to the office on an everyday basis, this is just the product you need to keep your head cool inside the helmet. The cooler unit comes with a removable filter which needs to be dipped in water for just 10 seconds. Once you switch on the unit after putting the filter back, a fan blows cool air in the helmet through its anti-bacterial filter which also makes it a quick de-fogger for helmet visor. To put it into perspective, BluSnap2 offers 25 percent better airflow thanks to improved flow dynamics and the new vent design. The dust-levels are on the rise in most cities, and BluSnap2 is very effective in these conditions. Cool air flowing into the helmet allows the riders to keep the visor down reducing the exposure to dust. On top of that, BluSnap2’s removable filter traps the residual dust particles. The result is a cool, dust-free ride. In just a couple of months since the launch over 10,000 units have already been shipped across countries.

In a candid conversation with us, CEO and Founder of AptEner Mechatronics, Mr. PK Sundarajan throws more light on the journey towards making motorcycling cooler. Excerpts from the interview below:

BIRTH OF AN IDEA

We started off with the universal problem of “how-do-we-build-more-efficient-cooling-systems” and narrowed that down to “we-should-cool-the-person-rather-than-cool-the-room”. We then succeeded in miniaturizing a cooling system based on evaporative cooling to the point that it was portable and wearable. Rather than introduce a new class of wearable coolers, we felt it would be better to start off by attaching the cooler to something that people already use – as we looked around for possible candidates, it struck us that the motorcycle helmet would be a perfect use-case for this technology.

Helmets, due to safety considerations, are designed to be very poor w.r.t. thermal management and end up blocking a lot of heat removal from the head. To start with, we are in a tropical country where temperatures border on the unbearable and that gets compounded by the poor thermal management in the helmet. A cooling system for such a problem, we felt, would be a godsend.

We must have built over 20-25 iterations of the product before we launched our 1st generation solution. We have two professors from the Indian Institute of Science on the team with expertise in thermal management and air-flow dynamics, and with their active involvement, we significantly optimized the design for maximum cooling effectiveness at the minimum possible power – this comes down to making the right decision on the mechanical design of the product – the fan size, the geometry between the fan, the filter and the vent for maximum flow, etc.. We started off by building an integrated helmet, but eventually migrated towards a retrofit as we felt that the adoption would be much easier for a retrofit.

RESPONSE FROM RIDERS

We have received very good feedback from a number of international markets. We now sell in over 10 countries spread across South/Central America and South-East Asia. Bike magazines and early adopters in India have also had very favorable things to say about the effectiveness of the product.

The Indian market is very challenging for any consumer product, and we expect that as the product evolves, we will see more success locally. We expect to be a 90% international – 10% domestic type of product for the next couple of years.

UPCOMING PRODUCTS

In keeping with our vision, we will be releasing a number of new products in the months to come. We will be continuously improving the performance of the cooler and dust-blocker with every generation of the product. On top of that, we are looking to add connectivity and enhance the level of air purification in BluSnap. Our connectivity solution will be offered with an app that brings with it a totally new dimension to assisted infotainment for two-wheeler riders.

THE FUTURE

In keeping with our vision, we will be releasing a number of new products in the months to come. We will be continuously improving the performance of the cooler and dust-blocker with every generation of the product. On top of that, we are looking to add connectivity and enhance the level of air purification in BluSnap. Our connectivity solution will be offered with an app that brings with it a totally new dimension to assisted infotainment for two-wheeler riders.

NETWORK AND DISTRIBUTION

In India, we sell the product online (http://bluarmor.myshopify.com/products/blusnap-2?rfsn=2668955.0b2d44) through our website. Vega, one of India’s leading helmet companies, is our go-to-market partner in India and we retail through their strong dealer network across the length and breadth of the country.

We have distributors in places for South/Central America and countries in South-East Asia.

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