Demystifying the Development of an Anti-snoring Device — Daily log 3
Choose the right material
Last time we discussed how sleep experts proved the effectiveness of Positional Therapy. We can see many people DIY their PT items and most of them sew a tennis ball on the back of a T-shirt.
If lying on the back, people will get uncomfortable due to the tennis ball and thus change to a lateral sleeping position. We made some of those as well and called them “anti-snoring pajamas”.
But this is still far from a real product and we recognized two key points to be worked on:
New users of the “anti-snoring pajama” may not be used to the feeling of having something pulling the clothes during sleep. They may get used to the weight of the tennis ball later, but we want to find out what is the best weight of the PT product.
If the ball attached on the back is too hard, users will get uncomfortable. Whereas if it is too soft, there will be no anti-snoring effect. Thus, we need to figure out what is the best hardness.
We first tried the cork material to test the anti-snoring effectiveness. Even though the cork ball is 15g lighter than the tennis ball and reduces discomfort, it has relatively higher hardness and we had to look for other choices.
We then tried other materials with different hardness and weight. We also visited an engineering library with hundreds of different materials.
After months of trials, we finally chose the polymer composite foam (polyurethane foam), which is a lightweight foam material with adjustable hardness (shown in figure). It is also suitable for the molding process of production.
As we find one answer, we still need to address many other questions during the R&D process. Should we keep using the shape of a sphere? What else can we do to improve sleep and snoring? How to quantify and visualize the improvement of snoring? These questions will be answered one by one in future posts. Follow us to join the journey!
Wish you have a good dream tonight.