Develop an app-controlled warming wearable to help mastectomy patients from feeling cold and uncomfortable.
Designed a seamless and comfortable wearable that provides up to 7 hours of continuous warmth in a single charge.
Brilliantly Warm had a successful product launch in June 2021. It sold out in its presale campaign and was on a second production run of 500 units in 2022.
After a mastectomy or breast tissue procedure, many women experienced waves of intense cold sensations that they could not shake off. The startup Brilliantly , born out of its founder’s personal experience, and their first product Warm, envisioned a sustainable solution to address this.
Brilliantly wanted to build a warming device that could be safely and discreetly inserted inside the undergarments and comfortably worn on any size. The product had to be programmed to allow for a customizable warming experience that could be managed from a user’s phone via Bluetooth.
Brilliantly had already been a couple of years into their product development journey when they engaged Tintash. Their in-house team had worked on a warming pad that fulfilled the design requirements, including dimensions, thickness, and fabric selection. They were now looking for a hardware engineering partner who could build a control unit which could be managed through an app and which regulated the temperature of the warming pad. Brilliantly partnered with Tintash to deliver a production-ready design for Warm.
Our work was divided between developing a heater board and a charging dock. The pad had already been designed to pass dupont conductive ink through it. Passing this current would create a resistive heating element that increased the device’s temperature. Our job was to regulate this temperature to ensure it didn’t cause a burning sensation.
In the erstwhile template, the temperature sensor had been placed at a point not in contact with the heating element. Since the ink wasn’t passing anywhere near the sensor, it was unable to correctly measure the whole pad’s temperature. We iterated on the design to create a mesh of the heating element (heater trace in image below) to ensure the heating was spread across the pad’s surface area. We then placed the sensor on that mesh so that it would correctly measure the temperature felt by the user.
To regulate the temperature when heating the element, we made use of rhythms (fixed patterns e.g. 20 secs on, 10 secs off) which were provided by the client. These rhythms, however, were customizable allowing users to set their own device settings. In order to ensure user safety, we included fail-safe triggers to prevent excess current from passing through the warmer and heating it beyond a safe temperature.
Tintash also developed an iOS mobile app for users to set their preferred warming cycles. The app, however, wasn’t exclusive to the device’s functioning i.e. once users had programmed the rhythm, they could run the device without the app. These regulatory rhythms, besides helping manage the temperature, also allowed for energy conservation and prolonging the battery life.
The processor we used was nRF52 (Nordic semiconductor), a Bluetooth-powered device which could communicate with the app and report the pad’s temperature. Since the device was wearable, our choice of processor was guided by its compact size and lightweight.
Our hardware team worked in-house on the schematic, the PCB design and the layout for V1 of the device. Once finalized, we had a small number of boards fabricated from China and shipped to our office. Next up, the team did the board bring up and modular testing before dispatching the fully functional and verified boards for testing by the client in the US.
Tintash also assigned a technical project manager (TPM) to the project responsible for sprint planning and execution, defining milestones, and ensuring their timely delivery. The TPM maintained direct contact with the product managers at Brilliantly to provide consultation, gather feedback, and schedule demos of the completed milestones.
Brilliantly Warm was a new, patent pending technology that delivered natural-feeling warmth for the whole body. It was safe and effective, with a temperature regulated and tested for all-day wear. Its cordless and seamless design made it easy and comfortable to use.
The device could be easily managed via a user-friendly app that contained three bespoke warming cycles. It contained a rechargeable battery which took 1.5 hours to completely recharge (via Micro USB) and could provide up to 7 hours of warming on a single charge.
It took Brilliantly around four years in Warm’s R&D. Upon its eventual launch in June 2021, the product completely sold out in its presale campaign and was on its second production run of an additional 500 units in 2022.
Warm today is helping Brilliantly achieve its vision of empowering breast cancer survivors and previvors as they navigate the months and years after surgery.