RevelHMI™ is a trade name of RSI, a technology development company founded in Seattle, Washington in 2010. RSI was founded to develop and take to market a series of technical advances in vibration motor technology.
RSI began with the observation that many Sonicare® consumers were using their device for more than just brushing their teeth - they were using them as sexual vibrators. Digging into the "why" behind the "buy," RSI founder Robin Elenga learned that what attracted these consumers was the higher frequency output that the toothbrush offered over conventional vibrators. Research also revealed virtually all battery-powered vibrators on the market (there are thousands) use the same class of rotary-vibration motors, a technology for which the biggest innovation in the last hundred years was making them battery-powered. Coincidentally, this is the same class of motors that is the primary actuator in every electronic device that uses vibration.
Scientific Design Principles
After researching many of the sexual vibrators on the market, we discovered that they all tended to have very similar vibration performance. Sexual vibrators tend to operate between 100-130Hz while the Sonicare operated around 241Hz, which implied that the best frequencies for sexual stimulation might not be where the current products operate. There was also a strong correlation between vibration power and consumer satisfaction; stronger vibrator tended to be preferred over weaker ones.
After many hours of focus groups, we also determined that many of the consumer issues with sexual vibrators were directly related to the vibrator motor, including noise (people don't want the kids to hear), poor battery-life (who wants to run to the store at the wrong time?) and poor reliability ("I have a box of broken vibrators under my bed").
Based on the above observations, we started looking into every known way of making vibration to see if we could develop a solution that improved vibration performance and removed the issues caused by the existing technology. We wanted to see if we could develop a more efficient solution that could generate more power yet be reliable and inexpensive to implement.
Resonating Motor Technology
The most promising technology we could find was the same resonating motor technology that is found in the Sonicare® toothbrush; deceptively simple in construction, these motors are extremely efficient and reliable. But their primary characteristic, a single prominent resonant peak, made them difficult to implement, expensive to manufacture and limited their use to certain single speed applications.
Our goal was to develop a resonating motor that was adjustable for frequency so we could benefit from the efficiency and power potential of resonating motors while increasing the number of applications it could operate and making it simpler and less expensive to design and build.
After many hours of development we developed ways to both adjust the frequency of a resonating motor as well as ways to allow the drive electronics to determine and drive at the correct frequency; and the first adjustable resonating motor was born.
Given the success in the lab, as well as some very successful field trials of our new sonic sexual vibrator, we decided to launch Revel Body, a sexual wellness brand, as a way to test our technology in the market.
We launched Revel Body in August of 2013 with the premise that vibrators should compete on vibration. We launched using a modern, covertly sexual design, wellness-oriented branding and a vibration motor with a much different vibration profile than existing products. The original Revel Body had a broader range of vibration than any other product on the market and had more power, especially at lower frequencies, than most products on the market.
After a very successful launch on Indiegogo, we rapidly moved into global distribution. We launched three versions and quickly sold out of each. We received increasingly positive reviews as we increase power between versions and more than our share of industry award nominations and awards.
Pivot to Licensing
Within months of launching Revel Body, we started to receive requests from other sexual wellness firms to license our technology. We also received many requests from product engineers and designers from a wide range of industries who were looking for better vibration solutions.
We continued development technology with a goal of improving performance and making it easier and cheaper to implement our solution for a variety of applications. We targeted the 120 million mobile phones that are shipped monthly, each containing buzzer feedback, as a market to dominate. We set an internal goal to beat two reference actuators in performance and efficiency. We knew that if we could match size, increase performance and lower costs for this application that we could win in any other application. It was also clear that as mobile phones move from buzzer to haptic feedback, there would be a big demand for higher performance vibration
Vibration Performance Breakthrough
In May of 2015 we tested a very low cost prototype that did beat the two reference motors. Not only did it beat the reference motors, the primitive prototype had many obvious opportunities for dramatic improvement in every performance measure, size and cost. The graph below shows the performance of the reference motors as well as the rapid rate of improvement we made in the few short months since May.
Vibration Solution Platform
As we developed our technology we set out the following list of goals for the licensing solutions, which we are well on our way to completing. Our goal is to develop a platform of components that we can use to assemble solutions for products containing vibration, including enabling:
- a broad range of solutions from haptic feedback to motive applications
rapid implementation of a complete solution
optimized solutions for each device
the smallest devices
unbeatable vibration performance: power, frequency range, efficiency and reliability
licensing solution: allow customers to build in our solution in-line as opposed to selling components
lower cost solution: for development, manufacture and customer service
We work with the best product developers and manufacturers to enable breakaway products that feature vibration. We want to help remove time and risk from product development, enable high performance products that disrupt the market and lower costs for our customers.
Sonicare® and PHILIPS® is a registered trademark of Koninklijke Philips N.V