India’s most influential conference, INK 2012, is due in a week’s time. It is indeed going to be a great learning experience. 🙂 Till then, enjoy some real interesting and informative interviews at your adda. Presenting to you the fifth interview of the conversation series with the INK Fellows, 2012. Hind Hobeika, the founder of Butterfleye, believes that biological parameters are the most fascinating input for technological systems.
Here, she shares with us her motivation behind inventing a tool that measures heart rate during workout, her dreams, her passion and many other intriguing things which shouldn’t be missed at any cost. Ready for a swim?
Q. What encouraged you to invent a tool that creates high-tech tools that track and improve athletes’ performance and well-being?
A: I am a swimmer myself, I used to swim ever since I was 5 years old and was always part of swimming teams. I got the idea for Butterfleye when I was training with the American University of Beirut, and needed a tool to measure my heart rate during my workout.
Q. Brief us about Butterfleye
A: Butterfleye is a digital coach for swimmers. It is a small module that can be mounted onto any pair of swimming goggles (or eyewear) and that measures a set of biometric instruments such as heart rate, laps, calories, speed, etc. and that gives real-time visual feedback.
Q. What are the usual responses by the users?
A: Swimmers love Butterfleye! Swimming is a very lonely sport, and even if the coach is around, when the swimmer’s head is underwater, there is no room for communication with the outside world. Having a tool that can accompany swimmers all throughout the training while being 100% adapted to the biomechanics of swimming is an innovation in itself, and people have been the most responsive.
Q. As a kid, you always dreamt of pursuing engineering and working in supermultinational, leading the ambitious corporate life. How does it feel to attain those goals which you had set during your school days?
A: I would say that I am far from my childhood dreams! As a kid, I dreamed of working for a big company that was ruling the world, such as Procter & Gamble or L’Oreal, etc. and today I find myself working in a company of 5 people whose dream is to change the world! My path today is very different from what I ever expected, but it is also more challenging and more fulfilling than I would have ever imagined.
Q. When will we all get to witness the next step of your venture Butterfleye?
A: Early 2013 🙂 First version release.
Q. You are also the founder of Beirut Quantified Self? Tell us about this initiative in detail. What does this meetup aim at?
A: Beirut Quantified Self is a chapter of the main quantified self conference. It is a small gathering of local people that want to discuss self-tracking ideas, projects, and experiences.
In the last meetup, we had 25 people, and 5 of them volunteered to share their stories: there was one guy who explained how he lost weight by entering his food and exercise daily on a fitness website, another guy who explained how he tracked his cortisone intake affected his weight and heart rate, etc.
The whole aim of the meetup is to encourage self-tracking, to get people to share tips and insights on how to improve their quality of life.
Q. Whom would you like to attribute your success to?
A: I wouldn’t say that I am successful yet!
But I would say that if I got this far, it is thanks to my friends and family who are extremely supportive, but also thanks to my amazing mentors who have been the most helpful.
Q. Your most memorable moment?
A: My most memorable moment was the first time I ever held the assembled goggles into my hand. It was then that I realized that I was able to create anything I want if I put my mind and passion into it.
Q. Share a statement, a statistic, a lyric, a mission statement, a compelling fact, or any other detail in 140 characters or less
A: ” We live in a world where we have to hide to make love while violence is practiced in broad daylight” John Lennon.
Q. What are your other interests?
A: Sports! Swimming, running, yoga, also reading and traveling.