The little earphone wonder
Big things do come in small packages. Rewind, an awesome solution to the everyday’s problem of tangled earphones made by Witworks, a Bengaluru-based online community for collaborative invention, exemplifies the profoundness of this proverb in recent times. Somnath Meher, Co-founder and CEO, Witworks, untangles the wackiness of the idea.
“Aha” moment: I and my two other co-founders Ankit DP and Chandrashekhar Iyer are inherent music listeners and like any other person who listens music through earphones, detangling entangled earphones was always quite irksome. When we graduated from IIT Kharagpur in 2012, we were looking to solve a quirky, innovative yet a real problem, and this looked pretty wacky but a real problem that we wanted to solve.
Real problem solver: The existing solutions where people were using some sort of clips or holders didn’t carry much thought into their designing and quality, and hence weren’t solving the problem in a nice way. So it got more pertinent as a need to be fulfilled. Last year in May, we started working on the idea, by July we started manufacturing, in September we got the first set of samples, and the first shipment happened in the last week of October.
Ease of Use: Designing was a bit of a challenge because in wearable designing, understanding consumer behavior and their psyche was a little tricky. So we created a “need list” of things –to make sure that earphone wires don’t jumble up, it should fit all earphones, users should be able to hold it and carry easily, it should stay attached to an earphone always to avoid carrying it separately (it should also look good as an accessory also), the texture should be smooth and doesn’t scratch the phone if kept in pocket, etc. We created at least 10 designs, one of which looked like a cassette.
The Form Factor: There are two holes with slanting slits from where user can insert the two wires of an earphone. Its size ensures that all standard-sized earphones can be wrapped around it. It is very light with just 5 gm of weight because it shouldn’t make users feel of wearing something. Users can also wrap their mouse wires, chargers and USB cords on Rewind.
(This article first appeared in the Indian edition of Entrepreneur magazine (December, 2015 Issue).