HZO Success Story: NavELite
In 2013, Andy Wilson of NavELite faced a tough situation. As a former special forces soldier in the United States Army, Price was familiar with tight spots, but this was different. His new product, a ruggedized backlit wrist compass developed with a former military colleague, was designed to help improve ease of navigation for military personnel and outdoor adventurers alike. Well into production though his team realized that the ultrasonic welding engineered to protect the battery of the backlit compass was not preventing liquid ingress, and water was getting in and shorting the light.
“We weren’t sure what we were going to do,” noted Wilson. “The design was finalized and the ship deadline was only few months away, but our product did not meet our standards.”
What happened next could be considered serendipity, but shortly after the problem arose, Andy met one of HZO’s Business Leaders, Jaren Beckstrom, at a trade show in New Orleans.
The conversations in Lousiana acted as the catalyst for rapid action planning, and Jaren quickly mobilized the HZO technical team to start analysis on the device in order to discover and correct the failure points with a customized solution that would protect the battery. Once the analysis was complete and the application process implemented, both the battery and compass were put through vigorous prolonged submersion tests in order to ensure ongoing functionality that would exceed the rigorous demands of military spec requirements. The end result? A ruggedized and durable military compass that could survive the most hostile environments thrown at it.
“Not only did HZO solve the ingress problem, but NavELite decided that the value add to our product was powerful enough that it was worth highlighting HZO’s protection as the differentiating feature,’ Wilson said. ‘We ended up promoting the technology on our website and in our marketing materials, and even put HZO’s logo on the wrist band to let customers know that a model of our compass had a superior level of protection.”
The results for the NavELite are a textbook example of how HZO Protection adds real value to products that need reliable protection from liquid submersion or an kind of corrosive environment.
Today, the wrist compass is standard issue for service men and women around the world, and has attracted a variety of press attention, including a feature in Maxim Warrior, a reality show featuring Special Forces teams utilizing their skills to compete against one another.
What has proven most exciting to us is the overwhelming demand for the HZO protected NavELite compass. When the company started selling the HZO Protected device, the waterproof wearable immediately took off, outselling the unprotected version 9:1 and at a $50 premium. Proof that when HZO collaborates closely on a project with a partner, that the solution provides not only a superior level of security for devices, but also has the power to drive demand and create an additional revenue stream for device makers, brands and manufacturers.
NavELite’s wrist compass featuring HZO Protection is available for purchase via the company’s website. Hop over to their site and take a look at this unique device, and see how an early adopter of HZO technology is benefiting from the power of superior liquid protection.
Ryan is a 9-year veteran to the world of protecting electronics from harsh environments and a lover of all things technology.