Vlad Perianu of NOVA tells us about audio earrings that are fully packed with the latest technology embedded in real pearls thus providing digital assistants all day long.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Vlad Perianu: We are doing good, thanks for asking. Luckily, my family and our loved ones are healthy. The sudden change in everybody’s lifestyle has been not easy, but lately, it seems we are successfully adapting to the new “normality.”
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded NOVA.
Vlad Perianu: Already as a child, I was passionate about electronics and informatics. So naturally, later, I studied electronics and telecommunications at the Technical University of Munich and worked for many years in R&D consulting, covering both hardware and software. In the last 7 years, I changed the focus from pure telecommunication to wearable devices, being part of another Munich-based startup that invented the world’s first truly wireless smart headphones. I am an inventor of multiple patents in the manufacturing and wearables domains, 4 already granted and others still in application. I joined Nova after an ex-colleague introduced me to the project – I liked the challenge that nobody had managed to develop a device like this before.
How does NOVA innovate?
Vlad Perianu: We created the NOVA H1 Audio Earrings, the first clip-on and smallest earphones on the planet. These Earrings are fully packed with the latest technology embedded in real pearls to provide the user with music, phone calls, and digital assistants all day long.
Like conventional earrings, the NOVA H1 are placed on the earlobes and project the sound from inside the pearl straight into your ear canal.
Thanks to our worldwide patented Directional Sound Technology, the sound travels from the earlobe to the ear canal, avoiding sound leakage and keeping the conversations and music private and secure.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Vlad Perianu: The COVID-19 pandemic could cause delays in our pearl sourcing and processing, as well as in the sourcing of some electronic components. Also, making the first contact with new business partners has proven to be more difficult.
Unfortunately, this is not something we can fully control – what we do, though, is to keep close contact and communication with our providers to keep one another up to date. That way, we can forecast the aforementioned delays and inform the other stakeholders as well as minimize the potential damage.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Vlad Perianu: Even though the pandemic has influenced the investment, speed of processes, etc., most of our challenges come from being a young startup with limited resources.
What specific tools, software, and management skills are you using to navigate this crisis?
Vlad Perianu: Our company is focused on delivering very good and fast results. We avoid meetings as much as we can and replace them with workshops followed by concrete task allocations. This allows all the project contributors to work mostly independently, from anywhere. For example, in the R&D department, there are people contributing from 6 different European countries. There are some limitations, though – the core hardware team members had to come to the lab during the entire pandemic for prototyping the electronics and mechanics.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Vlad Perianu: As of now, we do not have any competitors in the market. No earphone manufacturer has been able to create a device in this size and successfully place it outside the ear canal – on the earlobe.
To stay in the game, we will keep developing the current device, adding more designs, and extending the functionality.
Your final thoughts?
Vlad Perianu: We are very excited about the phenomenal resonance we got from the Kickstarter campaign. We got collaboration requests from very big and diverse companies, ranging from hearing aids manufacturers to high-end luxury brands spread across Europe, the USA, and Japan.
Kickstarter Page (234% funded!)