Most of us go through a lot of stress as we go about our lives each day. So it’s only natural for us to want to take a rest without too much noise in our surroundings. As much as possible, we want to be in complete silence whenever we go to sleep, concentrate on our work or relax. With QuietOn, it gives us exactly what we need with its earplugs that uses noise canceling technology together with acoustic noise attenuation to create silence.
In this exclusive interview with the founder and product director of QuietOn Ltd., Janne Kyllönen gives us an insight on today’s consumer electronics industry, a detailed look on the company’s product and where it’s headed in the next 10 years.
My name is Janne Kyllönen. I’m the Founder and Product Director of the company QuietOn Ltd. QuietOn was established in Oulu, Finland in 2015. I’ve been working for the industry for 14 years at Nokia and Microsoft. There I was a project and product manager typically leading innovation projects.
GN: Are you a social enterprise, non-profit or private company?
Kyllönen: QuietOn Ltd is a private company – an early- stage startup fully owned by staff. Currently, QuietOn has 8 employees. The company is located in Oulu, Northern Finland and manufacturing the products with partner company in Tallinn, Estonia.
GN: Describe your mission, vision and values.
Kyllönen: We offer people an opportunity to find silence in multiple situations so they can travel better, sleep better, work better, and relax easy. We are building our own brand and our target is that QuietOn is a synonym for active noise canceling earplugs. We are the world’s first and only earplug with Active Noise Canceling capability. We are aiming strongly to enter international markets. Our key value is to make people’s lives better with innovative and high quality products.
GN: Where is this company headed? What are your future expansion plans?
Kyllönen: Our business is global already. We are selling in over 100 countries. Our target is to be a world-known brand and product would be available in pharmacies, electronic stores and airports globally. I’m sure that in the perspective of ten years we will have several high quality product families and topnotch innovations that will help people and is a good business.
GN: What is your company’s opinion on today’s consumer electronics?
Kyllönen: Frankly speaking, I haven’t seen really any really innovative solutions for a long time. Industry is putting a lot of efforts to cars but I think that they are only implementing solutions that have been already for ten years.
GN: Which countries do you think have limited access to today’s advanced technologies?
Kyllönen: World is getting smaller through the internet. Our successful Indiegogo campaign is one clear proof of that. People who have problems with noise found us and we are able to deliver our solution everywhere. Literally we have orders eg. from Samoa, Grönland and Africa.
GN: How can they gain access to these technologies then?
Kyllönen: Information of the technologies is available so if the marketing isn’t targeted to a region it means that you need to be more active to find it. Logistics mechanics are global thanks to eBay and Amazon types of companies.
THE MACRO LEVEL OF TODAY’S CONSUMER ELECTRONICS TECHNOLOGY
GN: Where are we today? What is the current situation of the Consumer Electronics technology locally?
Kyllönen: Locally in the city of Oulu, Microsoft and Nokia closed the mobile phone development site which freed thousands of highly skilled engineers. It means this is the area with lots of things happening. A lot of innovative startups and several big players are setting up the development sites.
GN: What are the latest Consumer Electronics technologies today?
Kyllönen: In this area, there are a lot of innovations in health, IoT, car industry and modem areas.
GN: Where are these technologies heading 20 years from now? How fast are we progressing?
Kyllönen: In this area, biggest technology development effects will mostly happen from 5G development.
THE MICRO LEVEL
GN: What are the initiatives / projects that you are doing (or have done) that will provide these advanced technologies to the public?
Kyllönen: Our initiative is to design, build and deliver our innovative products
GN: Talk about the products you are currently offering to the public. What are they for? How are they doing in the market? How are they useful to the consumer?
Kyllönen: QuietOn is a unique earplug combining active noise cancellation and acoustic noise attenuation to create silence. QuietOn can be used for sleeping, traveling, working and everyday noise attenuation. Technology is advanced and there aren’t any similar products on the market. QuietOn’s ANC performance is similar compared to the world’s best on-ear-headphones. QuietOn’s competitive advantage is that it has no wires or buttons, the earplugs are small, ergonomic and easy to use with 50 hours of battery life on a single charge.
QuietOn is the only ANC product enabling sleep with your head on a pillow. Our Indiegogo campaign has been a huge success. One million pre-sales with almost zero marketing budget.
GN: What are the future innovations that you or your company are pursuing?
Kyllönen: Of course we have a road map of the products in our minds and of course we are not telling it.
GN: What impact have you delivered? Do you have metrics or statistics of your accomplishments?
Kyllönen: We will change people’s life who are suffering from insomnia, noise sensitivity or stress. We increase the performance of the workers and make traveling more pleasant. Only metrics we have are the results of the user study with airplane travelers. The results were really good. Travelers were pleased with both performance and comfort. 97% found that QuietOn improved their overall flying experience.
THE CHALLENGES & SOLUTIONS
GN: What are the greatest challenges in the CE industry?
Kyllönen: In the industry, I don’t really see challenges or blocking issues. I just see a lot of opportunities via new battery technologies and interesting IoT platforms.
GN: How do we provide better access to these technologies to more than 7 billion people?
Kyllönen: It all starts with the education. Technology is affordable and there are skills everywhere. I think that it is better to build local solution for local needs compared to the huge global companies having the technology monopoly.
ADVICE TO THE YOUNG ENGINEERS
Kyllönen: Technology is easy and fun. Start building your own prototypes. It might be a silly idea but when it is working, you have learned a lot. Show the stuff to others and share your information, it will increase the creativity in your team and you will be surprised how many good ideas will follow. Typically all the ideas need opinions and iterations before they become good ones. When you have a working prototype for an existing problem, the doors will open easily.