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Did you ever wonder how the epic SpyraBlasters are created?

Mar 07, 2023
Melinda

We interviewed our creative minds and SPYRA's rockstar engineers. The spotlight is on Dr. K, chief of pyrotechnics and explosions, Julia, the most passionate and rigorous engineer you'll ever meet, and Stefan, our Art Director circling over all product developments like an eagle. Here´s what they have to say about how the epic SpyraBlasters are created.

1. What makes SPYRA’s products stand out?

 

Stefan_SPYRA_product_designer Stefan

The water gun, the toy that we know from our childhood has been re-experienced and gives the impression of having grown up with us. 

 

 Dr. K

A technology lover like me was immediately inspired by the combination of high-tech and a toy that has many childhood memories tied to it. I think that's what Spyra is all about!

 

 Julia

I think SpyraBlasters to water guns are like Ikea furniture to lego or the motorbike to the tricycle. What you enjoyed as a child and what you "grew out of" with getting older can now be revived at an appropriate level. Water guns became a funsport device with SPYRA – Clever, high class and fun.

 

2. How does a new SPYRA idea come about?

 

 Julia

To be honest, Sebastian comes up to you randomly one day and says: I have an idea – go for it. He speaks with our community all the time and is constantly inspired by all the feedback we get from our SPYRA fans. They are incredibly creative and through the interaction we receive a lot of great ideas.

Then you get a piece of paper with a few requirements for the new product idea, and you are let loose on a concept run.

 

 Dr. K

In this process, we take one of the visions and put our one creativity and innovation into practice. This is how the craziest prototypes are created.

 

Stefan_SPYRA_product_designer Stefan

Many synergies are also created during joint evenings. Hanging around we randomly come up with wild ideas about what would be cool. Or we think the ideas that we have picked up from the community further through. Not all of these ideas arisen are practical but we definitely get veeery creative in this process.

 

3. What happens after the idea at SPYRA?

 

 Julia

In the concept run, a few things are dropped because they are not feasible, but alternatives are added that may even turn out to be much cooler anyway. Because it is really only a small idea beforehand, a spark of something, the real fire is only lit as soon as someone gets to grips with it. Btw, concept runs are actually always a tech matter.

When the concept run is over, the results are discussed again in a larger group with other departments. There are also new influences and when you see that the whole thing has potential, then either another concept run follows if necessary, or a wrap up.

After the concept run was successful, the development phase starts. First comes the goal planning, i.e. where do we want to go and in the course of this, a detailed list of requirements and a project plan are worked out, which then serve as a guideline for the development.

After the development phase, in which the most magic happens, follows the design phase, i.e. the creation of the components in CAD and the purchase of bought-in parts, which can then be used to move on to the production phase.

 

Stefan_SPYRA_product_designer Stefan

The result should be a functioning prototype that covers as many sub-functions, design and ergonomics as possible. If this is found to be good, all the details are worked out and the product goes into construction to make tools for production. Now the mills in marketing and communication start turning to prepare the product for a roll-out and to define the final positioning.

 

4. How long does the process take to get a new product?

 

 Dr. K

With our product ideas, we are moving in completely new territory. Of course, this brings many challenges that we have to master as a team. It can take a up to 2 years from the vision to the final product. However, as a start-up and a small team, we are very quick to respond to changes and trends and can bring ideas to reality in a shorter time.

 

 Julia

Another factor why you can't name an exact duration is that we've had a certain basis for some products. The product development for the SpyraLX, our first manual water gun, for example started in August 2019 and the market launch was in April 22. I was working on it alone though. Nowadays there are more people working on one project.

And then there are things, which came super spontaneously and have to be developed extremely quickly. So I'd say we can get from idea to production in 1.5 years on average. If we have to we can do it faster, and if we're not under pressure we take our time.

 

Stefan_SPYRA_product_designer Stefan

To sum up, I would say 5-20 months depending on complexity.

 

5. What is the most fun part of product development?

 

Stefan_SPYRA_product_designer Stefan

The moment when you hold an idea in your hand for the first time as a functioning product.

 

 Dr. K

For me it’s the daily madness. In engineering, we work on several projects at the same time, so there are a lot of exciting things to try out every day. So the day-to-day work is very varied. From crucial product questions to playful prototype features, no two days are the same.

 

 Julia

Developing products 😉 I love love love product development. I can't describe exactly why, but i think people are basically problem solvers and that's just so tangible in development. You see your work directly and somehow realise yourself - you leave something behind (Attention: We´re going deep.).

But seriously, i think classic inventing is also such a primal instinct - it's deeply anchored, just like cavemen needed tools, nowadays it still satisfies a deep-seated need when you solve problems, create progress and things that didn't exist before. Of course, it's especially fun when it's also a product that's fun in itself.

 

6. What is the trickiest part of product development?

 

 Dr. K

As an electronics developer, it is tempting to integrate many super cool features into the products. This is all fun and stuff until you are told that this is not realistic. Although Spyra is in the field of high-tech products, we have to constantly make sure that our ideas realistically can be produced as well as being feasible.

 

Stefan_SPYRA_product_designer Stefan

I agree. The greatest challenge is to combine an ideal with reality.

 

 Julia

It can be that you pursue hundreds of concepts, solutions and ideas for ages and in the end it turns out that it doesn't work out. That can be super frustrating. It's not like you have something to do and you know how to get to the result or what the result is. It's just new. You can't give up. You have to keep at it. Maybe you have to go back one or 10 steps. But when it finally works out, it's all worth it!

 

7. What are you particularly proud of in product development at SPYRA?

 

Stefan_SPYRA_product_designer Stefan

I’m especially proud that people end up with something in their hands that allows them to have a good time with their loved ones.

 

 Julia

Of the SpyraLX. This is my baby, my first own product. You develop things during your studies, but they are never put into practice. And the fact that people are now actually holding my product in their hands, where so much sweat, blood and tears have gone into it, is simply amazing. But also technically, the shot mechanism of the SpyraLX was a very challenging task. The fact that I've taken out a patent on it shows me that I've really created something that's never been done before.

 

 Dr. K

We are developing the future of the water battle. I am part of this development, the engineer who can bring in his ideas, concepts and innovations, develop them and, after a lot of work and headaches, get back at his colleagues with a good water punch when the product lands on the market.

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