Swimming to success

​​Alumni Spotlight: Hind Hobeika​​​​​

​MSFEA conducted a short interview with Hind Hobeika, a mechanical engineering graduate from the Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture (MSFEA). 

Former member of AUB's swimming team and frustrated about the lack of tech to monitor laps and recognize strokes, Hind Hobeika is on a mission to get more people in the water by creating products that enable swimmers to express themselves. She invented Instabeat: the first smart add-on to your swimming goggles that provides real-time visual feedback of training zones while you swim. It helps swimmers improve performance with real time training optimization.

Hind invented, developed and sold the first version of Instabeat in 56 countries. She has been invited around the world to speak about the product and the future of technology in swimming, most notably at the White House, Harvard Arab Weekend Conference, TED Talent, World Economic Forum in China. She was also selected as top five Arab innovators under 35 by MIT Tech Review and among the 100 Women on the BBC List. To date, Instabeat​ has raised a total of $6M in venture funding.



  • ​What excites you about your work? What drives you to do this research?

I am very passionate about sports, swimming in particular, as I believe it's the most rewarding form of self-expression, and the highest act of self-care. I am very excited to be contributing to advancing the sport through our technology, and hopefully this leads to more people in the pool.

Building consumer products also stimulates me, and through Instabeat I've had the chance to go through the entire product lifecycle (twice!) from sketching all the way to getting it in consumers' hands.

I am very passionate about sports, swimming in particular, as I believe it's the most rewarding form of self-expression, and the highest act of self-care. I am very excited to be contributing to advancing the sport through our technology, and hopefully this leads to more people in the pool.

I am fortunate to be exposed to multiple work cultures and have had the chance to deal with people from all over the world through Instabeat. The US (San Francisco) to design the product, China for manufacturing, Lebanon for development, and multiple other countries with big swimming, tech and startup communities. 

Building consumer products also stimulates me, and through Instabeat I've had the chance to go through the entire product lifecycle (twice!) from sketching all the way to getting it in consumers' hands.



  • What are important characteristics of successful engineers?
“I don't really differentiate between women and men when it comes to engineering. I differentiate between being a 'hands-on' engineer vs. an engineering manager", as any successful project needs both. i.e. Are you the one building the product (coding, 3D modeling, electronics design, manufacturing, etc.) or are you the one coming up with the strategy and managing the execution team.

Being an engineer is first and foremost being a methodical thinker and problem solver. If you are curious about how things work, and like solving problems, engineering will give you the right skillset.



  • Share a turning point or defining moment in your research/work/innovation.

One of the first turning points was participating in the Stars of Science competition, where I built the first Instabeat prototype in less than 3 months. It was the first time I got my hands dirty and went all the way to seeing a final product solution, which was mind blowing. Before that I had worked at P&G where we were a few hundred people working on a portion of a product. This was very empowering, as I felt I could build anything!

 

“Being an engineer is first and foremost being a methodical thinker and problem solver." 


Read more about Instabeat and Hind Hobeika in this SPORTECHIE article.