NGUYEN PHUONG NGA
CEO, founding member
NGUYEN DINH NAM
LE DINH KHUONG
NGUYEN LINH PHUONG
NGUYEN VAN DINH
Supply Chain Director
NGUYEN THI NAM
Industrial Design Team Leader
NGUYEN VAN LINH
Electronics R&D Team Leader
Vihelm comes from a team of young innovators in Vietnam – a country with renowned success in fighting Covid-19. With a population of nearly 100 million people, Vietnam has reported only 1,225 cases and 35 deaths thanks to a combination of stringent social distancing rules, contact tracing, and quarantine policies. As Vietnamese, we understand too well the difficulty of reduced contact and the limitations of the current protective measures. That’s why we are committed to bringing you an innovative solution that helps you get back your lives while still staying safe.
In April 2020, the Vihelm project was founded by Nguyen Dinh Nam, a reputable Vietnamese inventor and scientist, and a team of close friends and family members. This is Nam’s latest endeavor after resigning from the chief position of a distinguished research institution of 135 researchers.
Under Nam’s supervision, an innovation team of 3 students led by Do Trong Minh Duc conducted research and came up with great ideas to improve the helmet. In April, the team started designing the first prototype; and in August, using the first prototype, the team won 3 prestigious awards in iCAN* Canada 2020, a competition that attracted 600 inventions from 60 countries around the world. The design of the helmet was so innovative, it was featured in Reuters, NYTimes, NYPost and hundreds of major newspapers all over the world.
From the first version to the third, the Vihelm team had been consulting with large hospitals and healthcare experts to improve various features:
- Minimizing carbon dioxide (CO2) level
- Maximizing particle filtration efficacy
- Improve visor’s optical correctness
- Reduce voice absorption for better communication
- Reduce helmet’s weight
As the 3rd version was certified by an independent lab, the team was confident in the overall quality and presented the helmet to W.H.O. and received very favourable comments. After that, Vihelm continued to win more awards for the helmet.
In early November, the designing process of the 4th version started but we haven’t finished as of December due to management issues.
In late November, a different in-house design team introduced the 5th version of the helmet, which is ready for commercialization. Vihelm then registered a trading company in Singapore and opened a R&D office in Hanoi. Vihelm decided to provide a dual license to the world. People can choose to buy a ready-made helmet from Vihelm or make their own using the CC-BY-ND license and open-source software. People can start buying 3D-printed products from Vihelm. The manufacturing cost is high for small quantities but we believe it’s highly important to reduce time to market.
In December, the Vihelm team started an Indiegogo campaign to cover the substantial cost of high-quality molds. With the high-quality molds, Vihelm will replace 3D printing with plastic injection molding technologies and expect to bring down the unit cost in mass production, allowing our innovative product to reach wider markets.