Close up of waves

A wearable safety beacon for open water swimming

Close up of swimmer in wetsuit wearing a Tekra pod on back

Swim safety devices

After an injury forced Tekrasport founder, John Hanley, into retirement from rugby, he threw himself into new challenges – swimming and triathlons on Ireland’s West Coast beside some of Europe’s finest unspoilt beaches.

John, an engineer with over 30 years’ experience, is a 3-time Ironman triathlete and active open water swimmer.

As a competitor, race organiser and parent, John realised that swim safety devices were limiting people’s performance in the open water and he decided to use his engineering background to design a new type of device, one that would help first timers overcome anxiety and push experienced swimmers to improve. John wanted to improve upon the standard tow floats that he had seen in various open water swimming locations. This led to the development of the Tekrapod, the first open-water safety device, designed specifically for open- water swimmers.

From this, John extended his range, with one of his most recent innovations being the unique Tekralite, a 100% waterproof, wireless, rechargeable, LED strobe light for maximum visibility when swimming in low light conditions. With a strong focus on safety matched with a passion for personal achievement and pushing boundaries, TekraSport has become a serious industry competitor.

Development of new firmware

Tekrasport Ltd approached the WiSAR Technology Gateway to benchmark the performance of the Tekralite design and to investigate improvements to the end user experience of the innovative product. Using an Enterprise Ireland Innovation Voucher, Tekrasport, in collaboration with WiSAR researchers undertook a performance investigation leading to the development of new firmware for the product related to movement sensor technology for the device. Following that, activation/deactivation controls were developed, and the residual battery life of the device was increased.

Tekralite prototype


performance investigation


Irish company


Innovation Voucher

“We were delighted to team up with WiSAR, through the Enterprise Ireland Innovation Voucher Programme, to develop the functionality of our innovative Tekralite. Through this collaboration with WiSAR researchers, Tekrasport were able to incorporate a number of significant improvements to our swimmers’ light, making the product even more competitive and attractive for the global market. Going forward, we believe that this added value will increase our capacity to grow and penetrate new markets.”

John Hanley
Founder, Tekrasport

The Tekrasport & WiSAR Technology Gateway partnership

The partnership with WiSAR Lab, enabled Tekrasport to increase the functionality and improve the power consumption of their innovative Tekralite, the only 100% waterproof rechargeable light on the market. By working with WiSAR researchers, Tekrasport Ltd were able to improve the end-user experience and the battery life of their innovative light, for multi-purpose use in many recreational sporting activities including running, cycling and kayaking. These improvements to the Tekralite have increased the devices potential to be a game changer in the recreational sport industry.

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