I achieved the Guinness World Record for designing the World’s Thinnest Latex Condom.
Growing up in Vancouver, I was always fascinated by science and how to apply it. One of the reasons why I chose to study engineering was the ability to explore new ideas and make them possible.
My family owns a condom manufacturing company and running the business was always an option, but I wanted to challenge myself. I decided to enroll in what was considered a new program back then — Integrated Engineering. On one hand, this program allowed me to develop practical technical skills while on the other, I felt that this program could broaden my management skills to better understand the multifaceted sides of engineering.
In a welcoming surprise, the program allowed us to explore our own ideas. I used this opportunity to convince my team to work on a non-contact condom tester. My vision was to create a more efficient and reliable method to test for holes in condoms that went beyond the technology available during that time. The project successfully proved its feasibility in prototype stage; however, given many real life constraints, it didn’t make it to a final product. I learned that industrial insight plays a crucial part in the success of an invention.
After I graduated in 2009, I joined my family business where I spearheaded the R&D team. My main priority was to work on making a stronger condom. One day, I remember noticing one of our competitors had a Guinness World Record on being the Thinnest Latex Condom. To make a condom thinner, the challenge is to maintain the condom strength while having a thinner latex wall. If I could make a condom stronger, I could also make a condom thinner as long as I maintained the necessary strength. So, I decided to see if I could push the boundaries and dedicated my time on extensive R&D to develop an even thinner condom.There was initially a lot of failure as the process requires condoms to undergo vigorous testing. It wasn’t simply a case to make the condom thin: we had to ensure it was strong as well. Each time we made a revision, we had to restart the testing cycle. After a year and a half of trial and error and with a new formulation and an upgrade to our machinery, we were able to manufacture the world’s thinnest condom at 0.036 mm. It currently sells worldwide under the brand name Aoni.