Vice President of engineering at 16Lab

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October 2014 to September 2016


16Lab is a start-up based in Yokohama, Japan, focused on wearables technology. web


  • Main tasks:
    • Development of methods and procedures for interaction with wearables devices
    • General and proprietary gesture recognition algorithms
    • General and proprietary algorithms for detecting user activity
    • Proprietary algorithms for coordinating and cooperating with other wearables
    • Proprietary algorithms for HID emulation
    • Proprietary algorithms for accurate orientation
    • Proprietary algorithms for 6DoF positioning
  • Secondary tasks
    • Advice and support related to mechanical design
    • Advice and support for the development of demo apps
    • Programming algorithms into our demo apps (Android and iOS)
    • Research about potential use cases for wearables
    • Research about cooperation with other devices
    • Writting drafts for different patent applications


We won the Innovation Award at CEATEC Japan 2015 (Home Entertainment category).


Ko Kijima
CEO, 16Lab

“Rafael has unusual thinking. His work leaded to multiple patent applications in 16Lab Inc. I think this says it all.”
Tonu Samuel
CTO at 16Lab, with more than 20 years experience in IT and electronics

“Rafael is an inspiring person throughout work and private time. He often throw unordinary ideas which gave surprise to colleagues. He is also a very cheerful person stimulating conversations which makes office in a good mood.”
Kazuaki Tanida
Colleague at 16Lab. Software Engineer


  • IMU sensors
    The main source of information on wearables is data obtained by the sensors (including antennas, buttons, etc.). IMU sensors are some of the most common and versatile sensors used on wearables. Understanding and making a proper usage of the information obtained by the IMU sensors is the key to offer high quality applications and algorithms. It mights seem obvious to point this out, but in real life, sadly, I have seen many inefficient algorithms due to a weak and superficial understanding of the data.
  • Matlab
    During my time in Austria as mechanical designer I didn't used Matlab at all, and I recognise that I missed it. During my time working and researching for 16Lab, Matlab has been a great tool for analysis and simulations. Matlab is a huge tool, full of toolboxes and applications for every possible engineering field, so I think it would not be fair to say that I am good using Matlab, because I have used only a very small part of the potential and toolboxes offered by this software. I would say I have a valuable experience in general usage of Matlab and programming simulations and algorithms in general, but not using specific toolboxes or simulink, for example.
  • Programming
    I am not a programmer. I like programming and I am quite good programming algorithms, for example, but I do not understand and I am not interested in complex programming projects, like computer or smartphone applications. I use programming as a tool, but developing an app is a serious task that should be done by professional programmers. Said that, during my time working on 16Lab I have supported our programmers to develop several demo applications and I have also modified and developed new modules for our demo applications. I have worked mostly with Java, Unity and iOS. Of course I have also used Matlab, that is high level programming, but I wrote about Matlab in a different section.
    CATIA is a wonderful tool for mechanical design, sketching and mechanical analysis. It has a large number of modules; learning how to use all of them would take many years of dedication. During my work at 16Lab I have used CATIA some times to develop some drafts and for doing stress analysis of some models. I have also made some models for rapid prototyping. On my free time I also use CATIA for my own projects and designs.