Project image
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$1,420
pledged of $30,000pledged of $30,000 goal
17
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, September 4 2016 1:48 AM UTC +00:00
Mike De'ShazerBy Mike De'Shazer
First created
Mike De'ShazerBy Mike De'Shazer
First created
$1,420
pledged of $30,000pledged of $30,000 goal
17
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, September 4 2016 1:48 AM UTC +00:00

About

The first production-ready Kobos will ship on December 15th with your help.

The box with a funny name (you can even name it whatever you want) is designed to make your life easier and more fun. Kobo does more than your average box; however, it can sit still in one place like the rest of them. The real question is: can your run-of-the-mill box have smooth, uplifting conversations with you... send you reminders... remember stuff you forgot, maybe order your groceries.... or schedule you a house cleaner while playing your music... or Google search, and even be aware, in general? We didn't think so. That's why we made this box, named Kobo.

Kobo connects to your Wi-Fi network via our Hello Kobo app and communicates with Kobo A.I, a set of artificially intelligent neural networks and relational databases running in the cloud. If you get the DIY Kit, you can connect Kobo to your own API endpoint to build custom interactions and change the voice.

Here's what you will see in the Hello Kobo app:

Hello Kobo Mobile App
Hello Kobo Mobile App

The mini-computer (a modified Raspberry Pi) is sourced from the US. 

The microphones, tweeters, woofers, Bluetooth adapters, Wi-Fi adapters, power supplies and casings are sourced from South Korea and China. 

Assembly occurs in South Korea. 

There are two major beliefs behind the creation of this product:

1. Current mass-market smart home devices are actually not that smart, especially when it comes to remembering things for you, having casual conversations, and making personalized recommendations based on their experiences with you. We are changing that with Kobo. 

2. If you put a personal assistant in your home (whether it is digital or not), it should be open to you. That's why we are open-sourcing our hardware and software. We have built a custom operating system called HeyboOS, which our hardware runs on to deliver Kobo to you. 

With many new smart devices coming soon and currently available from companies such as Amazon and Google, such as Echo and Home respectively, we felt the need to create an open alternative to closed systems. 

Here is a demo of some of the features in our current prototype, featuring the Kobo and our customer lead strategist Hannah.

Kobo was a brainchild of entrepreneurs (and spouses) Mike and Jeein De'Shazer. Mike brings 12 years of programming experience to Kobo, with 4 years experience in A.I. research and development. Jeein is the product mom and ensures our people don't implode from the sweat and tears of creating Kobo.

The team creating Kobo is made up of 2 hackers (Mike and Ty), 1 3D graphic artist (Khani), 1 creative director (Jeein), and a handful of logistics professionals (Laura, Hannah, Nazrin and Meray) who focus on ensuring timely manufacturing and delivery of our product, as well as shipment and tracking of groceries, housecleaning and other products and services delivered through Kobo. We have 2 advisors, Jacob and Victoria Michaels, seasoned entrepreneurs, specializing in product packaging and investment finance.

And you! We would be happy to welcome you to our team to bring a new alternative to the smart home ecosystem.

We've completed at least 2 Kobo prototypes and met with manufacturers. On the hardware end, we're working on the Beacon. On the software end, we're training Kobo to become smarter, as well as developing the Hello Kobo app! 

Risks and challenges

Many electronic devices sold in the U.S. require the testing and approval of the Federal Communications Commission (commonly known as the FCC). This has been a huge hurdle for similar devices on Kickstarter regarding getting products delivered to backers.
However, according to the FCC, an electronic device that assists a person in "household cleaning, cooking, or food preparation" is exempt from approval from the FCC.
Kobo can source a house cleaner for your home via the command of your voice; therefore, Kobo will be classified as a home appliance that assists in cleaning and other tasks, to avoid expensive FCC review costs and time-delays for the shipment of our product. This rule applies to unintentional radiators. Radiators are considered radio wave radiators in this regard. Because our device connects to WiFi and does not emit radio waves (while emitting sound waves for audio playback), we fit narrowly into this classification.
Additionally, our DIY Kit is exempt from FCC regulations as a "kit or sub-assembly" as well.
Furthermore, we have identified other methods which we will leverage, given an inquiry by the FCC, which include obtaining approval and also sending very simple 1-step DIY Kits for people who do not order the DIY Kits and opt to still receive their purchases in the event of FCC inquiries.
In the end, we will ensure we can legally send devices to our backers in a timely fashion.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1.00

    Thank You + Name on the Site

    Not only will you get our everlasting gratitude, but your name will be added on our website as a contributor at HelloKobo.com

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    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Kobo Stickers + Handwritten Thank You

    Receive 2 Kobo laptop stickers with the nifty Kobo logo to put on your laptop. In addition, a heartfelt handwritten thank you note from the team will be sent to you. Your name will also be listed on the website as a contributor.

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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Access to the Kobo Testing Platform

    Be among the first to access Kobo's voice-controlled training and testing platform from your computer before the box is released. Become a part of the crowdsourced software testing and optimization team beginning on November 5, 2016.
    Through this process you will help train Kobo by conversing with her, making her smarter before the first order of boxes ship out in December.

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    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    Name Printed Inside the Box

    With this pledge, YOUR name will be printed in the Kobo box (first generation). Your name will also be listed on the website as a contributor.

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    Pledge US$ 149 or more About US$ 149

    Kobo Beacon

    The Kobo beacon can be connected to Kobo or your mobile phone running the Hello Kobo mobile application. The big difference between Kobo and Kobo Beacon is that the beacon does not have its own processor but must connect to the internet through your phone or Kobo device.
    Additionally, Kobo beacons are a great way to add Kobo voice-command and audio playback functionality to all the rooms in your house, not just the room Kobo sits in.

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    Pledge US$ 199 or more About US$ 199

    Kobo DIY Kit

    This is a must for developers and tinkerers! Assemble your own Kobo. We provide all the parts, plus instructional videos and a manual for hacking the software and hardware for your own purposes. You can connect Kobo to your own endpoint to have your logic completely override Kobo responses. By joining our development community, you will also receive new feature updates and testing materials first. Your name will also be listed on the website as a contributor.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 299 or more About US$ 299

    Kobo (Early Bird Price)

    50% off of retail price! Join us in revolutionizing home life by getting yourself a Kobo. It will arrive in your home already assembled. Your name will also be listed on the website as a contributor and your name will be printed inside the box.

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    Pledge US$ 399 or more About US$ 399

    Kobo (Kickstarter Price)

    35% off of retail price! Join us in revolutionizing home life by getting yourself a Kobo. It will arrive in your home already assembled. Your name will also be listed on the website as a contributor.

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    Pledge US$ 599 or more About US$ 599

    Kobo + 2 Beacons

    For the retail price of Kobo, get yourself a Kobo AND 2 beacons to improve your accessibility to Kobo from any room in your home. It will arrive in your home already assembled. Your name will also be listed on the website as a contributor.

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    Pledge US$ 749 or more About US$ 749

    Kobo + 4 Beacons

    For a discounted price, get yourself a Kobo AND 4 beacons to improve your accessibility to Kobo from any room in your home. No matter how big the place, no raising of your voice will be needed. It will arrive in your home already assembled. Your name will also be listed on the website as a contributor.

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    Personalized Kobo

    With this pledge, you don't get just a regular Kobo, you can have it designed just the way YOU want it by a professional artist. Join us in revolutionizing home life by getting yourself a Kobo. It will arrive in your home already assembled. Your name will also be listed on the website as a contributor.

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    Pledge US$ 1,799 or more About US$ 1,799

    10x Kobo DIY Kit

    This deal is a great saver for groups ordering DIY kits in bulk for hobbyist or educational purposes.. Instructional videos and print is sent to you with all the parts. You can optionally add up to 10 names to the insides of the boxes. Your name(s) will also be listed on the website as a contributor.

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Funding period

- (40 days)