Project image
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CA$ 3,712
pledged of CA$ 197,000pledged of CA$ 197,000 goal
34
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, February 5 2015 5:49 PM UTC +00:00
Last updated February 5, 2015

SplashDock

Use your phone where no phone has gone before. Portable Waterproof Speaker dock for smartphones with full smartphone accessibility.

SplashDock

Use your phone where no phone has gone before. Portable Waterproof Speaker dock for smartphones with full smartphone accessibility.

CA$ 3,712
pledged of CA$ 197,000pledged of CA$ 197,000 goal
34
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, February 5 2015 5:49 PM UTC +00:00
Last updated February 5, 2015

About

Why another speaker set?

There are dozens of smartphone speaker devices readily available in the marketplace. It's understandable you may question the need to create yet another one.

We had the same mind set when we started our market survey of existing devices, all meant to solve a syndrome known as Smartphone Separation Anxiety. Smartphone users wish not only to carry their phones wherever they go, but also to fully use their smartphone functionality regardless of the environment or conditions which may be harmful to the device. 

The marketplace has responded with a variety of solutions such as enhanced ziploc bags, the ubiquitous suction cup shower speakers, and full plastic jacket enclosures.  However, a closer look reveals that no single existing device answers our basic set of requirements illustrated below:

Comparison & Market Survey

Due to the large number of available products, it would be impractical to go through and compare every existing device to the SplashDock concept. Instead, we can offer a generic brand-less comparison matrix by categorizing all smartphone speaker products into 3 general groups: 

The SplashDock concept design is meant to combine the benefits of each product category, eliminate the shortcomings in each category, and do so at a reasonable price point.

SplashDock Key Features

  • The smartphone is firmly held by a tight flexible silicone cover. The phone touchscreen is fully accessible and operational, allowing access to all device functions and apps. For most phone models, side and top phone buttons can also be accessed through the flexible cover. 

  • The phone compartment is tightly sealed and locked down by a latch mechanism. All speakers and enclosure openings are waterproofed and splash proof to IP65.

  • The SplashDock employs six high-end individual speakers, similar to ones found in home theater sound bars. These speakers are individually tuned to deliver hi-fidelity full frequency response sound.

  • High capacity rechargeable Li-Ion battery ensures minimal trade-off between long playtime and high power audio output.

SplashDock Intended Uses 

Like other ideas that came before it, the SplashDock idea was conceived in the shower, which is coincidentally it's primary intended area of use. The original application for the SplashDock is to allow smartphone users to continue listening to Podcasts, Audiobooks, and Music while in the shower or bathtub with full access to all phone apps and functionality. 

Once we described the SplashDock to friends, we were surprised to find out a slew of other uses envisioned for the device. For example, using the phone GPS app while on a canoe or kayak trip, without any risk to the phone. Similarly, the SplashDock can be used in a wet and muddy camping site or while fishing. It can be left blaring music by the side of a swimming pool no matter how splashy the pool party becomes, or it can be lodged into a snow pile while you shovel the snow off your driveway. It could even be used in a messy and dusty construction site since the device exterior is fully washable.  

There is no particular limited set of uses for the SplashDock.The SplashDock can be used wherever you wish to fully use and access your smartphone while keeping it safe and protected from water, snow, mud, dust or sand. 

Where we are today  

At this time we completed a concept design prototype which was CNC machined from solid aluminum. This prototype allowed us to test the latch mechanism, perform preliminary sound testing, and validate the waterproofing aspects of the enclosure and the silicone cover. The prototype was also instrumental in obtaining estimates and quotes for unit production costs, NRE figures for plastics, and product assembly costs. We also have a fairly accurate estimate on the internal electronic sub-assemblies and PCB Bill of Materials based on work done on the prototype.      

Where we want to go

With the basic proof of concept done, the next step is turning the SplashDock into a viable mass produced commercial product. The goal of this Kickstarter campaign is to facilitate financing of the following tasks: 

  • Design and produce Plastic injection molds for mass production
    The SplashDock is a relatively complex enclosure with many movable parts. Based on the current preliminary design, we require no less than six complex multiple-part injection molds and one silicone cover mold.

  • Obtain full regulatory approval for the North American market
    As an engineering design firm, we are well acquainted with the significant number of regulatory approval  standards that every electronic product must be tested for before being released as a commercial product.  The SplashDock design contains a rechargeable Li-ion battery pack and a Bluetooth radio transceiver. As such, it requires to pass a long list of safety and regulatory tests that cover both components: FCC 15 Subpart B / ICES 003, FCC 15 Subpart C / RSS210, UL/CSA 60065-1, UL 1642, UL 2054 and Waterproofing IP65.

  • Raw materials and components for first production run
    The majority of funds are allocated to buy materials and components required to fulfill the rewards for all campaign backers on the first production run. 

Moving from a proof of concept prototype to a mass produced commercial product requires non-recurrent engineering work and one-time investment in production setup infrastructure. It's important to note there are other remaining NRE tasks to support mass production which are not listed as part of the funding breakdown.  In particular to the SplashDock project this includes semi-automated assembly line jig for applying silicone sealant, setting up QC test stations, PCB assembly tooling and setup, product packaging NRE, and other administrative overhead tasks. CG Tech will be responsible for covering all these costs as part of our ongoing investment in the SplashDock product.

While in general Kickstarter creators are not required to disclose project tasks and financing information at this level of details, we intend to be fully open and transparent with our backers with regard to the use of raised funds.

Project Delivery Schedule

Real life statistics for traditionally funded engineering projects usually run late on planned schedules. Kickstarter projects statistics are no different. 

According to our ideal project plan, we should be able to produce and deliver the SplashDock within six months of receiving funding. Nevertheless, based on our experience in product development, transferring a prototype device to production rarely goes according to plan. Unanticipated issues regularly occur during production rollout. Experience taught us to expect the unexpected, which is why we provide an additional three months buffer to allow for such occurrences. 

As seen on...

This is the campaign story section where a cloud of technology websites, social media site logos, and references to gadget blogs should appear. However we have none here for a simple reason: we are not marketing professionals or a business development firm with access or ties to mass marketing tools. We are engineers, and so we are reaching out to backers with the Kickstarter grassroots premise: we have a unique product idea, we have the skills and experience to turn it into a product, and we don't have the capital.

If you like the SplashDock concept and see its value, please support us by backing this campaign. 

Even if for any reason you have no personal use for the SplashDock, but still think it's a useful product idea, please pass along the word to your friends and family who may support the campaign. 

This Kickstarter campaign relies solely on word of mouth. Assuming a fixed adaptation rate by backers, the campaign success is highly and almost entirely dependent on its exposure level. Please spread the word around and help us turn the SplashDock concept into a real product. 

Thank you for your support!

Key Specs

The SplashDock is not cast in plastic yet so all key specification should be taken as work in progress estimates subject to change as we move the design forward to a molded plastic enclosure.

Li-Ion Battery Capacity: 6000mAh  
Max Audio Power: 22W, distributed over 6 speakers Height: 20cm (8”) Length: 28cm (11”) Width: 6cm (2.5”)Weight (estimated): 1.8Kg 

User Interface  

While the smartphone touchscreen is intended to provide the main user interface, the SplashDock still requires push buttons and indicators to perform basic operation such as power on/off, Bluetooth Pairing etc. The waterproof push buttons incorporates light pipes for two bi-color LED indicators providing status:

Risks and challenges

While from a technical point of view the SplashDock product is not too complex or advanced, there are always obstacles and difficulties to overcome with any engineering project.

1. On the Electronics front, one of the key unknowns is the outcome of regulatory approval testing. Regardless of the intentional design effort, it's often the case a product will fail its EMI pre-scans, and will require a minor redesign or implementation changes. While not technically critical, the need to produce multiple iterations of the production model prototype usually results in negative impact on project delivery schedule and development budget.

2. On the Mechanical front, the process of designing and verifying the plastics injection molds is both expensive and time consuming, so mistakes and errors along the way can effect the planned rewards delivery . The final exact details of the mechanical design itself is subject to minor changes as we interact with mold designers due to physical constraints and applicable IM design rules.

3. Finally, for both the mechanical and electronics assemblies, the process of transferring the design from the prototype stage to the production environment is not trivial:

(a) Choosing quality materials and components suppliers is critical to product quality. In particular to the SplashDock project, finding and validating a reliable offshore custom Li-ion battery pack manufacturer is high on our priority list.

(b) Identifying and working closely with proven contract manufacturers is essential to ensure the product is manufactured in accordance with expected quality standards.

Based on our extensive experience in electronics product design, and leveraging our existing contacts with contract manufacturers we believe the SplashDock project can be delivered on time and within budget.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Acknowledgment: We would like to thank Scott Lalonde ( www.scottlalonde.com) for his efforts and time producing the video for this campaign.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 1 or more About US$ 1

    BACKERS SPIKE!

    For only $1, help get us noticed, and increase our chances of getting featured.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 5 or more About US$ 4

    LIKE OUR IDEA?

    You may not need the SplashDock until summer is here.

    Show music lovers that you like our idea. Pledge $5 and help us create a product that will be ready for you, when you are.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 25 or more About US$ 19

    Wear it – SplashDock T-Shirts

    Help us advertise and spread the name.

    Pledge $25 in support of our product and receive a SplashDock white T-shirt, currently available in 4 sizes (S,M, L, and XL).

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    0 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 25 or more About US$ 19

    WAKE UP TO SPLASHDOCK - COFFEE MUG

    Show your support by pledging $25 and receive a SplashDock coffee mug.

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    0 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 99 or more About US$ 75

    SUPER EARLY BIRD -

    Get the SplashDock first and enjoy the highest discount for early backers. Receive almost 40% off the full retail price of $159.

    Don't forget to pass the word along to your friends and family and help us make this project a success.

    Shipping cost not included.

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    Limited 26 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 119 or more About US$ 90

    EARLY BIRD -

    Its not too late to enjoy a special low price. Back us up and receive 25% off the full retail price of $159.

    Tell your friends and family and help us turn the SplashDock concept into a product.

    Shipping cost not included.

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    Ships to Only certain countries
    Limited 1 backer
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge CA$ 135 or more About US$ 102

    LAST BUT NOT LEAST -

    Receive 15% discount off the full retail SplashDock price of $159.

    Make sure you get your SplashDock at a lower price and guarantee you are allocated one as soon as its available from our first production run.

    Please spread the word to your friends and family. This Kickstarter campaign depends on word of mouth for exposure. Help us create the SplashDock by sharing this project with your friends.

    Shipping cost not included.

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    2 backers
    CA$

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Funding period

- (30 days)