A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
About this project
Welcome to i-Brix!
*Update 7/15 - We're FUNDED! Thank you so much for your support. Keep pledging as we have Early Bird Kits still remaining.
Looking for a review by a very-well respected individual when it comes to LEGO? Check it out here
i-Brix is an industry-first, patent pending wireless lighting technology designed to be used with LEGO® construction components.
Nearly 10 years of research and development has been applied to the design of i-Brix to make it just right, ensuring our supporters receive the best product possible.
Our patent-pending technology is unlike any other wireless power system out there - for any type of product. We've been able to optimize our i-Brix tech to work 8" away from the base - through actual real-time wireless power transmission. This means greater flexibility and freedom to put lighted elements in your models without having to find a way to hide wires. And, since the i-Brix system is wireless, you won't need to worry about replacing batteries in each individual i-Brix!
i-Brix is designed to work WITH your existing LEGO® collection - our Power Plate base plate and the i-Brix will work in conjunction with your existing bricks and pieces, allowing you the flexibility to use all of your existing components! And, you can attach one of our 1x1 i-Brix directly to another standard brick, whether it's 1x1, 2x3, a 2x8 plate or whatever brick you choose!
The i-Brix Story
i-Brix is truly UNLIKE any other powered component system designed to work with LEGO® and compatible building systems. Nearly 10 years of research and development has been applied to the design of i-Brix to make it just right, ensuring that you, our supporters, receive the best product possible.
As a kid I would string incandescent Christmas light strands around my LEGO® sets. Hey, you work with what you can! :) In any case, this was obviously not ideal, and actually plain clumsy, messy and not too attractive. As I grew into my AFOL (Adult Fan of LEGO®) role, I started looking at the ability to add lighting in a better way - it shouldn't require a bunch of wires, drilling, battery enclosures, etc. You should be able to add lights to your buildings without all of these potential nuisances.
My goal was to make lights for bricks that could fit into one of the smallest enclosures possible, so that you could have the most flexibility when adding them to a model. Whether you're building a car, a street light, a house or a robot it would be awesome to add lights without the necessity of using a 2x3 or larger block. Some lighted systems use 4x16 enclosures to house batteries with their lights... we didn't want anything close to that.
While looking at the concept, there were essentially two different options that came to mind: onboard batteries (in the lighted brick itself), or wired lights that operated from remotely-attached batteries.
Most often, the smaller the battery, the lower the power output or lifespan. There are rechargeable batteries, but that could require disassembly to recharge.
There were other drawbacks to this concept as well:
Very, very small batteries are not very common, resulting in higher costs.
Creating a miniature enclosure to accommodate 1-2 micro batteries that would allow for future battery replacement was definitely a challenge.
And, who wants to disassemble a 1x1 brick to replace a micro battery after only a few days of use?
The other option, of course, was developing a lighting system that used wires to connect power to the LEDs. But this meant possibly drilling holes, pinching or damaging very fine wires and other nuisances.
Below is an example of one of our REAL1x1 standard height bricks that uses our patent-pending wireless power technology. We were able to fit it into a super compact size and an affordable price point! Two big "wins" for all of us! To give you an idea of how small this space is, after accounting for the side wall thickness we have under 5mm x 5mm to work with.
Here is an example of another lighted brick element. Notice the 2x3 footprint and the required batteries to make it work. Also, you can't really see it too well, but this brick even requires constant pressure from the user in order to stay lit up.
The above is just one example, but you can easily see how this design may not work well on a street lamp, vehicle, or even a small house structure due to its size.
Making it Work
With wireless power, we knew it would be a tough task to make this actually happen. Most engineers I approached shrugged off the idea altogether. Especially given the fact it needed to support some distance - I didn't see the value of a system like this if it would only work 1-2" away from the base.
Here's where the nerds come in - we've been able to become the FIRST and ONLY to optimize our patent-pending system to function up to 8" above the base and power our i-Brix components wirelessly.
This may not seem like a big deal, but trust us - it's HUGE! As a comparison, think of a cell phone that uses wireless charging. They all require direct contact with their charging surface, even though they're "wireless". i-Brix gives you so much more room to work with - and can power dozens of i-Brix at one time! Additional i-Brix will be available as add-on units
i-Brix is THE First and Only wirelessly powered lighting system compatible with LEGO® and other building products. Another phenomenal accomplishment is that you can power multiple... several, in fact, i-Brix at a distance all at the same time. Achieving the distance we can while staying FCC compliant is almost as miraculous as being able to make i-Brix work at all!
How Does Our Patent-Pending i-Brix System Work?
How do i-Brix work? Our patent-pending system requires a Power Plate (10" x 10") which can go underneath your building surface. Then you simply add the i-Brix units and place those above the Power Plate. Since the power is able to transmit through plastic surfaces, it can be concealed underneath your LEGO® plates without taking away from the appearance of the system. This is the first and only wirelessly powered system to feature this technology AND work at a distance!
Now, we haven't invented the concept of wireless power - Nikola Tesla is given most of the credit for this amazing wonder from years ago. However, we have refined the process to make it work on a very small scale. When you take into consideration just how small our wireless LED receivers are, it's simply amazing! And the fact that i-Brix does NOT require any direct contact with a power source - makes it revolutionary.
i-Brix will go through an FCC final certification process before shipping to consumers. We have already completed a prescan, which shows we will be compliant with FCC safety and regulations. Offering and providing a safe i-Brix experience for everyone is a top priority!
What Will the Campaign Accomplish?
Our Kickstarter funding will be used for:
Wrapping up any loose ends with the FIRST and ONLY patent-pending wirelessly powered lighting system available.
Mold fabrication for our Brix that will hold the LED core as well as actual brick manufacturing
Transmitter and Receiver production and assembly
Finalization of engineering work and final product testing
PCB production that holds the electronic components, including the LED(s)
Packaging for each i-Brix product
And of course fulfilling ALL backers of our campaign!
Technical Specifications (preliminary)
10"L x 10"W x .25"H
12VDC input power
Transmitter range up to 8"
Receiver i-Brix: Standard 1x1 brick
Molded plastic construction
LED on PCB
*i-Brix has passed an FCC prescan to ensure FCC compliance.
i-Brix in the Pics
Just a brief note about the photos on our campaign - all examples shown are REAL, functional patent-pending i-Brix 1x1 units being used over a standard Power Plate. There are no "tricks" hidden out of view, such as wires connecting the Brix or batteries inside the Brix just so we could make them light up. They are being powered with our patent-pending wireless technology - up to 8" above the Power Plate.
Some Updated Photos
I'd like to thank Kai Chung (project partner) for his effort and support in making the first and only wirelessly powered lighting system for LEGO® become a real project. As some of you may know or recognize, I "pitched" this product here on KS some time ago and unfortunately didn't hit my funding goal. However, everything happens for a reason and I do believe that to be the case here. We are looking forward to seeing i-Brix be a success on Kickstarter!
*We back and support the LEGO® fair play policy: http://www.lego.com/en-US/legal/legal-notice/fair-play
**Note that sales tax for California and Nebraska residents will be added when ready for shipment.
As seen on:
Risks and challenges
i-Brix has been in our minds for several years now... and we have many interested backers just waiting for the campaign to begin! There are more LEGO® bricks being used today than ever before and therefore the demand could significantly exceed our expectations.
With time comes experience and we are excited to say we've put everything we can into making i-Brix an amazing product. We even pre-scanned for FCC compliance before launching our campaign.
We have a production plan in place as well as contingencies in line in case they are needed, but whenever outside organizations are involved there can be a hiccup or two. If something comes along, we will keep all backers informed and up to date on things!
We have multiple manufacturing partners in place to assist us in production and packaging. With their experience and expertise, i-Brix will be an industry-first, break-through product.
If we significantly exceed our initial funding goals, we will be offering stretch goals.
Thank you for becoming an i-Brix distributor! This level provides you with 250 i-Brix Starter Kit 10 units as well as 200 i-Brix fidget spinners. You'll also be entitled to "first right of refusal" on new products, opportunities, etc.