Movyabox: Media content on the move
A portable media device that works at home & on the road. Make ALL your media content portable for easy sharing with family & friends.
So What Is Movyabox?
Movyabox is a self-contained, portable streaming media server which allows users to easily load, take and stream their media collections (including both music and video content) at home or on the move. Simply put, a media server is a device that stores and shares media content of multiple types. Movyabox allows the user to play their content on up to six devices regardless of the operating platform of the device (smartphone, tablet, PC or Mac).
While at their homes, users can connect Movyabox to their TV, allowing them to watch streamed content from such sites as Netflix, HBO, and others, but also from content that has been downloaded to the device.
Movyabox at Home
Some additional screen shots from our TV interface
Movyabox on the go - streaming to multiple devices at once
Over the last several months, we built several different prototypes.
With this behind us, we are now close to entering production of the Movyabox. If our Kickstarter venture is successful, we will continue to improve the technology with our designers and manufacturer.
Movyabox is built using open source hardware and software that we strongly believe in. We committed our prototype and first production run to an open source system. Below are some of the open sources and standard technologies we use:
Because we've been supported by such a great open source community we will donate, if funded, a percentage of our raise to 3 of our open source partners that helped us make our dream a reality; Raspberry PI, Openelec, and Kodi (formerly XMBC). We believe in paying it forward to foster innovation and betterment of our operating world just as they do.
So What Was The Spark Behind The Idea?
In my previous career, I traveled extensively for my job (around 600,000 miles in the last four years). Additionally, my family typically takes several 10+ hour road trips each year. Traveling like this brings boredom, prompting the typical question of “are we there yet?” Ugh! Thus, I was always looking for ways to keep myself and my family entertained. First, I purchased an entertainment center for my minivan. The cost was excessive, but it kept my kids occupied for hours. However, at a certain point, one kid is tired of watching My Little Pony while the other is too young to watch anything too scary. Next, I broke down and purchased iPads for the kids, but the real horror began when I realized that one of the iPads was 45.1MB overcapacity when I was trying to load content for my daughter.
Panic set in. How is it that this iPad is over capacity? What should I delete from my daughter’s iPad since she feels strongly she needs everything on the device?
"Are you really using Covet Fashion", I asked.
"Duh, Dad, of course."
"Can I delete some of these 50 photos of our dog?"
"No, Dad, I need them all."
After several events like this, I started thinking of a solution. I wanted a device that didn’t take up additional hard drive space on the iPads, my Samsung Note or my wife’s Kindle Fire. The dream device would need to be able to stream media content to multiple devices while on-the-go without consuming precious mobile bandwidth. Surely there had to be a device I could find that would do the job fairly well, but would also be easy to use. It would need to be similar to a media server, but portable. Unfortunately, after much research and time invested, I realized that this device did not exist. There were various devices that did individual parts of what I needed, such as wireless media drives or an Apple TV, but no device provided the comprehensive, ultimate solution to my entertainment needs. And the concept of Movyabox was born! Movyabox is a portable media server that can be used on the road and in the home.
Why Choose Movyabox?
No Conversion Is Necessary
Unlike other wireless media drives, the Movyabox will convert video into a format that any device can consume. Maybe you have a file in AVI format that you want to view from your iPad. No problem. Just load the content onto the Movyabox and start watching. Movyabox does the conversion work for you!
Take Third Party Content With You
Have you ever experienced the despair of choosing your movie DVDs carefully to take on a trip only to find out that the movie you were looking forward to is missing from the case? Bummer. Movyabox solves this problem for you.
As an added bonus, with a 3rd party add-on which we will included with the premier edition and higher, our product allows the user to record and download content from mainstream providers such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video and many other media properties. Please note that the user must have a Windows PC to access the full functionality of recording from the web.
Internet Access Not Required
No internet access? Again, no problem! Movyabox was built for access without internet connection. No need to use those expensive data plans to stream content. Our device is small enough to fit into your pocket and allows you to bring downloaded content from the web. When you arrive back home, our device will easily connect to sync more content or to stream.
Easy To Use
Movyabox is a simple-to-use portable media server that will take sharing your media content to the next level. We took the best of open source hardware and software and tweaked it to deliver the best portable media device you will ever use. Not only does it function for the user as a media server, you can plug in a HDMI cord and use it at home.
It is like having Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV or Google Chromecast bundled with a SanDisk wireless media drive. It is also easy to add additional storage via the available USB ports on the back of Movyabox.
Taking a long road trip with friends? Not only can you easily share your media content, but your friends can also plug their USB device into Movyabox and share their content as well (please remember to be respectful of copyright infringement rules).
So What Features Does Movyabox Have?
- Play just about any HD or SD video through its standard HDMI connection, as well as all music files
- Add media content easily through the device by just dragging and dropping the files from your PC or USB flash drive
- Comes with a custom remote in the Premiere Plus Edition (or can be purchased separately for other models)
- Can be controlled through a web browser from any iOS, Android or laptop (Mac or PC) using our free Remote app.
- Built using open source technology, which in general just makes the world work better!
- Four USB ports (three free slots available for adding additional USB devices or flash drives)
- A rechargeable battery for superior portability
- Wireless streaming WITHOUT need for your own mobile hotspot, Wi-Fi network or data bandwidth
- Supports simultaneous content streaming for up to six devices independently
- Open and Customizable
- Crafted with love
- A portion of proceeds will be donated in support of Raspberry PI and Kodi/Open Elec in recognition of their support to the open source community and our cause
So How is Movyabox Packaged? A Green Packaging Solution!
After traveling to China to view the manufacturing site, we realized just how horrible the pollution is there. We’ve committed ourselves to finding solutions to help reduce waste and pollution without increasing cost. Each year consumers throw away millions of pounds of paper and cardboard. Ultimately, the consumption of these paper products impacts our environment. Very conscientiously, our team came up with a nifty, “green” solution to ship our product to our project backers.
We've worked with a company which makes an organizing system that keeps items stored in a neat and tidy way. This eco-friendly cord organizer will not only be used to ship the device but also provide attractive carrying case for the Movyabox.
Each product will be shipped securely in our eco-friendly cord organizer, which will ultimately reduce the amount of post-consumer waste. Obviously, we will have to ship the entire product, enveloped in a eco-friendly cord organizer, to the consumer in a cardboard box on the exterior. On the interior, we will secure with a limited amount of eco-friendly packing, and please don't forget to recycle.
The Team for Movyabox
Our team is made up of entrepreneurs, product managers, business developement, ninja designers, marketers, and software developers.
From a manufacturing perspective, we spent time in Hong Kong and China visiting with many manufacturers to find the ideal partner to address our concerns about the environment.
Noel Pennington - Noel is the proud papa of the concept and prototype for Movyabox. A veteran of eBay with decades of experience in marketing, product management, and business development, he possesses a love for technology and an interest in solving real world problems. These real world problems drive his curiosity and entrepreneurial passion. In his previous role as VP of Business Development, he partnered closely with leaders at Microsoft, Google, and Amazon to establish innovative solutions that combined technologies to connect customers with the accurate, robust product data they needed to shop with confidence.
Bill McConnell - Bill is a seasoned executive with over 20 years of experience leading Portfolio, Strategic Change, and Business Operations for large, global technology organizations. Currently, Bill is a senior leader for IT Business Strategy for a large, privately-held technology solution and protection company. He is also a co-founder of Med+Pass. He has a proven track record for developing strategies, building talented teams, holding leaders accountable through performance measurements, and managing complex initiatives through effective organizational management. With his vast experience in project and product management, he is committed to making the development of Movyabox a well-oiled machine. Bill is a graduate of Vanderbilt University and still calls Nashville home. When not plotting strategy or founding start-ups, he enjoys spending time with his family and hitting the little white ball.
Jay Wohlken - Jay has worked in and around technology nearly 20 years in Product Management and Application Delivery roles. As Director of IT at a large mobile device solution provider, he leads a global team of 100 people in delivering products to market quickly and reliably. With an undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University and a MBA from Duke University, Jay is beloved by Sallie Mae and now wants to make your Movyabox even more beloved by you.
David Tieh - When he’s not expanding his collection of classic cars or wrecking them, David works as a serial entrepreneur, with a history of growing and selling successful businesses. His deep logistics background, inside connections with Chinese manufacturers, MBA from the University of Houston, and experience in importing and exporting makes him the perfect partner for Movyabox to grow and keep up with your orders (and PLEASE send those orders our way!)
Elias Saucedo - Every tech startup needs a marketing and brand design ninja to translate the gibberish from the geeks developing the product into something customers understand, care about, and can find online. Fortunately for us, Elias is that guy and more. Having held roles as a VP of Marketing and co-founder of a successful company, he brings over 12 years of industry experience in brand development, new product planning, product launches, user experience, and market and competitor intelligence with the retail and mobile industry space to Movyabox. Without him, we wouldn’t have a logo. (Thanks, Elias!)
So What’s Next For Movyabox?
We have several working prototypes, but realistically, it takes time, talent, and money to make it to the marketplace. We have the first two covered, but we need your help funding our vision to make it a reality and deliver it to the market.
To push forward with our dream, first we will harden the architecture, complete building our own media server, and tightly integrate it so that we deliver ease-of-use that is just around the corner in the current prototype.
Next, we will take our prototype to manufacturing and build it for the mass market. We will make the devices “prettier” (yes, we are tech geeks and may need your suggestions), and streamline our materials sourcing and manufacturing process to deliver more quickly the next time around. After that, we will get to work tightening up some of the partnerships we envision with content providers to keep making your Movyabox experience better and better.
The final piece of help we need; your ideas and encouragement. We’ve brought products to life before, but every venture is new and a bit like an exploration. Movyabox is testing our creativity and problem-solving skills in new, challenging, and fun ways. We know just how sharp the Kickstarter community is and would be grateful if you call our attention to things on which we can improve upon.
Last but not least. . .
In doing anything in life, its all about the support you get from family, friends, and even strangers. We would like to thank:
- Noel would like to thank his wife, Kristie. Without Kristie’s help and encouragement, we probably would have had to illustrate our video with stick figures or finger puppets. Kristie put in a stellar performance and allowed us to poke a little fun at her frustration with technology. By the way, she does know how to use her iPhone. He would also like to thank his two daughters for playing a part in their little theatrical production.
- A thank you to Bryan Brazil, who graciously allows us to show and use his Kodi skin on our prototype.Though we just met Bryan, he is just like many people we meet in the open source community that will always lend a hand to help. Bryan is an avid photographer whose passion for photography arose from his interest in computers and the purchase of his first digital camera, a 2-megapixel Kodak Dc290 in 2000. To see some of Bryan’s great artwork, visit http://www.bryanbrazil.com.
- Some of the icons we used to illustrate our product came from icons8.com,designmodo.com, freepik.com, and flaticon.com, licensed under the Creative Commons license.
- The founders would like to thank all our spouses, children, pets, parents, siblings, friends and in-laws for their support on this project. Without them we couldn't make any of this happen.
Risks and challenges
We have built several prototypes on the Raspberry PI platform and tested them over the last several months under different conditions both at home and on the road. The hardware is solid. In addition, because we are using a well-tested platform, we don’t foresee any issues moving from our prototype to our first production run.
With any manufacturing project, there could be multiple issues that delay the launch date. Problems during manufacturing of boards, cases, memory, etc could occur. Shipping issues because of strikes in the US or abroad, turbulent weather that causes the ship with our container of Movyabox parts to take an alternate route….many things can be unforeseen as potential stumbling blocks.
We have tried to mitigate any manufacturing issues by visiting China to meet with the manufacturers that will manage the production of Movyabox. It helps that one of our team members speaks fluent Mandarin and has traveled the import waters for many years. As many of you know and from what we have seen with many Kickstarter projects, the estimated ship date and the actual ship date can be quite different than expected.
We think the best way to mitigate risk is by frequent communication with the community and letting them know if we hit lead-time issues for components or other manufacturing issues that may delay our estimated ship date. However, because we have spent time in China and partnered with the right manufacturers, we think we can ship the Movyabox in the time frame we have allocated.
We have been working on both the software for the device (the set-up for the device on a new network and how it will look when connected to a TV or monitor) and the software player for tablets, phones, and Macs/PCs. With any beta software, there are still kinks to be worked out. We have two of the best coders and are sure we will be able to deliver the software in the time frame we have specified.
At the risk of sounding repetitive, since we are using open source software, the software has to be tweaked more than a complete re-write , reducing the time to market. We are confident that we can hit our estimated ship date, but we will continue to inform the community of our progress on the software components.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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