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.
Whats a Doodah?
"The Doodah" is an Ultra Portable Media Streaming device designed primarily for the car - but portable enough to be used anywhere. (we think its a great idea when camping!)
We designed it to be as easy to use as possible:
Put your Legally obtained media on a USB stick
Place your USB key in the Doodah
Plug in the Power on the Doodah
The Doodah will create a wireless network
Join the Wireless network on your device
Browse the content and enjoy!
As soon as the Doodah is turned on - it automagically sets up its wireless network and discovers your content. Join the network with your favourite device, and you can then start using most media players to begin streaming content.
Every device connected can watch or listen to their own content - so no more arguing!! We wanted to make something simple so that its easy to set up, and even our youngest will be able to use it.
We are also working hard on developing a media playing app for the 3 major platforms of Tablet / Phone Operating Systems, but at the moment we can highly recommend the free VLC player.
Why make this?
As a Father of three, I know from first hand experience how difficult long journeys can be with young children!
We were coming back from holiday on a particularly long drive, with my kids all arguing about what they wanted to do - when I came up with the idea.
Looking around when I got home, there was very little on the market to cater for this. Those that are tend to be either complicated, limited storage and very expensive. I wanted something that wouldn't cost the earth - so set about making one!
We have tried a plethora of devices to keep the kids quiet - most of which don't really work!. We have also tried In-Car DVD players, but you are limited to one film - which invariably leads to arguments!
Also like 60% of the UK population we have tablets for the children, but keeping a decent amount of content on them requires a lot of effort and storage space (which most don't have). We looked at portable plug-in storage devices, but they were too flimsy in general for the kids, and the cables snap easily - plus you still have to manage multiple devices for content.
So hence the Doodah - a simple method of providing media content to every device in the car. - You can even plug it into a battery pack and use it for camping - great for those camping holidays with the trusty English weather!
Here is another video we made - originally going to be our product video...
To be honest - I have tried to get as far as I can on my own, from investing in hardware, 3d-printers, designing and building prototypes on various hardware, writing the software, designing and printing the case (the design has changed on the case multiple times!), and even working with plastic manufacturers to get the tooling built and the case pressed professionally, etc. but unfortunately it has now got to the point where I cannot order minimum quantities of certain things without a cash injection.
I have also had a setback with my microprocessor supplier, not being able to deliver on time (which I am working through now). The product is fully functional in its current state, and we love it, but I wanted to make a robust product suitable for the mass market out there - and the best way to do this was launch either a Kickstarter, or get VC/crowd funding for it.... so here we are!
Why the Name?
Everyone has at least one of those gadgets with a name no-one can remember - which we then make up a name for - the doohickey, thingamabob, zapper, thingamajig - so we decided to come up with a simple word that is easy to remember - and adds a little fun!! Instead of remembering a complicated name, now my kids just shout out - "Dad... put on the Doodah!"
At the moment we want to get the ball rolling with the classic black doodah in the images, but you will have noticed that we have some other colours on some of the product pictures. If we hit our target, and start going over significantly, we will add some stretched goals.
Colours: I will get the Cases printed in different colours and you should be able to amend your order with your colour choice.
Bluetooth/Tether: We have been playing with the design to add Bluetooth connectivity to share one of your mobiles internet connection with everyone connected. We will most likely keep the bluetooth chipset in there, as it can always be enabled on a later firmware release.
We have loads of ideas of how we can expand the product, but one of the main reasons to go down the Kickstarter route was to find out if the demand is there? or is it just me who thinks this is a great idea?!
Risks and challenges
Issues with stocking the microprocessors and boards: We have had issues with our original manufacturer as they couldn't guarantee supply of larger quantities of the IC's we needed, and their lead and delivery times were 3-4 months. Obviously this is something we can't have as a business - so we have been working with another manufacturer and chipset. We have all the same software, so the product will be identical in almost every way. We will have some work to do under the hood, but this will all be ironed out over time. We have some sample chipsets now and are working on testing all the software over the next month or so.
We should have these all in place, but the rewards will rely on a fully tested robust chipset, which we hope to have accomplished in the next few months.
New to the manufacturing and distribution process: I come from a distribution background, but in the IT industry. I am well aware of all the challenges that surround being a vendor, and for my day job I work with many new vendors, so I think I should be well equipped to deal with these as a new startup. I am new to the other side of the coin though, with the packaging, and logistics side of things, but I have a good support system, and don't foresee any major issues with this side of the business.