A True Hi-Definition Wireless Video Interface Designed For Gaming
"The Cross Plane" is the worlds first multi-platform WVI (Wireless Video Interface) gaming controller that brings a new angle into the way we play modern video games. Designed to support gaming platforms like XBox 360, PlayStation 3, OUYA and PC, "The Cross Plane" puts your favorite games from your favorite platforms right to the palm of your hand, all in beautiful Hi-Def quality!
An Evolution In The Making
"The Cross Plane" started out with a simple idea that home gaming and entertainment needed a bit of a "refresh" from the norm.
Not only is The Cross Plane unique in the fact it's the first gaming specific WVI, but the freedom it offers to gamers and entertainment enthusiasts of all kinds is really unmatched.
Gamers can now experience their entertainment set-up in a much more personal and intimate fashion as now you can take the fun wherever you want to be in your home.
No more waiting for a TV to free up or having to sit through another episode of some terrible TV series that your wife or roommate loves.
What Is The Cross Plane?
The Cross Plane is the first Wireless Video Interface designed specifically with the modern gamer in mind. Utilizing a universal control interface and wireless HDMI technology, The Cross Plane brings all your home entertainment devices to you, on your time and where you want to be in your home.
With a unique controller exchange, jumping from console based systems like the Xbox 360 to the OUYA is as simple as taking out a game cartridge and putting in a new one.
But that's just scratching the surface of what The Cross Plane is!
Though we are excited about The Cross Plane's ability to jump from gaming console to gaming console, what we're really excited about is the Cross Plane's PC compatibility and the freedom it will allow users to break away from their computer desk.
For the first time, PC users will have to opportunity to "Cut the cord" and take the full power of their machine anywhere in house. That means "Steam" can go with you to the couch or Crysis 3 can actually be played on a handheld.
Users can also play their favorite current Emulators for Retro consoles including PS2, GameCube, N64, Sega, the list goes on and on. So plainly put, your computer's entire gaming library can be brought to you on The Cross Plane.
Where we see this going is becoming a "hand-in-hand" companion to all your Modern HD Home Entertainment devices, but right now keeping the sole focus on what it is, a Wireless A/V Gaming Controller.
The expandability potential with future development is huge and we're really excited to continue our R&D to make this the best gaming peripheral out there!
And it doesn't stop at just video games! If you don't play video games, there is still a spot for The Cross Plane in your home because it can also be your new movie hub for your Blu-Ray player or if you have the Netflix or Hulu apps on your PC or Console, you can stream directly to The Cross Plane.
How The System Works
We wanted to keep this as basic as we could. A new product for modern hardware doesn't mean that the project had to complicated and buried in the burdens of firmware or Wi-Fi. We wanted to create an experience that was not only equal to that of the original play style, but goes far beyond the limits that we've all lived with for so long.
The Cross Plane Is A Three (3) Part System
PART 1: The Handheld Controller
This is where all the action takes place and is the "heart" of the system. The button layouts were carefully considered and based around what most console gamers would be used to. This layout went through many changes via 3D Printed case tests to make sure it felt comfortable and natural in your hands given the body style is flat out different from any controller (except the Wii U) on the market.
PART 2: The Control Paks
If the handheld is the "heart", this is "brain" of the system. At this current stage, what makes this system so versatile is the fact that instead of having to buy a whole new unit that was specially designed for a particular system (say Xbox), we've made it so all you have to do is swap out the controller pak to the system controller you wish to play!
We did this for two reasons:
1 - From a consumer cost standpoint, it makes much more sense for people to only have to buy a single Handset and then upgrade it to whichever systems they have and/or want. This made sense from a production standpoint as well. You can have as many or as few control paks as you want, depending on what systems you plan to use it with.
2 - Keeping the paks isolated from each other provided much less interference and issues between the analog & digital layouts that some controllers operate on. In this procedure though we ended up down a development path that found us creating a generic interface which in the future will allow us to explore even more options like tactile Smart Phone controls or TV Remote Controls! The possibilities are really just starting to scratch the surface.
PART 3: The HDMI Transmitter
This would be the "spine" of handheld if it weren't for the fact it's wireless. So we'll call it a "telepathic" channel of sorts? Eh, regardless, it's actually a lot simpler than that as this is merely a modified Wireless HDMI transmitter/receiver.
This in its own right is pretty cool because in general it was designed to take HD video & audio off a laptop or gaming device and send it to a TV. We've simply re-routed the receiver and made it internal, while the transmitter can now be plugged into any of your gaming/video devices that have an HDMI Output.
This function alone will take your PC gaming experiences to new heights as you will no longer be bound to the desk and keyboard and because the wireless connections are separate and direct (i.e. no digital to analog conversion delay or bandwidth limitations), the performance will be identical to that of your PC's abilities.
Pretty cool huh?!
Using an optional HDMI switch box, you will also be able to plug in up to 4 HDMI sources to the transmitter as well as a direct pass through so whatever you're playing on the Handset can also show up on the TV! In the future we hope to integrate an official switch box to the handheld so swapping channels could be done right from the unit and not require a separate remote for it.
Demo Of The System Playing Xbox 360 & Answering Some Common Questions
These are subject to change but for what we have at the moment, the prototype specs are as follows:
Case Dimensions: 1.5" T(38.1mm) x 5.5" H(140mm) x 9.5" W(241mm)
Weight: 1lb 6oz (.61kg)
Display Size & Resolution: 7" Widescreen 1280 x 800 (720p)
Battery Life: Approx 4 hours
Audio: 2 - 25mm Mylar Speakers in Stereo and 3.5mm Headphone Jack
HDMI Transmission Range: Approx 20' Line of Sight.
Control Pak Transmission Range:
Xbox 360: Approx 30' Line of Sight
PS3: Approx 100' Line of Sight
*IMPORTANT* The Cross Plane Requires HDMI Output To Stream. Older Versions of the Xbox 360 without HDMI are not compatible.
These are the baseline specs and minimum standards we'll be working from. With the success of this KickStarter, our main focus will be to upgrade Battery Life and HDMI Transmission Range as those are the two most critical features of the system.
Getting this KickStarter funded is the first step in making this product everything it's been envisioned to be. Some of the key points we want to highlight is that right now this is just a prototype and still has a ways to go to make it perfect. That being said, once the KickStarter is successful, it is most likely going to be the better part of 7 months (May 2014) before we have a market ready version, though that is just a rough guess.
The point is that to get a quality product out, we have to make sure everything going into it is perfect.
Improvements that are on the slate should we get funded are:
- Longer Battery Life (8 to 10 hours)
- Extended HDMI Receiver Range
- Modified Case Design for Grips and Overall Thickness Reduction
- Higher Quality Speakers
- Custom Buttons and Decals
- Lower Profile Control Paks
- Play and Charge Capability
There is still a great deal of work to be done to bring this prototype up to the level and quality standards we wish to release the commercial version with. As this is a 100% hardware based system, this does make working the bugs out much easier than it would be if we were dealing with Firmware and Coding. So with that said, once we have a combination of hardware worked out and a design set, we can start with the production part of the process almost immediately after. However, getting that layout is going to be the longest part as we really fine-tune both the design and assembly process to be the most efficient it can be on both ends.
This is going to require us to hire on a full time engineer as well as tap into our international resources. We have domestic contractors in place when we have a final design ready to produce the injection molds for the casings and plastic parts we need and we are currently working with our over-seas suppliers on custom adaptions and bulk quantities of the screens and HDMI set-ups. But the key factor here is we want to assemble everything in-house. Sourcing the parts from over-seas is the only way we could get these custom parts to price point we need, however keeping the assembly state-side and under control in-house will ensure that quality control measures are met.
So with all this said, the R&D phase of the project will most likely take another 3 to 4 months to complete after a Successful KickStarter. But once all that is complete and production on the parts begin, the assembly and packaging process begins for the KickStarter backers FIRST!
We Need Your Support!
It should go without saying that "you" as a backer have the power to bring this prototype to production.
"We Cannot Do This Without You!"
While we do have a functioning prototype, a production plan and the contacts in the manufacturing industry to produce these, there is much redesign work needed to be done before we can take this into production.
It's your support that will make this happen and will allow us to hire engineers with the experience to really iron out any and all kinks, changes and improvements we'd need to fix to make an amazing finished product.
Your support will also allow us to get the materials we need to produce these and get a the price point down to a level that will get the whole unit to our target price range.
But most of all, we need your input as well. We want to know what you would want to see implemented, changed or included with the system and what it would take to have you want to bring this project into your home. You won't only be a backer of the project, but also a market research consultant which is a very valuable asset to have.
The KickStarter Pre-Order Program
Again, we really want to get this project off the ground and the only way that's going to happen is if this KickStarter promotion is successful.The Rewards Program of KickStarter will act as our Pre-Order interface which will allow you to be one of the first to get your hands on the initial run with your pledge!
We are aware that our Goal of $350,000 seems lofty, but there is a reason behind the number. Simply put, the components of this system (screens, HDMI), the injection molding of the casings on the first run and the R&D still needed is very...very expensive. We are also attempting to keep and produce as much as possible in the US for at least the first run of the systems.
Our baseline goal because of this (and other supply acquisition factors) is to produce 1000 units of the Cross Plane on the initial run. It's an attainable number no doubt and one that will see our buying power and cost per unit are at the most level playing ground for everyone.
Who Is AGI?
Chris Downing: Co-Founder, CEO & Lead Designer
Chris Downing comes from a background in Business and Industrial Sales & Procurement. With a degree Business Management from Plymouth State University in Plymouth, NH and years of industrial and manufacturing sales experience, Chris is well connected to bring this project to an industrial level.
Being an avid gamer all his life, Chris got into electronics and a hobby called "Console Modding" or more specifically "Portablizing" over 5 years ago. The "Portablizing" concept was simple, yet very challenging in practice. The idea was to take a Retro gaming console and turn it into its own portable rendition, with its own power and screen. The hobby itself was a massive learning experience that not only opened his eyes to a whole new world of gaming possibilities, but also sent him down a new direction of innovation and design.
Now, with the Cross Plane Prototype complete, Chris is ready to get to work on a commercial ready version, fine-tuning and perfecting the design and it's functionality.
Jon Jandran: Co-Found, CFO & Technical Adviser
Jonathan Jandran (Wild) got into electronics early in his life. In his teen years he installed and repaired Car Audio equipment for himself, family and friends. Later in life he developed an interest in DIY screen projectors.
Jonathan built one of the first 1080p DIY projectors ever made in 2005. He then used that electronics and technology knowledge from DIY projector building to help him become one of the most recognized names in Console Modding, specifically, Portables. Jonathan has built well over 20 portable consoles in his 7 year "Modding" career, many of which have become YouTube hits, sending his projects around the world and becoming the inspiration to many new console Modders each year.
With his wide range of electronics knowledge, 22+ years of business ownership and experience gained throughout the years of a DIY hobbyist, Jonathan has stepped into the world of professional gaming hardware design & development and helped bring the idea of the Cross Plane to life.
Thank You and Contact
We want to thank you very much for taking the time to check out this project and backing us in any way! We've put in a great deal of work and really want to see this project take shape. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions as we'd love to hear from you as we try to make this the best possible handheld entertainment experience!
Are You A Tech Blog or You Tube Technology Reviewer?
If you would like to know more about the system, where we plan to go with it and what it's going to take to get there, please contact us as we'd be more than glad to shed some light on anything that may not be initially addressed in the videos and the KickStarter.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
A project like this is all about communication and keeping our backers updated on a day to day basis is what will keep any unforeseen set-backs at a level of awareness to them. They will know we're constantly working to fix any issues that arise and where we are presently at in the process.
A key issue we foresee is supply chain which right now requires sourcing from many inconsistent vendors, i.e. eBay and other web vendors. This of course is our top priority and after the success of the KickStarter, we will be contacting many vendor/manufactures about a more suitable and custom supply line to erase a few of those "unknowns" that currently exist.
The short answer is "No" and the reason is because The Cross Plane at it's basic level is just a portable display. It's a Wireless Video Interface with a generic control interface. There are no patents for the "uses" of WVI, we use no Nintendo proprietary technologies, nor do we have support for any Nintendo console.
It's Wireless Video Streaming
In regards to The Cross Planes form factor and layout, this is just a "Prototype", it's not its final form factor and layout and the design will be changing slightly for the final product.
Well let's explore this in detail a bit. We understand that from a standpoint of the general consumer, $350 is a great deal of money for something like this. We don't dispute that, but if we told you that each one of these prototypes had easily twice that in parts alone, would $350 look like such a bad deal?
Here's the thing.
We don't want to make a crap product!
We don't what have parts that fail, screens the burn out or casings that crack. This requires us to use the best technologies that we can get our hands on, that have been tested and have a good track record. Unfortunately, this puts us at the mercy of retail pricing and availability, which is why these prototypes are pushing $700 each.
We know there is no way anyone would buy this at that price point, which is why we have such a high KickStarter goal to begin with. We need the buying power to acquire all the materials for 1000 units. This is what will give us the price point we need to cut the cost of these in half. 1000 units at $350 = $350,000. If this 350K is not raised, than we can't get parts down to a price point that will allow us to produce these even close to $350.
And that's the biggest challenge. We're not Nintendo, we're not Sony, we don't have the resources to compete on a level like that, and we're not trying to do that, it's not our goal to make millions of these. We just had an idea, one that we really think people would like, something that would be refreshing and we wanted people to get a hold of one at a reasonable price point. This is what we need to do that. If it's too expensive, we understand, it's a lot of money, but just understand this isn't a number we pulled out of thin air. We have constraints and we're working with what we have.
At the moment, latency for the controllers has not been an issue. What we're working to improve is the range in general of the WVI.
Do you have intentions of supporting the control pak for future systems like the Xbox One and the Playstation 4? Am I capable of overwriting an old control pak to run a different system if I desire?
Yes, we plan to implement support for next Generation consoles should the project be successful. No, overwriting will not work, a new control pak will be required.
Yes, it will have a rumble feature.
Not at this time, only because this is designed to be a controller for Gaming for both console and PC systems. While some would argue that to get the full PC effect you may need it, the reality is, the games do not require a touch screen and the added costs to the system simply wouldn't be worth it.
Will you share the website of the manufacturer of the screen itself with backers? Will it be reasonably easy to swap out the screen? When mobile screen technology advances, I'd like to be able to switch the 720p screen with a 1080p screen.
We're not 100% sure who we will be using as of yet. So it's a possibility. The screen could be swappable yes, but 720P looks amazing as is the added cost to go up to 1080p would have added another 100K to the goal.
Perhaps as a stretch goal, we'll have to see where the KS campaign goes but off the bat it's not been considered.
The main issues that made us go with 720p instead of 1080p really boil down both availability and cost. We're not a smart phone company who can devote millions to the R&D of the next HD screen and our projected number of actual systems that will be made is far less than what would be needed to have the buying power required for a large bulk order.
The truth is, 7" 1080p HD Screens are not as common as one might think. In fact there are very few sources available to buy them right off the shelf. Sure we could have a company make them up, but not for anything less than 5000 units to get it down to a price point that wouldn't turn people off more so than the $350 price point already is.
But with that said, if anyone has a link to a 7" 1080p screen, we'd love to take a look at it.
We are only going to promise specs we know we can deliver. We can't promise it both ways without a very very large capital investment.
Now in the future, should this KickStarter take off, we may be able to bring 1080p into the picture but at the moment, we have to stay at 720p.
The Control Pak's full description is under the "How The System Works" header, but simply put, this is the brain that controls which system you wish to play. So for example, if you have a PS3, in order to play the console, you will need to have the PS3 Control Pak for the Cross Plane. Simply slide it into the back of the Cross Plane and turn on your console and it's good to go.
This is one of the key features that makes this different from the Wii U which everyone (and I mean everyone) is comparing this too. The Cross Plane has the ability to change systems by simply swapping out a control pak which is an approach that has never been done before.
Right now, we have Two Control Paks Available. A PS3 and Xbox 360. However, the PS3 control pak will also triple as a Control Pak for the OUYA and the PC as it uses a compatible Blue-Tooth connectivity technology.
We are in the process of developing specific Control Paks for the OUYA and the PC and will most likely add a reward category for these should we get them in prototype format before the KickStarter ends.
Two main reasons for this (and believe me, we're not any happier about it than you are).
1. Customs have a way of making things disappear from time to time. Because of this, we insure every package going out for the full value of your purchase, which on top of the weight and size of the package for international shipping, adds to the total very quickly.
2. Because the unit will come with pre-installed batteries, we have to ship it in a specific "hazard class" which adds even more to the total and some countries have strict regulations on those classes.
But why don't the big companies have to pay these charges?
They do, they are no exception, but where the big difference lies is instead of having just one product shipped to a specific location, they take whole truck loads to distribution centers and this is already taken care of before you even see it and the costs are factored into the 10,000s of units they ship.