Hive for iPhone 4
Hive for iPhone 4
Hive is a dock for iPhone that enhances the A/V and other functionality using simple physics (no power or electronics). Now, to market!
Hive is a dock for iPhone that enhances the A/V and other functionality using simple physics (no power or electronics). Now, to market! Read more
About this project
Hive - Requiring no electronics or power, Hive amplifies the iPhone’s onboard speaker in either landscape or portrait orientation. It does this by channeling the sound into a concave chamber that projects the sound upward and outward toward the listener’s ears. A Fresnel lens stands parallel to the iPhone’s Retina Display at a set distance of 4 inches, providing crystal clear 2X magnification.*
Via this campaign, you are able to pre-order Hive for $45. Rough calculation: we only need 3333 of you to pre-order Hive to make this work.
Hello, my name is Jake. Hive is an accessory for the iPhone I created and built in collaboration with my amazing cousin Dorsey and his employee Zach. We use our Hive prototypes with great success at home, work, while traveling, everywhere. Now it's time to share Hive with the world by getting it to market.
In developing this product (keep in mind it's an iPhone accessory), we were keenly focused on creating an inexpensive, simple enhancement to a very complex device. Using basic physics, Hive amplifies the iPhone's sound and magnifies its screen. No extra power is required, and there is no draw from the iPhone's battery. Hive is meant to be elegant in design, pretty, architectural, and "green."
The reactions we get from people who have viewed the product online or tried it in person validate our vision. We are able to demonstrate a wide range of uses (from playing Angry Birds**, to watching a movie on a plane, to pairing a Bluetooth keyboard and using your iPhone as a laptop), to which iPhone lovers and like-minded techies respond very positively.
Once a Bluetooth mouse becomes available that works with iOS in conjunction with a BT keyboard, an iPhone docked in Hive becomes a real laptop and iPad killer.
The response to this product has been huge, super-positive, and world-wide. I get emails from people all over the world who ask if it's for sale yet. This is perhaps a testament to the functionality, elegance, and simplicity of Hive’s design. But it’s more likely due to the fact that EVERYONE LOVES their iPhone accessories! Us included. Hence the Hive.
With a patent-pending status secured, I went to CES 2011 in Vegas with my then-fiance, and we showed Hive to so many great and enthusiastic companies and consumers. Before we got to Vegas I'd set up a website (made by Scout Branding Co.), posted this crude, homemade video, and 9to5mac.com picked it up. . . within a couple weeks there were 30,000 hits.
Slow going since then. No one's exactly snatched it up. But we think a product like Hive is actually very late getting to market, so Kickstarter appealed to us immediately because of its friendly simplicity, the pre-order approach and market testing, and because it's such a boon for people with ideas.
The major steps of a project like Hive, as everyone knows, are expensive- especially when there was never really a budget to begin with! There are ways to save money in manufacturing and distribution, but these ways don't always leave the lowest profile footprint environmentally.
Of course I'd like to pursue greenness and stay true to a low carbon footprint in making Hive. Everyone tells me that a product like should be made in China. But I'd like to see an American manufacturing company rise to the challenge of making this product stateside using recycled/recyclable materials. Sure- that might raise the price point, but perhaps that premium is affordable to Hive's target buyers, who are used to paying high for Apple products, and who are also socially conscious consumers. Food for thought.
If you are a manufacturer interested in the job of producing Hive upon this campaign's completion in June, 2011, please make contact via the website.
CONCEPTION / R&D
Hive is my first attempt at creating a new product. I started out with a problem. A good problem. Hive is every bit inspired by existing smart phones on the market- the iPhone in particular. A great product, my iPhone does everything I need, and it fits in my pocket. But I wanted to get even more functionality out of the elegant computer that it is. Since owning it, I don't use my laptop much anymore. And I began looking for something between my iPhone and my laptop.
I wasn't interested in an iPad or other tablet, because I wasn't thrilled about carrying around $1000 worth of gear (price of smartphone plus tablet). I wanted more sound, a bigger screen. I had to have a way to use the touch screen with my hands while the phone was stationary. I needed a stationary and magnified screen so I could comfortably type emails using a small Bluetooth keyboard paired to the phone. It had to be simple, inexpensive, portable.
The idea of using physics properties appealed to me, because it was something I could wrap my head around. I'm no engineer, but I do appreciate how things work. Getting good audio/visual enhancement out of a simple dock, I knew would result in something sleek and stylish looking.
My cousin Dorsey Cox of dorseycoxdesign and his employee Zach Griggs excelled at this.
"The goal was to design a product that fits somewhere between the iPhone and iPad, but it had to be affordable to consumers. We found available electronic and digital systems that could be integrated, but we would not be able to protect those existing patented technologies simply as a combination of the two elements. We did not want to create a mini-laptop, so we decided to do something more radical. Our research revealed not a single product that provided both benefits without the use of power.
Jake also favored a sustainable approach integrating simple physics to accomplish the two main goals. The design team wanted to avoid another compressed "black box" with hidden technology, instead striving for a more sculptural product that could be a source of inspiration and intrigue to the user. It needed to be something that spoke to the Apple brand, celebrated the iPhone, and had a 'delight factor.'"
-Dorsey Cox, co-inventor
We embraced the path of making a product in the Apple style. The prototypes, I think, really complement the iPhone with its subtle, yet bold architecture in a way that we're proud of.
For magnification, the Fresnel lens stood out as an obvious choice. It's durability, flatness, and ability to be custom-cut met our goals early and allowed us to focus on the sound.
In researching the way to get the best sound, we performed many audio tests, worked with an acoustical engineer, and experimented with several methods of organic amplification (including using horns inside the housing). In the end, we found our sound scoop performed the best and lent the greatest simplicity in construction, while yielding a high design aesthetic. The picture above shows tests we did using Steely Dan's "Deacon Blues", which is both a sonically superior recording, and good mojo for us Alabamians.
A substantial amount of time and money has already gone into developing Hive. However, this Kickstarter fund raising goal of $150,000 is meant simply to cover first-run production costs. Specifically that includes factory tooling and half of a first production of units. We estimate a shipment to consist of 10,000 units. So this campaign covers the first 5,000 (hopefully all of which will be pre-ordered by you fine folks at a reduced, Kickstarter-friendly price). The cost of other 5,000 units will be covered by me (Jake Waitzman DBA Screendoor Studio, Inc.) in my efforts to move Hive to market.
When (not if) this project is fully funded in mid-June 2011, we will have completed the final engineering CAD, and will be ready to being factory tooling and production. We expect delivery of your pre-ordered Hives by September 2011.
When the iPhone is docked in the Hive in landscape orientation, access to charging and headphone inputs is available. And headphone input is available when docked in portrait.
I should also note that while the prototypes are gorgeous, sturdy, and work exceptionally well. . . before manufacturing there are some improvements that will be made in final engineering (i.e. slimming down the product where possible, and adding feet to adjust angle-of-view, etc.)
A word about the videos. In both videos, the magnification lens flare/glare/blur does not represent what is actually experienced in person. Hive's A/V enhancement is obviously best when experienced through human eyes and ears. It's hard to capture that through a camera lens and a microphone.
The first video is crude both in sound and video quality, but the iPhone's sound volume increase you hear is a real result (undoctored) of docking with the Hive.
I made the second video (the white background one) for Kickstarter. We decided to use the original audio tracks in edit (as you can probably tell), so the sound difference has obviously been doctored.
Okay, there you hive it. Your time, consideration, and of course backing are very much appreciated. Please also be sure to check the blog page of hivedock.com during this campaign for updates and fun stuff.
Prototypes by Solid Concepts.
My endless thanks to my wife Jodi, my family, and my friends for their endless support.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to friends and neighbors affected by the area storms of late April.
*iPhone and Retina Display are trademarks of Apple Inc. Registered in the US and other countries.
**Angry Birds is a trademark of Rovio Mobile ltd.
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