The idea of multifunctional smartdock came to us while we were trying to find a docking station which had an acoustic system, looked good and at the same time was reasonably priced.
Currently the choice of docking stations is quite extensive. Nevertheless, each has a clear weakness or several of them:
• Supports only one smartphone brand
• Does not have a sound system or has a very weak one
• Is visually unappealing or made of plastics
• Poor value with big name brands
Thus, at the lunch table first sketches of our Stage5 dock were born. We did not want to go for a simple piece of metal with built-in sound device. Instead, we created a next generation dock.
Stage5 is a multifunctional dock, which supports most of the smartphones and tablets out there - all iPhones, iPads and any smartphone or tablet with a standard Micro USB port. In addition, you can listen to the music by connecting it to any other Bluetooth enabled device that plays music. Stage5 takes advantage of vibration speaker technology making any resonant surface into a high quality surface speaker which envelops the listener in immersive sound. Stage5 can be used for charging your device even if away from power supply.
• Made of aviation grade aluminum
• Size 100mm x 90mm x 40mm
• Weight ~400g
• Vibration speaker 10W RMS
• Bluetooth 4.0
• Touch sensitive power button
• Fits all iPhone models, other smartphones and tablets (connector bottom center)
• Replaceable connector types (30-pin, 8-pin, Micro USB)
• AC/DC Power converter 100-240V to 5V 3.1A
• Standard Micro USB cable
We are in process of developing Stage5 control application. It adds functionality and makes Stage5 Dock even more fun and easy to use. App will be available for iOS/Android/Windows Phone.
App’s features include:
- Advanced features – including but not limited to auto connection, standby settings
- Notifications - select the applications that are allowed to use vibration speaker for alert sounds.
- Battery - shows battery charge status and allows setting at what percentage a low battery warning is displayed. Using APP you can switch between using battery for speaker and charging phone from battery (Please note, battery mainly is used for powering speaker and you may not get a full charge when charging a high capacity smartphone battery).
- Profile - lets you save and load specific settings for different devices.
- Equalizer - allows improving the sound by tuning different frequencies
Stage5 is made from aviation grade aluminum and it will be available in a variety of colors(clear coated glossy or bead blasted, anodized matte finish), so you can pick your favorite.
The bottom side of the dock is made of micro suction rubber – it allows vibration speaker to transfer sound with greater efficiency. It also ensures that dock doesn’t move when undocking your device.
Micro suction rubber sticks to surfaces, but it won’t leave any residue when removed. Compatible with your smartphone or tablet PC.
To make it more versatile Stage5 is equipped with Bluetooth so you can also sync it with any Bluetooth enabled music player. It will allow for a smooth connection and the next time you use it, the link with your device will be established automatically.
The angle of the dock makes it convenient for video calls and skyping.
You do not have to worry about changing the dock once you upgrade to different device as we offer a dock with multiple charger tips. It will also come in handy in case you charge various smartphones and tablets.
Currently Stage5 will be available with replaceable connector types (30-pin, 8-pin or Micro USB). We plan to add tablet connectors for Samsung, Asus, etc. later on.
Vibration speaker will reveal you new and unforgettable way of listening to the music by using the surface as a speaker. Due to the output of powerful micro vibrations, Stage5 transducer energizes large areas of surfaces generating sound around the entire surface.
Every time you change the surface, you will get a new and unique sound. It sounds equally well on wood, metal, glass, tiles and other resonant surfaces.
Stage5 can also be used in parties – just put on your favourite song and place it anywhere in the room. You don’t have to worry about finding an electricity cable as Stage5 has a built-in battery allowing you to enjoy up to 3 hours of music without plugging it in.
Stage5 is a perfect fit for your phone or tablet – docking and undocking is simple and easy. It doesn't matter if your phone has a case/cover – it will fit equally well in the dock.
Maris Poikans, Founder, Manager.
Responsible for project management, all contacts with suppliers, manufacturers and all other aspects of Stage5 project.
Karlis Ozols, SW Developer.
Responsible for application development and software integration, testing.
Peteris Mangulis, Designer.
Responsible for Stage5 design, concept sketches, CAD modeling, packaging design.
Currently we have made a couple of CNC machined prototypes and we do feel that we have found the best acoustic shape for the dock to provide an outstanding sound.
Our goal with this Kickstarter campaign is to raise funding for two aluminum injection molds needed for Stage5 production, one for smartphones and one for tablets.
We have found a company willing to invest funds in our project, so there are a couple of thing that have changed since Stage5 project was first launched.
- Investors will invest their resources in Stage5 dock electronics production.
- Reduced cost! We can make larger initial batch, that means - less resources needed to carry out the project and we can offer a better price to you. Free shipping anywhere in the world included.
- Decreased production time. All necessary electronic components will be ready before Kickstarter campaign ends. This means - you will receive finished product sooner!
Risks and challenges
At the moment we do not see any major obstacles and we do feel confident that we are able to overcome any minor difficulties that may arise. MFi Certification. We are dependent on Apple to provide us with MFi connectors, so our timeline can be affected by them. To reduce the risk, we are ordering 30-pin and 8-pin connectors early in the process, so this should not delay manufacturing and shipping dates.
However, every project carries certain risks. In addition, as with any product launch, there is always a risk that something unexpected will cause a delay.
But after having spent moths designing and testing Stage5, we have already gone though some complex cases, so we will not have to face them again. Thus, we're confident in our ability to work through any problems we might encounter along the way.
And if we do run into any unexpected problems along the way, our backers will be the first ones to know!
Our backers will be able to follow the process of the product development in our updates, so they will always be informed on each step bringing our project closer to the finish line.
It has been almost a year since first sketches were created and now Stage5 is close to being finalized. Throughout the process we have developed close ties with professional micro engineer and aluminum supplier, which will greatly ease our work towards mass production.
Currently connector for Stage5 dock is not adjustable, so your phone would not be centered. We know of this problem and are currently working on a way to make connector adjustable.
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