HaptoSphere - Take Control of Your Convenience

by Jori van der Kolk

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About

The HaptoSphere is an interactive interface that can be connected to a wide variety of smart home appliances. Its versatility ensures usage by a large portion of the population, from the tech savvy to those who would rather ignore technology altogether. It's also designed for people with visual disabilities and mobility difficulties. 

By providing programmable actions, with immediate haptic feedback, it offers a new perspective on control which can make the user’s life easier or just give it that drop of style they always desired. Using worldwide standards in the domain, guarantees compatibility with devices from different categories and even different brands.

The Design

The main control surface of the HaptoSphere is well, the sphere. It's a squishy, tactile interface with infinite possibilities. The sphere responds to rotating, squeezing and pushing from all angles, as well as joystick-like XY control. Default actions are available for common uses, such as rotating to control the volume of your smart speakers, and pushing left or right to switch songs. Of course, users are free to program their own actions, either with CoAP or other open standards, with IFTTT or similar services.

Haptic feedback is offered in many ways. By default, the device provides pleasant vibration feedback when an action - such as a squeeze or push - is registered. Feedback for rotation is also provided through the Haptic Engine developed at The Eindhoven University of Technology. The Haptic Engine variably resists or supports rotation - for instance, while turning up the brightness of your lights, the device might resist rotation slightly when you're approaching maximum brightness.

Of course, everything about the HaptoSphere is customizable, if you want it to be. The HaptoSphere was designed to be easy to use for everyone, but endlessly customizable for anyone who wants to be in complete control of their smart home. 

The Base

The base is where all the technology and connectivity of the HaptoSphere are housed. The HaptoSphere connects by Bluetooth or Wifi, and even supports wireless Qi charging. The battery lasts for days between charges, and you'll most likely never notice as you'll be setting it down on a wireless charging mat often.

If you prefer to have your HaptoSphere stationary, wired charging is also possible, and the base includes robust mounting options.

The Interaction

Press
Press

The HaptoSphere offers a myriad of different interaction possibilities. The two most common ones are pressing and rotating. Interactions can be combines to complete different actions. 
Pressing might, for example, pause your music and rotating adjusts the volume. When pressing and rotating at the same time you could for example scrub through the song to the part you like. 

Rotate
Rotate

Timeline

Development timeline
Development timeline

 The physical design of the HaptoSphere will be done in August of this year. After that, we will focus all out resources on finalizing the electronics and software development. In March of 2019 the HaptoSphere should be ready for production.

General timeline
General timeline

When the development of the HaptoSphere is done we will start production. We have reserved some time for quality control as we want all the products to work perfectly. In July 2019 we will be ready to ship the first HaptoSpheres to backers.

The Team

Eetu Närhi: CEO & Software Developer

Eetu is responsible for the day to day operations of the company and our long-term vision. Next to that, he also helps with software development.

Andrei Danila: Software Developer

Andrei is our lead software developer. He is the one responsible for making sure the HaptoSphere is compatible with all major IoT networks and devices. 

Ignacio Barbadillo: Lead Designer

The stunning design is all thanks to Ignacio, the lead designer of the HaptoSphere team. With his amazing visual and design skills he went through numerous iterations of the design. 

Jori van der Kolk: Design Engineer

Jori is responsible for the technical side of the HaptoSphere and the electronics that go inside. He is responsible for translating the design into a production ready device.

Risks and challenges

The design of the HaptoSphere is almost complete, so our main challenges lie in finding production and distribution partners. That's where you come in.

The HaptoSphere relies on the unique, squishy ball on it's face. Manufacturing something new and unique is always a challenge. Currently all our prototypes have been produced by standard FDM 3d printers, which notoriously does not scale well to large production quantities. We're looking into alternatives, though large-scale 3D printing, while not ideal, is still a possibility.
We are relying on the price of Haptic Engine coming down in order to meet the desired production cost. We are confident this will happen as we are working closely together with the developer. Mass manufacturing of the Haptic Engine for use in the HaptoSphere will bring the price down for sure. There is, however, the possibility that we cannot get the price down enough, or that we cannot get our hands on enough Haptic Engines to meet the production goals.

Other than that, we're working hard with the designers of IoT systems to improve compatibility with their systems, so while our reach is already good, hopefully with your support we can improve our repertoire even further.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge €10 or more About $11

    Postcard

    You'll get an awesome HaptoShpere postcard and eternal gratitude from our team

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    Pledge €50 or more About $55

    Early bird - HaptoSphere

    50% off the retail price

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    Pledge €75 or more About $83

    HaptoShere

    25% discount off the retail price

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    Pledge €95 or more About $105

    Early bird - 2 HaptoShperes

    52.5% discount off of two HaptoSpheres - only on Kickstarter

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge €145 or more About $161

    2 HaptoShperes

    27.5% discount off the retail price - only on Kickstarter

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