What is a ZenLocket?
This product is first and foremost about peace of mind. ZenLocket is the integration of jewelry, software, and storage with a very specific purpose -- to help people gather, organize, and safely store their important documents, irreplaceable photos, and key contacts and accounts. It's designed to look like a vintage locket but inside contains an ultra thin 8 GB USB flash drive that has a software program specifically designed to help identify and organize and, most importantly, preserve the things that matter.
In an emergency, if you had to leave your house quickly and you needed to grab the most important things, what would you take? The ZenLocket helps you prepare for an emergency situation and have all your valuable and important document, photos, contacts and accounts stored in one place. Just plug the ZenLocket into your computer's USB port and the wizard guides you through a process of deciding what you should gather. You can name and store information for your loved ones and you can include as little or as much as you want. We designed the software to suggest items based on major life events for you and each of your loved ones. Do you have a copy of birth certificates, diplomas, marriage certificates, passports and wills? How about military discharge papers, immunization records, adoption papers or the deed to your house? The ZenLocket makes all of this easy to do. And all of the information is encrypted and password protected for security. There is an old saying that "your failure to plan ahead does not constitute an emergency on my part." ZenLocket helps you plan ahead.
The ZenLocket has 8 GB of storage so it can hold thousands of photos and a lot of videos. However, we don't recommend you use the ZenLocket as a device to store all of your photos. This is the place for special photos. The digital tipping point in photography didn't happen until 2004. That was the first year the sales of digital camera exceeded film cameras. So there are billions of photos on walls and in boxes that can't be replaced if they are destroyed. This is the place to capture and preserve those photos.
What is a ZenLocket? ZenLocket is the best gift you can give your family this year (although I am guessing the kids won't agree).
Why are we using Kickstarter?
I am now the ripe old age of 49 and I have watched in amazement as this new paradigm arrived that brings together communities passionate about a project. In my prior life, I was a securities lawyer. Basically, that means I used to work with companies that were raising capital and all the headaches that went along with that. Kickstarter is nothing short of revolutionary.
We are close to taking this project across the finish line. We have a prototype of the locket and the alpha version of the software is complete. Our goal is to use the money we raise to finish the software and to take the product from prototype to production. Since we believe the ZenLocket can help so many people, I thought it would be amazing to work with the Kickstarter community to finish this project. So here we are asking for your help!
What about security?
Security for the information kept on the ZenLocket was the highest priority for us. We recognize that this information is your most personal and important information. All ZenLockets are password protected and the data is encrypted. We elected to require a password even if the owner doesn't want to use one. If someone ever steals the locket, they will have a locket with a useless USB and they won't be able to access your information. Because the ZenLocket uses encryption technology, we will only take pledges for shipment in the US.
We also have a unique feature that will allow the owner to designate people who can recover the password if for some reason the locket owner can't. When you initially register your ZenLocket, you can identify people you trust that based on e-mail address and secret questions will be able to unlock the ZenLocket.
Will my ZenLocket sync with the Cloud?
In the future, yes. As part of phase 2 of our software development, we are going to add a feature that will allow you to sync your ZenLocket with services like Dropbox and box. This won't be available when we first send you the ZenLocket but a free software upgrade will automatically update your ZenLocket when you plug it in your computer. Still, a key driver in our decision to base this on a hardware device is you will always have the comfort of knowing you have your family legacy at your fingertips.
When my wife and I learned we were having triplets, we knew our lives would be crazy for a long time so we decided to bring a little zen into the home. The product is named for our triplet daughters - Zosia, Emmi and Nika (the ZEN triplets). The idea for ZenLocket came to me when the babies were in the newborn ICU for two months last summer. I decided that it was finally time for me to get documents in order just in case anything happened to me. It dawned on me that my wife didn't even know the name of our life insurance agent.
At the same time, it was a hot summer in Utah and almost every day there was a new fire burning in the valley and homes were being evacuated. We would see plumes of smoke as we drove home from the hospital and wondered who was being evacuated. Almost every night on the news there were stories about people rushing home to get their irreplaceable pictures and important documents. I started to think about what I would take if we needed to evacuate. And then I realized that my desire to get my papers in order and what I would take in an emergency were the same things. I looked around for a good product to help me do this and I didn't find anything that I really liked. So I decided to develop my own. Since the whole purpose of this product is to give peace of mind, we thought ZenLocket was the perfect name.
And that is how the ZenLocket was born.
How does the ZenLocket look?
We designed the ZenLocket to look like a vintage piece of jewelry - something that has been in the family for generations. The design is embossed on metal so it won't fade over time and the metal has a patina finish so it looks like it has been handled time and again. Our goal was to make something that looks like a family heirloom but has something of even greater value inside.
The first decision was how the locket would function. Our original designs were simple drawings of how the mechanics would work. Using a traditional USB resulted in a locket design that was bulkier and less elegant than we wanted.
We determined that by using an ultra thin USB we could have a traditional clam shell locket that fully closes so there is no sign of the USB.
We then hired an artist to render a few ideas for a vintage locket. The intent is to have a traditional design on one side and the ZenLocket logo on the back side. This way you will always recognize the ZenLocket.
The ZenLocket allows you to give something that is of great importance and wraps it in an elegant and romantic casing.
What does the software do?
The software is designed to be easy to use and comprehensive. It is both PC and Mac compatible. Just plug the ZenLocket into a USB port on your computer and the software launches.
A wizard guides the user through a process of naming who they want to include on the locket: themselves, family members, friends, or partners. Once the list of people is compiled the ZenLocket suggest documents and photos you might include. There is also a free text option so you can include any document or photo that is important to you. Then in the contacts and accounts section, it guides you through the names and contact information you might need in an emergency. This allows your family to find out who your doctor, your lawyer and your insurance agent are. Also, you are able to include all of your various bank and retirement accounts numbers. There is reportedly more than $30 billion in unclaimed accounts because people can't identify accounts when a loved one dies. I like my bank alright but I don't want them to keep my money if I croak.
Another key feature of the ZenLocket is it allows you to identify where an original document is kept. A copy of something is good but an original is always better. Whether it's a will that may be with your lawyer or a car title that may be in a safety deposit box, you can tell where it is kept.
What are important documents, contacts and accounts?
That is a really good question. The Center for Disease Control lists as the number one startling fact that you should know about disaster preparedness is that a majority of Americans have not prepared copies of crucial documents. At the beginning of May, there was a major fire near Los Angeles and the Ventura County fire department advised people to gather pictures, important documents and other irreplaceable items. So if you had half an hour to gather important documents, what would you get?
A while back the Wall Street Journal had an article called "The 25 Documents You Need Before You Die." They called it your "death dossier" but I think we will go with a more positive name - the zen dossier - because it's about giving your family peace of mind. The list included, among other things, marriage license, family medical history, housing and land deeds, vehicle titles, stock certificates, life insurance policies, list of bank accounts, and your will. We have also added things like immigration documents and immunization records. These are the things you will need if you ever have a serious emergency. It's all about taking care of your family.
Do I really need these documents?
Can't I do all of this on a regular USB flash drive?
Yes. You can store all of this information on any storage device - whether it's a USB flash drive, in the cloud or on your cell phone. The problem is, you probably won't. The reason ZenLocket is so powerful is it guides you through the process and then keeps the critical information on a device that you can keep in a special place. And it keeps the information secure. I have dozens of USB drives around the house and I have no idea what is on them. None of them are password protected. I know what is on my ZenLocket. I know where it is when I need it. And I know the information is secure.
Will I need a scanner?
For documents and photos that are not already in digital format, you will need access to a scanner for high resolution scans. We are working with some retailers to see if we can get a discount for ZenLocket owners on scanners. For some items that do not need high resolution, you can even take a picture with your phone or tablet and email it to yourself. Then the file can be linked to the ZenLocket.
We have a great software development team headed up by Jeff Hee, owner of BLTSoftware. Jeff has deep experience in architecting and delivering fully functioning software programs and has taken the ZenLocket to the alpha stage and will deliver a beta product shortly.
Our team in Hong Kong is handling all of the production and sourcing of materials for the ZenLocket. They have worked with a large number of tier one companies including Disney, Costco and Walmart.
If we meet our Kickstarter goal, we will use the proceeds to finish up the software and take our prototype to production.
Thanks Kickstarter community tor taking the time to look at ZenLocket. I hope you are as excited about this project as we are! Cheers mates!
Risks and challenges
We've worked hard to minimize the risks and challenges.
We have already designed the locket and we have the first prototype. We also have an alpha version of the software complete. Our partner for the software development is Jeff Hee, the owner of BLTSoftware. He is a great software architect so I am confident we will deliver the software on time.
We will manufacture the locket overseas and ensuring quality control will be the biggest challenge. We have, however, a great partner based in Hong Kong that is managing our overseas production. This company, EasternPro HK, does sourcing for major companies such a Disney and Panasonic so they know how to manage projects with high volume and high quality requirments. I am confident that with the Kickstarter community support, we will deliver the ZenLocket on time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)