These are only a couple examples of what Dot can do. We plan to consistently release new use cases weekly, so you can constantly answer the question: what cool, new things can Dot do?
We need additional funds to complete the last parts of software development, as well as have money for manufacturing and tooling. But more important than the funds, we want to build Dot with other people that are excited about this technology. We want to talk, collaborate, and exchange ideas. For us, Kickstarter isn’t just a source of money to complete a product; it’s an opportunity to start something much more important, a community.
Our team has worked at dozens of companies, everything from Twitter to Parker Aerospace to Cisco Meraki. We love technology and are all avid science fiction followers. We came up with Dot because we wanted our computers to be more like Data, Hal 9000, C3PO, and J.A.R.V.I.S. Part of achieving that future is teaching our computers how to understand and interact with the world outside of their cold metal boxes. For us, Dot is an attempt to move technology forward for the better. We love hacking around and having a good time while doing it. So join us!
Our journey to build Dot has been extremely fun and challenging. An hour after we got the idea, we rushed to make a prototype.
The initial build was an arduino hooked up to a bluetooth chip. Our primary goal was just get familiar mobile bluetooth development.
Our next step was to shrink down the Arduino into one tiny chip. We called this board, the dual chip architecture.
One of the key features of this step was getting the battery onboard. From our second prototype, we've been optimizing battery life.
Here's a video of Anuj describing the dual board architecture:
After our dual board design, we reached our major milestone: single board Dot.
From this point, we focused on making the board tiny and circular.
After getting the Dot to look like a Dot, we put it in our sleek, black case.
Here's a simple mockup of Dot's overall design. We really wanted to make the case simple. This allows people to replace the battery easily. Furthermore, if you're a hardware hobbyist, we give open access to our board's pins.
Here's a few demos of a Dot with an earlier version of our app. Kunal demonstrates the App Launcher use case as he approaches his bathroom.
Here's Rahul showing the responsiveness of the proximity sensor (we set it to trigger 10 feet away) in regards to controlling his LIFX bulb.
We wanted to keep these demos very casual so that you could get a sense of how Dot could fit into your life!
We currently have a circular single PCB Dot and a fully functioning app. Because our team has 5 engineers, we will not have to contract out major sections of software or hardware, improving the reliability of our timeline. We have to get molds for manufacturing and should have that done by October.
Our primary costs involve different manufacturing expenses. We have a finalized BOM and existing relationships with firms in the United States. We aren't going overseas to make Dot because we don't want to experience any major time delays. We are committed to making a quality product that focuses on both the hardware and software.
After our campaign, we will send out a survey to all backers in which you can specify your Dot's color.
Risks and challenges
As with most hardware projects, our greatest risk is manufacturing costs. We set the price point at $20 per Dot after thoroughly looking at the cost of materials and getting quotes from manufacturers. But even still, as we finalize our product, our costs could increase. On the software development end, we are susceptible to delays, especially as we integrate into other applications for smart home control.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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