A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
Kyzen is a new type of bluetooth speaker, conceived and designed by a lifelong audiophile. Kyzen lets you connect up to five phones or other devices at a time and play music in a "round robin" style. That is, your Kyzen can tell which connected phones want to play and will play one song at a time from each phone in the order that they connected. Gone are the days of connecting and disconnecting to switch between phones and music streaming services. Or having to download party apps that only work for some music apps. Kyzen works for any audio you can play out of your phone.
Back in the days before Bluetooth, Jukeboxes were the best way to listen to music queued by more than one user. Anyone with a coin could toss a song up into the list of next playing songs, and these songs would then play back play in order of queuing. Now, this is possible with a home Bluetooth speaker.
The other game changer with Kyzen is song control. So named because Kyzen uses the songs which aren't playing to control the song which is.
Kyzen is, as far as we can tell, the first Bluetooth speaker that can intelligently determine signals directly from the songs you choose to play (or not to play).
Right now this is implemented as the “Chattahoochee Veto”. This means that if a song is playing which other listeners don’t like, they can simply queue up "Chattahoochee", a classic song about a muddy Georgia river, and Kyzen will skip the current song if enough vetoes are sensed. This song was chosen because it’s our team’s favorite, but we could switch based on user preferences.
Big audio companies like JBL and UE have products which tap into a similar idea of one speaker getting music from multiple phones. But in these cases, everyone who wants to play needs to download the apps beforehand and they have messy or in some cases non functioning integrations with the varied music apps which are popular today. Not to mention the fact that many need an internet connection to work.
Kyzen works with any music streaming app and any audio which can be played out of a traditional Bluetooth speaker. You could have a group playing from Apple Music, Spotify, and a phone’s Music library at the same time. So far the Kyzen has been tested on IOS and Android devices with three connected simultaneously. The production model should be able to handle five simultaneous connections.
Kyzen is a must have accessory for college students, party-hosters, or anyone else that enjoys listening to good music with friends. Even if you're not much of a music fan, you'll find Kyzen will earn its place in your home in no time at all.
Kyzen's prototyping and design were done in Palo Alto, California. We went through a half dozen designs before settling on the Kyzen's current retro look and acoustically fine-tuned design.
We designed this timeline with 60 days of buffer for whatever issues may arise.
The manufacture of our speakers is a global process, we use cones from Germany, Processors from Europe, and components from China. That being said, the magic that takes a box of audio parts and turns it into a Kyzen speaker gets done right here in California by US workers. Supporting US workers is a legacy we're proud of but just as importantly it's a decision that's going to give us fine controls over the quality of our final products.
The Kyzen Classic is composed of:
1x Raspberry Pi
1x integrated amp board
1x 6000 MaH battery pack
1x Charging circuit
2x 3” full range drivers
Exterior Dimensions: 5" x 6.5" x 9.5"
Weight: 3.2 pounds
The Kyzen Boosted includes an extra battery pack and 2 passive radiators (bottom of the above picture) in addition to the components of the Classic
25,000 - More color/pattern options for the cloth covering of the enclosure. Right now we have 3 color options for the body and two for the speaker grill.
50,000 - If we hit this number we'll add the option to purchase a Kyzen Redwood. The Redwood has the same party mode with a lot more bass due to a 4 inch woofer which was too big for the normal Kyzen. It’ll also have more battery power to back that up.
Sizes will be taken by email once the campaign is finished!
The video was shot using friends and family as unpaid actors and producers. This reflects our philosophy on crowdfunding - we want to spend as little as possible on the campaign and as much as possible on the product. It seems disingenuous to us to spend up to 25% of what our backers pledge with one of these companies just to attract more backers. We feel that if we build a great product at a great price, word of mouth will help us bring in most of our sales over the next few years.
So please forgive anything which seems lacking and tell us about it in the comments so we can make it more clear for future backers!
Testing and Compatability
Kyzen uses Bluetooth 4.1 (the most recent) and works best with phones that also use Bluetooth 4.1, but is also backwards compatible to work with almost any version of Bluetooth.
We will ship Kyzen worldwide via trackable post. Please note that you may be responsible for duties, handling, fees and taxes applicable to your region, for more info check the FAQ
Risks and challenges
We understand that hardware is hard. Our team has launched over 40 physical products into ecommerce marketplaces across the US and thus has loads of experience in logistics, manufacturing, and shipping a product like Kyzen.
Our timeline has us sending these units out in February specifically because we think we should be able to finish them in December. This gives us almost 60 days as a buffer to deal with any unintended consequences which might arise.
The prototype is good with newer major phones like the iPhone and Galaxy. But we've also tested it on a $30 prepaid phone and this phone often skips 1-3 seconds into a song when it goes from playing to not playing. This doesn't seem like a huge deal but could indicate that some phones won't work perfectly in multi user mode.
The prototype also has only been rigorously tested with 3 simultaneous phones and the software is geared towards that. This uses 5-15% of the processors CPU so we feel comfortable in the belief that we can bring this up to 5 for production. In theory we could support 7 devices but didn't want to over promise our backers and so split the difference between 3 and 7.
A few Backers have asked about this, testing could be done with five devices and perhaps will be done in the next few days now, its just that to rigorously do so you need to try 5 androids of different quality, 5 ios of different quality, 2 androids and 3 ios, etc. This adds up to a lot of phones and even used phones are expensive so we were hoping to have some funding first.
The Raspberry Pi is not a production board, but many successful Kickstarters have used them in the past for much more computationally intensive hardware.
International shipping may be slower than we'd wish due to the Lithium Ion batteries inside of the Kyzen (these will most likely prevent us from using air shipping).