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$8,909
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153
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, December 18 2014 8:03 PM UTC +00:00
AppiomBy Appiom
First created
AppiomBy Appiom
First created
$8,909
pledged of $25,000pledged of $25,000 goal
153
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, December 18 2014 8:03 PM UTC +00:00

About


Introducing Appiom

This is Appiom. A breakthrough, must-have solution to one of the fastest growing problems facing parents today.

If you have a child at home with a smartphone, tablet or connected game console they could be online at all hours of the day without much oversight or control.

Appiom combines the power of an innovative hardware design and the mobility of the Cloud with an intuitive, easy-to-use Mobile App that puts the solution at your fingertips. 

Here's what experts are saying: 

Feature #1 - Block Access Over Wi-Fi

Enable and disable devices on your home Wi-Fi network with a simple Mobile App interface.

Appiom’s Wi-Fi control feature will be available in the first version of its software service, anticipated for delivery to backers March 2015.

Feature #2 - Individual App Blocking

Sometimes when doing homework, your kid needs access to the Internet for doing research or assignments, but you know how addictive and distracting those Apps can be for them. So, the idea is to STOP the App distractions, but still let them access educational websites, i.e. PowerSchool, IXL, or Khan Academy.

Appiom’s Individual App Blocking feature for five of the most popular social networking and chat apps (Facebook, Twitter, Minecraft, Instagram and Snapchat) will be available in the first version of its software service, also anticipated for delivery March 2015. If we hit Stretch Goal #2, we will be able to integrate functionality to block 15 additional individual apps for a total of 20. Appiom plans to continually add more App blocking capabilities over time providing you easy ways to control groupings of Apps and websites.

Feature #3 - Scheduling

Just like turning off the lights in their bedroom to help your children get to sleep - now you can kiss them goodnight and not have to worry about them playing on their iPhone under the covers all night long.

This feature is also to be available March 2015.

Feature #4 - Block Access Over 4G/LTE

Kids are smart. If you block Internet access over your home Wi-Fi kids will just flip the phone's toggle switch and jump on cellular data (4G/LTE). With Appiom, you the parent have control over all Internet data to your child's device.

Appiom’s 4G/LTE Blocking feature will be available in an updated version of its software service May 2015. This version will support AT&T and Verizon in the U.S. Over time, Appiom will be hard at work growing that list.

The feature is subject to the carrier's terms of service and requires the user to have a valid account, service plan, and be set up as account owner for the device to be blocked. Charges from the respective carrier may apply.

If we hit Stretch Goal #1, we will be able to expedite delivery of the 4G/LTE Block feature and make it available to backers March 2015 - the same time as the previous three features.

Effortless Setup

The Appiom Box Does the Magic

When you buy the Appiom product we will send you the pretty green Appiom box shown below. You plug in the power and the Internet cable into your home network. Then, download the FREE MyAppiom App from the App Store or Google Play (iOS or Android only).  

Set up your account username and password and that's it. No software to download and no need to remember your home network passwords.

The Appiom box inventories your whole home network for you on a regular basis, so you can know what devices are active in your home. This is really useful for your own security purposes, or just to see when your child comes home with their phone and connects to the Wi-Fi.

Stretch Goals

How Appiom Works

There are two major components of the Appiom solution: a Mobile Application to control things, which we call MyAppiom, and a hardware box it talks to inside your home connected to the Wi-Fi router.

Appiom is designed with the intention to support any combination of modem, router and Internet Service Providers you may use at home.

For those technophiles among you: our box that you see is built on the popular Raspberry Pi Model B+ board with our own network software and services installed. The box contains standard network interfaces and talks to Cloud services that we run and monitor 24x7. Our Cloud in turn communicates with the Mobile App clients to allow control of the box. 

Progress So Far

After more than a year of work, we have our prototype box built and running in our own homes. We have tested our system with an alpha users group of 15 people, and it is looking good. We have all the Mobile App functionality running, and are currently working with great UX designers to make the App design more consumer-ready.

Our Story

We have a world-class team of ten working together to bring Appiom to you. We have built successful products in our careers that many of you use everyday, including the chip in your smartphone that reduces background noise on calls, corporate Mobile Apps, the first Mobile App store, online trading marketplaces, and virtual home tours on the largest real estate websites.

Like you, we struggled with the same parenting challenges with the Internet and didn’t see any easy solutions out there. Some of our friends have had to actually pull the power cable out of their home router every night! Or their kids burned through their monthly cellular data plan in a week as a result.

We figured there had to be a better way. We all want to help our kids be successful. And parents shouldn’t have to be an IT Director in order to manage their home Internet! We wanted a simple way to see what our kids were doing online on any of their devices, and control their access to websites and Apps.

So we high-tech dads from Silicon Valley got together and created Appiom. It's a simple and easy way to regain control of our kids’ home Internet and mobile 4G/LTE data device usage – even when we’re not at home. 

We need a little help getting past the finish line, so we are asking for your support on Kickstarter. We’ve invested a lot of our time and money already, but it’ll take a little more to make the final finishing touches and get it production ready. You have our commitment that the money will be spent to build a quality product with world-class customer support.

Risks and challenges

There are hardware and software components to the Appiom solution. As well, it has to work with your home's router and your cellular carrier. We'll address each below and what we're doing to mitigate the risks.

1. The Mobile App. We don't see much risk here since it can be quickly updated and installed. Plus, we're using MyAppiom revisions on a daily basis ourselves.

2. Hardware box. This is usually the largest risk for any tech gadget startup. It's easy to send out a software update, but not so easy to replace circuit boards! So, early on we made the decision to launch Appiom using a well known and proven CPU board. We went with the Raspberry Pi Model B+ since its 1) widely used and reliable, 2) simple design, 3) powerful, and 4) had all the memory we need. The trade-off is cost. The Raspberry Pi Model B+ is around $35 retail and a custom board out of China would run around $10 or less. In the long run, we decided it was best to go the safe, more expensive route to get parts in your hands with a high confidence in reliability.

2a. There's also the availability and lead-time issue with hardware. We need to purchase the Raspberry Pi board and the custom green case we designed. To ensure supply we are working with the vendors to get delivery commitments.

3. Software that runs on the box. There are two parts of the software. The first is the widely used Raspbian Linux OS which comes with Raspberry Pi. The second is our secret sauce that runs on the OS. There's a chance that the box may experience software issues once it's up and running in your house. The problem might be from either part of the software. For that reason we've design it to support remote updates from the Cloud server. This means if anything is wrong with the software, and it needs updating, then it will "call home" and fetch the latest and greatest version and reboot. This will allow us to keep you up and running if it's a software issue.

4. Cloud server. Our servers are running on Amazon's Web Services (AWS), the world's largest and most reliable web server. There's always a risk that the server could go down temporarily, but that's a very, very uncommon situation for AWS. The greatest risk here is that we find a bug or something wrong in the software we're running on the server. Fortunately, with AWS it's very easy to debug the problem, isolate the issue and rollout a new fix.

5. Home router. The Appiom system is designed to be router-independent. However, as with all complex systems there are always unforeseen issues and things to be dealt with. So, there's a chance that we may encounter some difficulty with your specific router. To prepare for this we've already tested the Appiom box with 15 routers and have been using it in our homes since January. By next march we'll have those numbers up to 30+ routers tested. Need to test as much as possible. Again, we designed the system to be router-independent, and don't expect to see major issues here, but we're planning for Murphy's Law.

6. Cellular carrier. For Appiom to enable/disable 4G/LTE data to your kids phones we need to accommodate how each carrier handles this for their network. The feature also requires the respective carrier to allow cell data level controls, and according to carrier policy and practice. There's the chance we may run into unforeseen issues with the carriers or have to respond to changes they make in their system. As with the home router risk the answer here is in testing. We need to test as much as possible on each different carrier.

7. As well, there's always the need for good people. Startups can't get enough of them. We might need to recruit new team members to meet demand or for particular job skills. We address this risk by having a large network and knowing the people we need, and doing effective planning.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $9 or more About $9

    BIG THANKS AND A BOOK!
    Everything counts towards building a great product and company! As a token of our appreciation you'll get a copy of Internet family safety expert Linda McCarthy's new e-book, "Digital Drama: Staying Safe While Being Social Online".

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    Pledge $29 or more About $29

    GET THIS PARTY STARTED. Be one of the first 100 backers and grab the best deal in the house.

    You get the Appiom box, MyAppiom Mobile App (download from Apple App Store or Google Play), power supply and ethernet cable. Everything to get you up and running.

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    Reward no longer available 100 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $39 or more About $39

    MOMENTUM BUILDER. The party has started and it's time to build some momentum with the next 200 backers.

    You get the Appiom box, MyAppiom Mobile App (download from Apple App Store or Google Play), power supply and ethernet cable. Everything to get you up and running.

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    Limited 7 backers
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    Pledge $49 or more About $49

    FINISH LINE WITHIN SIGHT. Ok, we've got momentum and the next 300 backers will take us past the Kickstarter funding goal.

    You get the Appiom box, MyAppiom Mobile App (download from Apple App Store or Google Play), power supply and ethernet cable. Everything to get you up and running.

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    Limited 6 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $59 or more About $59

    FULL SPEED TOWARDS THE STRETCH GOALS. The Kickstarter funding limit is behind us and we're off to hit the Stretch Goals.

    You get the Appiom box, MyAppiom Mobile App (download from Apple App Store or Google Play), power supply and ethernet cable. Everything to get you up and running.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $59 or more About $59

    THE HOBBYIST. This is a SW-Only reward. You get a SD Card with the Appiom SW pre-loaded and the MyAppiom Mobile App (download from Apple App Store or Google Play).

    **Applicable limitations**: 1) SD card will be created to work on a specific RPi only (we'll ask for an ID# off your RPi), 2) the device will need to be dedicated to running the Appiom service and no other SW, 3) the software cannot be transferred to another SD card, and 4) Appiom cannot be responsible for support nor for any changes the hobbyist may do to their hardware or software.

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    Pledge $99 or more About $99

    APPIOM BOOT-CAMP. You'll get everything in the Kickstarter Special plus an invite to attend an online Webinar led by one of our customer care advocates that will teach you about parental controls technologies and step-by-step instructions for the best way to use your Appiom service.

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    Pledge $399 or more About $399

    THE BIG ASSIST. This is for you special people out there that really want to help out! You get everything in the APPIOM BOOT-CAMP Reward plus our unending gratitude for chipping in extra to get us off the ground. You’re one of our biggest supporters!

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,499 or more About $2,499

    CUSTOM COLOR. Choose any color for your box Well ok, not any color. It needs to be a Pantone (http://www.pantone.com/pages/pantone/colorfinder.aspx). You'll get a one-of-a-kind Appiom box, everything to get you up and running, and a personal thank you certificate from the founders.

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Funding period

- (30 days)