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Compass Stone: A Pocket Navigator for Mindful People project video thumbnail
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    • English
    • 日本語
$4,447
pledged of $47,767 goal
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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

By K&L Inc.
$4,447
pledged of $47,767 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

About this project

Compass Stone is a simple, palm-sized navigation device that guides you using glowing lights. Set your destination via the smartphone app, and its twelve LED lights will lead the way, meaning you can enjoy the scenery while you walk. (*Patented system and product.)

Concept

Traveling is so much easier when you've got a smartphone to guide you, but you can end up missing the bigger picture if you're always looking at a screen. Compass Stone offers a different way to get around. It encourages you to look up, not down. Designed to fit snugly in your hand, Compass Stone turns each trip into an adventure ––– because you never know what moment of inspiration might be waiting around the next corner.

Features

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    • 日本語

Twelve LED lights navigate you to your destination. A quick glance will show you the way.  

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When you're not on the move, Compass Stone doubles up as a watch. The steadily illuminated light represents the hour hand of a clock, while the blinking light indicates the minute.

Media

"Some of you will definitely enjoy it. Especially adventurers"
"Some of you will definitely enjoy it. Especially adventurers"

 

"It’s looking to change the way we use our phones for GPS navigation"
"It’s looking to change the way we use our phones for GPS navigation"

 

"it can very well change the way pedestrians navigate around"
"it can very well change the way pedestrians navigate around"

 

International media coverage, including our homeland
International media coverage, including our homeland

Design

We wanted to make a navigation device that was both distinctive and highly portable, so giving Compass Stone an egg-like shape was a natural decision. The light-emitting grooves on its curved surface are easier to read than a flat display, meaning it will always give you a clear sense of direction as you walk.

Interface

Compass Stone shows you the way using LED lights controlled by a sophisticated navigation algorithm. The lights respond quickly to changes in direction and are clearly visible even under bright sunlight. What's more, Compass Stone's energy-efficient design ensures that you can keep going all day long.

Algorithm

Yatagarasu, a three-legged crow, leads the legendary Emperor Jimmu on his way east
Yatagarasu, a three-legged crow, leads the legendary Emperor Jimmu on his way east

Compass Stone features a groundbreaking navigation system that could become a key technology in wearable devices in the future. 

Named after a three-legged crow that appears in an ancient Japanese tale, the YATAGARASU algorithm calculates the direction to a goal based on the alignment of the device. 

After setting a destination while connected to a Wi-Fi or mobile network, the device can keep navigating you there by itself, even if you don't have a mobile signal or Wi-Fi connection. No location is too remote.

Application

Compass Stone combines sophisticated technology with a sense of mystery. Hold it in your palm and its center ring and twelve radial grooves start to glow, leading you to a new adventure – like the Levitation Stone in Castle in the Sky.

  • Adventure Trip
The world is there to explore. Set on an adventure with a Compass Stone.
The world is there to explore. Set on an adventure with a Compass Stone.
  •  Excursion with Children
Children are natural adventurers. Let them explore.
Children are natural adventurers. Let them explore.

Story

Many people ask "Why do we ever need a dedicated navigation device? We're perfectly fine with Google Maps!" Well, it has its roots back in YEAAH founder Keiji's personal experience.

As a young man in Tokyo, feeling knocked down and depressed by life, he decided to take on a solo trip to Hokkaido, Japan's northern island ––– and that proved to be a life-changing experience.

It wasn't any single event or encounter that struck him: it was purely the beautiful scenery that surrounded him as he traveled. Standing before the deep, perfectly clear water of Lake Mashu, looking at the breathtaking sweep of the Kushiro marshlands, lit by sunbeams from between the clouds, he almost wanted to cry out "Why didn't I know about scenery like this!?"

On returning from the trip to the city, he could not help noticing people around him always seemed to be staring at their smartphones ––– while walking, while waiting for the train, even during a date at a fancy restaurant! To him, they all appeared to be missing out on chances to discover something very precious to them, at every moment.

That is why he thought people might need something like Compass Stone, and it was the beginning of YEAAH's venture.

Timeline

Creators

  • Keiji – Founder and Director
  • Masa - Software Engineer
  • Totty - Hardware Engineer
  • Kenji - Designer

YEAAH - a startup company from Daikanyama, Tokyo

Kickstarter project supported by K&L Inc.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 32×60×48 mm
  • Weight: 40 g
  • Light component: 12+1 LEDs
  • Working temperature: 23 to 113°F (-5 to 45ºC)
  • Battery: 110 mAh
*Subject to change before delivery.

 

 

Risks and challenges

Since its conception in early 2014, we have completed all the development work by handcrafting and self-building with a team of four.

It has taken this long for us to reach a Kickstarter launch because we needed to be sure that the product will be delivered at an affordable price, and at the same time as realize its initial goal: to be something truly practical and fun-to-use.

We are excited to reveal that a fully-functional prototype is in our hands.

Our risks and challenges are follows:

Two key things we are planning to do are:
a) downsizing of the circuitboard to be able to fit in the intended size body, and
b) re-designing of the housing (body shell) through discussion with our manufacturing partner.

The application’s functions are fully complete but there’s a room for development for better connectivity and quicker response. The firmware needs another round of revision to accommodate the redesigned circuitboard.

We have already achieved a good navigation accuracy: for example, you can send your location (geoinformation) from a random location in a park (using a smartphone) and a friend who receives your location information can find you using a Compass Stone.

Beyond the technical requirements described above, our aim is to achieve a product and software design that will make Compass Stone more aesthetically attractive: namely, refinement of the light-emitting grooves and control of lights so that they glow like a living creature.

The device will be powered by a rechargeable Li-Ion battery, but in order to ensure safety we may encounter technical difficulties. There is a slim chance that we may need to replace it with a non-rechargeable one.

Furthermore, we are going to ensure a certain level of water- and dust- resistance so that you can enjoy a long product life. We are discussing this matter with manufacturing partners and specialists in these fields.

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FAQ

  • A. That’s the clever part! Once you’ve set your goal, the smartphone app sends GPS information to Compass Stone via Bluetooth LE, which is how it’s able to keep navigating you without a mobile or Wi-Fi connection. You’ll get more accurate results in urban environments if you’re connected to a Wi-Fi/mobile network, but we’re working to improve navigation accuracy even without a connection.

    Last updated:
  • A. Recharged, yes. Replaced, no. We’re developing the product with a high-capacity, rechargeable Li-ion battery, but we won’t be making it replaceable for safety reasons. (There’s still a slim chance that we’ll include a cell battery, instead of a rechargeable one.)

    Last updated:
  • A. We aim to provide a minimum of IPX3 water resistance and at least IP4X dust resistance.

    Last updated:
  • A. Yes it can, and it will function normally. As Compass Stone is designed primarily to provide navigation while walking, we won’t be providing a bicycle mount in the package. However, we’ll look out for suitable bicycle attachments that are available commercially, and offer a list of suggestions for cyclists.

    Last updated:
  • A. During development, we only had 8 lights to indicate direction, but we’ve increased that to 12 to allow for better accuracy. (Actually, there’s one more ring-shaped LED light at the center of the body, which glows mysteriously like a jellyfish at the bottom of the ocean.) We’re planning to introduce a number of additional functions that use these lights — the light clock being the first such example.

    Last updated:
  • A. It’s not made of stone, unfortunately! The all-white exterior is made of resin. We looked into using many different colors and materials. We may be releasing a special painted version of Compass Stone before the project ends, so watch this space.

    Last updated:
  • A. Kickstarter is the world's largest crowdfunding platform, and it’s probably the best. As a tech startup from Tokyo, it was our dream to communicate directly with Kickstarter’s international audience, and use their feedback to make our product even better. Kickstarter doesn’t currently offer project creation in Japan, so YEAAH sought K&L’s help to set up a project via their European account. That’s why our project target is calculated in euros rather than yen.

    Last updated:
  • A. Although we’re still in the final stage of product development, we plan to complete delivery in July 2017. Until then, we’ll do our best to make sure Compass Stone is as easy to use — and, more importantly, as fun — as possible.

    Last updated:

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    Multiply the YEAAH experience! Save 40% off the retail price with this bundle option. Get TEN Compass Stones with a message of thanks.

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    Get one Compass Stone plus a message of thanks. Save 40% off the retail price. Offer only available until 16th December (in Japan Time).

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