Funded! This project was successfully funded on August 4, 2013.

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The Annoyinator, designed by Henry (age 12), amplifies and beams high frequency sound from your phone and can annoy at 300ft (100m)!

Introducing The Annoyinator!

The Annoyinator is a neat toy for your iPhone or iPod touch!

The following is a somewhat paraphrased conversation between Henry (age 12) and Dad (age, uh, somewhere north of 40) on the way home from Thanksgiving...

Henry:  Hey Dad, can you make a loudspeaker that aims only in one direction?

Dad: Well, sort of.  Because of the way sound works, you need a very wide loudspeaker to make it directional and 'point' in some direction.  For a reasonable size loudspeaker, you can make it very directional only at high frequencies.

Henry: Awesome.  Can I make something that attaches to my iPod Touch and aims the sound from the 'Dog Whistle' app?

Dad:  Yes, you can do that.

Henry:  That's what I want to make!

A couple more demos

Using it outdoors

Using it in the car

The Design

So, when we got home, Henry sat down with Autodesk Inventor, with Dad looking over his shoulder to help with the design concept and using Autodesk Inventor.  It's pretty much the first real design that Henry did with Inventor, so he needed some guidance and instruction.

After some time, we came up with The Annoyinator! And we printed it out on work's Cube 3d printer and it looked like this:

Original version
Original version
After a few iterations, we came up with this one.
After a few iterations, we came up with this one.

The Annoyinator let his iPod Touch (5th gen) slide right in and it do exactly what Henry wanted it to do:  It really 'shoots' the sound in the direction you point it, and it also tremendously amplifies the sound.  We also designed a couple versions, one for iPhone 5, iPhone 4/4S, and iPod Touch (5th gen).

We found that the Annoyinator is great for annoying friends from a great distance.  In fact we could still comprehend speech from an iPod Touch from 300 feet away!  It's also useful for just plain old amplifying the iPod/iPhone.  In the car, you can easily hear a podcast over the road noise.  However, we didn't call it The Annoyinator for nothing.  It does tremendously amplify the sound, but it's not exactly smooth sounding.  You can stuff some cotton balls or other soft material into it to tame it a bit if you want to listen to speech or music

Annoyinator Types

There are Annoyinator models available for the iPod Touch 5th gen, the iPhone 5, and iPhone 4/4S.  If there is a great request for other models, we can look into that.  Please let us know!

Initially we plan to print in black, glow-in-the-dark blue, and fluorescent red.  We can add other colors if we get enough requests!  So let us know your preferences, and we'll update you if new colors become available!  

What we need

This is pretty simple.  Henry has taken The Annoyinator to class, and all his buddies want one.   He's taken it to the Maker Faire as part of his 3D printing class, and people really loved it.  We simply want to print out a bunch and get them into people's hands.  However, we don't have a 3D printer, we've been borrowing time on Dad's work's printer.  We need to buy a printer so that we can print up enough for everybody who wants one.  The 3D printer costs range anywhere from about $500 up to over $100,000.  We figure we need a minimum  of $1600 to cover the costs of a printer, filament, and shipping. That means that only 80 backers can make it possible for us to cover the initial Annoyinator production costs, but also give a 12 year old an incredible opportunity to run a little business and enable future product development!

Thank you so much for reading this far!  If you'd like to support The Annoyinator, please pledge and we'll get your rewards out to you ASAP!

Expected time for reward delivery

The 3D printers can take quite a long time to be delivered, depending on the model.  Some have 4-10 week lead times or even longer.  The amount of money we raise will determine which printer(s) we get, and the lead time.  Once we get the printer, the prints each take quite a long time to print.  The Annoyinator is over an 8 hour print job on the Cube 3D printer.  We plan to get a printer with a larger print bed, and Henry hopes to print and ship at least 4 a day.  We will print out Annoyinators roughly in order of your pledge dates, so the earlier you pledge, the sooner you'll get your Annoyinator!

We have put September, 2013 as the ship date, but that's likely an 'Average' ship date.  

A note on product finish

The Annoyinators will be 3D printed on a consumer grade 3D printer, something like a MakerBot Replicator, 3D Systems Cube, Solidoodle, or similar.  As such, they will not have a perfectly smooth surface like an injection molded part.  They will have the rough finish shown in the photos, and there will be small defects here and there, but nothing that affects the functionality.

Safety Note

Be careful with you iDevice!  The Annoyinator only accepts iPhones & iPods without a case.  To design it to accept you iDevice with a case and line up the speaker port with the horn is a tremendously difficult task, which would make the whole project pretty much impossible for a youngster (and nearly as impossible for an adult!).  So, you need to use your device naked.  We don't recommend using it over concrete or tile in case you drop it.  Use outdoors on dirt & grass is pretty much risk free.  We have put a cushion in the Annoyinator to keep it from sliding out easily, but you need to be the judge of how and where to use it. 

Performance!

Frequency Response

Annoyinator Frequency Response.  This shows the 25 dB gain from about 1200 Hz up to about 8kHz.
Annoyinator Frequency Response. This shows the 25 dB gain from about 1200 Hz up to about 8kHz.

Polar Response

Annoyinator Polar response.  This shows how much the sound changes as you point the Annoyinator towards and away from your target.  (Click for more information)
Annoyinator Polar response. This shows how much the sound changes as you point the Annoyinator towards and away from your target. (Click for more information)

Directivity

Annoyinator directivity.  This shows how good the Annoyinator is at 'pointing' in the forward direction.  0 means pointing doesn't make any difference at all.  10 is very directional.  (Click for more info)
Annoyinator directivity. This shows how good the Annoyinator is at 'pointing' in the forward direction. 0 means pointing doesn't make any difference at all. 10 is very directional. (Click for more info)

Thanks

We'd like to thank Dave Lewis for teaching the 3D printing class at Henry's school.  This class has really gotten Henry excited about designing, printing, and building in 3 dimensions :-)

Also, thanks to Hugh McLaughlin for letting us use his 3D printer! 

And thanks to ListenInc for the use of their awesome SoundCheck software.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

There are very few risks associated with this project. Basically, we know what we are building, and we know how to build it. We simply need the money to make it possible.

Once we receive a 3d printer, there will be some setup time and tweaking to get the Annoyinators to print nicely on that new printer. This is not a huge risk, it will just take a little time and effort.

The biggest challenge will be keeping up with building the reward Annoyinators. Since we can only print a few a day (about 4 will fit on the print bed of a Solidoodle 3 and take about 24 hours to print), it's going to take diligence and daily effort to ship all the orders. Henry's Dad will make sure that Henry follows through to build and ship every last reward. :-)

Another potential risk is that we could get too many orders to fulfill in a reasonable amount of time. This can be mitigated in 2 ways: we can buy more than 1 printer if necessary, or if we get WAY too many orders, we can move to an injection molded tool. Caleb knows how do get this done, but we sure don't expect this to happen ;-)

FAQ

  • Yes, we knew that this would be a problem. The iPhone/iPod product line stays very stable for long periods, which lets us build products like this without a lot of design changes. That's why iPhone and iPods were the first devices.

    If we get enough requests for other popular phones, like Samsung Galaxy S3, or other phones, we'll definitely consider doing other phone designs. Since each print can be customized, 3D printing is a great way to do a product like this that could potentially fit many, many phones. The difficulty is: 1) getting the printer and 2) doing a design for each phone. #2 is very challenging when we don't have the actual phone in hand to test with.

    Please contact us if you want one for a non-iPhone so that we can gauge how popular it would be.

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  • Pledge $1 or more
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    18 backers

    For $1 or more, you get the great feeling of helping a 12 year old in his first business :-)

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    30 backers

    Annoyinator iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. This will ONLY work with the iPhone 4 or 4S. Once funding is complete, we'll send you an email to get your desired color. We will ship black if no color selection is made.

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    8 backers

    Annoyinator iPod Touch 5th gen. This will ONLY work with the 5th gen iPod Touch (the one with the new, skinny Lightning connector). Once funding is complete, we'll send you an email to get your desired color.

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    53 backers

    Annoyinator iPhone 5. This will ONLY work with the iPhone 5 (the one with the new, skinny Lightning connector). Once funding is complete, we'll send you an email to get your desired color.

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    1 backer

    Custom Annoyinator iPod Touch 5th gen. This will ONLY work with the iPod Touch 5th gen. Once funding is complete, we'll send you an email to get your desired color and message. You can specify a short message to appear on the front and/or back.

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    12 backers

    Custom Annoyinator iPhone 5. This will ONLY work with the iPhone 5. Once funding is complete, we'll send you an email to get your desired color and message. You can specify a short message to appear on the front and/or back.

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    5 backers

    Custom Annoyinator iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S. This will ONLY work with the iPhone 4 or 4S. Once funding is complete, we'll send you an email to get your desired color and message. You can specify a short message to appear on the front and/or back.

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    7 backers

    For a pledge of $40 or more, you get 2 custom Annoyinators for different iPhone/iPod models. Due to kickstarter guidelines, we cannot offer 2 identical ones in one reward. Once funding is complete, we'll contact you to get your model/colors & messages.

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    6 backers

    For a pledge of $55 or more, you get 3 custom Annoyinators for different iPhone/iPod models. Due to kickstarter guidelines, we cannot offer multiple identical Annoyinators in one reward. Once funding is complete, we'll contact you to get your model/colors & messages.

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Funding period

- (30 days)