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
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:
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
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.
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.
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
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 ;-)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)