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Sparkbeats Case - A spark of light for iPhone 5/5S's video poster
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Simple & original design. A case that turns your camera flash into a stream of light. For the iPhone5/5S: Fashion, Function and Fun! Read more

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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on March 2, 2014.

Simple & original design. A case that turns your camera flash into a stream of light. For the iPhone5/5S: Fashion, Function and Fun!

About this project

Press

Red Dot Presentation

"All That Jazz And Lights" - Yanko Design 

"Sparkbeats Is The iPhone 5S Case To Light Up Your Life" - gadgetreview.com

"Sparkbeats: iPhone-Case kann spacy Disco" - Engadget 

 "iPhone Case + App Add Light To Your Dark World of Music - gajitz.com

"Sparkbeats looks like something straight out of Tron..." - gearhungry.com

"iPhone Case that Lights Up Using the Flash " - craziestgadgets.com

"Funky Sparkbeats iPhone Case"  - fancymaterial.com

 "iPhone Case Up In Da Club" - Yanko Design 

"Sparkbeats iPhone 5, 5S case and app are funky" - phonesreview.co.uk

 "The Spark Beats Case Turns Your iPhone Into A Light Phone!" - techmash.co.uk 

"Netzfundstück: "Sparkbeats" macht das iPhone 5/s zur Lightshow " - maclife.de

"着信時に連動 クールに光るiPhoneケース 「Sparkbeats Case」" - oiboivoice.wordpress.com

 "背面をLEDが拡散するiPhoneケース" - looper-looper.com 

 "Brilliantly Lit Phone Cases - The Sparkbeats Light-Up iPhone Case" - trendhunter.com 

 "Sparkbeats Case Brings Your iPhone To Life" - iphoneness.com

"LIGHT UP IPHONE CASE BY SPARKBEATS" - gadgets4guys.com 

 "...so amazing and futuristic" - geardiary.com 

"Sparkbeat : la coque iPhone qui va vous faire briller" - iphon.fr

"sparkbeats-doblando-la-luz" - catalogodiseno.com 

"SPARKBEATS CASE PER IPHONE 5 E 5S " - dottorgadget.it

 "Sparkbeats Case, la custodia che usa il LED dell’iPhone" - melamorsicata.it 

 "telefonunuzun-caldigini-gosteren-kapak-sparkbeats" - vsmagazin.com

"정말 다양한 용도로 사용할 수 있는 아이폰 케이스" - Funshop 

 "There are a lot of iPhone cases, but none of them light up your smartphone like Sparkbeats" - thebranddetective.com 

"Sparkbeats Case: чехол для iPhone, который сделает вас королем любой вечеринки" - macradar.ru

"Чехол Sparkbeats Case усиливает вспышку iPhone" - migom.by

 "Корпус Sparkbeats" - prolite.ru 

A spark of light for the iPhone5/5S: Fashion, Function and Fun!

Give your iPhone the gift of light – with the technologically advanced Sparkbeats case and accompanying App. Fun, functional, and a bit funky. That’s Sparkbeats. 

Actual Photo
Actual Photo

Sparkbeats takes your iPhone LED flashlight – the same light used for taking flash photos, and bends the light rays through this revolutionary case. From the boardroom to the club, Sparkbeats brings a spark of light to your life. 

Incoming call? A subtle flash through the case. 

Message? A different pattern. 

Turn on the Sparkbeats App at your next clubbing night or concert and the case flashes its distinctive light when you shake it. 

The technologically advanced design and high quality construction means that the light is consistent through the casing – hundreds of hours were spent testing prototypes and designs to achieve this technological breakthrough. And it's not just another case, but an integrated case and App combination - so you have full control. 

Background   

Sparkbeats - Black
Sparkbeats - Black
Sparkbeats - White
Sparkbeats - White

When we started this project we had three clear design goals we absolutely had to achieve: 

1.Light can transmit throughout the case, no blind zones! 

2.Needs an ON/OFF function so that the case will not block the iPhone Flash LED. 

3.The case had to be as slim as possible, with a non-slip grip. 

We have seen many different cases in the market that use an external battery and LED to light up the case. Most of these cases are bulky, heavy, require an external battery, and do not generally light the case evenly. Besides, you have to take off the case to change the battery periodically, and some cases even block the iPhone LED when taking a photo. That’s what made us start to think about an entirely new approach to iPhone cases – something fun and cool that do not require a battery.

There are also some cases that try to use the LED like us do to illuminate the case but the problem is the light is merely scattered randomly from the LED rather than "guided" along the desirable path. Most of these cases are designed fully transparent. We are the first that able to illuminate the case in a special pattern.  

Sparkbeats is an iPhone5/5S case that is powered by the iPhone’s LED camera flash which cleverly converts the iPhone spot LED flash light into a light which is transmitted throughout the case. The Sparkbeats case is always with you to light up your world and transform your message in a visible way.

Actual Photo
Actual Photo

Sparkbeats is not just an iPhone case, but much more. With iOS's built in "LED Flash Alerts" function, the Sparkbeats case ensures that your notifications are seen visibly from all angles. With the Sparkbeats iOS App, you can use different modes and features of your iPhone case. This is how we change a simple iPhone case into a fun and functional companion.

 

How It Works?

The best way we can explain it is to show you a diagram. Take a look!

The iPhone’s LED spot light will be converted into a plane light through the light wave guide plate. When the light goes into the wave guide plate, the light is reflected internally to create a plane light and light up the whole case. A cover plate is installed inside in order to prevent any scratches on the iPhone when the case is switched ON/OFF. This is our original design and is patent pending.

Exploded 3D Model Diagram
Exploded 3D Model Diagram
Push The Button To Turn ON/OFF The Light Guiding Function
Push The Button To Turn ON/OFF The Light Guiding Function

Here's the video showing the light guiding ON/OFF function in DAYTIME!

's video poster
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How to install?

Let's watch the video:

's video poster
Play

Yes, it's just that simple.

Function

When you turn on "LED Flash Alerts" in your Accessibility settings, your iPhone's LED camera flash lights up for calls, texts, emails, and for all Push Notifications (Twitter, Facebook, Games, or any App with Push Notification settings).

Message Mode

Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Turn On "LED Flash For Alerts"

When you don’t want your phone buzzing or ringing during an important meeting, set it as a visual reminder – every time you receive a call, text, email or push notification.

Fun

The App

We have already created a functional Sparkbeats App. Turn on the App and shake it, now you can experience how's the “Sparkbeats” difference. A distinctive light will flash when you shake it or move it.

There are four modes in the App that you can choose:
1) Flash when motion start
2) Keep light ON during the motion
3) Flashing at a predefined frequency during the motion
4) Flash when the motion stop

Just image how cool it is when you shake your Sparkbeats case in a concert or when you are holding it to dance.

The Sparkbeats case is also compatible with other music Apps and can light up to match the music beat.

's video poster
Play

With your support, we will be able to complete the App development and make the Sparkbeats App available for all Sparkbeats owners on the Apple’s App Store.

App Interface
App Interface
's video poster
Play

Shake your body, Shake your Sparkbeats !  Just for fun.  Real effect of Sparkbeats in a restaurant.

Fashion

After many attempts and hundreds of hours spent working on the case design, we decided to “follow the river” and use a river as the natural source of design inspiration. No iPhone case has ever been able to use the LED to act as a source of light and let it flow along these circuitous lines. We hope you can enjoy the beauty inside like us.

Prototype Photo
Prototype Photo
Photos of Prototype Details
Photos of Prototype Details
Prototype Close-up Photo Angle 1
Prototype Close-up Photo Angle 1
Prototype Close-up Photo Angle 2
Prototype Close-up Photo Angle 2
Prototype Close-up Photo Angle 3
Prototype Close-up Photo Angle 3

The Sparkbeats case will be made of a high grade ABS with a fine textured surface finishing – not only gorgeous but also serves to protect your phone from daily wear and tear. This material is tactile, fun to hold, and secure in your grip.

The Begin Of The Story

The story began here: An accidental discovery that the light transmitted through an ordinary case looks like this:

The Inspiration
The Inspiration
The very very first trial
The very very first trial

The result was really not that bad but it was too far away from our goal. So we made another trial and it looked like this:

The Very First Trial
The Very First Trial

This time we stuck some reflective materials inside to let the light reflect internally and covered it with aluminum foil to act as a mask. This also didn't work that great, but it was the start of a long process of engineering, testing and trials that eventually led us to the current design, and the chance to share this project with you today.

The Feasibility Analysis

We spent months finding ways to transmit the light better, through different materials and designs. Letting the light bounce around the case randomly was not an acceptable approach. We wanted to find something that could guide the light along a path of our choosing. Here are the early stage waveguide plates that we used to do a feasibility check.

Early Stage Wave Guide Plates
Early Stage Wave Guide Plates
Wave Guide Plates Testing
Wave Guide Plates Testing

Early Stage Wave Guide Plate – handmade in our basement. We wanted to know exactly what was possible for the light transmission and to test different concepts. We became obsessed about finding the right material to transmit the light throughout the case. Not just the materials, but even different patterns on the plate directly affect the plate brightness.

It was not a coincidence; it was the experimental results that finally helped us determine that the development of the wave guide plate should be our ultimate solution to this project.

The Design And Prototypes

The Sparkbeats case has been designed and engineered using the latest in 3D CAD technology. We've made numerous prototypes machined from solid blocks of ABS plastic and 3D printed by ABS so that we could test the brightness of light and possibility of light transmission.

The first challenge, as mentioned previously, was how to evenly divert the light from the iPhone internal LED. With such a tiny point of light source, it's quite hard to divert the light in even amounts to the whole case. We did hundreds of experiments, tried different materials, and referenced many optic designs, professional manuals, advanced engineering books and colleagues. Finally we have made the impossible possible. 

The second challenge was to design a mechanism to allow users to switch on and off the light guiding function in order to use the iPhone internal LED for flash photos – without some type of mechanism there would be no way to take flash photos or use the flashlight function on the phone. All of these mechanisms together with the case itself also had to be integrated into a very slim case and maintain a cool design.

Design Flow
Design Flow

Showing the whole case in bare white light was not what we wanted for the design. We expected something more. Something that could show the beauty of light transmitting from one point to another. We imagined flowing water, a river. That’s where the idea came from.

The Prototypes

Photo of Prototypes T1 - T4
Photo of Prototypes T1 - T4

The T1 & T2 prototype was made by 3D printing ABS material, helping us to check the diffusion of light, and to design the case outline.

The T3 prototype was made by resin casting, which is used to test the ON/OFF mechanical structure, function and dimension detail.

The T4 prototype inherited the T3 and with a detailed structure, outline and color to help us to finalize the design.

The final prototypes were the beautiful photos you can see here, helping us to deliver our message to you.

The Rewards

Reward Banner
Reward Banner
Special Edition Kickstarter Green
Special Edition Kickstarter Green

Project Plan

Essentially you are pre-ordering a Sparkbeats case, but here's how we get to that point with your help.

  • Tooling, for injection mold
  • The minimum number of parts we can order on the first production run
  • Continue the App development
  • Full patent application
  • Packaging, nothing fancy, just clean.
  • Marketing fee
  • Kickstarter funding fee

About The Team

The Sparksbeats team is international with team members from both the US and Hong Kong. Ted, Tim and Mike met several years ago while working at different companies in the energetic city of Shanghai, China. Together, they want to create a new and innovative product to the world and bring a spark of light to your life.

The Sparkbeats Team: Mike, Ted and Tim.
The Sparkbeats Team: Mike, Ted and Tim.

Ted Wong has spent more than 14 years working in the plastics industry, focused on plastic mechanical structure design and tooling manufacturing.

Tim Lui  is PMP certificated and he contributed himself as a project professional for the overall project management. Meanwhile, he brought something about the beauty of nature into the product design. 

Mike Golden plays a role as a marketing professional for the whole project. He is responsible for the business model and marketing study.

Thank you for your support and we take your trust in the team and the product very seriously. We look forward to shipping the first cases soon!

Questions or Comments? e-mail us at info@spark-beats.com

A Special Thanks

We are very grateful to Kickstarter and its community for being able to give anyone a real opportunity to make their ideas a reality.

We'd like to extend a special thanks to our best friends, Joyce, Edward, Emily, Steve, Chris, Kay, Lee, April,  Fanny and the video house "MEMORY" of helping us through the design process thus far with invaluable advice and support. We would like to thank all our backers for sharing in our fervor and enthusiasm for this product. Thank you!

Risks and challenges

The Sparkbeats case carries risks like any other engineering project. We have spent more than six months for testing, designing, modifying and optimizing the Sparkbeats design for a smooth manufacturing stage. The prototype has shown us that the case works extremely well, however the production mold is required much higher standard than the prototype process. Throughout the preparation of this campaign, we have found every possible risk that could affect our product quality and performance, and the project schedule to our backers.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • YES. If you would like to pledge multiple rewards, calculate the overall cost of the rewards you'd like to pledge and enter your pledge to match.

    Last updated:
  • Sorry that the current Sparkbeats is tailor-made for iPhone5/5S, the dimensions do not match the iPhone5C. We will consider it in the future if we have reached our goal.

    Last updated:
  • At this time the Sparkbeats is designed for iPhone 5/5S, but we have already started the design of the case for iPhone4/4S. If there's enough interest after we reach our goal, we will consider this also.

    Last updated:
  • We have tested the App under iOS6.0 to iOS7.0.2 environment and it works fine. We will try to make it compatible with the latest iOS version when it is available from the Apple App Store.

    Last updated:

Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $1 or more

    9 backers

    A thank you on FACEBOOK! Every dollar makes a difference!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $29 or more

    35 backers All gone!

    Be the first to get this awesome case (color - Black). Only the first 35 are available at this price.

    [Shipping in Mid-March 2014]

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $29 or more

    25 backers All gone!

    Be the first to get this awesome case (color - White). Only the first 25 are available at this price. [Shipping in Mid-March 2014]

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $37 or more

    32 backers Limited (43 left of 75)

    Early Bird! Another chance to get this awesome case (color - White). Only the first 75 are available at this price. [Shipping in End-March 2014]

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $37 or more

    74 backers Limited (1 left of 75)

    Early Bird! Another chance to get this awesome case (color - Black). Only the first 75 are available at this price. [Shipping in End-March 2014]

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $42 or more

    2 backers

    One Sparkbeats Case (color–White) Retail price is $69.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $42 or more

    5 backers

    One Sparkbeats Case (color–Black) Retail price is $69.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $49 or more

    13 backers Limited (187 left of 200)

    You will receive one special Kickstarter Green Sparkbeats case. Each case will come with a thank you note! AND your name will be listed in our website as a limited edition funding member.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $499 or more

    3 backers Limited (7 left of 10)

    You are special! Receive a special presentation box includes: 1) One case (your choice can include the Kickstarter green Limited Edition) with your name laser marked on it. 2) A note signed by all of us from Sparkbeats Team. 3) A token for a free reward of our next project. 4) Be the first to get the updates of our next projects includes photos, sketches, prototypes and project plan. 6) Free shipping all over the world.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,999 or more

    0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)

    Receive a pair of Sparkbeats cases (your choice can include the Kickstarter Green Limited Edition) with your name laser marked on it, and with two neck straps with Sparkbeats logo in a special presentation box, and a note signed by all of us at the Sparkbeats team. Be able to provide us feedback and gain insights to how we bring the design from concept to launch! A day tour of Shanghai, we can go for a refreshing chat about project ideas and designs (or the meaning of life if you prefer). Sparkbeats project - Experience share.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (35 days)