Update #4: More Powerful Motor
We have received multiple requests and suggestions for potential erotic function in SKEA, so we decided to upgrade the motor power, which was originally designed just to notify users but now should deliver a decent and adjustable vibration. We may also develop specific Apps so that users with different needs can choose their preference.
Update #3: Engadget reported on SKEA - "The game controller that trains your pelvic floor muscles"
SheKnows reported on SKEA - "Skea is taking those famous pelvic floor strengtheners to the next level."
Yahoo! Tech Reported on SKEA - "7 Ways Your Body Is Turning into a Joystick"
Bustle - "SKEA TURNS YOUR KEGELS INTO A VIDEO GAME, IS ESSENTIALLY 'TEMPLE RUN' CONTROLLED BY YOUR VAGINA"
The Daily Dot - "This app lets you play video games with your vagina"
Update #1: upgraded design - the Black Swan
What does Skea do?
Imagine playing Temple Run with Fitbit. Not with fingers, but with pelvic floor muscles!
We want to help women overcome Pelvic Floor Muscle Dysfunction, the most common gynecological disease. Skea is the solution that is not boring but actually FUN!
Bye-bye, urinary incontinence. Oh, and welcome back, SEX!
Why should you care?
To women: we know how frustrated you are when your bladder defies your authority! My wife got urinary incontinence after giving birth to our daughter, it sucks!
To men: YOUR SEX LIFE IS RUINED.
The hard truth: >50% of all women suffer from Pelvic Floor Muscle Dysfunction sometime in her life, regardless of race, religion or Zodiac signs.
This evil disease weakens the Pelvic Floor Muscles, which hold up our organs in our belly and also control our bladder. Men usually have little problems with it (but they got prostate problems instead. Life is fair), but most women do.
Symptoms? Urinary incontinence is most common, but in worse cases womb could drop out in a prolapse! The worst - sex simply falls apart (I refuse to answer any personal questions!).
Good treatment, Bad experience
Good news: treatment exists! Dr. Arnold Kegel invented the famous Kegel Exercise, a.k.a. pelvic floor muscle training.
Bad news: it’s boring like hell! You have to squeeze your pelvic muscles mindlessly for 20 minutes every day, do it for 3 months nonstop!
This is torture spelled as treatment! My wife gave up after just 2 tries, and claimed that she’d prefer a urine pad…
Skea – a solution that is actually Fun!
So we invented Skea, the world’s most caring and humane Kegel Exercise aid! Our solution is a video games that combines Kegel Exercise together. You play a special mobile phone game by wearing Skea as the controller inside your body.
In this game, you play the role of Alice in Continent (pun intended!). Alice needs to constantly jump around to chase Rabbit Leg-pullers, dodge Lava Leaks, and collect Collagen Elixirs. How do you control the jump action? Not by touching the screen, but by using your pelvic muscles to squeeze on Skea!
Skea can be comfortably positioned inside body like a tampon. Its embedded pressure sensor detects pelvic muscle contractions and synchs wirelessly to smartphone. Squeeze on Skea, your game Avatar jumps; squeeze again, jump again!
The game is carefully designed in order to deliver fun and effective training at the same time. Play and Jump (i.e. squeeze) until you beat the Continent!
Tickle as Biofeedback
Skea “tickles” you every time it is squeezed, delivering a soothing pulse whenever you contract your pelvic muscles correctly. This biofeedback not only enhances the fun, but is also clinically proven to improve training results.
Safe, Comfortable & Effective
Skea is safe and comfortable. Tons of mid-night oil has been burnt in research and we have renowned professional gynecologist in our team. Skea’s designs follow strict ergonomics to ensure comfort and safety.
It has also been tried and tested by our female team-members and friends (thanks for Dayima and its members).
Their response? Giggles, blushes and nods!
Research and clinical trials have proven the effectiveness of Kegel Exercise, which is recognized by gynecologists and commonly prescribed. Now Skea makes it an interesting game!
Though our prototypes are still crude, tests are already generating great feedback from our test users!
“It's like playing Temple Run with Fitbit. Just that I don’t use fingers but use my pelvic muscles!” – G.S.
"It feels funny at first, but soon I am so immersed in the game that I completely forgot time. Afterwards, my lower abdomen feels so hot and soothing, like having a hot bath after a jog. I have never experienced anything like that before!" – J.M
"Every time my body grips on it, it starts vibrating. That makes the exercise really fun, like I am interacting with someone, you know…" – M.S
We have been working with leading obstetricians and gynecologists in the field. Dr. Peng Peng, M.D. in Peking Union Medical College Hospital, made the following comments:
“[According to research studies] more than 50% of women globally will suffer from pelvic floor muscle dysfunction sometime in her life. Kegel Exercise is the safest and cheapest treatment. It has been clinically proven to be effective. [But] traditional Kegel Exercise is long and boring. Most patients fail to complete on their own. Skea offers an interesting alternative treatment, which could be more fun and acceptable to women.”
What makes Skea Unique?
- Gamify a boring but important exercise!
- Get real-time biofeedback. Pelvic floor muscles are tricky to control at first. Studies have shown that >30% of women have troubles contracting their pelvic floor muscles without direct feedback (instead, they often flex their abs, glutes, or inner thighs). Skea not only has real-time on-screen feedback as your Avatar jumps, but also has real-time physical feedback as it vibrates to confirm the contraction. This helps you make sure you're doing the exercises correctly.
- Guide your training. The game is paced to deliver the most effective exercise plans without you even realizing it!
- Monitor and track your performance. Skea tracks your exercise history, so you have direct visual knowledge and control over it. As your pelvic muscles improve, you will start noticing your game scores improve.
What are the benefits?
- Pre-pregnancy preparation & Post-pregnancy recovery. Strong pelvic muscles are vitally important during and after pregnancy, both in helping the body manage changes arising from the pregnancy and also in recovering more readily after giving birth.
- Bladder control. Weakened pelvic muscles causes urinary incontinence. By strengthening the muscles with Kegel Exercise, you can better control your bladder.
- Improved musculoskeletal stability
- Pleasure. Pelvic muscles contribute to healthy sexual response for women. Strong pelvic floor muscles can enhance arousal and improve sensation, orgasm quality, and general sexual experience. Men also prefer his female partner to have stronger pelvic muscles, due to stronger contact forces and grip during the course.
Why Kickstarter? Cos we need Your Helps…
We have spent a year in R&D, drawn numerous product sketches and built multiple prototypes. You can see Skea’s own evolution in the snapshot diagrams below.
Now we are close to final production, the most expensive part! Molding costs a lot and suppliers typically require large order size too. The estimated cost is around 22,000 USD.
It also costs a lot to polish the game. We do have a working game but there is still a lot of room for improvement, both visually and regarding gaming experience. The estimated cost is around 13,000k USD.
Inventory and other miscellaneous costs are estimated around 3,000 USD.
…and Your Ideas
- What game do you prefer? (in fact, we have totally different game ideas waiting for you to test play and tell us your preference)
- Do you want social features like comparing scores with friends or planning your training progress with your loved ones?
- Since Skea has vibrator inside, it can potentially be made into an erotic toy, even remotely controlled (imagine using your smartphone in New York to control your partner’s Skea in Tokyo). Do you want us to add these features or not?
Please do let us know.
Product Development Schedule
Skea consists of hardware and software. The hardware chips (including sensors, motors and Bluetooth) have been tested, finalized and ready for production. On software, game engine is successfully developed. Game mechanics and arts have been developed and tested. Our schedule for the remaining work is as follows:
Jul 2014. Finalize industrial design details and start molding.
- Aug 2014. Finalize game mechanics and enhance visual effects
- Sept 2014. Game play beta tests.
- Oct 2014. Hardware test production
- Nov 2014. Formal hardware production & game debugs.
- Dec 2014. Shipping
Previous design turned into a souvenir!
As you have seen above, we have gone through multiple designs for Skea. Ultimately we came to decide between two great designs, one of which becomes the current Skea and the other design was shelved. We were really upset that we had to let go of a great design but it then occurred to us that it could be turned into a traditional Kegel Exercise aid! So we removed all the electronics and replaced with simple weights. Now it becomes a classical Kegel Exercise Aid! We would love to present them as a special award to anyone who sponsored us with more than 25 dollars!
Be the Avatar yourself!
Fancy being made into the Avatar in the game? If you fund us with 500 dollars, we can make it happen. You will need to send us your photos (or somebody else’s, if you want to give her a surprise gift!) from different angles, and our artists and engineers will construct a cartoon 3D model of you and put it in game. You can choose to make that character available to all or just to yourself. Now enjoy [Your Name] in Continent!
Your support matters to us!
Around 2 Billion people (yes, billion, not million), mostly women, in this world suffer from Pelvic Floor Muscle Dysfunction. Existing treatment is a torture that few can persevere.
Your support will make Skea into reality, providing a much better Kegel Exercise experience to millions of women (could be yourself, your friends, relatives, colleagues, loved ones, etc.)
You can also help to get the word out and build the conversation. We know that this part of the body and its related health issues could be a tricky and delicate topic. However, shunning the topic only prevents others from understanding and improving their bodies, health, and well-being. We hope you will help us promote dialog about this vital and natural part of the body. Anything from sharing our campaign via social networks to conversations in your daily life, will not only benefit our campaign but also lead to a healthier and happier world.
Women, such as my wife, should be able to say goodbye to urinary incontinence, and enjoy better life quality. They deserve that!
Colors. We have several colors in mind but have not made a final decision on product color - our plan is have a vote by our backers as we get closer to final manufacturing.
Smartphone support. The game demo is on Android, but our plan is to launch the final product both for iPhones and Android phones.
Wireless compatibility. We support both Bluetooth 3.0 and Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth 4.0) capability. In other words, we support 99% of all smartphones on the market.
Product size compatibility. Skea is carefully designed to fit comfortably with the vast majority of women of all races and body sizes.
Linkcube is a wearable electronics studio. We are based in Beijing, China, but we have a very international background.
Our Team consists of physicist from Imperial College London, polymer scientist from MIT, mechanical engineer from Georgia Institute of Technology, electrical engineer & programmer from Tsinghwa University in China, marketing talent from University of New Brunswick in Canada, industrial designers from the U.S., etc. Also among us are college dropout, geeks, game designers and medical professionals.
Our philosophy is simple: important but boring activities should be made more fun! Our vision of the future is one with ubiquitous gamification, where people love doing what is good for them. And it starts with pelvic muscle exercise!
Our team has a deep level of experience in product development, manufacturing, and game design. We have successfully developed, launched and delivered two previous products via crowd funding campaign last year. We are well aware of the challenges involved in hardware products and, based on our previous experience, we are confident that we will be able to deliver Skea on time and on budget.
About Tom Chen (the dude in the video and the one behind Linkcube): I was born in China, spent 5 years in high school in Singapore and completed undergrad in Physics at Imperial College London. I worked in finance for a while, taught MBA classes as guest lecturer at London School of Business & Finance, and later went into venture capital world. That's when I realized my true passion lies in technology and game designs, so I started Linkcube Studio with like-minded friends!
Special Deal & Thanks for Dayima Members (Mainland China Only) 大姨吗用户特殊优惠
We hold special gratitude towards Dayima, the smartphone APP for female period management, (http://dayima.com/products/index) and its members in China. Several Dayima members participated in our product testing and gave us honest and constructive feedbacks. Thus we decide to offer a special discount to Dayima members in China. This discount mainly reflects reduced logistics and shipping costs, as our supply chains are based in China. 大姨吗用户参与了我们的测试并给予了我们重要的反馈和帮助。为了表示感谢，在本次众筹活动中，中国境内的大姨吗用户将享受特殊的优惠价格。
Risks and challenges
Skea has both hardware and APP. Like any hardware product, there could be unforeseen manufacturing delays or problems. However, we believe the risk is low because our team is experienced and has successful track records in similar projects before. As our team is based in China, where 80% of products in the field are manufactured, we have good knowledge, access and control over the local supply chains. Furthermore, as this is not our first product, we have ready access to existing supply chain and manufacturing infrastructure, so will not be starting from scratch.
Regarding software, We want the game to be perfect. However, apart from fun, this game also needs to provide effective pelvic muscle training. This is a challenge that few, if anyone at all, has done before. However, we believe this risk is also low because we have done motion sensing games before and have professional doctors in our team.
Last but not least, our hardware and software designs are at an advanced stage, and user testing have generated positive feedback. We have a short list of remaining edits and improvements thus are confident that we can deliver the products on budget and on time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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