What Brings Us Challenging Kickstarter
To tell the truth, KAKUMIRU has rejected two times in a project conference. But, I couldn't give up because I strongly believed its value. So, I negotiated for commercializing KAKUMIRU if I could fund JPY10,000,000（≈US$90,000）on Makuake, the biggest crowdfunding platform in Japan. As a result, KAKUMIRU have successfully raised JPY 13,500,000 （≈US$122,000）on Makuake. We won the chance to KAKUMIRU commercialization in Japan!
Like KAKUMIRU and our previous campaign Pomera DM30, we are creating “next-generation stationeries”. We want to introduce our unique and useful products to many more people. Therefore, we decided to challenge Kickstarter to spread our product overseas with strong passion.
KAKUMIRU had big responses in Japan. It was introduced in Engadget Japan, CNET Japan, GIZMODE Japan and other medias including news papers.
KAKUMIRU was created from the experience we have all faced — forgetting to complete a task. This device acts as a digital scheduling assistant, reliably reminding you with handwritten memos.
KAKUMIRU is as easy to use as a paper memo with the advantage of a built-in digital alarm that will keep you on task by reminding you what to do next.
With its simple features, we aimed to create the next generation of stationery that anyone can use. It is a digital device that gives the feeling of writing with pen and paper.
Also, because an alarm can be quickly set for each memo you write, you don’t need to worry about forgetting important plans, appointments, and reminders. The limitations of paper memo pads are no more with KAKUMIRU’s digital functions.
KAKUMIRU features a digital paper display that is as easy to read as paper. Since the LCD screen can display memos even when the power is off, this is definitely not your usual digital memo pad.
KAKUMIRU has five functions including memos, to-do lists, calendar, clock, and calculator.
With so many functions in one compact device, decreasing workspace clutter and increasing productivity is effortless.
1. Just like pen and paper, simply touch the stylus to the screen to start writing.
KAKUMIRU works just like a real memo pad, so it doesn’t have a power button. Touch the screen with the stylus to turn it on. It also has an eraser for easily fixing mistakes.
2. Set the alarm for memos that you're worried you might forget about.
An alarm can be set for each memo to give you a reminder on a specific date and time. The alarm automatically displays your message and includes a silent mode for quiet work spaces.
3. Rotate the screen display to your preferred orientation.
You can set an alarm for memos or items in the to-do list in two ways:
1. General alarm- alarm which activates on the set day and time
2. Weekly repeating alarm- alarm which activates weekly on the set day and time.
In addition to the general alarm, KAKUMIRU has the useful weekly repeating alarm function. For example in business scenes, you can use it as a reminder of weekly meeting at 9.a.m on every Monday or weekly report due date at 5 p.m. on every Friday. Also, even in private scenes, it is useful as the reminder of family dinner day or favorite TV show and so on.
Alarm setting can be chosen in three ways: sound-on, sound-off, not-set
Even if your office is quiet and you feel uncomfortable for alarm sound, it is no problem if you set an alarm as sound-off.
KAKUMIRU will reminds you by very clear screen display by E ink ePaper.
Selectable pen/eraser thickness
Thickness of the pen and eraser can be chosen from 3 types(bold/ fine/ micro). Thickness can be changed just by tapping pen/eraser icon.
Easy to check stored memo pages
You are able to look back at memo pages in two ways:
Normal view- one page at once: tap ◁/▷ to go previous/next page as flipping over notepad.
Thumbnail view- four pages at once: very useful when you want to find a particular page.
To-do items be always listed in order of priority
When using sticky notes on to-do management, you may stick the most prioritized one at where catches your eye the best. Priority of tasks changes moment to moment. Why people love to use sticky notes on to-do management is because it is easy to take off and stick again and again.
KAKUMIRU also allows you to freely change order of to-do items in the list like using sticky notes. Moreover, an alarm can be set on items to never let you forget important items, which sticky notes can not do.
We believe KAKUMIRU will be one of the best to-do management tool!
Memos and to-do items with an alarm are linked to a calendar
When you set alarms on memos/to-do items, they are linked to the calendar. When you go to calendar, dates which have memos/to-do items with alarms are shown with icon (details as below).
You can choose calendar starting on Sunday or Monday
You can customize your calendar starting day of a week so that it is easier to use.
Memo Can be Export/ Import to PC
Memos created using KAKUMIRU can be exported or imported by using a Micro SD card.
When data storage of memo in the main unit reaches full, you can export data and delete it from the main unit. Also exporting function is useful to make a backup of your important memos.
If you need memo which you delete from the main unit but have a backup of it, you can import it.
The screen uses E Ink ePaper Display.
E Ink ePaper uses the same pigment ink that is used in printing, which makes KAKUMIRU’s wide, high-contrast display as easy to read as real paper. E Ink also makes it possible to read memos even when the power is turned off.
The reward for pledging over ¥12,000 is your choice of either the Sky Gray KAKUMIRU with Turquoise Stylus set or the Stone Gray KAKUMIRU with Turquoise Stylus set.
- Brand name : “KAKUMIRU”
- Color (Body & Pen) : Sky Gray & Turquoise/ Stone Gray & Turquoise
- Screen : 4.3 inches (56.2 x 93.65 mm), E Ink ePaper Display
- Screen resolution : 480 x 800
- Touch screen: Film Resistive Touch Screen
- Power source: 4 AA alkaline or eneloop batteries *sold separately
- Device size: 93 (W) × 41 (D) × 132 (H) mm （≈3.66(W)×1.61(D)×5.20(H) inches）
- Weight: Approximately 200 g（≈0.44lbs） *without batteries
- Data storage: Main unit (Memo: 99 pages, To-do list: 30 items)
- Compatible media: Micro SD card (max. 2GB), Micro SDHC card (max. 32GB)
- Functions: Memo, To-do list, Calendar, Clock, Calculator (10-digit display)
* Product specifications are subject to change.
The idea for KAKUMIRU came from sticky notes. It’s easier to write memos and to-do lists by hand, but it feels uncomfortable to do it on a smartphone or computer. I ended up sticking memos all around my desk and some would get lost. KAKUMIRU was created to solve this problem.
I thought I could end many of my workplace frustrations by having one convenient digital device with many useful tools that you could also write in. For example, digital devices with LCD screens aren’t reliable for storing memos because the screens need to be occasionally turned off since they use a lot of power. I wanted KAKUMIRU to imitate what makes paper great for memos, which is that you can read them whenever you want. This is why it was designed to work without a power button.
E Ink ePaper Display was the solution because it continually displays the last memo you looked at even when the power is turned off, unlike liquid crystal. This feature makes E Ink the closest alternative to paper.
However, there are some disadvantages. The writing speed was originally slower than liquid crystal. We worked with the E-ink manufacturer to improve the response time and have now reached a speed that can be made available to the public.
When I suggest this project to my company, I received negative feedback with comments such as "What’s wrong with using real paper?" and "The price is too expensive, so nobody will buy it." However, I haven’t given up because I feel that KAKUMIRU can improve my work life. I decided to try crowdfunding, so if this Kickstarter campaign doesn’t reach its goal, I will accept that it’s not possible to make my idea commercially available — this is our last chance!
Of course, paper is useful, but there are many reasons to question if we should continue using it like eco-friendly reasons and the problems with sticky notes that first gave me the idea for KAKUMIRU.
For anyone who thinks KAKUMIRU is a great idea, please consider supporting us to create the next generation of stationery technology.
King Jim Co., Ltd. was established in 1927, and has grown from selling a variety of filing products to digital stationery. With the vision of "contributing to society by creating innovative products that work toward the advancement of culture," we develop solutions that go beyond stationery by focusing our efforts on new products that are born from creativity and curiosity. (https://www.kingjim.co.jp/english/)