Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Purchase the same travel-tested gear that we use for our international field research--the proceeds will help fund our work next year.
Purchase the same travel-tested gear that we use for our international field research--the proceeds will help fund our work next year.
34 backers pledged $10,052 to help bring this project to life.

About

Field Research Kit to Support Global Newborn Health project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

Field Research Kit to Support Global Newborn Health

$10,052

34

 

 

Help Us Save Newborn Lives with Design!

I’m a product designer, and the founder of Design that Matters. We're an award-winning nonprofit that creates medical devices to save newborn lives in developing countries. 

We've launched this campaign to fund the next stage of development of our latest medical device, the Otter newborn warmer. In the next five years, our goal is to deliver Otter Warmers to over a thousand rural hospitals, and to save the lives of one million at-risk newborns--and we need your help!  

As thanks for your support, we're trying something new and exclusive to this Kickstarter campaign. Rather than the typical branded coffee mug or tote bag, for a limited time we're offering the same incredibly durable, travel-tested field gear kits that we make for ourselves.  We make the bags out of high-tech Dyneema fabric, a waterproof ultralight material that's so tough we have to cut it with a laser.

ABOUT DESIGN THAT MATTERS

Based in Salem, Massachusetts, Design that Matters (DtM) is recognized as an international leader in human-centered design, rapid prototyping and cost-effective low-volume manufacturing.  Learn more about DtM's design process from my 2012 TED Talk.

Our Firefly newborn phototherapy device has reached 23 countries in Asia, Africa and the Caribbean, and treated more than 100,000 newborns. 

This year, we’re tackling the problem of newborn warming. When newborns get cold, they become much more vulnerable to sepsis and pneumonia, both deadly infections. Unfortunately, conventional newborn incubators are complex, expensive and difficult to keep clean. Our Otter newborn warmer will allow rural hospitals with limited resources and inexperienced staff to successfully treat newborns, while preventing hypothermia and infection.     

We’re planning to complete one more iteration of the Otter design next year, and to launch production in 2019. We’re in a hurry to start saving newborn lives, but medical devices only help if people trust them enough to use them. In our design process, there is no substitute for direct user feedback. The next round of user-testing is critical to Otter’s success, so in 2018 we've planned trips to rural hospitals in Sierra Leone, Nepal and Myanmar. 

ABOUT THIS CAMPAIGN

We seek to raise at least $10K with this Kickstarter campaign to cover our expenses on next year's critical field research.  With design approval from our target users in rural hospitals, we'll be ready to move Otter into production in 2019.  

Our goal over the next five years is to deliver Otter Warmers to over a thousand rural hospitals, and to save the lives of one million at-risk newborns.

After twenty years of international travel, I’ve become very particular about gear. As a design studio with a cutting edge prototyping lab, we make a lot of our equipment ourselves. I just started preparing our field research kits for 2018 and had an idea: let’s make some extra field research kits, and offer them on Kickstarter as rewards for people who believe in our mission and who want to help fund our work!     

With your support, we can save the lives of countless kids who deserve a chance at a healthy future.  

   

ABOUT THE REWARDS   

We make all of our field research gear bags out of Dyneema, a composite material that is roughly twice as strong as Kevlar at half the weight. Popular with both high-performance sailmakers, ultralight hikers and the military, Dyneema is UV-resistant, tear-resistant and 100% waterproof. Having blunted a whole collection of sewing shears and rotary cutters on the material, we now cut the Dyneema panels with either an electric hotknife or our laser-cutter.  

We assemble the bags on our industrial sewing machine using bonded polyester outdoor thread that is resistant to UV, heat, abrasion, salt water and mildew. We further waterproof the bag by using YKK Aquaguard water-repellent zippers, and sealing all of the internal seams with single-sided Dyneema seam tape.

   

The Interview Kit

1. Dyneema case 11 cm H x 23 cm   2. Journalist notebook  3. Multicolor pen   4. Korean ballpoint   5. Retractable mechanical pencil   6. Highlight flags    7. Black polymer eraser

The kit includes a collection of interview tools that will keep you organized and guarantee you can still read your notes when you get home.  The journalist notebook is the best form-factor we've found for taking interview notes on the run.  We're including three of our favorite travel-tested writing tools from Japan and Korea.  Both pens use an archival ink that won't smudge or run if it gets wet.  The mechanical pencil includes a clever retractable tip that won't easily get bent or poke holes in your pocket.

The case is waterproof and the fabric is nearly indestructible.  The case fits both a passport and a standard 3"x5" pack of post-it notes or index cards.  Details for gear nerds: the case is made from a single layer of composite fabric, with an inner lining of 48 g/m^2 Dyneema bonded to an outer layer of 50 dernier polyester. 

  • Bag dimensions: 11 cm H x 23 cm W zipper (4.3” H x 9” W zipper) 
  • Bag weight (empty): 21g

    

The Field Research Kit

1. Dyneema case 25 cm H x 37 cm W  2. suitcase scale  3. ear plugs and carry can  4. transforming plug adapter  5. portable caliper  6. SIM card key  7. USB "charge condom"

The kit includes a collection of gear to see your laptop and most important documents through the most trying conditions, and to keep you productive through even the dodgiest hotels and leakiest bus rides.  

  • The suitcase scale alone has saved us hundreds of dollars in overweight bag charges, and includes a measuring tape to confirm that your suitcase will fit in the overhead bin (checked luggage is a bummer, might as well chuck your suitcase out the window).  
  • Think of the high-density foam earplugs as the cheapest, most portable noise-cancelling headphones. They've preserved our sanity on the noisiest flights, or when the neighbor spontaneously decides to jackhammer the sidewalk at midnight right outside our hotel window.  
  • The clever Japanese transforming plug adapter works with every outlet we've encountered, from the giant plugs in the UK and India to the round two-prong adapters common in Europe and Asia.
  • We're adding portable calipers because it seems like we always have to measure stuff.
  • The SIM card key is another great way to save money in the field--pop a local prepay card in your phone and it's a million times easier to schedule interviews and you no longer sweat data fees on local maps and translation apps.
  • The "USB charge condom" is our favorite paranoid travel gadget.  It disables the data line on your USB connection--use the free charge station for your phone or tablet at the airport, the hotel or the internet cafe without worrying you'll accidentally download a virus, or someone will download all your email and contacts.

The case is waterproof and the fabric is nearly indestructible. The case fits both US 8.5"x11" and A4 documents. It will also fit a travel-size laptop that is 2cm H x 34cm W x 27cm L or less (we've confirmed the fit with a Thinkpad P40, a Macbook Air, a Surface Pro and a Samsung Chromebook). Details for gear nerds: the case is made from a single layer of composite fabric, with an inner lining of 48 g/cm^2 Dyneema bonded to an outer later of 50 dernier polyester. 

  • Bag dimensions: 23 cm H x 37 cm W zipper (10” H x 14.5” W zipper)
  • Bag weight (empty): 42g 

    

The Off-Grid Kit 

1. 30L Dyneema Duffle 18 H x 26 W x 46 L cm  2. nylon flip-line and carabiners  3. mind-expanding travel read 4. solar lantern  5. cash can 6. TSA-proof multitool  7. stretchy clothesline

This kit includes everything you need to survive outside the tourist travel bubble, where you can't count on electric lights or laundry services, and where you can't even charge your Kindle.

  • There is a hook bonded to the inside top of the duffle to help you keep track of your keys or USB thumb drive. 
  • The duffle strap is made from 1" climbing-spec tubular nylon webbing and two climbing-spec carabiners, both rated for 4,9000 lbs tensile strength.  The strap doubles as a rooftop tiedown, a bearbag hang-strap and a very short Indiana Jones style bullwhip for swinging over pits.
  • The kit includes a random paperback from DtM's collection of favorite mind-expanding travel reads, inscribed with a personal thank you from the DtM team!
  • The solar lantern is easy to keep charged, and invaluable when navigating the inky darkness of unfamiliar latrines or just catching up on your notes after the power goes out.
  • The solid milled-brass cash can is a discrete way to carry a crisp US $100 bill--the universal "get out of a jam" card.  Rubber gaskets keep the water out, and it's designed such that it can never accidentally come apart.
  • The multitool is the only design that's made it through every airport security.  The philips screwdriver is sharp enough to open boxes and the pry end is a great problem-solver.
  • The stretchy clothesline is a lifesaver when you're far enough off the grid to have to hand-wash your unmentionables.  Nothing beats clean underwear on day five of a field research trip.  

Details for gear nerds: this duffel is made from DtM’s custom triple-layer composite fabric. The outer surface is 50 dernier polyester, bonded to 48 g/m^2 Dyneema fabric. The middle layer is 62 g/m^2 Tyvek, to maintain the bag shape and to provide a bright bag interior that is easier to search. The innermost layer is thin and nearly transparent 34 g/m^2 Dyneema. 

  • Bag dimensions: 18 H x 26 W x 46 L cm (7” H x 10” W x 18” L, 22” top zipper)  
  • Capacity: 30 L (1,900 cu-inch)  
  • Bag weight (empty): 210g  

Note that the kits include branded products from other firms. Their inclusion does not imply any endorsement, license or approval by those firms. 

    

About Your Contribution

Design that Matters is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit in the United States (tax ID 30-0172078). Your contribution to this Kickstarter campaign will be tax-deductible in the United States, minus the fair market value of the kit. The tax-deductible portion of each contribution is as follows for the different rewards: 

  • Interview Kit: $175.00 
  • Field Research Kit: $270.00 
  • Off-Grid Kit: $865.00 
  • All Three Kits: $1,310

At the close of the Kickstarter campaign, you will receive a donation acknowledgement letter from Design that Matters to file with your 2017 tax return.

Risks and challenges

Kickstarter requires all campaigns to assess the risks and challenges that come with completing the project. In our case, we see minimal risks.

We are an award-winning product design firm with fifteen years of fabricating high-fidelity functional medical prototypes and carrying them all the way through production at scale with manufacturing partners in Vietnam and China.

We're applying that same rigor we use in our everyday product development process to the fabrication of this campaign's rewards. We've built production-quality prototypes of each of the Dyneema bags and we've identified all of the necessary materials and vendors for rapid production. The DtM studio already possesses all of the tools and skills we need to fabricate the Dyneema bags on site, including an industrial sewing machine and a laser-cutter. We've tested the bags thoroughly through everyday abuse and the enthusiastic participation of our kids and friends.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Design Patron and Special Thank You

    Maybe you already own all the travel gear you need. Maybe you’re just an astute judge of effective philanthropy and product design, and you want to help us save newborn lives. Become a design patron! Or send us the name and address of someone that you want to honor, and we will send our thanks and recognition to them.

    Includes:
    • A personal thank you note signed by the DtM team
    • Your name listed as a supporter on the Otter project website
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    10 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Interview Kit

    A collection of interview tools that will keep you organized and guarantee you can still read your notes when you get home. Includes our favorite reporting supplies for high-density note-taking and annotation. Recognition as a design patron with a personal thank-you and a mention on the Otter project website. Includes FREE shipping in the US. Scheduled to ship at the end of October.

    Includes:
    • Waterproof Ultralight Dyneema Pencil/Passport Case
    • Reporting supplies (see description for details)
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Field Research Kit

    A collection of gear to see your laptop and most important documents through the most trying conditions, and to keep you productive through even the dodgiest hotels and leakiest bus rides. Recognition as a design patron with a personal thank-you and a mention on the Otter project website. Includes FREE shipping in the US. Scheduled to ship at the end of October.

    Includes:
    • Waterproof Ultralight Dyneema Laptop/File Case
    • Travel Gear (see description for details)
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 7 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Off-Grid Kit

    Head for the desert or a long weekend in the country with this incredibly light and durable Dyneema duffle bag. Includes everything you need to survive outside the tourist travel bubble. Recognition as a design patron with a personal thank-you and a mention on the Otter project website. Includes FREE shipping in the US. Scheduled to ship at the end of October.

    Includes:
    • Waterproof Ultralight Dyneema Duffle Bag
    • Off Grid Gear (see description for details)
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    All Three Kits

    All three DtM travel kits, and all the gear described above. Recognition as a design patron with a personal thank-you and a mention on the Otter project website. Includes FREE shipping in the US. Scheduled to ship at the end of October.

    Includes:
    • Interview Kit
    • Field Research Kit
    • Off-Grid Kit
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 4 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    All Three Kits for You and a Friend

    Two sets of all three DtM travel kits, and all the gear described above. Recognition as a design patron with a personal thank-you and a mention on the Otter project website. Includes FREE shipping in the US. Scheduled to ship at the end of October.

    Includes:
    • Interview Kit x2
    • Field Research Kit x2
    • Off-Grid Kit x2
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $7,500 or more About $7,500

    Field Research Team Kit

    Five sets of all three DtM travel kits, and all the gear described above--enough to equip an entire field research team. Recognition as a design patron with a personal thank-you and a mention on the Otter project website. Includes FREE shipping in the US. Scheduled to ship at the end of October.

    Includes:
    • Interview Kit x5
    • Field Research Kit x5
    • Off-Grid Kit x5
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (21 days)