10-year-old inventor Christian is always coming up with new ideas and inventing things around the house. Inspired by other Kickstarter campaigns that his dad (that's me!) has funded like 3Doodler and CircuitScribe, he set out to develop his own Kickstarter creation: Greet-o-matic.
Simply put, Greet-o-matic is an electronic device that can record your message or greeting and then be covered up or put somewhere dark. When light hits the sensor, it plays! Your recording will play every time light hits it until you re-record it - which you can do over and over and over again!
Originally conceived for use with gifts to put an end to "old-fashioned" greeting cards by replacing them with a digital version, the idea evolved into much more than that. Sure you can always record a message, wrap it up with a gift and let it play once the gift is unwrapped, but think about all the other things you can do with it too-
- Place it inside lunch boxes with messages from Mom or Dad
- Warnings in the fridge to not drink all the chocolate milk
- In the bathroom to serve as reminders to do things
- Inside lockers to set reminders for yourself
- In luggage to surprise people
- Inside Valentine's day boxes for your romantic interest (really Christian??)
- Inside desk drawers as pranks
- and "Literally" tons of other places
Greet-o-matic was purely Christian's idea, I've only served to help him bring his idea to reality and offer business guidance based off my experiences as an entrepreneur.
Together, we have fully-designed the product and have already paid for and tested production samples. All the reward extras are designed and ready to be ordered. Backers - this is where you come in! We need a small pile of cash to be able to purchase production units, packaging and stuff like that in bulk to get good pricing.
Christian has come up with and designed almost everything (well, with a little help from me of course!), check it out!
Here he is, drawing the schematic for his circuit.
Next, he built a proof-of-concept using his Elenco Snap Circuits set. Snap Circuits are educational kits that make it easy for kids to build electronic circuits. He's been playing with them since he was 5 years old!
Incidentally, if you compared his proof-of-concept to his sketch, it's really similar, which in turn, is really similar to the final product - even using 3 button-cell batteries to generate 4.5V as he drew in the schematic!
Christian named Greet-o-matic after reviewing dozens of options he came up with and cross-checked those with available ".com" domain names.
He even chose the font after narrowing down 13 choices to a "Final Four" and then just two using a complex points system he came up with. He eventually flipped a coin for the winner.
Christian designed the original specs for Greet-o-matic (he was really specific on the size and thickness!) which eventually we made into various paper prototypes. After user testing a few different designs, one was chosen.
Different manufacturers were selected for unit samples. Two different materials were tested and one manufacturer was chosen after a careful review of the electronics, assembly and sound quality.
Greet-o-matic units are about the size of a business card - 3.5 in long, 2.0 in tall and less than 1 cm thick. The casing will be made out of plastic. All electronic components and batteries are sealed inside. The batteries will last around 300 plays. You will be able to record up to 20 seconds of audio.
The reward levels for donating are pretty straight forward. All backers will be listed on our website in various categories depending on their donation level. A survey will be sent following the campaign to see if you want be listed and how you want your name to appear. With the exception of the $1 donation, we will send backers finished products based on their reward level. Please see the reward listing for information on specific reward levels.
Greet-o-matics come with stickers, gift bows, T-shirts or a combination of these things depending on the reward level. Gift bows are DIY style and will come in pairs - 1 each in Christmas Green and Kickstarter Green (for birthdays and other presents).
Some reward levels contain a case or half-case of Greet-o-matics. A full case is 24 units, along with 24 promo stickers and 24 green gift bows. A half-case is exactly half of those items.
Some reward levels come with reminder stickers. These are great since we expect to ship Greet-o-matics in September and you might forget about them by December. Stick these to your calendar to remind you that you have Greet-o-matics to use at Christmas time or the next birthday present you need to send. These stickers will also be great for sticking them to your wrapping paper boxes so that every time you go and get your wrapping supplies, you will be reminded.
Other reward levels come with T-shirts. These are high-quality green cotton T-shirts with our logo on them. Once funding has ended, backers will be sent a survey where they will provide us their desired shirt size.
If you are a classmate of Christian, you have the option of getting your reward hand delivered to you at his school at the beginning of 2015/2016 school year.
If we are able to raise $5,400 we will increase the recording time from 20 seconds to 30 seconds.
How did you come up with idea?"I was tired of opening old fashioned greeting cards. In my house there is a rule that says you must read the cards before you open the gifts. It was getting annoying. This way, the card will play automatically right as I open the present as light hits the photocell."
Who are Greet-o-matics good for?"They are good for people who don't like reading cards first. Also, some people don't know how to write, like little kids. Or good for people who can't read well too. They are also for anyone who wants to save time by not going to stores and picking out cards."
Why do you want to sell something and eventually make money?
"So I can get Skylanders for my PlayStation and a bass guitar."
Christian has been involved with this project every step of the way - from picking colors for everything to choosing and naming the Kickstarter rewards to reviewing the text you are reading now. According to him, he bought my company and now I'm a subsidiary of his! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
If you think Greet-o-matic is a good idea, or if you just want to support a 10-year-old inventor to see what's next, please consider becoming a backer and tell everyone you know! You rock!!!
To see the story that WDIV Detroit aired on Channel 4, click here (just promise to come back and become a backer!): http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/10yearold-creates-innovative-digital-greeting-card/34206834
Risks and challenges
We have worked very hard to get all the details of this product finalized prior to launching our Kickstarter campaign. We have fully-designed the product and already tested production samples. All that's left is to order the product, reward extras, shipping supplies, etc. Delays are always possible, but we are very confident with the plan we have in place and see no threats at the moment. We promise that if there are any changes to our schedule that we will be transparent and keep our backers in the loop. We are always available to address any question or concerns.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (31 days)