They say that a picture is worth a thousand words; our project is self-explanatory once you have seen this picture:-
We want to create a fun, surreal product that is still fully functional and practical.
Everybody knows the hand sign for "call me" and so why not put a smile on friends, colleagues and bystanders faces when making and receiving your phone calls?
Obviously you will still require functionality and with this in mind the Handiheadset can be plugged directly into the headphone jack of your mobile phone; there is a switch included that allows you to swap between Apple phones and android. We will also include an adaptor that allows you to plug the Handiheadset into a laptop/desktop computer for making skype / internet calls. You will be able to answer and hang-up calls using Handiheadset's button without the need to take your mobile phone out of your pocket.
We have identified and tested various designs and sizes culminating in a one (over)size-fits-all product that will help to emphasize the fun and novelty aspect. We now have several working prototypes that are being field tested and have been used in the production of our video. Based on the strange looks, enquiries and actual requests for the product that we received whilst filming we believe that the Handiheadset will prove to be a unique and popular way of standing out from the crowd.
Our next step, and the reasoning behind our Kickstarter campaign is to fund the physical mold production and to have the product itself tested and certified for sale ( CE, RoHS, R&TTE etc) we cannot do this without your help and in return you will be the lucky recipient of a unique and practical product.
For those that are interested in the back story of this project, current status and our projected timelines then please read on :-
Original design and concept
The original idea for this device has been kicking around for around 12 months, unfortunately due to other commitments and demanding teenage offspring the furthest that we could take this project up until January of this year was to patent the design in a number of countries that include the EU, Hong Kong and Australia. As from late January 2014 I had resigned as Director of two companies ( see the Bio for more information) and was finally able to dedicate the time that this project deserves.
First step was to create some design drawings --
As you can see the concept was there but we were struggling to get factories to understand exactly what was required and so had to improve on these with the following design images:-
Looks a lot better except for the fact that there was nowhere to put your hand!!
Solved the "where to put your hand" problem but lost all of the detail -- Aarrgh! Time for another attempt.
Final design / prototype technical drawings then followed:-
Now that we had the design we needed to create a prototype of this, initially we tried several attempts by hand :-
Once we had design and knew exactly how it should look then we turned our attention to the specifications of the product. As we are using passive speakers ( no batteries required) then we needed to make sure that the speaker is of high quality so that you do not need to put the thumb in your ear, we are now pleased and satisfied with the speaker quality. For the actual product material itself we produced swatches of hard plastic, vinyl and also a silicone variant. Due to a combination of price, mold costs, durability and hygiene the Handiheadsets will be produced in a hard plastic with a matte effect finish.
The next step was to choose a manufacturing partner to produce the Handiheadset, luckily this is an area in which I am proficient having spent the last 14 years dealing directly with factories in China. It is of paramount importance that any partner meets a demanding criteria with regards to sustainability, ethical trading, quality control and fulfillment. Our chosen partner has 10+ years of experience in producing telecom products exclusively, they understand exactly what is required to complete this project. The factory is 25,000 square metres and employs 300 people and I have personally visited and inspected working conditions and relevant certificates.
The anticipated timing is as follows:-
Kickstarter campaign completion -- Mid-June 2014
Funding received and mold production commences - End June 2014
Mold completed - Mid August 2014
Testing, certification and production completed - Mid September 2014
Arrival (by sea) in the UK and the US - Mid October 2014
Distribution and Handiheadset received - End October 2014
Stretch goals -- if we manage to reach 200% of our goal we will introduce additional colours for the Handiheadset, for the initial run this will only be available in flesh colour.
About us :-
The Handiheadset is a collaboration between two like minded individuals representing companies in Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.
Stephen Moore's full bio can be found in the bio section but briefly Stephen will be dealing with the factories, production and product certification.
Luke Ireland is based in the UK and makes frequent trips to Hong Kong. Luke represents Wild Hills where he has been the lead consultant on a wide range of projects. Having worked in and for clients at technology, Telecoms, Textiles, SaaS and Media business he consistently gets to the details of any issues and provides implementation plans to deliver results quickly. As well as being instrumental in the product development of the Handiheadset, Luke will be focussing on sales, marketing and deliverance of the Handiheadset in the UK and Europe
As well as sharing many interests, Luke and Stephen have worked together on a number of projects over the last five years and share a keen interest in finding solutions and helping businesses grow
Given my 14 years experience in dealing with factories in China I have tried to anticipate and pre-empt any potential obstacles / delays.
(1) Product delay -- Our manufacturing partner have already committed to a production plan based on a successful Kickstarter campaign. This means that staffing, production staff, raw materials etc will be allocated as soon as the funding goal has been reached
(2) Testing and certification -- The factory have been briefed to ensure that all of the individual components are of a high enough quality that they will meet all relevant requirements ( CE, RoHS, R&TTE etc). It will then be my responsibly to ensure that the individual components are assembled in such a way to ensure certification. The certification process will run concurrently with production to ensure that there are no delays.
(3) Packing -- We are still considering various packing options, we obviously want your Handiheadset to be protected during shipment but at the same time want to minimize the environmental impact of the packing material. We are now in the process of sampling 3 different options but know that the packing takes half the time of the product production and so have some time to decide
(4) Shipping -- Those of you that have chosen to receive your Handiheadset by registered airmail will have no issues. The remainder will be shipped by sea freight to Europe and the US and will then be distributed locally. We will ensure that all of the relevant paperwork, customs clearances and certification will be provided at time of loading. The one area that we will have little control over will be with customs clearances in China and then in Europe/ US -- if our consignment is singled out for additional checks then this may lead to a delay of 7-10 days
(5) We have been collaborating closely with our UK partner to ensure that once the goods have arrived in the UK they will be given a final inspection to maintain quality control before being individually shipped.
Now we are talking business -- a Handiheadset of your own complete with Computer connection ( normally sold separately). The first 1,000 backers will get this limited offer and a guarantee that theirs will be the first shipped before we fulfill retail orders
Do you fancy being an angel investor?
This amount gets you a flight to Hong Kong and a 4 night stay. We will visit the factory during production and you will receive the first ever Handiheadset. During your stay in Hong Kong I will act as your tour guide and show you around the fascinating sites. Flights will be economy class and you will stay at a 4-5 star hotel in Hong Kong and China.