About this project
MEET THE "ARK"
ARK is the next generation of wireless phone charging. ARK charges your cellphones at any time; any place, and most importantly, it is 100% cord free ---- which will make your life easier than ever before. ARK is extremely easy to use, stable, reliable, and fits into your everyday life. ARK is the result of our efforts to make life simpler. Once you become acquainted with its wireless charging capabilities, ARK will become an integral part of your daily life.
PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT ARK
HOW TO MAKE THE PLEDGE
Pledge for the reward package most suitable for you. Find out more about phone coverage in Update #5.
LET'S GO EVEN FURTHER
Learn more about the stretch goals in the Update #6.
The ARK - Kickstarter Limited Edition is also unlocked and available now. Please see Update #16 for detials.
WILL MY PHONE WORK WITH ARK?
This is the Top One question everyone's asking about. In sum, we made the ARK compatible to most of the popular devices, including:
- iPhone 4/4s/5/5c/5s,
- Nokia Lumia 920 and 1020,
- SAMSUNG Galaxy S3/S4,
- SAMSUNG Note 2 and 3,
- Google Nexus 4/5/7 and etc.*
For more supporting phones and our plan of covering more phone models, please go to the Update #1.
*For certain phones, accessories are required to enable its wireless charging capability.
ARK’S COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES
Drop and Go. ARK is made with the idea of being easy to use which starts by simply dropping your phone onto it to start charging. Any time you need to make a call or check messages, just pick the phone up and you are free to go. We also adopted an innovative wireless charging technique to make it charge smartphones even faster than traditional wired chargers.
Easy to Carry. ARK has a super clean, minimalistic build. It is compact and fully mobile. It fits in most pockets, handbags and backpacks. An ARK by your side is a reliable all-day power supply within arm’s reach, whether you’re on a business trip or enjoying a night out.
Reinforced enclosures. Built from High-end rigid materials with anti-scratch outside layers make the ARK durable, ready for indoor and outdoor use. Wondering if you can bring the same office phone charger with you while hiking in Yosemite? Don’t worry! ARK is designed for both office use, and sturdy enough for the great outdoors!
Blends into anywhere. We care about details; every ARK is meticulously engineered and crafted from high-end materials. It is then shaped with round corners, subtle edges for sleek outlining, and coated with hard layers to achieve a feel you would never expect from a plastic product.We care more about the feel it delivers, when ARK goes with you into different places. A café by the street, a vintage library in the center of campus or even a noisy bar on top of a metropolitan tower, the simplicity and stylish design of ARK is always reflecting congeniality to your temperament and taste.
HOW ARK IS BUILT
Everyone’s been in a situation where you need your phone but you unexpectedly ran out of battery. You may forget to bring the charging cable with you, or you can’t find a wall outlet. We started sketching our ideas to design a product that solves this everyday problem.
At the same time, we knew from the very beginning that a product bearing such a solution must be simple, beautiful, and different from anything else on the market. We started from building the functionalities.
At first, we want to build a prototype to see if existing components can realize our planed function. We prepared circuit boards and weld everything up. A case is also 3D-printed to hold all the interior parts together, to make this prototype able to serve its function. The case looked simple but worked well. Here's the graph and model of it.
Here is a general look of the 1st prototype, with a 3D printed case and a top cover.
Our initial test verified that our wireless charging technology is functional.
Here's a video showing the actual working status of the first prototype:
Then we moved on to design the mass production version, a better version of ARK.
In stage I, we worked on the general look of the ARK’s case, including basic shapes and dimensions.
The process is not easy. Even during initial steps with 3D models in computer, we did several reworks. We started from a design with opening in the bottom face(upper part in the picture), but changed to another with opening on the top(lower part in the picture), after discussion about production availability and structure reliability. Later we also played a little magic to hide the seals so you won't see the exact opening.
Then we furnished around other details to adjust the structure to its best conditions, then CNCed a few sample cases from the 3D model file extracted from SolidWorks. Here's a comparison of blueprint with the actual case:
In stage II, we lined up a series of scenarios that people would use ARK as references to first split out any possible design flaws with regards to ARK’s shape ---- such as the way people will hold it, the way people will carry it in their pockets, and the most comfortable way people may touch the button. Based on our research, we carefully chose the size, location and configuration of each element, and made our second version of ARK.
Then we moved inside of the ARK, started our work on the PCBs (Power Control Boards). We know for a charger, battery related performances are always the most important. So we designed our own power control chip circuit board. This came after the design of the case since we need to know the best fit of its shape and size into the case. Then we lay down the components on IC software. (Partly shown below)
The first design of the PCB (Ver.1) encountered overheating problem, wasting much battery life-time when working. We went back to the whiteboard and revised the basic layout of the PCB, checked any possible upgrades and replacements of each component on the board. When the new bare board arrived with other components, we worked around the clock to weld it up to a new PCB ver.2. After a few tests we figured the upgrade was successful, with improvements of
- Higher charging efficiency
- Less heat emission and lower energy waste during charging
- The response to detect and charge a phone is much faster than Ver.1
The advantage on general performance is further stated in later sections.
After careful extraction from our sketches and plans, the ARK, at the final mass production stage, will be like this:
- Wireless charging capable with all Qi-certified devices.
- 3.54 x 3.54 x 0.78 inch (90x90x20mm) in dimensions, 5.99 ounces (170g) in weight. Standard USB output 5.2V 2A max.
- 5200mAh Poly-Li-ion battery up to 3 full charges with smart phones.
- 4 battery level indicator LEDs + 1 working status LED.
- Reinforced major structure with glossy anti-scratch coatings.
- FCC / CE-EMC / CE-ROHS certified.
- 100% recyclable and environment friendly packaged.
To maximize ARK’s capabilities, we added a USB port to the front to allow for dual charging. It can charge two devices at the same time: one through wireless and one through the USB port. For those carrying a phone and a tablet all the time, now you have the option to charge both simultaneously.
We also made the ARK unique by adding the Smart-Charging feature. It is based on ARK’s own processor that keeps an eye on power consumption. It turns off automatically when not in use after a few seconds to save the battery life. What’s essential is ARK detects the charging status of both your phone and the internal battery. It combines the information, analyzes it and decides whether to charge only the phone, or both batteries under an energy-saving pattern.
Efficiency and better performance are the factors we won’t overlook. The ARK is built to charge fast and archive high energy yielding rates. According to our tests, the ARK charged the phone 20% faster than other wireless mattresses; also 5% faster compared to traditional cable-charging from other battery packs. On the other hand, less heat release means better energy saving. The temperature rising of ARK, after working for an amount of time, is also much less when compared to other battery packs from the market.
*Field tests were conducted using “charging the same iPhone 5s from 10% battery level to 100% battery” as an unchanged reference. The actual results may vary under different conditions. The shown figures and data was imported only for general reference.
*Please note: charging case/patches are needed for iPhone and Samsung Galaxy series to enable their wireless charging “receiving” capability. Please choose them accordingly, to match your phone model (looking for 4/4s, 5/5s, S3, S4 in reward options). The case and patch are shown as below. You will receive detailed user instruction when we shipped the product.
*Syncing with computer is available when the case/patch is installed. Please see the update#8 for details.
In mass production, the ARK will come in two colors. White the Utopian and black the Stealth. At the end of the project, a survey will be conducted to every backer to collect everyone's preferred color for ARK. If you purchased a package that includes a phone case, the color of the case will match the ARK's color that you have chosen.
YOUR SUPPORT HELPS ARK MOVES ON
Creating the next generation of wireless chargers is not easy. We understand your eager to get your hand on ARK as soon as possible. We are doing our best to get prepared.
OUR CURRENT PROGRESS: After that first functional prototype we contacted several suppliers to prepare sample components and another manufacturer to get the case design into sample production. The result of these efforts is what you see in previous contents--- the fully functioning test prototype mark II shows up everywhere in the video and photos. The prototype mark II is of course not only for pictures, we are running intensive test on its performances in various situations to ensure reliability and error-free operation. When the tests are done, we give the feedback to factories so they can put modifications and upgrades to components, as we required.
FURTHER PRODUCTION PLAN: Mass production is always initiated by bulk of cash. That’s why we need the support from you kickstarters. As long as the funding goal is reached, we will immediately move into following steps including mold finishing(yes, glazed with Chrome), case modeling production, PCB finalizing and general assembling. The detailed production schedule is listed as below.
Part of the procedures stated in the table is already on its path, i.e. cases and batteries will be a few ahead of the production of PCBs. Thus we decided to expedite factories to finish the quantities of each Early Bird batch first. Based on its actual QTY the shipping date will be close to mid-February. Then follows the rest of other plain batches, with ETD of late-March.
BEZALEL is a Los Angeles based design and manufacturing team behind ARK.
It is now consisted by four recent college graduates, Frank Wu, Kris Tong, Macy Lin and Jam Isaga. These four are all crazy about technology and eager to simplify people’s lives.
Frank has a Masters of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Southern California, loves music, and good in holding public events. As the leader of this entire team, he gives the major direction where the team shall put down effort. He’s also communicating through his network to populate our idea among vast friends.
Kris has a Masters of Science in Materials Engineering from the University of Southern California, crazy about tearing down electric devices and make interesting projects. He’s the contact to all suppliers and manufacturers in China. He also joined in the design/fabrication of PCBs in ARK, and details finishing to the ARK’s case, as from the aspect of an engineer.
Macy has a Masters in Fine Arts in Industrial Design from the Academy of Art University in SF, and also has abundant experience in both product design and UI design, bearing a Red Dot Award in 2013. She’s in the backstage of external design issues, including the case, the package and visual identity elements i.e. the producing of the video, pictures and website content layouts of what you’re now reading.
Jam is majoring in B.S in Health Science - Management from California State University - Dominguez Hills. She has years of experience in retail both in-store settings, and on-line. She's been a very successful entrepreneur in both eBay and Amazon stores. Her passion in both sales and technology topped off by her skills and professionalism made her the person in charge of marketing for BEZALEL.
BEZALEL is a culmination of our best understanding to the relationship between our life and technology. It is about delivering something that is simple to use, yet conveys a feeling that enhances our everyday life.
We put all these beliefs into ARK, our first creation. We are so glad to see ARK becoming real (with help from everyone including you). We believe that this small object can make huge difference in the world.
* BEZALEL and ARK are both registered trademarks. The ARK is patent pending
What devices are supported? How can I charge my phone?
For wireless charging, we have cases/patches to enable most popular smartphones including iPhone 4/4s/5/5s, Samsung Galaxy S3/S4. The S3 patch also works with S2 models. (Carrier exclusive models not clear, we are testing on them).
For any device that is Qi-wireless charging capable, you can use it directly with ARK without adding any case or patch. We've tried our best to find out the list but the coverage can't be complete. As so far we know Nokia Lumia 1520/928/920/822/810/820, Google Nexus 4/5/7 and a few HTC models. Here's a database provided by the Qi-Wireless Power Consortium http://www.wirelesspowerconsortium.com/products/ . You can search the database to see if your device is Qi-certified. If yes, it works with ARK, directly.
For USB charging, of course, it works with all smartphones, and most major brand tablets.
How to use the cases/patches?
We've realized a mass requirement on seeing the picture and user instruction about cases/patches, so we will put that (even adding a video) in to later updates so you guys can see all of that.
Will there be a case/patch coming later for my phone?
The answer is yes. We know everyone want to use your phone with ARK to have the fun and convenience of wireless charging. So we are working around the clock to expand our charging coverage beyond iPhone 4/4s/5/5s, Samsung Galaxy S3/S4. In our current time line the case for 5c and patch for Samsung Note series will come first. After that we're thinking about replace the iPhone cases with much more smaller patches. We will keep you all updated about this.
How to charge the ARK itself? How long time do I need to charge the ARK?
There will be a USB cable provided in the package when you receive the ARK. The ARK can be charged with the cable and attached to regular adapter you use for your smart phone, or directly connect to your laptop's USB port. It actually depends on how frequently you charge your phone. The charger can hold a battery capacity to charge iPhone to full 3 times. So if you charge your iPhone 1 time per day, the charger can sustain 3 days.
Risks and challenges
Building a consumer electronic product is a complex and time-consuming task. We are ready for challenges and know there are many pieces that will need to be put together for it to work. Especially for battery backups, as there are already varies of similar products selling on the market.
The biggest challenge is the delay from manufacturers. It is caused by multiple facts. One is the inefficient communication between our team and the manufacturers. The other is the compromise of both design and quality from actual products to what we had expected due to limited technologies and time schedules. Some of the problems were even not predictable until the factory ran their first try.
Cooperating with overseas manufacturers is not easy. It is never as easy as emailing orders and sending faxes. To resolve the situation we’ve assigned a team member to China to talk with the manufacturers. This team member will coordinate with manufacturers to keep up the schedule, and ensure the implementation of design specifications. We believe it can minimize delays while maintaining required quality.
Second challenge is obviously the finance. Only with the help from Kickstarter community, will we be able to visualize our plan and to deliver the best components, tooling, manufacture, quality control and the best product.
We are not being scared away by these challenges. Instead we are taking them seriously. We are committed to bring the ARK up to the market. With your help, we are in confident to complete all above tasks and move into production.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Support this project
- (45 days)