This project's funding goal was not reached on April 25, 2014.
About this project
OCHO improves lives by sending and receiving customizable messages and reminders to loved ones. OCHO technology connects the things people rely on every day to notifications that help organize their time and their lives. OCHO allows users to set specific actions like reminders, sending a message to a loved one or simply time tracking. Sample actions include:
- A child arrives home from school: OCHO sends a notification to the parents' phones - “Your daughter arrived home just now.”
- A spouse returns from work: OCHO displays a message - "Welcome home! Food in oven. Love You!”
- Your roommate borrows your car while you’re out of town: OCHO lets you know when he returns the keys—“Your car has been returned safely.”
OCHO - Infinite Possibilities!!
How does OCHO achieve all of this? We call it clever use of technology. When we started the project we had eight clear use cases; thus we named it OCHO (eight in Spanish):
- Just in Time Messaging: When Matt’s keys touch Home OCHO Pad, message him “Casserole is in the oven.”
- Phone Charging: If my phone isn’t plugged in at 10pm, message me and my husband with “Plug in your phone!”
- Teenager Surveillance Without Being Creepy Like GPS: If Brandon’s keys aren’t on Home OCHO Pad at 11pm, sound the alarm on my iPhone.
- Keep Significant Others Up to Date with Schedule: When Mike’s keys are taken off my Work OCHO Pad between 4:30pm and 8pm, message Rachel “On my way home. - Mike”
- Effortless Status Updates: Check if your significant other has made it home by 6pm.
- Keep your keys where they should be: If my keys aren't on the tray at 10pm, send me a notification to find them so I'm not scrambling in the morning.
- Social Alarm Clock : If I haven't left home by 7:45am, sound my alarm on my phone, start flashing the lights, notify my significant other.
The heart of OCHO lives on a cloud computing platform where our database diligently monitors little details in your life and processes all of your daily check-ins to create a private online view of your life. Since check-ins are key to the success of OCHO, we made it easy. Simply place an OCHO Pad on your dresser, and another anywhere you want such as the door to the garage, on your desk at work, or anywhere. You can use as many OCHO Pads as you’d like, and they all work in harmony to help the OCHO App create a picture of your life. From there, the app takes charge, reminding you when you forget to check things in on time, monitoring the charging of your phones, etc. Soon we realized the uses were infinte. So think of OCHO as eight (8) to infinity (∞).
OCHO Cloud has a full track record of a user’s time log and events. We aim to create an open platform so other developers can make use of all those data and create new uses for OCHO. The possibilities are endless.
The entire system will be an open platform. So our plans for simplifying life are just the beginning. When programmers around the world put their heads together, their imagination is the only limit to the usefulness of the OCHO ecosystem. Businesses can use it to keep track of shared assets. Libraries can keep track of books. Tradeshow exhibitors can use it as an easier method of lead generation. As you can see, with OCHO, there really are infinite possibilities...
The OCHO Pad is the primary gateway into the OCHO ecosystem. By using NFC tags, infrared sensors, and smart USB ports, the OCHO Pad connects the everyday things you rely on most to the notifications that help you better organize your time.
When space is at a premium or you just want a second gateway, the OCHO Mini provides the best features of the OCHO system with a third of the footprint. While it doesn't do everything its bigger counterpart does, it still provides instantaneous notification whenever an OCHO tag is placed on it.
OCHO Tags let either device know when an item is present. Colorful, fun, and uniquely identifiable, these tags can go anywhere your things go. Whether it's a keychain, wallet or whatever you want to track, there’s an OCHO Tag that will do the job. And the best part…there’s no battery to charge or replace, and the tags last forever! OCHO Tags will initially be available in two form factors: keychain and sticker. In the future we will launch different designs and new varieties to suit individual needs.
The OCHO Cloud is our backend system. It’s designed for ease of use and easy access to make sure the messages, settings and data are all available wherever is most convenient for you.
Whether you’re leaving a note for a loved one, setting a reminder for yourself, or just changing the clock on the OCHO Pad, the OCHO App is where you’ll be able to customize the OCHO system to your liking. The basic app features include:
- View recent OCHO activity.
- Quick view of OCHO status.
- Register OCHO Pad and identify OCHO tags.
- Create, edit, enable / disable Little Rules composed of events which trigger messages.
- Events can be presence or absence of OCHO tags, or touching or removing the OCHO tags from OCHO Pad.
- Messages can be sent by email or push notification, or sent to OCHO Pad display (not OCHO mini).
A short demo of how OCHO works with auto-notification
The OCHO ecosystem consists of OCHO Pad (and OCHO Mini), OCHO Cloud, OCHO App and OCHO Tags.
OCHO Tags with OCHO Pad
When you place an OCHO Tag on the OCHO Pad, the key tray reads the tag and performs an action of your choosing. The Tag contains an embedded NFC chip that requires no power and never needs replacing.
Each tag has a unique ID so that OCHO knows exactly what that specific tag is supposed to do and who it belongs to.
OCHO Pad with OCHO Cloud
Using WiFi, the OCHO Pad remains in constant contact with the OCHO Cloud. Whenever you change a setting, set a reminder or leave a message, the OCHO cloud instantly pushes that information to the OCHO Pad. Whether you’re at work, home or anywhere in-between the OCHO cloud is the always available gateway to your OCHO devices.
OCHO Cloud with OCHO App
When using a browser isn’t convenient, the OCHO App is a simple and easy way to access the cloud on the go. The OCHO App is more than just a mobile interface for the OCHO ecosystem; it also provides OCHO parental control features. OCHO functionality can be limited for your children, letting them still receive, post and set reminders without being able to alter notifications that you’ve set for them.
OCHO App with OCHO Tags
Since each OCHO Tag has a unique ID, you can take specific actions for specific tags. Simply name each tag with something easily identifiable (like “Mom’s Keys”) and you’ll know exactly what items are in place or missing from your OCHO Pad.
OCHO Ecosystem: A brand new consumer electronics category.
OCHO hardware is based on NFC (Near Field Communication) technology and is engineered by a team involved with various RFID projects for over 10 years. We started building the OCHO ecosystem in 2013 and spent 10 months testing different designs, improving RF antenna reception and anti-collision between NFC tags to derive a failsafe solution for consumers’ daily use. We have patent pendings on the OCHO ecosystem and the design of our OCHO hardware.
Making of the Hardware:
OCHO Pad (or OCHO Mini) is primarily a NFC device with a built-in WiFi module. Both hardware utilize NFC (Near Field Communications) technology to read the Tag IDs of OCHO Tags. NFC is a set of standards for smartphones and similar devices to establish radio communication with each other by touching them together or bringing them into proximity, usually no more than a few inches.
When an OCHO Tag touches an OCHO Pad (or OCHO mini), it reads the Tag ID data, records the event time and stores it in its internal memory as a new touch event data packet. This data packet will be sent to OCHO Cloud via its WiFi module. In addition, to avoid RF reception drop and RF collision between NFC tags, a second set of Infra-red (IR) sensors acting as a redundancy system are used to monitor all items on the OCHO Pad (or OCHO Mini). By utilizing both NFC RFID and IR detections, OCHO Pad (or OCHO Mini) can accurately detect the exact check-in/check-out time of each OCHO Tag. Another advantage is that an item without an OCHO tag can also be deducted without Tag ID simply by utilizing the IR sensor.
The core of OCHO Pad (and OCHO Mini) is a 32-bit ARM processor with firmware upgrade ability which allows users to enjoy the new benefits and improvements of any firmware revisions after they purchase their units. OCHO Pad has two spare USB ports for charging other USB gadgets and an OLED display. OCHO Pad can deduct changing events to inform or alert its users. The OLED display not only displays the OCHO Pad status; it can act as a text message screen defined by its users via OCHO App.
OCHO Tags are at their core, an NFC tag. The advantage of using NFC for OCHO Tags is that it requires no batteries; thus, theoretically an OCHO Tag can lasts until it breaks. Utilizing NFC as an ISO standard technology allows OCHO Tags to be read by other NFC smartphones when we derive new applications where using smartphones as mobile stations are applicable. OCHO Tags will initially be available in three form factors: keychain, card and sticker. In the future we will launch different designs and new varieties to suit individual needs.
Making of the software:
We are designing the OCHO Cloud and Apps to be intuitive and simple to use, yet rich enough to unleash the creativity of our users. Our goal is to provide users with a fluid experience provided by a furiously fast backend and polished user interface. We designed our Little Rules to read just like spoken language, but still be precise enough to compile directly into events that can be triggered by a simple touch. The backend is written in Django which supports state of the art authentication and encryption. We chose Amazon Elastic Beanstalk as our app platform for its combination of ease of use, scalability and reliability. Our users will expect that every OCHO event will be handled correctly, 100% of the time, and we have chosen an infrastructure with minimal downtime for that reason. We've loved working on the OCHO so far: it poses many interesting challenges and rewards, and will bring plenty more as we scale our user base.
Does OCHO require a subscription fee?
No, there is no subscription required. Buying the starter kit is all you need to setup and run OCHO.
How do I set up OCHO?
Setting up OCHO is simple! Just connect your OCHO Pad to your WiFi network. Then, open the OCHO App, and you'll be prompted to create an account. Once you've done this, you're good to go!
Does OCHO work on Android, iOS, or Windows Phone?
All of the above! OCHO will work on Android, iOS, Windows Phone, as well as any modern web browser.
How long will my OCHO tag last?
OCHO tags have an infinite lifetime. OCHO tags use NFC passive technology which means that no charging is required and there are no batteries to replace.
Is OCHO Pad patented?
Yes. There are patents pending for the OCHO ecosystem.
When will OCHO start to ship?
We will begin shipping the very first orders in September, 2014; the rest will follow throughout the Fall.
How many tags can be on my OCHO at any one time?
You can have as many tags as you want associated with an OCHO pad or OCHO mini, but only 3 tags may be present on a single device at one time. For the OCHO pad, the two side pads allow 2 additional objects to be detected, however they are not uniquely identified by NFC.
How did we come up with the name OCHO?
Glad you asked! When coming up with all of the uses for OCHO, the list started with eight (8) items. We soon realized that there was an infinite (∞) amount of uses! We chose OCHO (eight in Spanish), because the number eight, when turned sideways, becomes the infinity sign.
We value technology and its ability to free up time for the things that really matter. Like many people, we feel obligated to notify our loved ones when we arrive home. Family members are forced to text and call each other when an effortless notification could do. Simple problems like these can be a thing of the past and are solved with the simple technology we call OCHO.
For less than $100, OCHO supporters gain access to a tool that allows them to streamline the communication process with their loved ones and to keep their items organized. OCHO records real time events, such as your commute to work. This allows OCHO to tell its users things like when to leave for work so they can enjoy the fastest commute time. OCHO can also keep track of time spent running errands, and even chart out progress on your exercise routine. And that's just the beginning!
The OCHO ecosystem is built upon the ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) concept. IoT gadgets are important because they generate data points in the real world with physical events/activities. The data generated from real world events is more valuable, meaningful and accurate than the web activated guesses on which many people currently rely.
Risks and challenges
The core of the OCHO ecosystem is to perfect and engineer a hardware platform to read multiple NFC tags and communicate with our cloud server. The fundamental hardware engineering and proof of concepts have been finished; the industrial design and mechanical design are now finalized. The whole project is now ready to enter the production phase.
Most backers' concerns would be the turnaround time from Kickstarter concept to a deliverable product. For our OCHO project, we have executed all the initial engineering work. The hardware engineering team on the OCHO project have over 10 years of experience in engineering and manufacturing consumer electronic products. From the very beginning, we had engineered the OCHO hardware so that it is completely feasible for high volume production. The schedule forecast of an initial delivery at September 2014 is a realistic timeline.
We promised to deliver the initial shipment to the Kickstarter’s backer by September 2014. We are serious in making this commitment. Your contribution will help us fund the production phase to bring OCHO to consumers worldwide, which includes: injection moulding, component ordering, product certifications, software and cloud architecture refinement, and production cost.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
What kind of background do you have that qualifies you as a creator of this device and future fulfillment?
Anthony Garvan has been writing software for startups and fortune 100 companies for 7 years, and Don Leung (Director of Hardware) has been manufacturing electronics for 2 generations. Check out our LinkedIn profiles for more details:
Is there a way to add on more OCHO Tags? I am interested in the tag cards you mention briefly on your project page. Are those specifically designed for wallets?
After the Kickstarter campaign, on our website: www.ochopad.com. OCHO Tag cards are not just for wallets, they can also be used like luggage tags.
You say that you can use as many OCHO Pads as you like, does each have to be programmed separately? How easy or difficult is it to keep track of which pad is which, can we name them in the OCHO app?
You can manage as many OCHO devices as you like from a single user account. You will have to set up messages / reminders for each device you have, they will not be automatically copied over. When you register a new OCHO pad to your account you will be given the chance to name it. You can also name the tags.
Could I put an OCHO Tag on the dog leash so I know when the dog walker has come by my home? How do the OCHO Tags work for those of us who dont know what NFC means?
Yes, and that's a great use case. NFC works by sending out a radio wave from the base to a little circuit in the tag. Using the power from the radio wave, the tag transmits back a unique identification number, which gets read by the base and sent back to the cloud. As long as the tag is touching the base, and event will be triggered.
Why does the pledge tiers themselves say that you will get 5 tags, when the graphic in the description on the page says 3 tags and 2 stickers. How do the stickers work? How durable are they? How big are the stickers?
Stickers are actually NFC tag stickers. Just stick it to an item to make it an OCHO-tagged item. They are made of a flexible laminated plastic. They have no battery and no moving parts. They will last as long as you don't cut / tear the stickers apart. Stickers are 1.1 inch in diameter. If you prefer all tags, we can provide just tags.
Short answer: Not now. NFC chipset works in 3 modes : READ / WRITE / TAG EMULATION. To get your NFC phone to work as a NFC tag you really need to use the emulation function of NFC chipset. Therefore we did not cover this function at this point in time.
Each OCHO can read three NFC tags at a given time. The OCHO Pad also has two larger sections equipped with infrared sensors. The OCHO Pad can simultaneously track five objects resting on its surface.
- (30 days)