About this project
“…this product reduces notifications to its barest element, which is useful and important, even if it might have pissed off Jobs”. TECH CRUNCH
“…a low price for any iPhone accessory, and this one actually does something other than just make it look a little cooler”. LOCKER GNOME
“It might be time to see things differently. Like literally see. Here’s myLED – A tiny LED add-on for your iDevice”. MASHABLE
“...the quirky and simple light system will be a real hit among some iPhone owners”. SHINY SHINY
“Better battery life, widgets, dedicated call answer/end button, dedicated camera shutter button and a notification LED … I’ll soon be able to mark one of those features off my list if the myLED Kickstarter project gets fully funded” THE GADGETEER
“myLED looks like a fantastic little device to remove the frustration of checking for notifications every minute or so when we’re expecting something”. N3RDABL3
What Is myLED?
myLED is an external notification light for iPhones and iPads that flashes to alert you of notifications such as missed calls, emails and social network updates. It allows you to keep informed of activity on your phone without having to switch on the screen.
myLED is packed with a ton of functionality and fits seamlessly into iOS devices. It sits inside the headphone jack to ensure full visibility from every direction, and when there is an interaction such as an email or missed call, myLED starts flashing to let you know.
myLED is an incredibly simple solution to an issue many of the 400 million iPhone and iPad users have: notifications. There is no convenient way to get alerts for activities such as missed calls, emails and social network updates on iOS - if you’ve used a BlackBerry or Android and have seen them flash to alert you, you'll understand the difference. Phone notifications are a small detail however it can cause much aggravation to check the phone for new activity every few minutes.
We have come to face the challenge of creating myLED from a personal need. We used to have Blackberrys and got accustomed to the extremely handy notification light. When we migrated to the iPhone and the iPad we felt the devices had a major deficiency in the lack of external notification i.e. to check for missed activities you must switch the screen on. This can be particularly inconvenient, for example when the device is on silent mode such as in the office, at meetings, lectures or when you are in noisy environments.
From this need we decided to find a better way to get notifications from our iPhones and iPads; so we created myLED.
How Does myLED Work?
myLED is a elegantly designed accessory with a micro-LED connected to the audio jack. You insert it into an iPhone or iPad, switch on the myLED app, and set what you’d like it to notify you of - missed calls, and Twitter updates for example. Now those incoming notifications will trigger myLED to flash, and it will continue flashing until you see what you’ve missed - alternatively you can program myLED to flash for a given time only.
Since myLED allows you to customize different blinking patterns for the various notifications, it is easy to see what kind of activity has happened at first sight.
Furthermore, myLED comes with a headphones clip so that when not in use it can be safely stowed.
myLED is a super-useful complement to any iOS device, so small and intuitive that it will feel as a natural part of your iPhone or iPad.
What Kind Of Alerts Can I Get On myLED?
- Missed Calls
Where We Are At
We have been designing and developing myLED for a couple of months applying lean methods to the entire process. We set out with a goal of creating an MVP (Minimal Viable Product) and to complete a proof of concept.
We successfully built a number of prototypes, iterated through a few designs and developed a basic working iOS app that enables myLED to run on the iPhone and iPad.
The next stage is to launch the project here on Kickstarter in order to gauge interest in the product. While we are generating funds we can complete the development of the myLED jack and start to produce packaging concepts and detailed plans for the app architecture. As soon as funding is available to use, manufacture can commence.
Why We Need You…
We are raising money to revolutionize the way notifications work on iOS.
Our team is in advanced discussion with a manufacturer and in order to produce myLED on an industrial level we need to address the following:
- Tooling, manufacturing and assembly: the production of the bespoke 3.5mm jack requires special tooling, and this costs several thousand dollars alone. The soldering process for connecting the micro-LEDs to the jack needs high precision and it is also highly expensive.
- Injection molding: to manufacture the white casing we need to create a custom-made mold for plastic injection.
- App development: we need to continue developing our software in order to reach full functionality, and for this we’ve found highly skilled and experienced developers who are working for us.
- Finally, we have to package and ship myLED to you.
Does myLED flash in different colors? Currently myLED produces a red flash. We choose to create myLED with a single color in-order to minimize the size of the device, which otherwise would require significantly more electronic components. This design also ensures minimal power consumption that may otherwise significantly affect battery life on an iOS device.
Does myLED alert for text messages? At this point we are facing challenges making text messages work with myLED so we expect the initial app to ship only with notifications for Calls, Emails, FB, Twitter and Skype.
Can I use earphones while myLED is in use? No, myLED is inserted into the headphones input and so headphones can’t be used together with myLED - that said, the whole point of myLED is to alert you to phone activity when you’re away from it. Also, a plastic clip to hold myLED to your headphones set when not in use will be shipped as part of your myLED package.
Do I need to install software on my iOS device for myLED to work? Yes, you install a free app that interfaces and controls the settings for myLED. The app will be free for download to all our backers.
Does the app need to be "on" for myLED to work? Yes, myLED app needs to run in the background and we are currently working on further minimizing battery consumption. Our tests on iPad 3 showed 80hrs of battery life with myLED app running in the background and wi-fi data connection switched on.
Is myLED compatible with all iOS devices? Currently myLED has been successfully tested with iPhone 3, 3S, 4, 4S, 5 iPad 2, The New iPad.
I want to order more than one myLED – how can I do it? Due to the new Kickstarter rules for manufacturing projects we have not been able to insert more rewards for multiple quantities (for example a x2, x3, x10 packs etc). However you can pledge a sum equal to the price of the reward desired x the number of myLEDs you want. We intend to do a survey at the end of the funding to collect addresses and make sure everyone receive what they pledged for.
Also, please contact us directly if you are interested in a large quantity purchase (x10 myLEDs or more) to secure the best deal.
Risks and challenges
By pledging you get to be involved in an innovative project and we endeavour to reward you for that, but you also agree to share the residual development risks and challenges with us.
One risk is app approval by Apple for the AppStore.
Gaining access to notifications on the phone log is blocked for most apps and we are having to work hard to find solutions that don’t use this method.
While we will work tirelessly to create an app that is acceptable to Apple and feel that we can do so, we cannot make guarantees since this process is outside of our control.
The final development of the app will continue as soon as the funds are available to us, and we will be submitting our app for approval at the first opportunity. However, given the nature of our delivery programme, we will be likely to hear back from Apple once the product and packaging production is well underway and these activities will absorb almost the entirety of the money raised on kickstarter. For this reason, if we come up against an insurmountable problem with the app approval, we will be unable to offer refunds.
Unexpected software development obstacles could be a risk too, although we have carried out a large number of experiments with our developer to ensure the feasibility of all the features and details that are still to be implemented in the final app.
myLED working with text messages
We have run into a challenge getting the app working with the text message client. We are exploring alternative solutions and will inform our pledgers on progress throughout software development.
Shipping time can be delayed subject to manufacturing delays. Issues in any part of the production process can cause delays to expected shipping date. We will keep our pledgers fully informed of every stage of our progress.
Yes, myLED will blink on iPhone5!
The new audio hardware architecture that Apple implemented in iPhone 5 has a completely different response spectrum compared to what in iPhone 4 and iPad. This new configuration offers significantly lower energy output compared to the previous systems - we had to strengthen our signal in the frequencies where the iPhone5 is more responsive to get myLED to work with the little current/power available. We are waiting for new micro LED components which are due to arrive early next week to further work on optimising the brightness and efficiency of myLED both with iPhones and iPad and we will keep you posted of any progresses made.
Anyone wanting to change there pledge to include a new/different myLED or a combo can do the following. Cancel your old pledge then upgrade your new pledge to the total price of the myLEDs you want. Say the $15 package + $28 emerald = $43 for both. At the end of the funding period we will send out a survey to confirm exactly what you ordered and the right quantities.
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