A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
Introducing blö, the Future of Wearable Cooling Technology....
Stay Cool Wherever You Are
blö is perfect for hanging out with friends, at BBQs, family outings, sports events, dog walking, and so much more...
The Possibilities Are Endless
How it Works
blö is a cross between a fan and an air conditioner. It uses a small motor and a blade to create airflow, but it doesn't work like typical fan. It draws air in through a chamber where it passes over peppermint oil which acts as the cooling agent. You don't have to use the peppermint oil, it just enhances the cooling sensation and cools you off much quicker.
The cooler air flows out of the bottom and sides and focuses on a small area of your skin at a targeted location. Unlike a fan that tries to get maximum airflow, blö cools off a small portion on your body using ambient cooling, similar to how an ice cube cools you off. Once that area gets cold, the rest of your body adjusts and you get cooler. When you combine that with the effects of peppermint oil described below you get the perfect combo to cool you off quickly.
How Peppermint Oil Cools You Off
The receptor protein that senses change in temperature is called TRPM8 and is found in all cold sensing nerves. The menthol in peppermint oil binds directly to TRPM8 and activates it which allows the body to feel cooler. Ref: 1.
We combined ambient cooling and TRPM8 activation with targeted locations on the body to create a maximum cooling effect.
blö was designed so you can attach it to your clothing at natural cooling locations on your body.
The Brain Stem Regulates Body Temperature
The area of the brain that senses and regulates body temperature is located at the base of the neck in an area known as the brain stem.
blö was strategically designed to be placed at the base of your neck to cool you off faster. When you cool this area down the rest of your body becomes cooler.
blö works just as well when positioned on the front of your body or on your lower back.
Walking Around Outside
blö can be used even when you're dressed up and can blend in with your outfit while you're walking to work, or even going out with friends!
blö not only cools you off, but it also allows essential oil users to enjoy the health benefits of their small diffuser on the go.
Peppermint oil makes the air feel much colder. Not only that, it smells great too and has healing properties!
Essential oils belonging to the mint family, especially those with higher percentages of menthol, like Peppermint Oil, will help make the body feel cooler. Mentholhas the ability to trick receptors in the brain into thinking that the body is cooler than it really is. Ref: 2
We also recommend using lemongrass essential oil. It both repels mosquitos and relaxes you at the same time, but you can add other oils as well.
The cool thing about blö is it is designed so you can add whatever essential oils you want depending on your preference. The possibilities are endless!
Inhaling the fragrance of essential oils benefits the sympathetic nervous system. Inhalation of essential oils has shown a decrease in blood pressure and can be used to regulate dysfunctions of the sympathetic nervous system. (Haze, et al. 2002) Ref: 3
Essential Oil Inserts
Our essential oil inserts are created using sustainable materials: recycled tin, plastic, and felt!
Keep your blö charged while you are on the go. Our blö power bank (4000mAh) charges your blö in just 1 hour and 15 minutes. Get yours and stay cool wherever you go!
T-Shirt and Tank Top
Spread the word about blö and let the world know how cool and comfortable you are!
How did we get here? Here’s the quick version. Founder and CEO, Rob Lupi, and Creative Director Andy first met in the Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton. They became fast friends and worked on several intelligence missions together. In their spare time time they surfed everyday because it was hot and that was the best way to cool off.
After Rob left the military, he went to UCLA, studied psychology, and surfed as much as he could. Upon graduating, his plan was to take government contracting jobs, all over the world and surf. Rob did that for several years and lived in some awesome places! Andy did the same and sometimes they had jobs in the same locations. Almost all of the places were hot and humid, and nothing existed that they could take with them to cool off outside. This was a reoccurring problem and there was no solution in sight….
Eventually Rob made his way back to Los Angeles where he was attending Marshall business school at USC. One day he was out with some friends during a heatwave in downtown LA. It was the fifth day of 100-degree weather, with no end in sight. They were complaining about how hot it was outside and Rob casually mentioned that it would be great if there was portable AC that you could clip in your collar that would cool you off while you were walking outside. Rob's friends loved the idea and they talked about it the rest of the night. Little did he know, this was the beginning of blö.
Rob met Collin when he was looking for an industrial designer to help him make his dream a reality. Both being from Ohio and having the Marine Corps connection, as Collin's brother is in the Marines, they became friends pretty quickly. They worked endlessly on design changes for blö and made over 50 prototypes until they were satisfied. Rob then recruited Andy onboard and that was how the original blö team was formed.
blo technology is a small, self funded company, but we make up for it with determination and the belief that getting this product into peoples' hands can truly make a meaningful impact on their lives. We've worked really hard over the last two years and had a lot of fun creating blö for the masses.
We have all of our components sourced and have teamed up with advisors and engineers with a proven track record in manufacturing. We've already had a DFM completed and are in the process of ordering our tooling. We've also teamed up with BackerKit because we realize there is a lot of work involved after our campaign ends so want to make sure we do everything the right way and get blö into your hands as soon as possible. Now we need your support to help increase our volume to drive down our costs.
Your Funds Will Help
Make it possible to order a larger volume of components
Increase our first production run
Drive down manufacturing costs
We (Rob, Andy, Collin) are very excited to have created this micro cooling device, and to be able to finally share it with you. We hope you love your blö just as much as we do! Here's to keeping you cool, calm, and comfortable. Thank you to all backers for helping make blö a reality!
Producing consumer electronics is always a challenge, but we are confident in our abilities to deliver this project on time and with great quality. There are always issues that can arise, such as having to run multiple iterations during the tooling process or being out of key components that can delay our schedule. We have already had a DFM completed and made the changes that were recommended to streamline the manufacturing process. We are currently setting up tooling.
We kept the internal parts simple and have sourced our components from various manufacturers This should alleviate the problem of a key component shortage.
We teamed up with professionals with decades of experience to help us streamline our manufacturing and logistics. We've also teamed up with Backerkit to make sure that post campaign everything flows smoothly.
Despite all of these issues that can arise, we believe we will start shipping by February 2018.
We are ready to ramp into production and we need your support!