About this project
Never miss another notification again! Patent Pending
"...hopefully Sparx can get the backing and bring this very useful case to market." Redmondpie
"Give dime-a-dozen iPhones some individuality and disco ball swagger." DudeIWantThat
"Turn your iPhone 5 into a notification alert light with Sparx." Mashable
"Local musician's bright idea may be your next iPhone case." WWLTV, New Orleans
"Let your iPhone 5 case become the light show of the party, or let it become the perfect companion during your night out." BitRebels
"...if you want an LED notification light on your beloved iPhone 5, then an awesome new Kickstarter project has your back." TiP
Sparx is an iPhone 5 case that is powered by the iPhone's LED camera flash, and iOS's built in "LED Flash Alerts". When you turn on "LED Flash Alerts" in your Accessibility settings, your iPhone's LED camera flash lights up for calls, texts, emails, and for all Push Notifications (Twitter, Facebook, Games, or any app with Push Notification settings). Sparx insures your notifications are seen in vivid color from any orientation and in any situation. For us, this design isn't just about functionality and protection, but it's also about a case that's just fun to roll with.
Vivid color at night.
Hex Backlight allows you to see your notifications, even when your phone is face down resting on the protective bezel. Protect the privacy of your notifications.
Shine on, shine on.
Daytime? No worries. Sparx can even be seen by the sun.
No more fuzzy pictures. While Sparx is activated, your camera and flash lens are both protected from miscellaneous pocket/purse items.
The removable bottom case slips off for convenient charging with all brands of docks and cables. Easily dock your iPhone without taking off the case.
The two piece hardshell design provides complete coverage for all critical corners and edges, while still allowing clear access to all buttons and ports. All materials and access holes meet Apple's case design guidelines. No metals or glass filled materials, open air for all antennas.
All-around protection. A raised bezel keeps the screen safe and pristine. Protect your screen from coming in contact with other surfaces that might scratch it.
Made of 4 parts, Sparx easily snaps together. We've decided to allow you to assemble Sparx so you'll be able to mix and match any color you want.
The best part about Sparx is you can try it now.
Go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Turn On "LED Flash For Alerts"
Choose Your Colors
Here's some CAD of the Colors we are making.
Black Case / Clear Glow Frame
Burnt Case / Red Glow Frame
Blue Case / Blue Glow Frame
Pink Case / Pink Glow Frame
Green Case / Green Glow Frame
Grey Case / Smoke Glow Frame
Yellow Case / Yellow Glow Frame
KICKSTARTER SPECIAL EDITION - Clear Case / Green Glow Frame
Mix and Match Colors
Mix any part of your case with a different colored part from another case. All of Sparx's parts are interchangeable. Customize your colors for your mood, attire, or just for kicks! Here's some CAD of the way you can mix and match a variety of Sparx cases.
We didn't get where we are by accident or luck. You can never exhaust the prototype process, but we've come close. To this point, every major change we've made in CAD has been validated by a physical prototype. No exceptions.
A Few of Older Prototypes
In our latest design iteration, we decided to focus on the brighter sides of the case. This of course makes sense knowing that the LED flash is biased to one corner, but we wanted to know exactly what was possible. We decided to start with illuminating the entire perimeter, and then worked towards a more intentional, consistent look. This led us to scaling back our Glow Frame to the top and right user side of the phone, (opposite volume buttons).
Trey DeArk has spent the last 7 years working as a mechanical designer at, Function Engineering www.function.com , focused on mechanical design for product design. He has worked on projects ranging from robotics to hair dryers and has been a part of teams that have seen at least a dozen products successfully make it to market. Prior to mechanical design, Trey, worked as a 3D modeler and Publishing Coordinator for Digimation www.digimation.com.
Terence Green, a tech enthusiast, is a professional musician and plays in several different brass bands in New Orleans. His most recent tour was with rock band, MyNameIsJohnMichael www.mynameisjohnmichael.com. Terence adds an artitst's touch and entertainment factor to all of our designs. He is also responsible for our market research and branding strategy.
Risks and challenges
How and Where is Sparx made?
All of Sparx's parts are injection molded poly carbonate (plastic) parts. They will be made from steel tools or molds that are capable of producing in excess of 100,000 units. An American manufacturer (located in Atlanta) will act as liaison to an Asian manufacturer producing these parts. Once completed, these parts will be shipped back to us here in the US (New Orleans to be exact) for assembly.
As we are only a 2 man team working on our dream, assembly, packaging, and shipping will be completed by us, friends, and family.
We've received quotes and maintained communication with multiple vendors while our design has continued to grow. We used official quoting documents to inform our budget, thus allowing us to set a real funding goal for Kickstarter.
We want to run one last round of prototypes to dial in final cosmetic details. It generally takes less than a business week to get parts back. From there, we are ready to send final 3D files and 2D critical to function drawings to manufacturing. Initially we expect there will be a bit of back and forth with manufacturing as they will have feedback about best molding practices. Through this feedback process there is a possibility that the design may have to evolve one more time before final production units can be molded.
Where does the funding go?
Essentially you are pre-ordering a Sparx case, but here's how we get to that point with your help.
- Additional prototyping to insure the very highest quality production units.
- Tooling, 4 parts will be injection molded
- The minimum number of parts we can order on the first production run.
- Packaging, nothing fancy, just clean.
- Kickstarter Funding Fee
- Amazon Payments Fee
Here's what our schedule looks like.
- Cosmetic prototype design verification.
- Transfer of CAD and CTF drawings to manufacturing.
- Acceptance of Kickstarter funding. (14 days).
- Implement design feedback.
- Begin tool fabrication.
- Send out Kickstarter surveys for detailed Reward selection.
- Procurement of packaging and shipping supplies.
- First article inspections of Sparx's parts.
- Prepare shipping containers.
- Provide any design support required based on results of first articles.
- Start receiving final units for processing.
- Start shipping out orders.
Thanks for taking time to check out the project. With your help, we can make this product a reality.
Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Honestly it just came down to keeping a concise funding goal. We want this project to be a reality so we decided to stick with one device, and only ask for the funding that we absolutely need. We knew we would be letting some people down on this, but if we can get into the position of successfully making this case, anything is possible.
While we can't give you hard electrical data on exact battery consumption, this feature was developed by Apple for their Accessibility program. http://www.apple.com/accessibility/
This feature's origin is in helping disabled people. We trust that Apple would not implement an iOS feature that would significantly impact the performance of their flagship device.
Also, the beauty of taking advantage of this feature is that you can test it before you decide to back us.
Yes. We have designed a switch specifically for this purpose. Just slide the switch to the down/off position to reveal the LED flash for photography. Slide it back to the up/on position when you're done.
Simple. Choose the reward you want and just add the additional reward(s) amount to the pledge.
If you have already pledged and want to combine rewards, click the blue "Manage Your Pledge" button and add the combined total to the box.
No. This feature is built into the iphone 5. Simply Go to Settings, click General, scroll down to Accessibility, turn the "LED Flash for Alerts" to the on position. That EASY!
P.S.- A flow chart of the process is posted in the project description. Enjoy!