About this project
LumoPad introduces a new way to draw in the dark. Unlike existing light-up drawing boards, it is incredibly portable, weighing under 100 grams, clean, only needing an LED to draw with instead of markers (you can also use your phone flash light), requires almost no energy to function and is relatively cheap. Lumopad is very versatile and can be used for many different things, from amazing your friends by a campfire, to making your own stop motion animation. LumoPad is the perfect canvas for your creativity.
How does it work?
The LumoPad uses an effect called 'Phosphorescence', which refers to how when certain materials are exposed to light, the atoms' electrons are excited and continuously return to the ground state, re-emitting light while doing this. Different colored LumoPads use a variety of different phosphorescent substances, which is why different color LumoPads have many varying features including brightness and how long the drawing remains visible.
To use the LumoPad, simply turn on the UV LED and put it to the surface of the board to draw. By changing how fast you draw, you can vary the brightness of your drawing. You can also put the LED further from the board to draw with thicker lines, or shade things in. When you are finished with your drawing, just wait about a minute (or longer, depending on the color of the LumoPad) and the drawing will simply fade away, letting you draw something else.
Kickstarter is a great way to get the idea of LumoPad out into the world, and to hear questions and concerns regarding how we can improve it as well as some possible future goals. Our ultimate goal is to bring LumoPad to the market, and Kickstarted enables us to gain experience and ideas before we take the leap, as well as initial funding for mass production. With your help we can make LumoPad a reality!
What's it used for?
LumoPad can fill many niches in every day life, involving education, entertainment, and even professional duties.
Obviously the main use for the LumoPad is just casual drawing and sketches. The drawings are clearly visible even when there is a decent amount of light in the room, but the drawings are very difficult to see in the day time when in direct sunlight. Lumopad drawing is very unique, because you are essentially drawing with light and not a standard brush or marker, which opens up a door to many different visual effects you can do with the light. LumoPad is also great for camping because of its portability and luminescence. Just remember to take a picture of a successful LumoPad drawing before it fades away into the deep darkness.
One great use of LumoPad is as a response tool in classrooms during PowerPoint presentations. Many teachers like to have presentations in which they ask students to hold up a response on a white board in order to keep the class involved. LumoPads are a great alternative to white boards, since the room has to be dark in order for everyone to see the presentation, and LumoPads light up enabling the teacher to clearly see the response. We actually did a trial run of the LumoPad in a classroom setting, and found that it was a bit distracting for the first few minutes when the students were just getting accustomed to it, but after that they were more involved in the class than ever before, and their interest in the topic taught peaked.
Because your LumoPad drawings fade away but can still be faintly seen for a while, LumoPad is ideal for stop motion animation. The faded image lets you see exactly what your last frame's picture was, letting you trace it and only change the one part of the image you want to move. We also did some trial runs with this, and stop motion animators claimed it was the perfect stop motion tool for amateurs, because of its simplicity and versatility in the field. An amateur stop motion is shown in up top.
LumoPad has been shown to be very useful even in the professional field, since colleagues can share their thoughts by drawing and writing their reasoning in a discussion on the LumoPad, and have it simply fade away by the time they are finished explaining. It is also great for math and science calculations, since you can write them all on one board and have the unneeded equations and formulas fade away when you go back to the beginning of the page. In addition, LumoPad is a great writing and drawing tool when someone is resting in the room at night, since the LumoPad and LED emit minimal indirect light, letting you see the drawing while the light isn't even noticed by others in the room.
LumoPad Prototype Specifics
LumoPads will be provided to eligible backers (see rewards). The current version of LumoPad is based on rigid light weight foamboard about a centimeter thick. It is 14 inches (35 cm) wide and 11 inches (28 cm) tall. The foamboard is covered in a special phosphorescent material on one side which will glow for a while after being exposed to light. The LumoPad weighs around 66 grams, and is quite sturdy as long as its not under any major stress.
The LumoPad comes with a UV LED keychain (batteries included) to draw with, but you can also use other LEDs to draw on it too, such as your phone camera. To turn it on simply squeeze it with your fingers.
Is it safe?
All the phosphorescent materials we use are non-toxic and completely safe. The LED is large enough not to be a chocking hazard to toddlers, and the UV LED is very weak and on the Long-Wave UV spectrum, so it doesn't pose any risks.
We are currently planning to release 4 different colored LumoPads: Green, Yellow, White, and Orange. Since they are made from different substances, they have varying characteristics.
The Green and Yellow LumoPads are both made from Phosphorus paint, and are the brightest. They almost completely fade away in about a minute, and completely disappear in about 2 minutes. How fast you draw on them does not affect the brightness of your lines.
The White and Orange LumoPads are made using Europium based substances (don't worry, it's not radioactive!), and produce slightly less bright images. Drawing on the board slowly will produce thicker and brighter lines, while drawing faster will produce fainter and finer lines. The images last considerably longer, fading away almost completely after 3 minutes, and only completely fade away after about 10 minutes.
We went through dozens of LumoPad variations, experimenting with many different phosphorescent substances, trying to pick out the ones with the properties best suited for us. Here are some of the prototypes that lead to our final success.
This is the very first prototype of the LumoPad. After accidently discovering that I can draw on some glow in the dark powder I had lying around with a purple Laser pointer, I glued some powder onto a piece of paper and made the very first LumoPad.
After creating a prototype out of glow powder, we set out to make one out of paint, which didn't turn out too well. We would have to experiment with many different powders and paints before we could make the LumoPads we have today.
This was the first real version of LumoPad. It was based on a piece of Medium Density Fiberboard, and did not seem to provide the perfect surface for LumoPad. It also turned out to be unnecessarily heavy for our purposes.
This is a blue version of LumoPad we are currently working on. As of now it isn't bright enough, but we are looking into many solutions to this problem.
What is the Lumo-MegaPad?
Unlike the classic LumoPad which is 11 inches by 14 inches, Lumo-MegaPad is a 20 inch by 30 Inch LumoPad. We provide a purple laser pointer which lets you draw on the board with fine lines from far away, opening a ton of possibilities. We will provide our most generous donors with the MegaPad and a regular LumoPad.
When will I get my Lumo-Pad?
If the project is successfully funded, you can expect your Lumopad to arrive in October or November of this year (depends on your location). We will begin production as soon as the funding period is up, and depending on the amount of funding it could arrive earlier.
We tried to keep the shipping costs as low as we could, and established a flat rate for shipping outside the US, and were able to get a smaller one inside the states. In the unlikely event that your LumoPad does get lost during the shipping process we will try our best to recover it or send you another one.
The Future of LumoPad
We are planning to create a multi-colored LumoPad, exploiting the fact that some different phosphorescent substances are excited by different wavelengths of light, which will enable us to make a LumoPad on which you can draw with 2 or more different colors using different colored LEDs. We are also working on making LumoPads of many new colors. We have some other ideas we are exploring, and we would love to hear your ideas for the future of the LumoPad!
Risks and challenges
After going through a few different variations to try to maximize brightness and get the LumoPad to glow just the right amount of time, we have successfully made dozens of LumoPad Prototypes that work without any issues. We will be sending out replicas of the functioning ones, and do not foresee any risks.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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