About this project
WHY SONTE Film?
Our reason for starting this project is simple - curtains have been around for thousands of years without much improvement. The small advances that have been made, such as motorized shades and smart glass, can be extremely expensive and complex to install. With SONTE Film, we set out to revolutionize the industry of windows and curtains. Our goal is to make our smart film technology affordable and easy to install for all.
SO WHAT IS IT?
SONTE Film is the first ever Wi-Fi enabled digital shade that instantly switches windows from opaque to clear in less than a second. The film pairs with a free smartphone app that allows users to turn SONTE Film “on” for see-through windows and “off” for opaque windows. Users can also use the app to control a room’s privacy and transparency setting. The customizable digital shade is easy to install and affordable, and doubles as a projection screen.
SONTE Film is also available in different colors for different purposes. Our SONTE Film Vivid, a line of colored SONTE Film will complement your existing décor. In its natural, “off” mode, Vivid will display a soft color to accent any room’s style. Initially, Vivid will come in red. We are also introducing SONTE Film Black, a line of dark colored SONTE Film for those who want to block out more light. The first round of SONTE Film Black will be available in black.
WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING ABOUT SONTE FILM?
A lot! Check out what the media is saying about SONTE Film:
- Named one of “Five Tech Startups Worth Watching at CES 2013” by Entrepreneur
- Engadget got to see the product in action at CES and said “SONTE switchable film transforms windows into projection screens”
- After seeing SONTE Film demoed at CES, CEPro said “Curtains are so yesterday” and that the smart film is “an awesome solution for keeping the hot, bright sun out of your rooms.”
- Cocoontech.com says “The product is modular, extremely easy to install (as easy as regular film), and it will be able to connect to other units, in order to make power routing easier.”
HOW DOES IT WORK?
SONTE Film uses smart technology that allows the film’s transparency to go from clear to solid when an electric current is applied through it. SONTE Film will give you the option for privacy on demand by adjusting the opacity of the film on your window.
SONTE Film is also Wi-Fi enabled and simple to use. Our team designed the iOS / Android app, which you can download for free, to control SONTE Film from anywhere in your home or office at a touch of a button.
WHY DO I NEED IT?
SONTE’s sleek digital shade solves common design roadblocks such as bulky blinds and expensive window treatments with an affordable and easy installation process, which you can watch here.
And, because you can cut the film into any shape or size, it can be applied to just about any glass surface including living room windows, kitchen windows, bathroom windows, office windows and glass partitions, which you can see here.
The wide-ranging benefits of SONTE Film include:
- Lighting and shading
- UV and infrared protection
- Energy savings
I’M SOLD! HOW DO I INSTALL AND WHAT’S INCLUDED?
SONTE Film is designed to be do-it-yourself and completely customizable. To install, measure the window and cut the film to the size you need. The electrostatic cling adhesive back allows you to simply peel and stick the film onto the glass. Once SONTE Film has been affixed, place the quarter-sized proprietary conducting clip on the film and plug in the extra-slim cord to the Wi-Fi enabled transformer. The cord is comparable to a slim audio cord and can be easily hidden along or behind walls. You can even daisy chain two or three digital shades together and control it all at the same time. Take a look at our illustrations to get a better understanding:
The film is just as easy to uninstall and can be removed without leaving behind residue. The kit comes with SONTE Film, Wi-Fi enabled transformer (one single unit), connector and cables and cleaning kit. A non-Wi-Fi kit with a simple on/off switch is also available.
The installation procedure is simple:
1. Measure and cut.
2. Peel and stick.
3. Connect and control.
Current: 0.05 amperes per square meter (10.76 sq ft)
Power: less than 5 watts per square meter (10.76 sq ft) in the (on) transparent mode (no power is required in the (off) opaque mode)
Switching: less than 1 second
Operation: (on) transparent (off) opaque
Thickness: approximately 0.4mm
Viewing angle: more than 140 degrees
Light transmittance: On (70%) Off (5%)
Haze Coefficient: On (7%) Off (87%)Operating temperature: -20C (-4F) to 70C (158F)
UV: absorbs more than 85%
Infrared: reflects more than 70%
OUR EXPANSION WITH YOUR SUPPORT
SONTE is unique among start-ups in that we are taking the longer, more difficult approach of doing everything in-house from the research and development to manufacturing to sales and packaging. This is to ensure consistent quality control at all points and to ensure the costs of production are kept as low as possible. Since founding SONTE in California, we have:
- Formed a great team in San Francisco, Hong Kong and China
- Moved in to our new manufacturing plant
- Acquired new machinery and engineered a system to manufacture SONTE Film on a large scale
- Tested a wide range of materials from different suppliers
- Manufactured and tested four generations of prototypes and now moving to production runs
We’re almost ready for full scale production and to launch SONTE Film to the market. To make this happen sooner, we need your financial support. That is why we are asking the Kickstarter community to help us.
With your support, you will be one of the first to have SONTE Film in your home or office. You will also benefit from heavily discounted pricing compared to the planned MSRP. Most importantly, you will be playing a big part in revolutionizing the window and curtain industry!
Risks and challenges
Shortly after our first launch on Kickstarter two months ago, we realized the need to improve our marketing strategy and rethink our rewards. Our re-launch of SONTE Film has been the culmination of improved marketing, better and more suitable rewards and the incorporation of the valuable feedback we received the first time round.
Like many innovative Kickstarter projects, we may face several key risks and challenges in our goal to revolutionizing the window and curtain industry. Primary risks for us include:
Any new product line may encounter problems or issues with finding the right suppliers when turning prototypes into mass produced products. This was one of our main concerns from the start which is why our production plan has always been to do everything in-house. However, we still have to rely on external suppliers for certain raw materials. Our team has been working for months negotiating with a number of suppliers, testing each of their components quality and finding the right suppliers to team up with.
We have already formed an awesome core team, but we need to expand our team to realize our goal. We are actively looking for new members to join SONTE so we can realize our goal sooner!
Designing and producing a new product to meet demand requires a big time and financial commitment. We are aware of this and have prepared for the manufacturing challenges ahead. One important aspect we focused on is manufacturing capacity. We have expansion plans in place for additional team members, machinery and facilities, and now mainly require the resources to execute them.
Once installed, SONTE Film will have a slight effect on the clarity of windows when viewed from an angle. The digital shade currently blocks about 95% of light from entering windows when in “off” mode and in the “on” mode will allow 70% of light to enter. The digital shade currently functions best as a privacy screen. We are working on product advancements that will eliminate effects on clarity and enhance light-blocking functionality.
SONTE Film has a water disbursement surface layer and coating on the edges to ensure that moisture or water splashes do not damage the film.
SONTE Film requires AC power via the wall socket. However, if you intend on installing multiple films (two to three sheets) for windows that are side by side, we have devised a connector so that you can daisy chain them and only require one power socket to power the films.
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