About this project
snappgrip provides camera controls for smartphones. The snappgrip controller mounts to a protective phone case so that you can conveniently attach it when you want to use your handset for some serious photography.
It's soooo convenient!
You probably protect your phone with a case. We've got one of those too... but ours can transform your photography experience.
Snap on the snappgrip controller and gain access to real shooting controls including:
- full press to take picture
- half press to focus
- Zoom In
- Zoom Out
On the underside you'll find a standard tripod mount, standby power switch and a micro-USB port for charging.
Stylish, pocketable and convenient, snappgrip is the phone accessory you can carry every day to take advantage of your phone's camera capabilities.
We have a companion app for iOS and Android and are working to provide our API to app developers to embed in their own photograhy apps.
- Works with: iPhone 4, iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S3
- App available for iOS and Android
- Colours: Silver/Black, Silver/White/Brown, limited edition gold plated Kickstarter edition
- Phone case with removable camera controller. Wriststrap loop.
- App connectivity: Bluetooth
- Tripod Mount: Universal 1/4” thread; compatible with all standard tripods
- Power: micro USB for charging. ~60 hours standby.
Production & Launch
We have a beautiful working prototype and we're encouraged by the feedback from people we speak to. This Kickstarter campaign is our opportunity to finesse the product before production and of course get that funding boost that can fast-track our production.
Once we're funded we will be able to quickly manufacture the first snappgrip batch and ship them to our project backers. We are fortunate that we have good connections with proven manufacturing facilities in the far east allowing us to quickly manage production, QA and shipping without learning these processes along the way. If you check our team biography below you'll see that we've been involved with consumer electronics design, manufacturing and distribution for a while so although the unexpected will always find ways to trip you up, if this funding programme is successful, we will be repeating processes that we've undertaken at other times in our careers.
Please Give Us Feedback!
We're really excited by this project. The prototype looks great, handles brilliantly and works well. We don't believe we're proud parents of an ugly baby. The feedback we keep receiving from prototype previews seems to validate our excitement. There's nothing like getting feedback from potential customers however and getting reaction to the product is very important to us as part of the Kickstarter process.
As we've highlighted above, we're especially interested to receive feedback about:
- What other handsets you'd like to see
- Photography apps to target and work with
and we're interested to gather as many project comments as we can.
Building a Business
We've found that using our prototype is extremely comfortable and it works well. The industrial design and product name gives a clue to what the product does and we think that the target retail price (£69 / €79 / $99) is realistic for the physical quality and functionality of the product. We're hopeful that this will be the first of several products in this range and a good start for our venture.
As we go through the Kickstarter programme we'll be pulling together a web retail site so that we can sell directly once we know that we are in production. We also have good contacts in various retailers and distributors so we aim to make snappgrip an easily available mass market product.
Through our e-commerce store we will offer a range of complementary accessories including:
- a carrying pouch for the snappgrip controller
- a snappgrip-branded mohzy loop USB/micro-USB charging cable
- a snappgrip-branded mini-tripod
and we envisage this line up as presenting a good set of pocket-sized photography equipment. We will also offer the snappgrip case as a solo item so that multiple handset households can share a single snappgrip controller.
We're making various accessories and combination sets available as pledge rewards for this Kickstarter campaign.
My business partner Rex Chen and I have long term experience in designing consumer electronics products and bringing them to market. This may be why I have no hair left and he works 36 hours per day...
I ran a UK-based distribution business for a number of years that was adept at spotting and launching new innovative products. We launched the Slim Devices Squeezebox in 2002 (that was subsequently acquired then discontinued by Logitech), Skullcandy headphones in 2003 and I was a co-owner of Dension Audio Systems where we created the world's first in-car iPod integration kit in 2003 that sold over 2m units under our own brand and to car makers.
Rex is based in China and has strong experience in designing and manufacturing OEM products for famous brands and managing teams of engineers and developers.
After working together on various projects, we've decided to combine our resources to bring our first product to market. We've set up a new company - cooltopia Ltd - which will design, manufacture and sell our products. snappgrip is our venture's first creation and we're inspired by the opportunity that Kickstarter brings, allowing us to get instant feedback and accelerate product launches.
Risks and challenges
1. Project Financing
It is so hard to raise finance for projects these days. On the flipside, it means that we have to be leaner, more creative and more driven than ever. The beauty of Kickstarter and what we are looking forward to learning about this process as a result of this project is that we get real market feedback before we have committed non-reversable sums to tooling and production.
Our project risk is simply that we don't fund the remaining tooling and first production batch. With your help through a successful Kickstarter campaign we can and our project costs and business plan are conservative and secure such that we are confident post-campaign of building a sustainable business around snappgrip.
2. Handset Support
Apple. Samsung. HTC. Motorola. Nokia. RIM. ZTE. Huawei. Oppo. You get the point. The mobile phone market moves really quickly. Handsets have a 12-24 month life in the market and opening tools for plastics is expensive and risky.
While it's clear that Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy SIII are safe to support, polarisation feels like a recent development in the smartphone space. We want to be conservative with regard to supporting new handsets but balance this against not missing important opportunities.
As well as financing the first production run, we are really eager to solicit feedback during the Kickstarter campaign so that we can get a sense for facets of the market from interested potential users.
3. App Support
We're a product design and manufacturing venture. Software is a very different animal. We would prefer to collaborate with app developers and you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you can successfully join a hardware/firmware initiative with an independent software one. We will come to market with a photography app but we are really focussed on working with successful app developers to build support for our hardware into their apps.
If you've read this far, we truly appreciate your attention and hope that you like what you've seen.
Lee & Rex
Cooltopia - a world of cool products
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