AllThingsD - "it’s dead simple ... Just press the button to scan an item or record a voice memo, and all the data is wirelessly sent to your phone."
The Verge - "The demonstrations we've seen have all worked quickly and seamlessly, another good sign"
Fast Company's Co.Design - "multi-member households have a heck of a lot more to account for, and a streamlined system would actually be a major boon."
betanews - "Sometimes it requires a specialized tool to really get a job done ... This is where hiku reveals its brilliance'
hiku remembers so you don’t have to. We’ve all been there. You get home from the store and realize you left something important off your list. "$%#*@!!!", right? We created hiku to solve this fundamental problem, and ultimately to change the way people shop for good.
Scan it or say it. hiku recognizes both barcodes and voice, instantly adding items to your shopping list. No scribbling. No typing. Just touch one button and you’re done.
It’s simple and it’s fun. hiku is designed to be so easy a five-year-old can use it. Press one simple button and hiku takes care of the rest.
Your list is always with you. hiku creates a shopping list that appears on your mobile phone or tablet. You can share your list with family or anyone else. When you add an item or cross one off, your list is updated everywhere.
hiku connects directly to your Wi-Fi network at home. So there is no need for your phone to be nearby or in-range when you use it. To add something to your list, simply press the button and hiku scans barcodes or records your voice, and then sends them to the cloud for access anywhere.
When you scan an item, hiku gives you a red line and an audible beep just like in the grocery store. To say an item, press the same big button and start speaking.
At launch, the hiku app will support iOS, and you will be able to access your list from any device with a web browser—like a PC, tablet, or Android phone.
We have funded everything to date out of our own pockets. The prototype you see in the video is fully functional. It scans, it records, it connects to the cloud, and we think it looks great. A lot of time, skill, and money have already gone into this, so you aren’t betting on some half-baked idea. We’re long-time mobile veterans ready to share hiku with the world.
Our seasoned team in Silicon Valley has done all the product design and engineering (industrial design, mechanical, electrical, and firmware development), and will continue to own that as we move into production. Manufacturing will be handled by a partner in Asia with expertise building consumer electronics. To produce hiku in larger quantities, we need money to pay for tooling and manufacturing services, as well as place our minimum order quantities.
Lastly, your support through Kickstarter shows that hiku is something you want and think is worthwhile. And that’s the most important part of the project!
You bet. hiku will be open to work with other apps and services. We posted about this in our first update, and we are also including it here for newcomers who might not look in the updates section.
To demonstrate our approach, we have already integrated hiku with Astrid Tasks, Evernote, and Remember the Milk. Now you can have the convenience of adding items with hiku, while viewing your shopping list alongside your other lists in some very popular applications. Check out the video to see it in action!
Also, many people ask us if hiku can be used for other things besides making a shopping list, so we are putting the power to make that happen into your hands! We will have a developer API available near launch to let you tap into hiku scans and voice from the cloud. From there, it’s up to you and your creativity to make hiku do way more than we ever imagined. Email us at email@example.com to get notified as more details about the hiku API become available.
Some technical details:
- 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi
- 1D linear imaging scan engine
- Rechargeable lithium-ion battery
- Ultra-low power standby mode
- USB port for charging
hiku from the front, top, and side:
Q: What are the technical requirements for using hiku?
A: Basic requirements: An Internet connection at home with a Wi-Fi network, and you will need an iOS or Android device for an amazingly simple Wi-Fi set up – see the video here from Update #3 on how it works.
Q: Why did you make a separate device? Can’t I scan and voice record with my mobile phone?
A: From the earliest days of hiku, we set out to make a product that was instant so it would satisfy the demands of a busy family. One that’s as fast, if not faster, than pen and paper. You simply can not do that with a mobile app alone.
For example, hiku’s 1D linear scanner is a dedicated piece of hardware that scans over 50 times per second, making scans instantaneous and ultra accurate. With a mobile app alone, every time you want to scan an item you have to find your phone, unlock it, find your app, launch it, tap add, choose scan, wait for the camera to load, focus on the barcode, and then wait for the results. With hiku you press one button and you're done.
Q: How do you charge it? How long does the battery last?
A: hiku uses a standard micro-USB connection like the ones found with many popular electronics today for charging. The battery will last 2 months between charges with normal use, so you don’t have to worry about constantly recharging.
Q: How rugged is it? Will it break if I drop it?A: hiku was designed to live in the kitchen and be handled by kids of all ages, so we knew we had to build it tough and water resistant. To withstand falls, the shell is ribbed on the inside for reinforced structural integrity, there are no moving parts, and the electronics inside are locked in place with metal screws during assembly. The round design also minimizes force impact during a drop, distributing impact across the entire surface. To resist water, the microphone opening is sealed with advanced hydrophobic mesh, and the USB port is internally sealed with a silicone gasket. Not bad for such a simple device, if we do say so ourselves.
Q: How does the voice recognition work? How good is it?
A: hiku uses industry leading voice recognition technology, like what you find in Apple’s Siri or Google’s Android. hiku records your voice and sends it to the cloud, where it is transcribed and the item added to your list. Since we all know voice recognition isn’t 100% perfect, hiku also saves the recording so you can play it back as an audio file right from your list if needed.
Q: Will hiku work outside of the U.S.?
A: You can use hiku anywhere in the world for capturing scans and voice, and viewing your list. All you need is an Internet connection and a Wi-Fi network. For now we officially support English only. Please let us know in the comments section what additional languages you would like to see supported.
- (28 days)