£10,322
pledged of £30,000 goal
98
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, December 4 2014 4:53 PM UTC +00:00
Chris GrayBy Chris Gray
First created
Chris GrayBy Chris Gray
First created
£10,322
pledged of £30,000 goal
98
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, December 4 2014 4:53 PM UTC +00:00

About

Keeping children safe online is one of the biggest concerns most parents have. Not only are our youngsters more tech-savvy than we were, they’re just as curious and, with a world of knowledge available at a click, it’s no wonder they’re so easily hooked. So why has protecting them from overexposure or inappropriate content been so ridiculously tedious, until now?

 What you get with HomeHalo

HomeHalo designer, Chris, was certain of the need for easily managed home internet connections, but wanted to know if he was a typical parent so he commissioned research to find out what a thousand parents really want and what they fear. Then he designed HomeHalo with its superfast router and intuitive Smartphone App to give them the ultimate parental control system that’s so simple, every parent can use it - from anywhere in the world.

HomeHalo is the integrated superfast smart router, cloud service and smartphone app system that’s designed to help parents manage internet use for all connected devices in the home and to apply rules for each user – from what they can see online to the time they spend on it.

It’s all about simplicity and safety. We listened to what parents wanted and we built in features to address every concern they had – and then we made it foolproof. We designed HomeHalo from the ground up to be the quickest, easiest way to deal with the everyday challenges parents face today. For example, we’ve given them adjustable bedtime curfews and customisable website filtering so the grown ups still get to browse as they choose, blissfully aware their children aren’t gaming, messaging late into the night or accessing unsavoury content.

With pre-set Content Categories (which you can change or set up new rules of your own) it will only take moments to apply the relevant rules to each user.

We put so much effort into the ‘under the hood’ design that users will love the absolute simplicity they get with HomeHalo. There are only so many parents who want complex, multi-zoned, multi-networked, multimedia storage, multi-everythingness, but, until now, pretty much what most have been worried about is what their kids have been doing on line.

Now, all parents have to do is to connect HomeHalo to their existing router or modem using the cable supplied or even via WiFi and this incredible little box will configure itself automatically using the rules that you set, even ones you create before it arrives. HomeHalo will then control the connection to each device in your home based on the limits you set and the levels of protection you want for each individual.

The HomeHalo Router
The HomeHalo Router

We also built in a bunch of interactivity for everyone too. Anyone can request time extensions or whitelists with a click – it’s up to you whether you approve or deny the request and, don’t worry, HomeHalo is smart enough to stifle repeated requests from over-zealous users.

  • Individual rules for each user (applied to all devices)

  • Interactive extension/whitelist requests direct from browser

  • Native iOS and Android apps

  • Push notifications for extensions, whitelists and tampering

  • Homework Mode blocks distracting websites

  • Temporary blocking

  • Temporary extension

  • Comprehensive reporting - see which websites are visited

  • Fraudulent/phishing website protection for the whole family

  • Over 500,000,000 websites categorised for your protection

  • Cloud-based services - manage HomeHalo from anywhere

  • Self-configuring

  • Extendable wireless range

  • 802.11n WiFi certified - 300Mbps throughput

  • 4 LAN ports for physical connections

      

Our smartphone app is the best way to do all things HomeHalo and we’ve made it a pleasure to control – it’s undeniably intuitive, it looks beautiful and it’s packed with killer features that all work slick and easy on iOS and Android so virtually every smartphone is covered.

You’ll get a push notification when a new device connects to your network or when someone wants extra time online or approval to visit a blocked site – you’ll even know when HomeHalo is being tampered with or turned off. Cloud servers deliver all this stuff so you don’t even have to be at home to handle it; just tap, slide, tap and you’re done.

      

We made HomeHalo extra special with the help of a brilliant cloud service. Fully scalable and able to accommodate 1000s of HomeHalo routers and users, our cloud service sits on an Amazon Web Services load-balanced server that deals with requests and notifications (seriously, it's testament to our developer's skill and cunning that we’ve produced such a robust and efficient service). It’s superingenious too - we can add new features and notifications and even instruct all HomeHalo routers to update their own firmware; all this is part of the continuous development process that we’ve adopted and which will benefit our customers for many years to come.

An additional bonus for all household internet users is our amazing categorisation solution which can help protect you from fraudsters and identity thieves by blocking known spam and phishing websites.

Billions of £££s and $$$s are stolen every year by fraudsters - everyone needs all the protection possible to keep them at bay. Check it out here....

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The Home Halo story begins back in 2010, when our founder, Chris, felt there should be a better way to control his children’s internet usage without all the arguments and hassle that went along with it, but flexible enough for kids of all ages to enjoy the internet appropriately – and safely.

The idea back then was to put a content filter in between the wall telephone outlet and an ADSL modem, so that household content could be filtered, which would have been a completely self-configuring device, but the design required hardware that wasn't available in mass production quantities and at the right price point. It also limited the whole household to the same rules - much the same as you’ll get from the large ISPs in the UK today.

So, we thought more about the real needs of real parents (like us) and determined  through comprehensive research that, with the prolific rise in connected devices and with ever-decreasing costs for parents to provide them, the requirement was more about device management and rules rather than just the household content.

After a few prototype attempts spent re-programming existing routers and using open-source replacement firmware - in the photo below we are working with a TP-LInk router using the Open-WRT firmware solution -  we decided the only way forward was to create our own hardware and firmware from the ground up.

Initial router development
Initial router development

This was no simple task and we spent many hours at electronics fairs talking to potential manufacturing partners to try to find the best way to get what we knew would be a game-changing product to market.

We also designed a funky outer case for HomeHalo - but production costs for a new injection molded case like this were way too high.

Concept Case Design
Concept Case Design

In the meantime, we developed a software version of the hardware and an emulator that could be used for the cloud service development and to showcase the concepts needed in the firmware development. This enabled us to craft the firmware code to communicate with our cloud service and to separate the operation of the HomeHalo from the physical device. We were then able to work on the firmware and the system at the same time so we could get exactly what we wanted from the user experience – easy, simple control from anywhere in the world.

In September 2014, the first prototypes arrived from the factory in Taiwan - these were pretty plain looking but the case design is unique to HomeHalo - who knows what the next version will look like?!

Protoype in Action

In this video you can see the first moulded case prototype actually functioning as well as the smartphone App and web-based control panel.

      

Mid October 2014, and we now have the very first colour and printed case off the production line.  Unfortunately the colour of the centre section is the wrong green, but it's OK as only a handful have been made.  This is being sorted out now and we expect to receive the fully working colour version with the latest firmware in during November.

First fully branded router case
First fully branded router case

Today, we’re almost there. Our apps will soon be available on Google Play and the App Store and the factory in Taiwan where HomeHalo will be manufactured is ready and waiting for our order. We’re chuffed as nuts that we’ve got this far along the development process using our own funds – we just need an extra push to get that order placed so everyone can share the glory.

Please help us by making a pledge today.

Time to meet the HomeHalo team. Firstly we have our leader, Chris. HomeHalo is Chris’s pet project and he’s overseen the product from conception right through to where we are today. As a father, Chris developed the idea after becoming tired of the daily battles he was having with his children over their internet use. After a moment of inspiration back in 2012 when the actual work on HomeHalo began, Chris has lovingly nurtured this project to make the HomeHalo a reality.

Secondly, we have David, project manager extraordinaire and entrepreneurial leader. David, ensures everything is running on time and within budget. Add to that Matt, our technical advisor. Matt expertly tests & develops our system to ensure HomeHalo is as smooth and sleek as it can be. Then we have Jamie. He handles our marketing and is tasked with spreading the HomeHalo message. Last but not least, we have Alex & Nick who look after the HomeHalo IT network.

We’re passionate about making Parental Control easy for all.To date we've committed over £100,000 of our own money into turning the HomeHalo concept into working prototypes and addressing these to well understood market needs.During the Kickstarter we plan to commit further funds, but we need a little help to allow us to place our manufacturing order for our planned launch in January, and take on the necessary Home Haloers to help administer sales and manage the technology. The £30,000 from our Kickstarter backers will make a huge difference in financing this investment and assuring that the stock is in place to meet demand.

We want you to play a part in the HomeHalo story and will be grateful for anything you can spare. It means the world to us that you like our product and we wouldn’t be able to do this without you. So please tell all your friends, donate anything you can and help us to take HomeHalo to the next level.

Please make a pledge today so that we can bring HomeHalo to you very soon.

Thank you.

Risks and challenges

Naturally, we’re taking this very seriously and we’ve assessed the risks and we’ve mitigated them with superb assets (our people) that make good business sense. We bought in David, Project Manager Extraordinaire and inventive/entrepreneurial leader who ensures everyone’s working on time and within budget. David liaises with Louis, our manufacturing partner and owner of the factory in Taiwan, to guarantee prototypes arrive on schedule and the testing regime is followed meticulously.

The supply chain is centred in Taiwan and we’re using standard components (the very latest releases) for our WiFi technology; unsurprisingly, the majority of work involved lies in the firmware. At the end of November, Louis will be ready to ship our first order, which will be sea-freighted to us, although if there are any delays, we have the option to switch to a speedy air freight service.

Our cloud infrastructure is provided by Amazon Web Services and is automatically scaled according to load and, back at base, Alex and Nick keep the network running and ensure it's healthy and operational at all times.

Evgeny looks after development of the website and web management console and the complex web services that make all the components talk seamlessly to each other so perfectly.

Lastly, the apps are all complete and undergoing testing,so it won't be long before we submit them to appear in the App Store and Google Play, so keep an eye out for those!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £1 or more About $1.31

    HOMEHALO HELPER: A heartfelt "thank you" email delivered directly to you and regular updates on our progress towards bringing the HomeHalo to life. Just because you like the concept, it makes us feel all warm inside - thanks!

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    Pledge £5 or more About $7

    HOMEHALO BOOKWORM: You'll be the first to receive a pdf version of our forthcoming digital parenting guide . Expertly written by our founder, it explores internet safety from start to finish and is must read for parents & tech lovers alike. You’ll also receive a heartfelt thank you email for playing your part in the HomeHalo story.

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    Pledge £15 or more About $20

    HOMEHALO TRENDSETTER: You'll receive a stylish HomeHalo t-shirt to wear with pride as well as a PDF copy of our forthcoming digital parenting book. It's a small thing but we want to bring HomeHalo to life and you're really helping. Plus you get all of our feature updates and will be included in our surveys.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £45 or more About $59

    EARLY ADOPTER DEAL!
    Get one of the very first retail-ready HomeHalo routers with 12 months subscription included. These will be in great demand and will cost over £70 from our website! Our first order should be arriving January 2015 - guarantee early delivery with this pledge. You'll also get a PDF copy of our forthcoming digital parenting book.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £75 or more About $99

    BE A PART OF IT! Get into our Beta testing program - you'll be the first to receive a HomeHalo unit (subscription free - no further fees, ever) and have access to the smartphone App before its release - we'll ask you to give us feedback on your experiences and you'll have a real opportunity to contribute to the development of our service. Plus you’ll get product updates and the forthcoming pdf digital parenting book.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £100 or more About $131

    EARLY ADOPTER DEAL SUBSCRIPTION FREE!
    Get one of the very first retail-ready HomeHalo, subscription free - no further charges - ever! These will be in great demand and will be on sale for £129 from our website - our first order should be arriving January 2015 - guarantee early delivery with this pledge. You'll also receive a PDF copy of our forthcoming digital parenting book.

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    15 backers
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  7. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £140 or more About $184

    COMPLETE PROTECTION PACKAGE! Protect your home & your devices. Receive one of the first ever HomeHalo devices, complete with a 12 month subscription. Plus you'll get a funky pair of HomeHalo branded iPad & iPhone cases to protect your family's devices. We’ll also throw in four HomeHalo t-shirts for your family plus you'll receive a PDF copy of our forthcoming digital parenting book.

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    Reward no longer available 6 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £140 or more About $184

    COMPLETE PROTECTION PACKAGE! Protect your home & your devices. Receive one of the first ever HomeHalo devices, subscription free- no further charges- ever! Plus you'll get a funky pair of HomeHalo branded iPad & iPhone cases to protect your family's devices. We’ll also throw in four HomeHalo t-shirts for your family plus you'll receive a PDF copy of our forthcoming digital parenting book.

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    Pledge £195 or more About $256

    TOTAL ENTHUSIASTS! Pre-production beta version of HomeHalo - rough cast case, plain colour - these are as rare as rocking-horse poo - fully operational, free updates and not even pretty - but exclusive! You're really helping to bring HomeHalo to life. You'll also receive a PDF copy of our forthcoming digital parenting book.

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    Pledge £1,000 or more About $1,315

    HOMEHALO COMPLETE ADVENTURE PACKAGE
    As a reward for playing such a huge role in our development, we’ll give you an annual Merlin family pass, giving you 12 months access to 31 magical attractions across the UK. You’ll also be amongst the first to receive your HomeHalo and you’ll never have to pay a subscription for the duration of its use. We’ll also throw in the t-shirts, the pdf book, the tablet cases: the whole works. And to show just how much your donation means to us, you’ll receive a personalised video message from our founder Chris.

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Funding period

- (30 days)