Project image
)}
£6,257
pledged of £200,000pledged of £200,000 goal
67
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, January 10 2014 11:12 AM UTC +00:00
Last updated January 10, 2014

SONDI: Stylish, customisable and connected Alarm Clock

'Smart' alarm clock, with customisable exterior and clock faces, Internet radio, bluetooth streaming, remote control App and more.

SONDI: Stylish, customisable and connected Alarm Clock

'Smart' alarm clock, with customisable exterior and clock faces, Internet radio, bluetooth streaming, remote control App and more.

£6,257
pledged of £200,000pledged of £200,000 goal
67
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, January 10 2014 11:12 AM UTC +00:00
Last updated January 10, 2014

About

As featured on:

As featured on
As featured on

Background

Alarm clocks are boring, the designs haven't really changed for years, clunky interfaces, dull design and a fixed clock face. We tried smartphones but didn't get on with keeping our phones by our beds and found ourselves agreeing with this article on Gizmodo: Why a clock radio is the best way to wake up

So, we decided to create a new generation of alarm clock one that complements any home, can be customised and is connected to the internet. 

When the Raspberry Pi was launched we had the startings of our product.

Unlimited alarms

First and foremost SONDI is a really good alarm clock, using either the buttons on top or better still the SONDI App, you can set unlimited different alarms for weekdays, weekends or just a one off. 

Smart alarms

As SONDI is a smart alarm clock you are not limited to just a normal buzzer or the radio. You can be woken by any sound you like. It might be one of thousands of internet radio stations (there is nothing better than getting gently woken by your favourite radio station), a sound file you have on your phone, tablet, computer or somewhere else on your home network. You can even record a voice message.

Your day ahead

When an alarm is triggered the SONDI gently reminds you about the day ahead. will show the first few meetings of your day, by working with your existing email and calendar provider.

Customise with clock faces

You are not limited to a particular clock face with the SONDI. You choose your favourite from a cool, ever growing range, including analogue, retro digital or something unusual.

SONDI clock faces
SONDI clock faces

We plan to make an API available to developers, so that others can get involved in making brand new clock faces for the SONDI.

Connected by WiFi

SONDI is connected to the Internet, by using the SONDI App you don’t need to be at home to add or change your alarms.

Using the SONDI app
Using the SONDI app

We are planning on having both Android and iOS App versions ready for when you receive your own SONDI.

Music from virtually any source

SONDI is also a fully fledged audio streaming device using either one of the 1000’s of internet radio stations, music on your own device connected to your home network. We also have some exciting features that use existing audio subscription services in the works.

Customise with colours and fascias

We have created an amazing range of colour and material options that will fit into the modern home. 

The standard SONDI comes in Black with a Spruce wood front.

or White with Walnut wood front.

Choose your combination

Why not choose your own combinations from the selection below. Some of the rewards allow backers to take part in a vote to find the most popular combinations. But if you really want your own personalised choice from the 114 possible combinations there's a reward for that too.

Colour and fascia options
Colour and fascia options
Fascia materials
Fascia materials

The Future

We have done a lot of work to ensure that SONDI is as powerful and flexible as possible. It has the capacity to do much more than we have detailed here. This means that as new features are conceived and created by us and the developer community we will be able to continually update your SONDI.

In the short term we have lots more plans for features we hope to incorporate in SONDI before backers receive their devices. Keep an eye on our Kickstarter updates for more details. These include:  

  • Listen to your favourite music streaming services  
  • Output the same audio to multiple SONDI devices in your home  
  • Closer integration with Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo and iCloud.
  • Weather (nowcast)  
  • Commuting updates  
  • Speech based alarms, that gently tell you about your day ahead  
  • A host of sensors that will open up a whole new set of possibilities.  
We are very conscious that SONDI is designed to sit by your bed and for the moment at least, avoided adding the type of notifications that could cause night time disturbances.

What’s in the box

  • 256x128 monochrome LCD display

  • Raspberry pi

  • Universal USB power supply (works with UK, EU, US & AU power supplies)

  • WiFi

  • Bluetooth

  • Audio Jack out


Development process

Once we had the idea and after some initial sketching, we went straight into creating mockups using cardboard. Here you can see we came up with the distinctive profile which we tried to make look like one those old 1940’s radios, pretty early on. It then became an exercise in scale. Working out what sort of size would be needed based on what we already knew about the components. This was actually pretty easy as we knew from the beginning that the Raspberry Pi would be the at centre of SONDI.

First case prototypes
First case prototypes

While that was going on Steve started getting the hardware together.

Bread board v1
Bread board v1
Original Nokia screen
Original Nokia screen

We started out using the Nokia 5110 screen (you may notice that the early prototype has the smaller screen). This worked really well, but we decided the Nokia screen was far too small, so we decided to switch to a larger screen. Whilst this new screen made it very easy for us to create the prototype we decided to switch to a screen size somewhere in between the two. At the same time we had the first batch of fascias laser cut.

First batch of fascias
First batch of fascias
First VERY rough prototype
First VERY rough prototype

A new order of hardware and it was time to build the next prototype based on the slightly larger screen size and with some things we learnt applied.

Assembly of correct scale prototype hardware
Assembly of correct scale prototype hardware
Large screen prototype running SONDI UI
Large screen prototype running SONDI UI
Empty shells
Empty shells
That brings us right up to date. We have now created a few prototype hardware devices, that include all the off the shelf components we plan on using for the final production device. These prototypes are created with a 3D printed base and molded acrylic shell, the front panel materials were laser cut. We have an experienced product designer on board who is going to ensure the final design is optimised for plastic molding as there are quite a few differences in the processes and tolerances involved when we switch from 3D printing and laser cutting, which the prototype is made from to mass production injection moulding.  

We have the electronics manufacturer on board who will then assemble the finished product with all the right components and cabling, packaged and ready for sending out to all our lovely backers.

The App prototype has been created and we plan on having this produced into a final working App using a cross platform framework. This gives us the added benefit of being able to also create a version of the app for the web too. However some technical limitations of these types of frameworks mean we may well need to switch to production of 2 native Apps, 1 for Android and 1 for iOS. We have allowed for this in the budgeting.

Production Schedule

We are really pleased with our progress. Your backing will help fund:  
  • Production plastic mould tooling  
  • Large scale component ordering  
  • Global certification  
  • Software API production  
  • Here is our production schedule after a successful campaign on Kickstarter.  
SONDI production schedule
SONDI production schedule

The Team

 
Alex Langley
Alex Langley
Alex Langley - Founder

Straight out of University in 1999, where Alex and Stephen first met, Alex co-founded a multimedia company that successfully sought £2M investment. He then went on to be Head of Digital for a number of medium and large organisations. Since 2006 he has been a freelance consultant either leading large digital programmes,  projects and campaigns or as an Interim Manager running commercial online operations.

Alex will be leading the overall project and making sure the backers get the right device at the right time.

Stephen Ticehurst
Stephen Ticehurst
Stephen Ticehurst - Founder

Stephen will be leading the software development and testing. With a background in software development, including handheld devices during the early 1990s, has been involved for the last 17 years in software testing and development of systems, with over 10 years experience in heading off teams. A background in telecoms and digital recording with a keen eye for detail and design, working within various sectors including financial, telecoms, military and government.

Hamish Glover Wilson
Hamish Glover Wilson

Hamish Glover WIlson - Product Design

Hamish is the Director of “3dpea”; 3D printing specialists as well as CAD, product design and product development experts. He learnt his trade as a carpenter building houses, furniture and model making, then honing his skills studying a BSC in Product Design, focusing on sustainability and additive manufacturing. He is now the Designer in Residence at the University of Brighton where he runs the external Product Design projects.

Hamish will be creating the full production prototype design and generally lending his product design experience.

Marcus Sanderson
Marcus Sanderson

Marcus Sanderson - App Production

Marcus is an award winning developer with over 16 years agency experience. He has worked in the creation of apps & interactive websites for children’s publishing & youth projects, advertising, TV & film supporting projects, various specialist consumer projects and multilingual versions of all the above. Marcus now freelances for a wide range of advertising and marketing agencies working a diverse spectrum of apps and other digital projects. Marcus will be leading the App development for iOS, Android and web.

We also have 2 software developers and an expert in audio reproduction working with us to make the most of the acoustic opportunity SONDI offers.

Our fantastic local suppliers also have a wealth of experience in electronic assembly and production and injection moulding and are committed to doing everything they can to help us make SONDI a success.

And finally…

A brief thank you to all those that have inspired and helped us will never be sufficient, but here goes anyway.

The team behind the astonishing Raspberry Pi, for putting out there a computer that has made SONDI possible. The guys behind the fantastic Pebble watch, that I wear everyday, that first inspired me to create my own Kickstarter project. Kickstarter themselves for just being there and providing the platform for so many cool things that wouldn't have existed before.

Matt Pelling @ Loopmasters for permission to use the track Blue Room - Love Prisoner on the videos.

Many other friends who have helped us through those dark days when nothing seems like its ever going to happen and ground us when we get a bit carried away.

Risks and challenges

Without you, we are nothing. We take the trust you have placed in us very seriously. That is why we are committed to meeting our commitment to backers.

We have put together a highly skilled and experienced team that cover every possible aspect of the full production of SONDI. Things can and do go wrong and we have identified the following areas that are the most challenging.

Lead time on plastic moulding is approximately 16 weeks and that's if everything goes smoothly. This is the highest risk area as we have little control over the manufacturing of the required tooling. To reduce this risk, we are working with local experts on plastic product design to make sure the casing is as simple as possible and we have chosen a local injection moulding company that will ensure when issues crop up, they can be ironed out face to face very rapidly.
Production at scale will always throw up compatibility issues both with the enclosures, components and software. Our assembly will be completed by a local firm that means we can quickly get to the root of any problem and resolve it face to face. The components are mostly off the shelf, apart from a simple breakout board for the i/o ports and top buttons. By creating a full production prototype before the plastic mould tooling is created we will ensure that everything dovetails.
We have worked really hard to include as many materials as possible but they each have their own properties which causes challenges during manufacture. We have kept the initial material range quite limited to ensure everything is compatible and again working with local suppliers to make sure issues are quick to resolve.
The SONDI hardware will be capable of so much more than we have already talked about which means that even when production is underway we are able to constantly update the software to iron out bugs but also add new features.
A universal App (one that can easily be ported to both iOS and Android) has some problems accessing things like Bluetooth. We are reducing this risk by trying some frameworks that make this simpler. Failing that we will switch to 2 native Apps.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £2 or more About $3

    Continuous backer updates throughout the life of the SONDI Kickstarter campaign and beyond.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    6 backers
    £

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £99 or more About $124

    EARLY BIRDS Black with Spruce front -

    Help us get underway. One Charcoal Black SONDI. This Alarm Clock will retail for more than £150.
    Includes UK Delivery. International Delivery £15

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 39 backers
    £

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £99 or more About $124

    EARLY BIRDS White with Walnut front -
    Help us get underway. One Warm White Sondi. This Alarm Clock will retail for more than £150.
    Includes UK Delivery. International Delivery £15

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 18 backers
    £

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £129 or more About $161

    One Black with Spruce front -
    One Charcoal Black SONDI with a Spruce wood front. This Alarm Clock will retail for more than £150.
    Includes UK Delivery. International Delivery £15

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    £

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £129 or more About $161

    One White with Walnut front -
    One Warm White SONDI with a Walnut wood front. This Alarm Clock will retail for more than £150.
    Includes UK Delivery. International Delivery £15

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    £

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £169 or more About $211

    One custom SONDI - choose from 1 of 4 voted favourite colour and fascia combination. This Alarm Clock will retail for more than £180.
    Includes UK Delivery. International Delivery £15

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    £

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £499 or more About $623

    Completely personal - One personalised SONDI. Any combination of colour and fascia material. This offer is unlikely to ever be for sale outside Kickstarter.
    Includes International Delivery

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    £

    By pledging you agree to Kickstarter's Terms of Use, Privacy Policy, and Cookie Policy.

    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)