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$10,168 pledged of $20,000 goal
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$10,168 pledged of $20,000 goal
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About

We are committed to proceed with the project even if we fail to reach the funding goal -- please visit meenova.com at end of 2014 or early 2015.

Ultimus Qi Case for iPhone 6

iPhone 6 is a great phone, probably the best engineered smartphone on the planet. It does pretty much everything wirelessly: streams video from Internet/home computers, plays media to stereo or TV (Air Play), uploads everything to iCloud, syncs with computers (iTunes WiFi Sync). But, you still need to plug in a cable to charge it. With this wireless charging case, you don't have to.

There are have been wireless charging cases for older generation iPhones (4 & 5). But, those cases all add quite considerable amount of bulk to the rather slim body of the phone. We wanted to design a case that enables the convenience of wireless charging while being just like a regular case. We did just that, and now we need your help to turn it into a reality. Say no to tangled cables and enjoy the freedom of completely wireless -- pledge your support for an Ultimus Qi Case.

Prototype Ultimus Qi Case for iPhone 6: just like a regular case
Prototype Ultimus Qi Case for iPhone 6: just like a regular case
3D illustration of the Ultimus Qi Case for iPhone 6
3D illustration of the Ultimus Qi Case for iPhone 6

Apple Authentication Chip & MFi Certification

Apple requires the use of an Apple authentication chip in Lightning port based accessories to pass the so-called MFi (Made-For-iPhone/iPad) certification. We will use official Apple authentication chip in Ultimus Qi Case, so 100% compatibility with iPhone 6 is guaranteed. We will apply for MFi certification as well.

Stretch Goal: Ultimus Qi Case for iPhone 6 Plus

We will only make Ultimus Qi Case for iPhone 6 4.7" initially. If we reach the stretch goal of $40000, we will make Ultimus Qi Case for iPhone 6 Plus (5.5") as well. New reward tiers will be added for the Plus version after stretch goal is reached. Early-bird backers will be able to chose sizes via survey after the campaign is concluded.

Ultimus Qi Dock: the Ultimate Wireless Charging Dock

Our goal is to design and make the best wireless charger. We believe we have the design, and now we are looking for your support to make it a reality. Key features of our Ultimus Qi Dock:

  • Stands up your phone at 70 degree, in portrait or landscape mode.
  • Works with phones of all sizes and tablets up to 8" (20cm).
  • Simplistic yet elegant, with fantastic-looking metallic finish.
  • Truly drop and charge.
Ultimus Qi Dock
Ultimus Qi Dock
 

The Design

We started our design by first examining and addressing two major design flaws common to most wireless chargers available on the market today: (1) they lie flat, and thus the phone will lie flat -- not a good position for you to use it while it is being charged; (2) because that and the small size of the charging pad, you need to carefully put the phone in the right place for it to be in a good charging position* -- thus it becomes more cumbersome to use than just plugging in a cable, that's ironic given the purpose of wireless charging is to make charging easier.

* Note: a wireless charging system has a transmitter coil inside the charger and a receiver coil inside the phone; if the receiver coil is not properly aligned well with the transmitter coil, the conversion rate of charging power will be less optimal and charging will be slower than it could be, and sometimes the phone won't charge at all.

First, instead of a charging pad design, Ultimus Qi Dock is designed to stand up your phone/tablet at a 70 degree angle -- a perfect angle to use the phone while it is being charged. Second, the base support can be positioned at different heights, (1) you can adjust its position so that the center of the receiver coil on your phone (it is often at the center of the back side) is always properly aligned with the center of the transmitter coil on the dock to achieve optimal charging efficiency; (2) you can adjust its position to place your phone in either landscape mode or portrait mode; (3) it supports phones of all sizes and tablets up to 8".

The Design of Ultimus Qi Dock
The Design of Ultimus Qi Dock

 We then refined all the details to make it truly the best.

  • The width is 70mm (2.75") -- about the width of many of the most popular phones (Nexus 4/5, Galaxy S3/4/5, LG G3). Thus horizontally the center of the phone is always perfectly aligned with the center of the transmitter coil.
  • The height and the adjustable range of the base support are chosen so that, (1) it can accommodate phones of all sizes (both portrait and landscape modes) and tablets up to 8" (landscape mode) and remains stable; (2) vertically the center of phone or tablet can be perfectly aligned with he center of the transmitter coil by adjusting the base support; (3) looks well-balanced and proportional.
  • Both a regular non-slip pad and a micro-suction pad will be supplied, and you can apply either one to the bottom of the dock depending on your preference. If you want the dock to stick to the desk, you can choose to apply the micro-suction pad; the adhesiveness of micro-suction pad is not permanent -- you can easily re-position it and it won't leave any sticky residue.
  • The surface of the dock will have a metallic finish -- similar to what first popularized by Samsung's Galaxy S3 (though we plan to use a matte finish, unlike S3's glossy finish), more recently adopted by LG G3. It looks fantastic.
  • It accepts 5V power input via a standard MicroUSB port -- use standard USB power adapter and cable.
Perfect charging position every time, truly drop and charge.
Perfect charging position every time, truly drop and charge.

The design of Ultimus Qi Dock is patent pending in US, China, EU and other countries.

Note: a standard USB power adapter (not included) is needed to supply power to the Ultimus Qi dock. Power adapter capable of 1.5-2.0A output is recommended; power adapter with output capability under 1.0A may NOT work.

Qi Charging Receivers for LG G3, Samsung Galaxy S5/S4, Note 3/2

Beside the dock, we will produce Qi receivers (a module needed to enable wireless charging in compatible phones) for for the following phones: Samsung Galaxy S5, S4, Note 3, Note 2, LG G3 (compatible with Verizon/T-Mobile/Sprint & international version, not compatible with AT&T and Korean versions). Use the receiver to add complete Qi wireless charging support to your phone.

How a Qi receiver is applied on Samsung phones and LG G3.
How a Qi receiver is applied on Samsung phones and LG G3.
Available Qi Receivers (not proportional to actual sizes).
Available Qi Receivers (not proportional to actual sizes).

The Technical

We have selected the best components to use in Ultimus Qi Dock. For the main controller chip -- the most important component of all, we selected TI's BQ500212A -- a most recent generation of Qi-certified wireless power transmitter manager. TI offers the best Qi charging solutions: they are the best in compatibility, stability and conversion ratio (how much power from input can be converted to charging power to the phone); and they also offer best-in-class Foreign Object Detection and Metal Object Detection with the most comprehensive fault monitoring features for building the safest Qi chargers.

PCBA Design.
PCBA Design.

Our PCBA (Printed Circuit Board Assembly) is based on TI's reference design, uses TI's recommended components (including capacitors, resistors etc.) whenever possible or the best alternatives if the recommended are not available. All components are RoHS certified, and all charging related components (IC chip, transmitter coil, shield) are Qi compliant/certified.

Will Ultimus Qi Dock Work With My Phone?

Ultimus Qi Dock is WPC (Wireless Power Consortium) 1.1 compliant -- so it works with any devices that are WPC (i.e. the so called Qi) compatible. These devices can be classified into 3 categories:

  • Devices with complete built-in Qi Wireless charging support: "out-of-the-box", put the phone on a Ultimus Qi Dock, it will charge.
  • Devices with built-in Qi support but don't come with a "receiver coil". For those devices, a Qi receiver patch or back cover/case with embedded Qi receiver coil is required to use its wireless charging capability. Such Qi receiver won't take up the phone's wired (MicroUSB) charging port.
  • Devices that don't have any built-in support for wireless charging, but there are after-market cases or Qi receivers that plug into the phone's charging port (e.g., Apple Lightning, or MicroUSB) -- basically they "receive" power "wirelessly" from a Qi charger, convert it to electricity and charge the phone via its regular charging port.
Category 1: Complete Built-in Qi Support
  • Google: Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7 (2013 model)
  • Nokia: Lumia 822/920/928/1520, Lumia Icon
  • Motorola: Droid MAXX, Droid Mini
  • HTC: HTC 8X (Verizon), Droid DNA
  • LG: G3 (some models), G2 (Verizon), Lucid 3, Spectrum 2
Category 2: Built-in Qi Support, no built-in Qi receiver
  • Samsung: Galaxy 5/4/3, Note 3/2
  • LG: G3 (some models)
  • Nokia: Lumia 820/925/1020
Category 3: Need External Solutions
  • Apple: iPhone 6, iPhone 4/4s/5/5s/5c
  • Most smartphones with MicroUSB charging port --  if 3rd party solution available

Qi receiver patch or back cover for Category 2 devices are available from the manufacturers themselves, as well as third-party vendors -- we will produce some to go with the Ultimus Qi Dock as mentioned above.

Will Ultimus Qi Case for iPhone 6 Work with My Wireless Charger?

Ultimus Qi Case for iPhone 6 is WPC 1.1 compliant -- so it should work with wireless chargers that are WPC 1.1 certified (or a later version). You are free to choose the type/brand of charger that you want; you don't have to use our Ultimus Qi Dock, though we would love that.

The Journey

Why Another Wireless Charger. In early 2013, I (Andy) got a Nexus 4 which supports Qi wireless charging. So I bought a wireless charging pad. However, I quickly found out that it's more cumbersome to use than just plugging in a cable. Simply because I had to place the phone carefully on top of the charging pad each & every time. Even worse, once a while I found my phone completely out of battery in the morning after I put it on the charging pad the night before because it was not in a proper charging position.

We had been working on a wired charging dock since 2011 -- we are still perfecting it. So Rich suggested, why don't we apply some of the design ideas and make a better wireless charging dock?

How We Got Here. We first did structure design and prototype, to make sure the design is sound and practical. After we confirmed that, we worked with a Qi charging solution provider to design the PCBA board. We selected TI's solution because it is the best. By early 2014, we had our working prototype. Then we spent a lot of time testing everything. Now it is ready for the world to see.

PCBA Testing.
PCBA Testing.

Current Status of Ultimus Qi Dock. Both mechanical design and PCBA design have been finalized. It is nearly production ready.

Current Status of Ultimus Qi Case for iPhone 6. We have done 3D design and completed our first prototype as shown in the video and pictures. Currently we are evaluating some different design variations and expect to make some further tweaks to perfect it. 

What's Next. To make this into an actual product, we need to make the tools necessary for making products and buy the components in volume to so it can reach the price point set for the rewards. That's why we need your support! If this project is successfully funded, this how the money will be spent and the schedule:

  • Making of the steel mold needed to make the plastic casing and tooling for some other parts, 4-6 weeks.
  • Purchasing IC chips and other components/material, 1-2 weeks (in parallel with mold making).
  • Making of PCBA, 2 weeks and more depending on volume (in parallel with mold making, will be done in 2-3 batches with a pilot run).
  • Pilot run, testing and verification, 2 weeks (in parallel with some tasks).
  • Production run, QC & packaging, time frame depends on volume.
  • December 2014: shipping starts for the dock and Qi receivers.
  • Ultimus Qi Case for iPhone 6 will follow similar schedule; it is expected to ship in January 2014 -- one month after the dock as we are still making some design adjustments.

Risks and challenges

There are 2 major risks and challenges: production delay and quality control.

Our first (and last) kickstarter project was delayed by a month and a half. We learned some lessons from that. Actually the current state of this project is at a more advanced stage now than our first project was when we started the kickstarter campaign. The 2 main causes of delay: tooling and component sourcing. We are better prepared for both this time. But delay is still possible.

Quality control is always a challenge for electronic products, no matter how small it may be. One lesson that we learned from last project: pilot run is very important, testing and adjustment based on that are the key to yielding high quality products in subsequent production runs. We believe high-quality products require high-quality components and materials. The components that we selected are the best or among the best -- this will help produce better quality products.

MFi Certification. We will apply for MFi certification for our Ultimus Qi Case for iPhone 6. However, due to the tight schedule, we may not be able to obtain certification by our planned shipping date. Nevertheless, we will use authentic Apple authentication chips and 100% compatibility is guaranteed.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $14 or more About $14

    One charging receiver for a compatible phone of your choice (Galaxy S5/S4, Note 3/2, LG G3). Standard world-wide shipping included.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $27 or more About $27

    Early bird special! One Ultimus Qi Case for iPhone 6 -- 4.7" version, Plus version is a stretch goal. Make the best smartphone even better with wireless charging. Add $35 to add one Ultimus Qi Dock. Standard world-wide shipping included.

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    Limited 61 backers
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  3. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Early bird special! One Ultimus Qi Dock -- enjoy a better charging experience on the ultimate wireless charging dock. Add $11 to add one charging receiver for a compatible phone of your choice (Galaxy S5/4, Note 3/2, LG G3). Standard world-wide shipping included.

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    Reward no longer available 100 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $36 or more About $36

    One Ultimus Qi Case for iPhone 6 -- 4.7" version, Plus version is a stretch goal. Make the best smartphone even better with wireless charging. Standard world-wide shipping included.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    One Ultimus Qi Dock -- enjoy a better charging experience on the ultimate wireless charging dock. Standard world-wide shipping included.

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    38 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $57 or more About $57

    One Ultimus Qi Dock, and one charging receiver for a compatible phone of your choice (Galaxy S5/S4, Note 3/2, LG G3). Enjoy a better charging experience on the ultimate wireless charging dock. Standard world-wide shipping included.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    One Ultimus Qi Dock, and one Ultimus Qi Case for iPhone 6 -- 4.7" version, Plus version is a stretch goal. Make the best smartphone even better with wireless charging, and enjoy the best charging experience on the ultimate wireless charging dock. Standard world-wide shipping included.

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Funding period

- (35 days)