UpLocket: A 3D printed NFC-enabled locket for sharing photos
A 3D Printed NFC-enabled Locket for sharing photos and videos with just a tap to a phone.
UpLocket is a “magical” necklace that loads a photo, video, or website on a phone when it is placed near phone.
UpLocket is the beginning of a brand new and innovative line of jewelry for the 21st century. You can be a part of helping us make this NFC-enabled 3D printed locket a reality.
We are combining the look of classic jewelry and accessories with the new and fast growing market for wearable technology. In this day of media sharing, the classic picture locket seemed to be slightly out of date, so we decided to give it a fun, modern makeover. Each UpLocket contains an NFC chip, allowing you to share a favorite picture of your loved ones directly to a nearby compatible device. Additionally, some UpLockets fulfill the original, classic role and are able to contain up to two small photographs.
Upload a photo into a locket… UpLocket!
This is only the first step of some very interesting ideas we have in combining classic accessories with contemporary connectivity. Check it out, we think you’ll like it.
Each UpLocket is a stylish pendant designed to be worn as a necklace on a chain.
The pendants have been designed by our resident jewelry expert, Todd Blatt of Custom3Dstuff.com. Each necklace was designed in AutoCAD and MeshMixer, and will be produced using laser sintering 3D printing technology. UpLocket necklaces will be produced in nylon and then will be embedded with the NFC tag. It is available either as a classic opening locket with space for up to two photographs, or as a simple pendant.
We've come up with several styles. When the campaign ends, you'll be able to select which one you want as well as choose a color!
Simple heart pendant:
Customized heart pendant:
These days, we are always only a step away from our favorite pictures of friends and loved ones. With cell phones, Facebook, online photo albums, it’s not hard to share your favorite picture of your husband, children, grandchildren or pets with anyone you meet. But although simple, it can involve having to pass around your phone, something we’re all hesitant to do sometimes.
Have you ever tried to show someone a picture on your phone only to have them immediately swipe to the next one? Or the one after that? Sometimes with less than hilarious results?
“If only there was another way!”
There is! Now, with a simple tap, you can share your favorite picture or pictures directly to a friend’s phone with no loss of privacy. Simply check to make sure that the phone is NFC enabled (nearly all new Android phones are, as well as many others) and then physically tap the phone with UpLocket. That’s all it takes. The phone will open a link to view your picture or album, and your friends can browse to their hearts content. The link can be updated, meaning that you can easily change it to display a new favorite photo, or remove an older one.
NFC technology isn’t new. If you've ever used a security keychain fob to unlock the door to your apartment building or parking garage, you’ve used NFC tech.
The technology is pretty cool. A small, chip, with an antenna and no battery, which takes up a minimal amount of space. The power comes from nearby compatible electronic devices, which on their own are already producing small magnetic fields (in the way that electronic devices tend to do). This field, when close enough to our little chip, is enough to create a current in the antenna, just powerful enough to activate the chip and allow it to send it’s signal.
“But what does the chip actually DO?”
I’m so glad you asked! NFC technology is highly customizable, and can do whatever you want. It’s not our technology, it’s just what we are utilizing. In our case, we’re programming UpLocket to send a message to a nearby phone containing a self opening link to a URL. You can set it to a URL of a photo, youtube video, photo album or anything else you like!
This fun and stylish device can also be programmed in many other ways. Ways we are still tinkering with, and ways you can come up with on your own. Rather than link directly to a specific photo or album, it can link to a random choice of selected images. It can be used to give someone your contact information. To make a stranger’s phone play your favorite song… A song about how you’re never going to give them up. Or let them down...
The possibilities are limited only by your imagination. If you can Upload it, you can UpLocket.
Who Is Behind UpLocket?
Ben Howarth is a project manager at Maximum Handyman in Baltimore and works on job-sites in the Baltimore/DC area. He is a former veterinary technician and bartender. Ben studied biology at UMBC and has known Todd for about 10 years. He is always coming up with great ideas and is excited to execute on this one. (He has never driven a limousine,but he has been allowed to pose.)
Thanks to Annelise Jeske of launchpack.net for putting together our awesome video.
Risks and challenges
One of the hardest parts of running a Kickstarter campaign is fulfilling the rewards. We have several working prototypes in several styles,we've worked with Shapeways extensively, and tested the NFC chip provider already. Todd has used Shapeways to 3D print over 10,000 objects in this material alone and knows the ins and outs of the process extremely well. We've tested half a dozen different types of NFC tags before settling on the most reliable, durable, and most compatible NFC chip we could find. Both Shapeways and the NFC tag supplier are established companies that should have no problem meeting demand. We have backup sources for the components if there is an issue with either of the two companies.
The physical assembly of the UpLockets is something we'll be able to do by hand, and if need be we have other people we know who are available to help us.
Finally, we tested automated programming of the chips from a spreadsheet file, so we won't be bogged down with that. What could slow us down is the actual backers! When you get your survey as the campaign ends, please be prompt in your reply! The faster you get back to us with what you want, the faster we can get rewards out to everyone.
A note about the iPhone. All older iPhone models before the recently announced iPhone 6 series do not support NFC in any way. The iPhone 6 hardware does allow for NFC. It is how they're doing their touch-free payments. However, at launch, the iPhone 6 will not allow for anything else to use the NFC chip aside from mobile payments so although the hardware is capable of interfacing with UpLocket, the software is crippling that. If Apple decides to open this up in the future, which we believe they will, we can expect it to work on their phones too. Remember, UpLocket is used for sharing to your friends and family's phones, in addition to your own, so it's not so crucial that your own personal phone supports it.
The list of all phones which support NFC can be found here. It's constantly updated by the community:
- (32 days)