About this project
Missed the Kickstarter campaign? No problem!
Visit betabook.co for more information about custom editions, bulk orders and our next edition.
Stretch Goal reached!
We are thrilled to announce that with your enthusiasm and support our community of Betabook beta testers has grown to 1000 backers! Having met our stretch goal we are now offering black and white Betabooks and Betabook Pros!
"How do I make my color selection?"
When the campaign ends we will send out a survey and you can make your color selection. If you backed for more than one Betabook or Betabook Pro you will have the choice to mix your order however you like.
Keep what matters ...
... and erase the rest
Finally, a whiteboard that isn't stuck to the wall of your office
Use Betabook with your favorite apps
The Betabook’s seamless matte surface makes it easy to save your creations, ideas and notes wherever you are: just take a photo.
- Organize your photos as notes using Evernote
- Create prototypes from sketches using Prototyping On Paper
- Share drawings and handwritten messages with friends on Instagram
- Scan images and save them as PDFs using TinyScan or CamScanner
- Use your smartphone's camera roll for a simple chronological archive
Two convenient sizes
Betabook is designed to be a portable companion you can fit inside a handbag or tote and have with you all the time. The A4 surface (~ 8.3" x 11.7") of Betabook is great for:
- visual communication
- note taking
- collecting sensitive and confidential information
With double the surface of Betabook, Betabook Pro offers a bigger canvas for your ideas and communication. The A3 surface (~ 11.7" x 16.5") of Betabook Pro is great for:
- group meetings
- professional presentations
- detailed sketching and drafting
- documentation of hardware
- tabletop gaming
Focus on your ideas
Replace piles of paper with Betabook’s single surface
We’re curious to see how you’ll use the the Betabook and how you will modify it, build your own, or transform an existing object with our material. To encourage you to do this we are offering a range of DIY Kits (see the Starter Kit, Maker, Hacker, and The Full Monty rewards) include A4 sheets of our special matte Betabook whiteboard plastic. Each sheet comes backed with adhesive and removable protective paper.
Here are just three ways you can use our special Betabook whiteboard plastic – we'd love to hear your ideas:
- Upcycle an old book cover to give it a new lease on life as a Betabook.
- Modify your Betabook to make it your own.
- Hack existing products. From the back of your laptop to the inside of your notebook, add our special whiteboard surface for extra functionality.
We conducted a fun DIY workshop in Open Design City at the Betahaus in Berlin in the summer of 2014. Thanks to all our workshop participants for joining us to make Betabooks out of upcycled bookbindings, Betacards, and modified journals.
Join us in bringing Betabook to the world
We want to give more people the chance to enjoy the experience of using the Betabook. To make that happen we need to order large quantities of materials to produce the first edition at a good price. By backing our Kickstarter you will join us in bringing the Betabook to the world.
Our Production Timeline
We've been prototyping the Betabook for over two years, including extensive field testing on a daily basis. Betabook's patent pending design is the result of detail-oriented approach to materials and user experience design. Our supply chain is a hand-picked network of European suppliers and manufacturers. These are companies that we have actively involved in our prototyping process, having met in person with both our plastics supplier and our bookbinder. Both these suppliers have created factory prototypes for us, so we are confident they can deliver quality work. Furthermore, we have collected detailed price quotes for all the materials we need to go into production. If we reach our Kickstarter goal we will be able to place orders for materials quickly so that manufacturing can begin in the spring. We anticipate delivering our first edition by May 2015.
Good design considers its impact on our society and the environment. The Betabook reduces paper use, is made from recyclable materials and contains no PVC.
Technical Details & Features
- Surface area when open: A4 (~ 8.3" x 11.7").
- Dimensions when closed: ~ 8.5" x 6" x 1" (21.5cm x 15cm x 2.5cm)
- Weight: < 6 oz (160g)
- Surface area when open: A3 (~ 11.7" x 16.5")
- Dimensions when closed: ~ 12" x 8.25" x 1" (30cm x 21cm x 2.5cm)
- Weight: < 12 oz (320g)
- color of cover: black or white
- smooth seamless surface
- eraser cloths are versatile, washable and fast-drying
- markers and eraser cloth are stored securely inside Betabook when it is closed
- spine grips table surface for single-handed use
- low-gloss surface ideal for photography/scanning
Each Betabook ships with:
- a whiteboard surface
- a dry erase marker
- an eraser cloth
Please note: Betabook and Betabook Pro are designed to store medium and thin barrel markers produced by various companies. While wide barrel markers designed for use on traditional whiteboards may be compatible with the Betabook's surface material, they may not fit neatly inside the closed Betabook without stretching the elastic closure and/or spine. Betabook Pro comes with two markers and a double-sized eraser cloth.
Works with leading brand whiteboard markers
Our special surface supports a wide range of whiteboard markers in various colors. We’ve tested:
- Faber Castell
- Staples’ Remarx
- others should work too!
While Betabook is designed for dry erase markers it will also work with "wet erase" markers and pens, like the ones used on overhead projectors. Just keep in mind that these inks require moisture to be removed.
Meet the Team
Jay Cousins invented the Betabook in 2012. Since then Patrizia Kommerell and Gabriel Shalom of KS12 have worked together with Jay to design and produce the Betabook. The company Betabook LLC will manage the manufacturing and distribution process. Our team has years of experience across a wide range of disciplines, all which we bring to the Betabook project.
Jay Cousins – Inventor. A veteran entrepreneur and product designer, Jay took his first product Orikaso to market 13 years ago. The Orikaso product line sold over a million units worldwide, selling in 22 countries and major retailers in the US. In the process Jay experienced every aspect of the business. He was hands-on with design, manufacturing, marketing and distribution. Jay’s search for simplicity and the best user experience has improved each Betabook prototype. @jaycousins
Pati Kommerell – Designer. A senior communication designer and art director, Pati has over a decade of design experience. She has worked for some of Germany’s biggest graphic design agencies. She co-founded KS12, a studio for experimental storytelling, together with Gabriel Shalom. Pati owns the details and has led the effort to refine the product. She has taken the lead in materials selection and logo design. She has built countless hand-assembled prototypes. Pati’s work has enabled us to create a beautiful object. @pkommerell
Gabriel Shalom – Producer. An artist, award winning director and international video producer, Gabriel's speciality is storytelling. He co-founded KS12, a studio for experimental storytelling, together with Pati Kommerell. Gabriel has applied his production skills to organize the various components and suppliers for the Betabook. He worked with our plastics supplier to develop and test our special whiteboard plastic. He has also developed the narrative of the company in the pursuit of building long term value with the Betabook. @gabrielshalom
Our friendship was born out of creative collaboration from day one. In early 2010 Jay met Pati and Gabriel at an open design workshop at the Betahaus in Berlin. Gabriel and Pati interviewed Jay for a short documentary about open design called Delivered in Beta.
The video and the workshop catalyzed our relationship in an atmosphere of mutual respect and common values. KS12 couldn’t resist Jay as an interview subject, and he appeared again in the KS12 videos Fail Safe and People in Beta. Many collaborations with the Berlin maker community followed:
Jay & Gabriel helped to organize the epic Maker Lab – a festival of making staged at Berlin’s DMY Design Festival. KS12 produced a documentary about the Maker Lab called Chasing The Buffalo. Jay would go on to co-found Open Design City a maker space in the heart of Berlin Kreuzberg at the Betahaus coworking space. Later that year, Jay would join KS12 for the first time behind the camera as a collaborator on The Future of Money project.
In the following years Jay instigated self-organized maker events in Germany such as Makerplatz. Working with the GIZ he helped to start the Icehubs Network in Egypt, encouraging people to develop their maker skills through workshops. KS12 continued producing event-driven documentary video essays for cultural organizations and festivals, such as British Council (It Becomes Public) and Transmediale (The Future of Art). In 2012 KS12 was creative studio in residence at the Portland Incubator Experiment at Wieden + Kennedy, learning about the world of startups from an insider perspective with the production of a video documentary (Early Stage).
The Betabook prototypes were our loyal companions during these various adventures and projects. Once Jay returned from a period of work in Egypt and KS12 had returned from its incubator experience in Portland, the Betabook was there; a product waiting to be born. We realized our shared belief in the power of stories to shape reality would be the perfect conditions for making the Betabook a Kickstarter project.
We’re happy to answer any questions you might have about Betabook – so please ask! If you post your questions on Kickstarter we can share the knowledge with the community.Love what we’re doing? Then please share our Kickstarter project with your friends and family!
German Summary / Deutsche Zusammenfassung
Muss heutzutage alles digital sein?
Betabook bietet dir eine analoge Alternative.
Muss es lästig sein weniger Papier zu verwenden?
Betabook macht es einfach den Papierverbrauch zu reduzieren.
Herzlich Willkommen auf unserer Kickstarter-Projektseite! Wir haben ein neues Produkt erfunden: Betabook, ein Whiteboard in Form eines Buches. Es funktioniert mit Standard Whiteboard-Markern (wie z.B. von Staedtler, Faber Castell und Neuland). Wir nutzen Kickstarter.com für ein Crowdfunding, um die erste Auflage dieses Produktes zu finanzieren.
In der rechten Spalte oben findest du verschiedene "Dankeschöns". Du bekommst dein eigenes Betabook (Größe aufgeklappt: A4) ab einer Unterstützung von 30 $ aufwärts und das doppelt so große Betabook Pro (Größe aufgeklappt: A3) ab 45 $ aufwärts. Wenn du in Berlin wohnst haben wir etwas Besonderes für dich: Das "Betahaus Early Bear Special" – hol dein Betabook im Betahaus in Berlin-Kreuzberg ab und spare die Versandkosten. Unterstützen ist sehr einfach, da Kickstarter dein vorhandenes Amazon Konto benutzt, um die Zahlung sicher zu bearbeiten.
Wenn wir unser Ziel von 15.000 $ erreichen, dann werden wir die erste Auflage des Betabooks produzieren. Wir haben mit unseren europäischen Produktionspartnern seit über zwei Jahren zusammengearbeitet, um unsere Prototypen zu verfeinern. Wenn wir unser Ziel in dem festgelegten Zeitrahmen nicht erreichen, bekommen wir nichts und es wird kein Geld von den Unterstützern abgebucht. Wenn du uns unterstützt, nimm dir doch bitte einen Moment Zeit, um unser Video auf Facebook, Twitter oder mit Freunden und Familie zu teilen – wir würden uns freuen!
Vielen Dank für deine Unterstützung!
PS: Wenn du Fragen hast, kannst du diese gerne auf deutsch stellen.
Risks and challenges
We have been working with our suppliers in the process of developing our prototypes over the last two years. To reduce uncertainty as much as possible, we have designed the Betabook from materials which are readily available and easy to assemble. All our manufacturers operate in Europe which allows us to be present for the process at each stage of the production to ensure a high level of quality, even if the production scales up. We have deliberately chosen conservative ship dates in order to have the opportunity to exceed your expectations on delivery times. We have taken care to research our shipping options as much as possible in advance to have a clear a sense of the variables in cost. We will send out frequent updates on the manufacturing process to our backers.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Honestly, we just don’t know. We’ve successfully tested whiteboard markers from Staedtler, Faber Castell, Neuland, Expo, Staples’ Remarx brand, and Lyreco – but others should work too. In the future we plan to set up a forum where our customers can review and discuss their favorite Betabook-compatible markers and pens.
Yes. One brand which works that we have tried is Staedtler Lumocolor Correctable 305. These pens require a bit more friction than a traditional whiteboard marker to remove. These are a great solution for left-handed people who want to reduce smearing when working with Betabook. Please note: this is not a Staedtler product endorsement – other fine line whiteboard markers and pens may work too.
See the answer to the previous question.
We are discussing this issue with our suppliers right now and looking for possible solutions. If you want to be one of the first to know if we make Betabooks with lines / grids / dots available, the easiest way would be to pledge $2 or more and join our official Betabook Templates Waiting List.
At the moment our supply chain has many variables and we want to make sure we give ourselves enough time to get the 1st edition produced at a high quality and on schedule. There is a chance we will be able to deliver earlier if there are no major delays in ordering materials.
This summer before launching we did some shipping tests and learned that it is problematic to ship our products "closed" because now and then they are creased in transit. By shipping the Betabook Pro open, however, we create a package which is quite large (a bit bigger than A3) and so it costs more to ship it inside of Germany than it might otherwise seem it should.
Believe it or not Betabook is 100% analog tablet technology. You can transfer data simply by taking a picture with your smartphone.
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