"Today is life-the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today. Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake." - Dale Carnegie
Spark- the Watch that Keeps You Awake
It's another average workday and you are sitting in your office, groggily filing away papers or typing a document. After a while, your head droops down to your chin and your eyelids slowly fall like curtains. Five minutes pass and you are dead asleep and oblivious to everything around you.
You're not alone. In fact, one out every five Americans have trouble staying awake during the average workday.
We created Spark to help you overcome fatigue and drowsiness so that you can be as efficient and focused as possible.
This is how Spark works-
Spark uses two custom motion sensors to keep track of your movement patterns throughout the day. Based on your unique motion patterns, Spark is able to detect when you are in the process of dozing off.
If Spark detects that you have fallen asleep, it will gently vibrate to wake you back up. You can adjust the intensity of the vibration to suit your own preferences.
If you actually need to sleep, just put Spark into "Time mode" by pressing the top button twice. This will tell Spark that you want to get some rest, and it will turn off its motion sensors.
The two motion sensors inside Spark were specially selected for their attributes. One detects your movement velocity and one detects your movement frequency. The data that these two sensors gather goes into a unique algorithm that will estimate your conscious state.
To keep you awake, the watch is equipped with a small vibration motor capable of different frequencies and intensities. (This is adjustable) The battery is standard lithium-ion and lasts anywhere from 5 to 7 days on a single charge. On the outside, we've given Spark a beautiful design by combining a stainless steel body with a full color LED.
In his last year of high school, our founder's older brother was taking a timed examination that would determine whether or not he would advance to his top choice colleges. He was a top student in his class and very academically talented. However, a family incident occurred the night before and he didn't get any sleep. During the test, he dozed off during one of the sections and was out for almost 15 minutes of the exam. Unfortunately, when test scores were announced, he did not score as high as he had hoped and ultimately did not advance to the college of his choice. Given the circumstances, he likely would have done better on the exam had he been able to stay awake. Thus the idea for Spark was born.
Soon after, we found that it's not just students who have trouble staying awake during the day. Office workers, medical staff, and even security guards were coming to us and asking for the watch. Some of them had to work overnight shifts and found it hard to get their bodies to adjust. Some of them were struggling from micro-sleeps. Some of them had even tried pinching themselves in order to stay awake during the day, but just couldn't!
Our team and why we need your help!
We're a team of young entrepreneurs from Cambridge, Massachusetts and our goal is to create wearable technology that is truly unique. The team comprises of:
Eddy Zhong: Product line management
Adam Lorenz-Kruk: Social media and PPC marketing
Jessie Ying: Customer Relations
Frank Pobutkiewicz: Main advisor
We researched, developed, and tested the Spark over a one-year period with the help of connections in Boston. It was imperative to us that the watch was very accurate, so we worked in conjunction with bio-medical engineers that specialize in tracking sleep patterns and motion. Initial prototyping was done with the help of various electrical engineers here in Cambridge and the Spark was tested with students in many high schools around the area. Mechanical design and final aesthetic touches were put in place with the help from a mechanical engineer and close friend in Taiwan. All we need now is your help to ship the first batch of Spark watches.
We started with the idea of Spark a year and a half ago with sketches, drawings, and simple 3D designs. Then, we developed our first prototypes here in the USA with the help from a couple of engineer buddies. The look of the watch was then designed and we sent it off to California for molding. After that, we set up a manufacturing line in Taiwan, where we are now stationed.
Here's how the manufacturing works:
- PCBs are produced within the circuit design lab and sent to the shell station.
- Stainless steel shells are created within the molding department
- PCBs are fitted into the shells at the assembly department
- Displays are attached to the watches, giving the finished product.
Each watch is hand tested to ensure quality. After all this is done, each Spark is sent to us in Cambridge where we laser-engrave custom messages and package it with a hand-written thank you note.
What your pledges will go towards:
We need your help to manufacture the first batch of Spark watches! It takes about $4500 to make a batch and $500 to ship it over here. Your funds will go towards Shell making, PCB cutting, and laser engraving the watches.
Jul 5th - Aug 5th: Funding
Aug 6th - Sept 15th: Manufacturing
Sept 16th - Oct 1st: Shipment to domestic and international orders
Oct 2nd - Nov 30th: Buffer time
Thank you backers for all your support!
firstname.lastname@example.org (General questions, guaranteed response within 24 hours)
email@example.com (Technical questions, guaranteed response within 48 hours)
Risks and challenges
One factor that will be particularly important in manufacturing is the battery life. We are working as hard as we can to extend the battery life to over a week. However, some obstacles stand in our way. Currently, we are attempting to find a replacement to the standard Lithium-ion (an alternative is Lithium Titanate) that will extend the battery life and keep the watch light at the same time. All of our prototypes are currently using the Lithium-ion battery and have an average battery life of 3 to 7 days.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We were hoping that someone would ask! Because the average person doesn't enter stage 2 of sleep until they have been napping for 25-30 minutes, they are relatively easy to wake up before then. So when Spark senses that the user is dozing off, the vibrations will be strong enough to wake the person back up.
You sure can. Just e-mail or contact us through Kickstarter and tell us what color you want. You have until September 30th to make this decision.
The weight is 100 grams, slightly more than the average smart-watch. This gives it a legitimate feel of a real timepiece. The screen is full color LED 1.63 inches with 240x240 resolution.
The width is about 12mm. Overall, the watch should feel like a classic metal watch around your wrist with the exception of the silicon band.
Spark is, for the most part, water resistant. However, because of the open micro USB, it's not possible to make the watch completely water proof. You can definitely wash your hands or dishes with it, just don't go swimming.
There are many concerns in terms of health and risk to consider. Maybe it would be helpful, but it's not something that we can add without going through rigorous testing and health regulations, which would greatly delay shipment.
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