A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
Familink is an extraordinarily easy-to-use connected picture frame designed with elderly people in mind.
With Familink you can share pictures with your parents and grandparents the same way you would with your friends: instantaneously.
Familink does NOT require Internet access. Since elderly people don't always have Internet or know how to set a Wi-Fi code, Familinks works with a SIM card automatically connects to our servers. Our frame connects automatically and is paired with your Familink account the minute you order it. Of course it is also possible to connect it with Wi-Fi.
A very simple yet powerful mobile app
Familink comes with a mobile app you can use to send pictures to your relatives.
The mobile app is associated with your Familink account, which is coupled with the familink devices you own. The mobile app allows you to capture pictures with your camera, pick one already on your device or integrate with Facebook, Instagram, or Google in order to send a picture directly from social networks.
Familink has been designed for seniors and tested with people over 90 years old. With Familink you can choose the kind of interface you want.
How does it work?
Using Familink is easy for everyone.
1) Buy a Familink device and ship it to your grandparents. All they have to do is to plug it into a power supply.
2) Download the mobile app
3) Send pictures
Familink does not need any setting: the digital frame is already associated with your account when it leaves our factory. Once the device is received you can start using it: No code, no association, no setup. It's all set.
Familink is secure: We use data encryption from end to end. Only authorized people can send pictures to the picture frame. You can grant access to whoever you want and choose who has access to what media.
3G + Wi-Fi
Familink devices connect automatically to our servers with a 3G cellular SIM card. For this reason, the recipient does not need to have Internet Connection. However it is also possible to set a Wi-Fi connection.
Global cellular plans are VERY expensive, but we have negotiated a partnership with a M2M (Machine To Machine) global provider. Familink Frames will work in more than 150 countries for free! The first year of subscription is included with the original purchase of the device. After one year you have to renew the contract for $20 for one year. Of course if the device can connect to a Wi-Fi Access Point, no renewal is needed.
Order Photo Prints
Many people love printed photos because they can display them wherever they want and store them in a safe place. For this reason we've included an "order photo print" option available directly on the device. If this mode is enabled, the viewer will receive all the photos he or she orders at the end of each month. To do so, each device has a photo credit that the sender can recharge remotely.
A lean startup process
We first developed a working prototype to check technical feasibility and senior acceptance. The first prototype was designed with a Raspberry Pi board and a 7" screen. We gave the frame to three individuals, ages 85, 89 and 91 years old giving their families access to the frames via the Familink Mobile app.
We currently have fully industrial prototypes. We have been working hard with electronics manufacturers and plastic makers in Shenzhen, China to develop these.
Next step is to start production. This is an expansive step because we have to buy a dedicated plastic mold for our product. This is the reason why we are on Kickstarter.
Help us give technology a social utility!
Familink can work in many countries but unfortunately not anywhere in the world since the device must connect to a 3G antenna. If you set the frame in WiFi mode then it can work worldwide.
Risks and challenges
Making a hardware product is difficult and can be a long process. We know the challenges of production, shipping worldwide, and logistics.
We’ve partnered with several Chinese manufacturers based in Shenzhen, China and have a fully designed product that is ready for production. These manufacturers have already produced display devices with 3G/Wi-Fi connectivity. From our experience with them, we are confident there won't be any hardware or connectivity issues.
We’ve also partnered with a professional quality center that will test the quality of every single product inside the chinese factory, before shipping, including communication tests with the SIM card.
In order to handle storage and logistics issues, we've also contracted partnerships with logistics center in France, the US, and China.