About this project
THE PEOPLE SPOKE. WE LISTENED. FLOCASE.
"Apple has been noticeably reluctant to bring [NFC] to the iPhone and iPad, but now one company hopes to beat Apple to it." - Mashable
"offers iPhone and iPad users a simple and relatively inexpensive way to join the NFC revolution" - GizMag
"NFC might only be available on a select number of Android devices, but that doesn’t mean other smartphones and tablets can’t join in on the fun." - SlashGear
"Based on our previous encounters with these guys, we’re expecting great things here." - The Next Web
"the FloJack, a unique NFC-enabled reader and writer that brings the coveted wireless technology to iOS users at last." - Mac Life
"You’ve probably seen the Samsung Galaxy S3 commercial making fun of people standing in line for the iPhone 5... Flomio does not want iPhone and iPad owners to feel left out of the NFC party." - The Gadgeteer
"If you want to be a part of the NFC revolution, but refuse to give up your Apple iOS device then Flomio, a Techstars Cloud company, has a solution: the FloJack." - Gear Diary
"It allows end users to plug in their device in a 3.5mm port of an Android legacy device (also iPhone & iPad), which then enables NFC" - Android Spin
"the company also offers an Open FloJack software developer's kit (SDK), to allow them to add NFC functionality to their iOS apps." - RFID Journal
The FloJack is a pocket-sized NFC reader, and writer, for Apple mobile devices.It brings the revolutionary power of NFC to the iPad, the iPod Touch, and the iPhone. Now, your Apple mobile devices can start touching the real world.
We hear from iOS customers every day "how can I get NFC on my iPad?". "I want to write tags with my iPhone, how can I do that?". Despite this strong demand the iPhone5 shipped without NFC.
The FloJack is compatible with iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, and iPhone 5. It works on the iPad, iPad 2, and iPad 3 as well as the 4th and 5th generation iPod Touch.
WHAT IS NFC?
Near Field Communication, or NFC, is a wireless technology that connects your phone to the devices around it. It's like Bluetooth, except it's only triggered by touch.
NFC uses touch to create connections between your phone and the world around you. With our NFC Actions App, you’ll be able to program an NFC Tag, like a Samsung TecTile, or one of our Flomio ZAPPs, and quickly allow your friends or customers to trigger different experiences with their own NFC enabled devices.
You can program an NFC Tag to give friends directions,
or put your car into drive mode.
In a coffee shop, a Zapp can get you onto WiFi,
check you into Foursquare, and Tweet all about it, with just a touch.
FLOMIO NFC ACTIONS
With Flomio NFC Actions you can read and write any NFC tags.
- Plug in your FloJack whenever you want NFC
- Launch Flomio NFC Actions (or another FloJack enabled app)
- Write tags! Read tags! Repeat
- That's it!
You can trigger actions on your device including:
- Launch your favorite iOS Apps
- Open URLs,
- Play YouTube videos,
- Exchange contact information,
- Send text messages,
- Call your friends
- And much much more...
This is what we dream about at Flomio. We’re a crack team of disruptive developers, creatives and NFC visionaries hell bent on helping everyone experience the touch revolution.
- Richard Grundy - Richard has over 12 years of embedded systems experience at Motorola R&D. Wake-boarding maniac.
- John Bullard - Built enterprise software in Redmond, WA. Lover of caffeine.
- Tim Ronan - Tim is a journeyman experiential designer / creative army knife with iconic contemporary cultural contributions like the Volkswagen Fast, The Creek South Beach Art Hotel, and Rawkus Records under his belt. Loves his wife Diana and 2 yr old son Maro.
- Fernando Cejas - Fernando created one of the most popular NFC apps - NFC Quick Actions for Android. He's a long time Android Developer and has worked at multiple startups.
We’re circuit board master craftsmen and we code like poets. We were hatched at TechStars and today we’ve banded together at the forefront of an NFC revolution. We're hard at work building an experience engine that creates new conversations & connections between brands, merchants, and people.
BUILDING THE FLOJACK
The FloJack has come a long way. The first prototype was the size of a lunchbox and weighed a ton. So we shrunk it down 2,000% and made it pocket size - small and light. We’ve hand built dozens of FloJacks and they work great!
FLOJACK OPEN SDK
We’re also excited to announce the FloJack Open SDK. Now, it’s easy for developers to add NFC to their iOS apps. And together with the Flomio Cloud Infrastructure - developers can power NFC experiences across all devices.
The Open FloJack SDK includes:
- FloJack Firmware Interface
- FloJack iOS Helpers
- Docs, Sample Code, Tutorials, etc
- Get it here: https://github.com/flomio/flojack-ios
It's super easy to get started - drop our static library into your Xcode project and you're ready to go. We handle the low level NFC protocols, audio sessions, and all the other hard stuff! The SDK also provides seamless integration with the Flomio experience engine allowing you to bridge the digital and physical worlds with experiences like 'tap to like', 'tap to check-in', and more.
For the serious developers looking for lightning fast support and robust tools we're offering the Flomio NFC Developer Program. You'll get early access to firmware updates and the latest FloJack prototypes.
IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITIES
Take a shopping experience for example, where your phone collects digital coupons as you walk the aisles. Not only do you save money, your experience is paperless, and seamless.
It also allows your favorite brands and shop owners to distribute coupons and in-store promotions specifically for you, for products you’re interested in.
When paying with your phone at check out, the coupons you collected are automatically applied, payments conveniently happen with just one touch, and your receipt is emailed to you.
At the salon, they can offer you special rewards and discounts, because they already know what you want, and which products you use the most.
Your salon experience is focused on you. Once you’re done, you conveniently pay with just a touch.
Here's our timeline for getting iOS some NFC awesomeness:
- Begin sourcing FloJack IC's, molds, antennas, and other FloJack components.
- Begin regulatory certification process for FloJack.
- Complete regulatory certification process for FloJacks
- Continue adding functionality to Flomio iOS SDK.
- FloJack injection molding design complete, begin writing embedded firmware to circuit boards
- Mass production complete: FloJacks ready for a trip to sunny Miami. Flomio iOS SDK ready for developers.
- First wave of FloJacks begin SHIPPING!
KICKSTARTER, WE NEED YOUR HELP
When we started this project, a lot of people told us it couldn’t be done.
At Flomio, we see NFC working seamlessly across all mobile platforms - Android, Windows, and iOS. But we need your help to-
- Put the FloJack into production.
- Finish the NFC Actions App.
- And launch our NFC Developer Program.
Help us enable the most innovative NFC solutions ever. We can't do this without you Kickstarter - back FloJack today!
Choose from a combination of FloJack, Flomio SDK, and NFC Tags:
- $2 - Flomio Love
- $25 - Twenty NFC Tags
- $49 - FloJack and Five NFC Tags
- $149 - FloJack and Five NFC Tags and Individual Flomio SDK
- $229 - Three FloJacks and Twenty NFC Tags and Individual Flomio SDK
- $549 - Ten FloJacks and a Hundred NFC Tags and SMB Flomio SDK
- $2499 - Fifty FloJacks and a Thousand NFC Tags and Enterprise Flomio SDK
- $10,000 - Custom engineer your FloJack solution with the Flomio Team.
Risks and challenges
Our team has experience delivering products at scale, but as with any other Kickstarter project we're keeping our eye on a number of risks and challenges.
HARDWARE / FIRMWARE
Our team is pretty happy with the hardware design at this stage. We've run a number of successful prototype runs and the devices work great. Still, there are always areas we'd like to improve such as product durability, battery life, etc. Thankfully our team has 12+ years of experience in embedded systems design and a few advanced degrees in the space!
Like the hardware component, the iOS development is moving along at a brisk rate. We're adding features on schedule and the FloJack is really coming to life. Still we're building a complex library for consumption by developers everywhere. There may also be risks with Apple's enigmatic app approval process. Again, we think our team is our greatest strength - with years of software development under our belts we think things will stay on track until we ship.
We're beginning to piece together a solid plan for logistics and supply chain management. As with the other areas we're trending well but there are a number of factors that might impact our plan. We've mitigated the risk by leveraging relationships we have overseas and have begun executing on our manufacturing plan ahead of time.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Yes! If this Kickstarter campaign is a successful, we have plans to release FloJacks in a variety of form factors... including phone cases. Once we get our 3D printer we'll be trying out some new designs. Stay tuned.
The FloJack runs on a standard 3V lithium cr2023 battery (included with each FloJack). You can find these at any grocery or convenience store. The FloJack is extremely power efficient. The consumption per polling interval is ~10uAs. On a 250mAh cr2032, this works out to about 90MM polls. At the polling rate of an Android device (10Hz), the FloJack would last just over 3 months. But since FloJack's sleep mode kicks in when apps stop using it, we estimate typical usage patterns will allow upwards of a year of battery life.
The Open FloJack SDK will include everything you need to build apps with the Flojack including: (1) FloJack Firmware Interface Docs (2) FloJack iOS Helpers (3) Code Samples, Tutorials, etc. We're hoping to empower developers to port FloJack to other platforms including Android.
Yes! The FloJack Open SDK includes all the information needed to bring FloJack to Android phones and any other device equipped with a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Yes! The FloJack will read all NFC Forum tags (Type 1, 2, 3 and 4) and any other tags conforming to ISO 14443A, ISO 14443B, ISO 15693 and Felica tags.
The FloJack has been tested with third and fourth generation iPod Touch, iPhone 4, iPhone 4s, and iPhone 5. For other devices like the new iPad4 and iPad mini, we need to test it out but we’re almost positive the FloJack will work fine.
Currently the FloJack doesn’t integrate directly with the Apple Passbook product.
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