[8/24] VIDEO UPDATE: The campaign video has been updated to include a tour of Glowdeck's WiFi display as well as several other features. Please spread the word and support the campaign today!
[8/21] NEW REWARD: Introducing Glowdeck Mini w/ Light. It does everything the regular Glowdeck light system does, except for Music Sync.
[8/19]NEW REWARD: Introducing Glowdeck Black. This version of Glowdeck is the same as the others except instead of a wood finish, it is wrapped in a sleek black skin (see the picture below).
POWER | wireless mobile device charger
Glowdeck charges compatible mobile devices (see chart below) completely wirelessly. Simply place your phone on Glowdeck's surface and it begins to charge just as if it were plugged into your wall charger.
Choose the Multiple Device Edition to wirelessly charge up to two phones at the same time (the Single Device Edition wirelessly charges one phone at a time).
LIGHT | notifications & music sync
Glowdeck's light system sets it apart from all other wireless chargers on the market.
Glowdeck's light system notifies you of incoming calls and texts by flashing (or dimming) in distinctive patterns. Because the light shines downward through Glowdeck's transparent raised foundation, the product appears to glow from within.
If you miss a call/text, the light system will remain steady-on until you remove your phone from the wireless charging surface (or manually turn the light off). Mobile devices typically go dark after missed calls/texts, requiring you to press a button to see if anything happened while you were away. With Glowdeck, you can know if there have been any calls/texts simply by glancing from across the room.
One thing that makes live music exciting is concert lighting. Glowdeck gives you the ability to enjoy smart lighting effects when listening to recorded music at home. Simply play a song through Glowdeck's speakers and a colorful light show syncs to the music in real time.
SOUND | high-quality wireless speakers
Glowdeck comes with a pair of high-quality Bluetooth speakers. Pair your Bluetooth-enabled device and you're ready to listen to music, make phone calls, or wirelessly stream any audio you choose.
Most importantly, these speakers are loud enough to make Glowdeck the entertainment system at your next party.
WIFI| internet-connected display
Glowdeck seamlessly connects to your WiFi network to display the current time, date, and weather forecast. But that's not all: you can also configure your own custom feed to appear across the bottom of the display. Whether you want to know the latest sports scores, stock market data, social media trends, or even reminders from your cloud-based calendars - and the possibilities go on - you can easily customize the display using our free mobile app or your computer's web browser.
And if you don't have WiFi (or if you're simply content with Glowdeck's basic display features), all of Glowdeck's features will work whether it's connected to the Internet or not.
How does Glowdeck connect to your WiFi network? Thanks to a new system developed by our friends at Electric Imp, you just hold your smartphone up to Glowdeck's display and the phone will literally "blink" the information Glowdeck needs to get online. It's as simple as that.
PORTABILITY | take it with you
Glowdeck runs on a high-capacity internal power supply. This means you can unplug the power cord and use Glowdeck anywhere. When fully charged, Glowdeck can run for over 30 hours in standby mode, and up to 18 hours when in use (precise battery life depends on how many different features are being used). With one phone charging, music playing loudly, and the lights turned on, Glowdeck ran for over 9 hours in tests.
MORE | additional features
Two editions of Glowdeck are available: the Single Device Edition and the Multiple Device Edition. The Single Device Edition can wirelessly charge one device at a time, while the Multiple Device Edition can charge two at once. Additionally, Glowdeck Mini will be available during this campaign (scroll to the Glowdeck Mini section below for details).
A small internal microphone enables you to use Glowdeck as a speakerphone. It also lets you speak voice commands directly to your phone (provided that your phone has that functionality).
How Does It Work?
Glowdeck was built with the "Qi" wireless charging standard in mind. By embedding a series of overlapping wireless charging coils directly beneath Glowdeck's surface, compatible devices are able to charge wherever they are placed (so long as the entire phone rests on the charging surface). The charging coils are approved by the Wireless Power Consortium (the industry group responsible for the Qi standard), and if this campaign is funded, I will be seeking Qi certification for Glowdeck itself.
The light system consists of a series of digital, multicolor (RGB) LEDs. Each LED can be individually programmed to shine in whatever color (and at whatever level of brightness) is desired. Glowdeck uses a 3-state switch to control the lights. When the switch is in the "Off" position, the light system is disabled. In "Ready" mode, the light system activates in response to incoming mobile communications and/or music played through the speakers. In "Steady-On" mode, the light shines continuously to provide subtle mood lighting, or even a unique nightlight.
The sound system gets audio from a state-of-the-art Bluetooth module, featuring digital signal processing (DSP), dual channel differential audio input and output, and Bluetooth v3.0 compatibility.
The charger, light system, and sound system all communicate with each other through a central microcontroller. This enables the lights to synchronize with the sound, and to know whether a phone is charging on the surface.
Glowdeck Mini is a smaller, single-device version of Glowdeck without the speakers and lights. It wirelessly charges across its surface, and has a real wood finish. It is also portable, featuring a 3,200 mAh internal power supply and a micro-USB charging port in the back.
The Design Process
It took numerous prototypes to arrive at the final Glowdeck design. Click here for a video that offers a sense of the way Glowdeck looked early in the design process.
And the images below offer a glimpse of the 3D-model used to fabricate the Glowdeck prototype that appears in the campaign video:
I'm always interested in hearing feedback about the design of Glowdeck. Feel free to chime in by posting your thoughts on Glowdeck's Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/Glowdeck, or via Twitter @glowdeck.
The Four Flavors of Glowdeck
Glowdeck is available in Maple, Walnut, and Cherry real wood finishes, as well as a non-wood black edition.
I launched this campaign to find out whether other people like this product as much as I do. Your pledge will allow me to take the remaining steps necessary to bring Glowdeck to market.
When will it be ready?
If this campaign is funded, I will be doing everything I can to ensure that you receive your product as quickly as possible. I have already formed relationships with manufacturers abroad, applied for certifications, and will have selected a team to help me get this product to market before the campaign is over. The production timeline (below) outlines the plan in greater detail. Updates on the production process will be posted to this page during and after the campaign.
I regularly get asked new questions about Glowdeck. If your question isn't answered below, feel free to post it on Glowdeck's Facebook page and I will do my best to update this section with answers on a regular basis.
Can my mobile device charge wirelessly with Glowdeck?
Some phones are made with integrated wireless charging coils. Other phones can be made to wirelessly charge with an adapter, such as a case or a sleeve. Glowdeck works with all Qi-compatible devices and accessories. The chart below lists the phones that are Qi-ready (whether natively, or with a Qi compliant accessory) as of the start of this campaign.
My phone is on the list, but requires an accessory to work. Will you offer these accessories as well?
I am not planning on offering wireless charging cases/sleeves at this time. However, these accessories are easy to locate and order online.
Can I use Glowdeck if my phone is not Qi-ready?
Yes, as long as your phone is Bluetooth enabled (and most are), you will be able to take advantage of all of Glowdeck's features other than wireless charging.
Additionally, Glowdeck is equipped with a USB-port for wired charging.
Is Glowdeck constructed with real wood?
Yes, and it will be offered in three different wood finishes - Maple, Cherry, and Walnut.
Can I listen to music through Glowdeck if my phone is not on the charging surface?
Yes, as long as your phone is within Bluetooth range (approximately 30 meters) of Glowdeck it will be able to wirelessly stream music.
What are the dimensions of Glowdeck?
Please note that these are the dimensions of the prototype as it currently exists. The dimensions of the production versions of Glowdeck and Glowdeck Mini could change slightly.
Glowdeck measures 9.15" x 6.5" x 1.75" and Glowdeck Mini is 6.5" x 3.5" x 0.85" (inches).
What are the specifications of the batteries in Glowdeck and Glowdeck Mini?
Glowdeck Multiple Device Edition uses a 12 volt 6,600 mAh lithium battery, Glowdeck Single Device Edition uses a 12 volt 5,400 mAh lithium battery, and Glowdeck Mini uses a 3.7 volt 3,200 mAh lithium battery.
What are the specification of the speakers?
Glowdeck is equipped with 2 5-watt stereo speakers.
Can I control Glowdeck's lights with an app on my phone?
Currently, no. And while we are not promising a mobile app by the time Glowdeck ships, I can tell you that something cool is in the works. Follow our Twitter feed (@glowdeck) for updates if and when we have them.
How do I recharge Glowdeck/Glowdeck Mini?
Glowdeck charges with a DC power cord (included), and Glowdeck Mini charges with a Micro-USB cable.
Risks and challenges
What you see in the video is an actual Glowdeck prototype, but it is not done yet.
First, there are still some minor design enhancements that will be going into the final product (i.e., the speakers will have grills, the display will be protected by a transparent frame with borders, and the power switch in the back won't interrupt the wood as it currently does). Photos of the prototype as it is refined will be posted during and after the campaign.
Second, the method by which the current prototype senses incoming calls/texts and communicates with the iPhone is not ideal. In order to make glowdeck communicate properly with the iPhone, I will need to obtain an MFI license from Apple. I am currently in the midst of the application process for this license. If/when I am approved (and whether I am approved can depend in part on how much support this campaign generates - Apple likes to see products that will go to market) I will need to update the electronics to make Glowdeck work the way it should.
In addition to obtaining a MFI license, Glowdeck will also need to be tested and certified for compliance with FCC regulations (see the product timeline above for a more comprehensive list of the certifications that will be sought). As part of the evaluation process, revisions may be required.
Glowdeck began with an idea for a product I wanted, followed by countless hours of research, breadboarding, programming, and design work. Still, more expertise is needed to productize the electronics. With your support, I will work with an experienced team to bring this project to production.
The USB port offers a wired-charging option for devices that are not compatible with the wireless charging surface. For example, while you're waiting for the wireless charging cover for your Samsung Galaxy to arrive in the mail (see http://www.samsung.com/us/mobile/cell-phones-accessories/EP-CI950IWUSTA for ordering information), you can charge the old-fashioned way by plugging your charging cable into Glowdeck's USB port.
Yes. The entire wireless charging apparatus is effectively isolated from the rest of Glowdeck's internal components with a high-permeability ferrite plate. In other words, you can charge your phone on the wireless charging surface while playing music with no degradation in sound quality.
Yes, you can use your phone while it wirelessly charges just like you can use your phone while it's plugged in. The only difference is, if you happen to move your phone while it's on the charging surface, its new location might require it to switch to a different charging coil. If this happens, you will see your phone stop charging for a second or so as it switches to a new charging coil (and then it will resume charging again).
Until very recently, I had been developing Glowdeck more or less by myself. That said, I did work with two great companies in New York City that helped me move from concept to prototype during the early stages of development.
The first company - "FABberz" - has a top-notch team of design and fabrication experts who spent many late nights churning out parts for the numerous prototypes that preceded the version you seen here. Check them out at fabberz.com.
The second company - "The Bakery" - just opened in Brooklyn. The Bakery offers large and small studio spaces for creative professionals, and is run by two highly talented creative professionals in their own right. You can check them out at thebakerybrooklyn.com.
Additionally, I was most fortunate to get to collaborate with a first-rate illustrator, Darren Stolow, on many of the graphical elements of the Glowdeck campaign.
Finally, I will be posting a complete list of manufacturing partners and other collaborators on this page very soon. Check back regularly for updates.
Currently, you can only stream music from services like Pandora and Spotify from your Bluetooth-enabled phone to Glowdeck's speakers.
However, since partnering with Electric Imp to improve Glowdeck's WiFi connectivity, I have been exploring several very intriguing possibilities for expanding Glowdeck's WiFi-related feature set. I will take comments I receive into account as I finalize this list, and will be posting a video update (along with a complete list of these WiFi features) in the next few days. Stay tuned - this is going to be an exciting update!
The person who posted this question specifically wanted to know whether it is possible to conserve battery power when playing music through Glowdeck's speakers by disabling the music sync/light show. The answer is yes.
You can switch the light system between any of three states: Off, Ready, and Steady-On. In Off mode, the light system is completely disabled. In Ready mode, you will receive light notifications if your device is paired with Glowdeck. In Steady-On mode, the light will remain constantly on (Steady-On mode provides unique ambient lighting, but uses the most battery).
As mentioned above, a mobile app is in the works that would allow for greater custom control over each of Glowdeck's features (for example, the mobile app would allow users to individually control the brightness and color of each light, and provide a simple way to customize the look and content that appears on Glowdeck's WiFi-connected display). To be safe, I am not promising that the mobile app will be ready by the time Glowdeck ships, but I am going to do everything possible to make it happen. Check back for updates about the progress of the Glowdeck mobile app.
Pledge $1 or more to receive exclusive Glowdeck updates and content, including advance access to new product videos. You can also sign up for the newsletter by "Liking" the Glowdeck Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/glowdeck
MUSIC SYNC PRODUCER: You will fly to New York City (from anywhere in the continental United States) and stay in a 5-Star hotel on the weekend when Glowdeck's "Music Sync" feature is being professionally filmed on a rooftop overlooking the NYC skyline. You'll have full access to the set on the evening of the shoot, and you'll have the opportunity to offer creative input during the production. And of course you'll also get a Glowdeck Multiple Device Edition (estimated delivery January 2014). We will contact you to make sure you are available the weekend of the shoot.
GET INVOLVED: I will travel anywhere in the continental United States to meet with you and spend a day developing a concept/design for a new/different edition of Glowdeck. If this campaign is successful, I will offer this product as a stretch reward and credit you as a collaborator. You will also receive one Glowdeck Multiple Device Edition and one Glowdeck Mini (estimated delivery January 2014).