About this project
How many times have you heard, "Mom/Dad, can I play on your iPhone?"
You give your phone to your child only to have it returned with random email messages notifications, deleted apps and no battery charge left. Not to mention the sticky fingerprints and all sorts of other unknown goo on the screen. We have the solution to keep your iPhone protected with its battery full and screen fingerprint free.....
Introducing iBuku Pets®
So you're getting a new iPhone 5... Why not give your child your old iPhone 4/4S? Or maybe you even have a couple iPhone 3 or 3G's sitting in a drawer collecting dust. These phones are perfectly fine to use over WiFi, but just don't hold the battery charge they once did, thus rendering them all but useless.
iBuku Pets® are a cuddly, hug-gable enclosure for your old or new iPhone which offer a backup battery designed to bring that old iPhone back to its original battery life and screen time, allowing your kids to use your spare iPhone instead of your current one. Or when used with a new iPhone, the backup battery will double the effective screen time/play time so that your little sweetheart doesn't return your iPhone with a completely drained battery.
Entertaining educational content… A cost-efficient ecosystem for gaming… it all begins here.
Since it's iOS, you can still use other apps. But with our iBuku Pets® Apps, kids get to know our loveable cast of characters Alvi, Bibi Cuki and Duru, or go on imaginative new adventures beneath the rainforest… where we infuse an AMAZING balance of Fun, Learning and Entertainment that will look to deliver BEYOND mindless button presses. OUR Goal is to build imagination …while giving kids an appreciation for the world around them …allowing parents to harness the power of screen-time into something more valuable.
Since kids are on the go iBuku Pets® feature a built in sound chamber for enhanced audio, neat storage for extra cords, and handy options for a backup battery and wireless charging.
At night iBuku Pets® can be used as a night light, alarm clock and even a lantern.
With all this utility, now your old device can come out of the bottom of a drawer, and welcome your child into an adventurous world of learning and fun instead of ending up in a landfill.
Our Story, it all began with a casual conversation
How many times have you been at a party at a friendʼs house and everyone starts talking about the upcoming release of the newest smartphone. We had a conversation like that in 2011 and the discussion turned to the drawback of continual advances in technology — the dilemma of the old phone. What do you do with it? Where does it go? Being a group of parents, we talked about how our kids always want to play with our iPhones®.
After the party, we began noticing kids playing with phones in coffee shops, waiting rooms, and in line at the store. Small hands tapping away at shiny screens were everywhere. It became obvious to us, many parents realized their kids naturally gravitate toward these devices, making kids the perfect recipients of last yearʼs phone.
As we began doing research we found a recent study in the US showed a growing majority of these older devices are being diverted to younger members of the family, just as we observed. Itʼs perfect, recycling by re-purposing an old device breathes new life by getting them out the bottom of an old dusty drawer or, more importantly, out of a landfill. It also helps introduce our children to technology that they will be embracing for the rest of their lives.
At our next gathering we felt better that we had a solution to reducing the pollution of this technology, but we realized there was another problem. Strange things start to happen when old smart phones are put in the hands of kids. The small, fragile devices often end up lost or broken. Also, with some older devices, the battery does not hold the charge as long leading to repeated requests from kids to recharge the devices. Lastly, with more than 500,000 iPhone® Apps out there, it is very time consuming to find content that is fun, entertaining, and educational.
Being a group of engineers, industrial designers, and developers, we said we were done with dinner party talk, we needed to create something that would empower parents to give their old smart phones to their children knowing the device would be safe and secure with content that facilitates meaningful screen time. That is when we created iBuKu Pets®.
iBuku Pets® solves these problems with our patent pending design integrating a protective enclosure with a common sense ergonomic shape that is small enough to hold, but big enough to keep track of. Made from environmentally friendly PVC, BPA, Phthalate free foam; each iBuku Pet® is as lightweight as the iPhone® itself. The unique weight distribution actually makes it feel like you're holding onto thin air. In addition to creating an engaging storyline, our lovable cast of characters supports an entertaining and imaginative experience. The objective is to utilize a natural interest in technology to help kids to appreciate the world around them with enhanced experiences featuring practical learning, imaginative games, and useful utility apps that teach.
Arbor Cube is an Ann Arbor, Michigan based group of friends and parents like you who happened to have the perfect blend of engineers, industrial designers and developers to turn casual talk into innovation designed to improve technology while being environmentally responsible.
Great design appeals to kids of all ages.
iBuku Pets work well as a toy for little ones, but it's also a great novelty item for anyone. It works well as playful/ functional art or as a sound boosting hands free dock for for your desk. It's a great way to repurpose an older phone to be used to reference a"recipe" while cooking, or as an alarm clock or digital photo frame for picts of your friends and family.
Design inspired by a Universal Gesture
Our design objective was to use a subtly evolved universal form language to create an accessible iconic design, inspired by the welcoming gesture of a hug. Through ideation we gradually honed in on a form factor that was inclusive and inviting.
"Our goal was to respond to the natural human desire for acceptance. We wanted to "dissolve" the technical coldness of the device into a more relate-able form that innocently connects with our emotional being."
-Royce Channey: iBuku Pets Lead Industrial Designer / Co-creator
Once this was complete, our next challenge was this empathic shape into a size that is proportionally appropriate for the ratio of the device to little hands. These choices blended beautifully with the accessible nuances on the arms, legs and tail to create an unmistakable shape that instantly defines our product.
We've Done our Homework and we're ready to go!
Our product is developed, tested and ready for production.
But Kickstarters, we need your help.
Since the development work and testing has already been completed. Your pledges will go toward making additional tooling to help us to produce the product more efficiently, at greater volumes.
By supporting us your son daughter, niece or nephew, grandson or granddaughter will be among the first to have this highly anticipated NEW product, and you will have the satisfaction of knowing that your pledges made it all possible. We appreciate your support of our goals to productively harness kids' natural interest in smart devices into a powerful learning platform .
Please support our Kickstarter and tell your friends to help us to make this a success and in return we look forward to shipping out your rewards surprisingly soon after.
We made iBuku Pets® durable and tough. Nothing on the market today comes as close to protecting your device from impact.
Watch Jenna, our developer's 2 year old, drop the same phone 28 times, for the video shoot, we are still using the same phone today.
Risks and challenges
Our first iBuku Pets production molds are completed. You can see examples of real parts in our video, the parts look great and we know the mold design works after many design iteration to overcome the deep draw in the B-side cavity (inside of the toy tool), our focus is to work out all the issues from that deep draw cavity, and to get consistant parts, that do not have sink marks -even if minor-, or flash (the extra plastic that comes from the two half's of the tool closing) which we have to trim at an extra cost, if not eliminated.
Also with this type of light material you can not add cavities for extra capacity, instead; we have to complete 4 extra molds so it is economical to produce adequate production capacity and keep the price as promised, and the quality high. Our risk will be processing out all the imperfection so we dont require secondary costly operations, and in making the same quality tools to match the original.
Our character development and Apple App are completed as well. there is a minor risk that the app is not optimized for all ages we are targeting, where we have to test further with younger kids so its not too fast for them, and with older kids so its not boring as we add more levels and interesting obstacles. if we don't work out these improvements, the app will be received poorly, and would not build loyalty following for future apps.
Our battery is also designed and prototyped. The risk here will be in testing/verifying the battery design prior to going to production, from the PCB board layout and the quality of the electronic components (diodes, processors, etc) under worst case failure analysis, to the plastic enclosure. we also have to pass the UL testing and make sure it is safe for kids use, and long lasting.
We are a very motivated, hard working, and experienced team, with a clear idea and plans in place to overcome these risks. the creative team, although small, has a wealth of combined experience managing tool production and electronic designs from small parts to large complex assemblies that produced millions of parts for the automotive and consumer electronic industries, in our respective daily jobs, and have created, produced and released more complex games for Nintendo and Sony playstation that are on the shelves in Walmart and Game Stop. And with your support we are not sweating it.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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