Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on December 4, 2013.
About this project
Aura is a smart dock plus wireless remote that converts any Android smartphone into an in-vehicle console. Its simple user interface allows drivers to safely control their smartphones while driving.
With Aura’s minimalist design, operating your smartphone is as easy as controlling the car radio. Use Aura to snap pictures, shoot videos, call & text, navigate, and more with the simple press of a button.
Aura re-imagines the driving experience by making it safe, easy and simple to use the key features of your smartphone in a convenient and intuitive manner.
Whether you’re taking a road trip with friends or want to document your daily commute, Aura allows you to capture the moments that matter. Simply click the camera button to snap a picture or double-click to capture selfie or people in the car (using the front camera).
Aura can be configured to automatically geo-tag and time-stamp the pictures, so you can easily keep track of everything. Pictures are more fun to share without having to explain when and where they were taken.
Aura records videos on the go. All the fun sunsets, Canyon drives, windy roads, drive with loved one and more can be captured on a video. Aura supports video capture while running other apps so you don't miss a moment. Checkout the experience of driving through the steep streets of San Francisco.
Aura enables activating the Google Voice Commands with a single touch. It allows you to send texts, make calls, navigate, play music, launch apps and more.
Aura can be configured to read out the incoming text on the fly. No more hassles to take your eyes off the road and read the text message that just can't wait.
Aura enables you to take or reject the incoming call using a single click. Unlike other in-car smart docks, Aura works well in cars with or without built-in Bluetooth connectivity. If your car doesn’t have Bluetooth capability, Aura will automatically put incoming calls on speaker.
When connected to your Android smartphone, Aura automatically charges your phone and makes sure that you never arrive at your destination with your phone’s batteries drained. Aura also automatically launches the Aura app when connected, so you can simply plug in & hit the road without wasting time or putting yourself at risk while driving..
Installing & using Aura is easy. We provide the necessary cables to connect Aura to both your car and to your Android smartphone. Once the dock is fully connected, the Aura app will auto-download & auto-launch itself on your phone. Aura also comes with a 4-button wireless remote that you can choose to mount onto the steering wheel, dashboard, or other convenient location.
THE AURA ANATOMY
Inspired by the shape of Sting Ray, the Aura dock is a sleek design that not only blends in but enhances the car’s interior.
The key differentiation of the Aura dock is the electronics inside that connects the wireless remote and the smartphone. A peek inside will reveal the smart chip (a.k.a microprocessor), a wireless receiver, and a battery charge circuit. Aura also includes a dual port USB charger that can charge one additional phone/tablet.
The dock composition is polycarbonate ABS that can withstand both hot and cold climates. It has a patented sticky gel suction mechanism that securely adheres to even irregular surfaces. Don’t believe us? Check out the video above, which demonstrates how well Aura functions even when driving down the steep streets of the Pacific Heights neighborhood in San Francisco.
The dock holder can accommodate smartphones from 3.5 inch to 5.5 inch screen size. It has a ball socket joint that allows a yaw, pitch and roll movement, thereby providing flexible orientation for the smartphone.
Aura has a 4-button wireless remote that allows for safer control of smartphones. The buttons are color coded and ergonomically arranged for easy use. Using push buttons rather than a touch screen lets the user keep their eyes on the road while driving.
The Aura remote is simple and sleek with a magnetic mount that makes it easy to put it in the most effective and convenient location for each driver. In most cases this is either the car steering wheel or on the dashboard.
Each button can detect single click, double click and long presses allowing for a broad range of capabilities from only four buttons.
The remote has a long lasting battery that has a battery life of over 2 years, so you don’t have to worry about charging the battery.
Aura Smartphone App:
Usability, usability and usability is our design mantra.
The Aura app
- Auto-downloads itself when connected to the dock.
- Auto-launches when connected to the dock.
- Plays well with other applications and will run in the background when another app is launched.
Aura can record video in the background while other apps (e.g.: navigation) are in the foreground.
Aura always shows the date, time and connection status.
API for Developers:
We believe in the power of apps and are committed to making a programmable interface (API) available to developers to map Aura remote keys to actions in Smartphone apps. This will make apps like Pandora, Waze, and Instagram easier to control from Aura.
AURA in PRESS!
WHO WE ARE AND WHERE ARE WE
A ticket for using smartphone while driving triggered the idea for Aura, it's a classic 'Pain Point meets Engineer meets Opportunity' development.
We are a group of highly qualified engineers and car nuts with years of experience with robots, networking gear, mobile devices and software development.
Aura has been in design and development for over a year and a half. We have working prototypes (as demonstrated in the video) and are already working with manufacturing and assembly vendors.
Team Aura is re-imagining the driving experience by making it safe and convenient to use your smartphone. With your support, we can bring Aura to car dashboards worldwide and make roads safer. Your contribution will help us fund:
- Tooling costs
- Compliance certifications (FCC, EU, CE)
- Assembly and Supply Chain Setup
When we ship Aura, it will consists of the following
PHILANTHROPIC AURA! ($1) You like the idea, and want to help our cause of keeping the roads safe. Every dollar counts and the Internet world will remember you till the alien invasion.
APPLE FANATIC!($5) You are a proud owner of iPhone and would love to use Aura with your phone. We get your message loud and clear and you will be the first ones on the list to get news of our iOS version launch!
TERRIFIC AURA!($9) You love our idea and want to help our cause of keeping the roads safe. We will send you a Limited Edition "AURA" Engraved Key-Chain. Sometime down the line you will be proud of us and relish your key-chain. Free shipping to USA.
ELITE AURA CLUB! ($69) You see what we see and are on board as an Early Adopter. We will ship you an Aura (Dock + Remote + App) with a personalized thank-you note. Free shipping to USA.
GEARHEAD! ($79) Like us, you too are a car-nut and are really looking forward to take your driving experience to the next level. We will ship you an Aura (Dock + Remote + App) with a personalized thank-you note. Free shipping to USA.
AFICIONADO! ($89) You have a penchant for driving and would like to make it safe for everyone. We will ship you an Aura (Dock + Remote + App) with a personalized thank-you note. Free shipping to USA.
HOLIDAY SPECIAL (Optional with $79 & $89 rewards only):
Aura is the perfect gift for showing your loved ones that you care. We really wish we could deliver Aura for the holiday season. But since that's not possible, we will send our supporters a Holiday Card and Limited Edition Engraved Key-Chain for you to give to your loved ones. The key-chain will serve as a reminder that you care and that their Holiday gift is currently being manufactured in the factory (maybe by elves).
This Holiday Special add-on package is complimentary and a special way for us to thank you for being an awesome. :)
(Please add $15 for international shipping.)
BRAVE BETA TESTER! ($99) You want to be the first to lay your hands on a freshly made Aura. Your feedback is important and it will help us perfect the product. You are tech-savvy and the world admires you for that. We will ship you the first batch of Aura.
Please add $15 for international shipping.
With Aura, the app and primary service are free to download on as many phones as you’d like. You will be able to dock any Android phone to Aura and use the remote or your phone to safely and conveniently snap, shoot, text & talk while driving.
After Aura ships, there will be additional (optional) service plans that include more options (cloud connectivity, driving analysis, teenage driver mode and additional camera features) and the ability to use the remote with third-party apps. These premium plans will have a surcharge but will be optional and contract-free. Contributing to the campaign here in no way signs you up for a paid service plan. Updates to the app are free for users as well.
Risks and challenges
Minimizing risks is our priority. We know that a good prototype does not equal a complete product. We have been following design for manufacturability (DFM) rules from the very beginning of this project.
The most significant risk to hardware manufacturing is the sourcing of parts and managing the lead times of more than 50 components that make up the Aura. To address this, we've already set up relationships with suppliers of critical components and arranged second sources for these parts.
Although we cannot fully predict future issues that these suppliers might have with delivering components on time, we are extremely confident in the partners we've chosen to work with to deliver Aura on time.
Current estimated costs and delivery dates are based on the first 1,000 units. We will, of course, communicate any adjustments that become necessary for any reason.
The drawings presented herein are based on our prototype or design goals available at the time of posting. Designs and specifications may change as we develop Aura for production.
With your support, we can bring Aura to car dashboards worldwide and make the roads safer.
Aura connects to the 12V cigarette lighter charge point in the car. It uses a patented gel suction technology to stick to any irregular dash surface.
Yes, you only need your smartphone. We will ship the cables, the dock with remote (battery included) and Aura App will downloaded from Google Play. Oh yes, you also need your car!
Yes, we will send out survey after the campaign for options between Canyon Red, Stone Yello and Arches Orange.
Yes, Aura can do that.
Aura Smart Dock is 4.61x4x3.32 in
- (30 days)