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THANK YOU ALL BACKERS for bringing KOOLTHINGS to life.
It has been an exciting journey to the Finish Line. Our team continues to work hard to meet the scheduled production of KoolThings!
Our sincerest appreciation for supporting and believing in us.
Let the MAGIC begin...
All products can now be preordered thru our website: www.kooltechs.com
See Update #4: KoolTechs team will demo KoolThings platform at the upcoming EE Live! embedded system conference, San Jose, CA ( March 31- April 3)
KoolThings featured in Wireless Design Magazine's youtube video: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10100336264297301&id=1469716803254060
KoolThings is on TI IoT Innovator box, next to Pebble smartwatch, Whistle dog-activity tracker, IBM Smart Cloud washing machine demo... www.ti.com/iot
TI IoT innovator box
KoolThings at 110% of funding goal! Thank You Backers!
New iOS7 "ANCS" notification feature works with KoolWand to create “App-less Home Automation.” Patent pending! See Update #2 for details.
Microchip video promoting KoolThings : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGNt4rvTtmc&feature=youtu.be
What is KoolThings?
Clip KoolWand to your laptop or valuables (purse, gear) and get instantly alerted (via notification messaging to your phone) when someone attempts to move it. Conversely, KoolWand's buzzer will go off if somebody moves your smartphone.
Place KoolWand in your child’s pocket and be alerted if he/she wanders too far.
Attach KoolWand to your keys and never lose them again. Your Smartphone can trigger KoolWand‘s alarm to locate them.
If you misplace the Smartphone instead, KoolWand can also track and find it by sounding the phone's alarm tone.
Lose an item tagged with KoolWand and our Koolwand community automatically helps locate your lost item "behind the scenes." Its last known GPS location is also saved to help narrow the search.
As your child gets home, KoolBridge sends a notification and a snapped photo (by an optional iOS device such as iPod touch) to your smart phone. A peace of mind.
Attach KoolWand onto any door and get alerted when that door is opened. "Facetime" an iPod Touch at home to view or record the event: an instant Security Camera System with very simple setup. Also great for saying hi to your pets when nobody is at home! A KoolThings Exclusive! Garage-door opener via your 3G/4G smartphone is a stretch-goal add-on too.
Place KoolBridge in the baby’s room and your smartphone becomes a 2-way audio baby monitor. KoolBridge auto-detects the baby's crying sound level and send notifications to your phone.
Using Siri/Google Voice, KoolBridge lets you voice command your Smart Home: “Turn on Philips Hue LED in living room”, “Set NEST thermostat to 65 degree”, or “Play Skyfall by Adele on kitchen stereo”. See demo videos further down below
With infrared (IR) learning capability and easy sharing between tablets and smartphones, KoolWand transforms your Smartphone into the ultimate remote control with Macro for your Home Entertainment System. The advanced features of gesture controls (swiping on phone's touchscreen, or tapping on KoolWand) and voice commands via Google -Voice or Siri make it even more convenient and more fun controlling your media center and appliances.
Smile… Use KoolWand as a remote control and trigger your Smartphone camera to snap a photo. Also works with Nikon, Canon,... DSLR cameras with built-in infrared receiver. Creative digital photography is also made possible with KoolThings' powerful MACRO feature which can control multiple lights, cameras, sequentially or simultaneously, via Wifi, and IR, BLE Bluetooth low energy.
Skip a song or adjust the music volume on your smartphone "hands free" with KoolWand gesture control. Great feature to have where it’s illegal to handle a phone while driving!
Stream music wirelessly from your Smartphone/Cloud onto any sound system at home with KoolBridge. We call this feature "AirDroidPlay" as it supports both Android and Apple iOS (similar to Apple AirPlay)
Attach a USB drive containing your music library to KoolBridge and have access to all your playlists in one place. Can play music on your stereo while streaming your photos/videos from USB drive (or even the cloud such as FaceBook photos) to your phone/tablet
How about playing your smartphone music wirelessly onto the car sound system via KoolBridge with KoolWand's gesture control?
Plug a KoolBridge to each room‘s sound system and create an instant Multi-Room Whole House Audio (or, optionally with a KoolWand, to enjoy "Music Follows You" feature). Exclusively KoolBridge!
KoolBridge also plays music in sync with flashing Philips HUE LED's or other LED light strips creating a Vegas Bellagio light show experience.
KoolWand tracks your steps, distance run to inspire you to get fit.
For extra motivation, KoolWand works with KoolApp "GymDJ" to speed up your music tempo automatically as you run faster or exercise at higher heart rate (with optional Wahoo heart rate strap). A KoolWand Exclusive!
Used as a TV remote, KoolWand controls how much TV time you get based on whether you have reached your exercise goal for the day. SImilarly, with KoolWand attached to a violin or piano's pedal/soundboard, you can monitor your (or your kid's) daily music practice time, and get reward with TV or Video game time accordingly. Patent Pending .
Like a Magic Wand...
The possibilities are truly endless...-
Many more KoolFeatures and KoolAccessories (KoolMotionSensor, Integrated Wifi/Bluetooth-basedKoolAmp, KoolSmartPowerPlug, KoolGrillSensor, KoolInfraredDongle, KoolHumidity/TemperatureDongle,) prototypes have been successfully tested and many more are on the horizon... Visit us at www.kooltechs.com for the latest updates.
With our open SDK availability, we are confident that KoolThings will have more innovative applications with creative inputs from backers and developers. We therefore invite you to share with us what is “wanded” through our open platform. After all, it is the magical "iWanditAll" KoolThings.
For security tag application:
For Remote Control (via Infrared IR, Bluetooth) with swipe and gesture capabilities:
For Health & Fitness:
For Smart Home:
KoolAccessories: iOS audio jack-based dongles
PACKAGE OPTION PRICES
What You Want ...........................What You Buy
NOTICE: To simplify the “Pledge” structure for backers, we have removed the KoolAccessories Dongles and KoolCombo #1-5 from the Pledge column. You can preorder them via our website www.kooltechs.com and we will honor the campaign pricing structure.See Package Pricing Options Table. Please note that KoolGrillSensor, KoolHumidity/TemperatureDongle, and KoolHumidity/TemperatureSensor will only be available if the total order for each exceeds 200 units.
Average selling price of competitors' smartphone app-based accessories
Stretch Goal's add-ons:
We already have prototypes of additional sensors and accessories that will add more capabilities to KoolThings as well as plans to partner up and develop Bluetooth low energy-based apps that link our accessories with other vendors' wearable devices and home-automation products. Depending on our backers' response level and funding, without sharing too much confidential information, here are some of the add-ons that we will announce via KickStarter updates:
• KoolWand's AA-battery add-on (via micro-USB) for KoolWand to last over a year. Motion, light, temperature sensors. and possibly smoke detector may be integrated into this battery holder as well
• KoolSmartPowerPlug: AC-Wall-plugged accessory with PIR-motion sensor, light, temperature sensors and relay circuit to turn on/off its AC output (which turns on/off any home appliances that are plugged into this accessory depending on the triggering events). This accessory can be wirelessly controlled by SmartPhone apps directly (without a wifi router) or over the Internet via KoolBridge. This supports garage door opener feature too !
• Very thin, small, low-power version of KoolWand (without IR, microUSB charging connector) to target just the personal security/tag market (similar to the popular "Tile" proximity-sensing security tag), See its 3D CAD model video below
• Add PLC (Power Line Communications) and z-wave support to KoolBridge so more home-automaton appliances that are based on AC-power lines and wireless z-wave standards can be controlled
It has been a long journey since 3 years ago when the project idea first came to us when a team member’s father with Alzheimer’s wandered away and got lost. In the search for a wearable alarm/notification and home-monitoring device to help family members avoid similar incidents, the team developed a keyfob and home monitoring circuit that addressed these needs. This eventually led to the team working diligently to transform this concept into iWanditAll Koolthings platform. Through design partnership with major US semiconductor companies and contract manufacturing vendors ( www.qsic.com in San Diego, CA and in Shenzhen, China) , we are ready to take KoolThings to the next level of high-volume production
We have gone through multiple PCB (printed circuit board) revisions and 2 design versions of KoolWand plastic enclosures. Below is our final enclosure design (in black color) which also comes with an additional back cover with a clip-on.
As a stretch goal, we are considering offering the lime green color along with 3 other hot color options below.
Also as a stretch goal, we will offer a very thin, small, coin-cell operated KoolWand for personal security/tagging application, as shown in the 3D CAD model video below:
Here are some videos of our latest hardware/apps prototypes in action. All features listed under KoolWand, KoolBridge and KoolThings feature list (except for KoolWand Community Lost&Found, and "Music Follows You" features) have been successfully beta tested and will be integrated into our KoolApp and other stand-alone apps, soon to be released on Apple appstore and Google Play store for free download.
IR remote via KoolIRdongle (inserted into iOS audio jack) or Koolwand (using wireless BLE) to control LED bulb/strip, Canon EOS camera (via iPAD with KoolIRdongle in the audio jack)
Koolwand as pedometer, with app counting steps when walking or running:
Voice command (Google Voice/Siri) : video to demo voice-command of a song via KoolBridge's builtin microphone; and turning on the TV using KoolWand's IR transmitter via iPhone's microphone
Dancing LED lights synchronized to the music beat; music streamed wirelessly from smartphone with or without external wifi router:
3D CAD model video of Koolwand PCB:
3D CAD model video of KoolBridge PCB:
Firmware and apps: all of the advertised features (except for KoolWand Community Lost&Found, and "Music Follows You" features) have been tested successfully on pilot hardware boards and iOS, Android 4.3 and Samsung S4/S3 devices.
Most remaining software work is on UI improvement, addition of more cloud services, and integration of features, system tests, bug fixes and final QA testing
Electronics hardware: We are quite ahead for engineering prototype and pilot production phases : we have built over 100 KoolBridge boards and KoolWands, and are in the final phase of testing to confirm all wireless and sensor circuitry work reliably:
* Good BTLE range confirmed ( In open air: 70-80m for iPhone5; 50-60m for Samsung Galaxy S4 )
* IR transmitter and receiver have been tested extensively (in fact we have built 1,000 KoolInfraredDongles and tested them successfully on all iOS versions, including iOS7 on iPad, iPad mini, iPod Touch, iPhone)
* 3-axis accelerometer tested satisfactorily from simple motion detection, to gesture control and pedometer applications
* Temperature/Humidity sensors and BBQ Grill temperature probe: tested successfully with firmware and app on both iOS7 and Android 4.3, Samsung S4/S3
Plastic enclosures: We have gone through 2 ID design iterations for KoolWand enclosure and have completed our 3rd, final prototype with a sleeker wearable ID/form factor. A major portion of the KickStarter production schedule is for tooling/molding and mass production of KoolWands and KoolBridges. The KoolBridge enclosure design has been finalized.
• End of December: Kickstarter launch
• February: Kickstarter campaign ends
• March 2014: Tooling/Molds for plastic parts; build and test PCB boards
• March-April 2014: Molds built, continue system test, shipping Developers' kits
• May 2014: Shipment
How Kickstarter KoolThings funds will be used :
• To tool/mold the final KoolWand ID/enclosure; to design the top cover of KoolBridge enclosure
• To create tooling for plastic parts, and packaging
• To go through FCC test, and if needed, to fab the final version of PCB's to fix unexpected wireless, system test, reliability issues
• To continue to develop, test, debug KoolApps with integrated features and with even sleeker UI screens.
• To continue adding user-friendly programmability to KoolApps Home Automation application. This will allow users to intuitively set up new triggering events and actions to take when these events occur.
• To continue developing more cloud services to work with KoolBridge and KoolWand and KoolSensors
• With more fundings if Stretch Goals are met, we can continue to innovate with more KoolStuffs: refer to "Stretch Goal's Add-Ons" section for some of the prototypes that we can share publicly at this time.
For Geeky Minds:
How does KoolBridge work?
KoolBridge is a wireless bridge that converts Wifi/Bluetooth/BLE commands from mobile devices (iOS and Android) to Infrared/Bluetooth/BLE signals to control home consumer-electronics appliances and devices (wirelessly or via IR blaster cable). It also receives triggering events from BLE sensors and sends notification messages to mobile devices to provide additional cloud services.
KoolThings consists of a multifunction, multisensor KoolWand and KoolBridge, a multiwireless standards, cloud-connected "AutoTainment" platform. Controlled by mobile devices' apps, these two components can work independently in different usage scenarios both indoors and outdoors, When combined together by our networking connectivity software, KoolWand/KoolBridge system introduces innovative, unique capabilities in entirely new product categories with applications in automation and entertainment, fitness and security. The following example applications have been tested on KoolThings: using Siri or Google-Voice speech recognition to command KoolThings to turn on certain home appliances such as TV and stereos to play a song. Detecting your children coming home from school to send a push-notification message or a video clip to your smartphone. Detecting your baby crying and notifying you so you can FaceTime home to check on your baby or your pets. Music with synchronous LED light show, exercising to get rewarded with TV time have also been developed on KoolThings platform.
To address the arrival of "The IoT or Internet of Things" , KoolThings platform can be further expanded with our optional KoolSensors (either wired or wireless), KoolAccessories and Cloud services.
We are designing our hardware and software to work with other vendors' accessories and will provide SDK for creative developers to come up with even more unique applications.
Supported and promoted by www.CrowdFundingPlanning.com
Risks and challenges
As with any integrated wireless hardware and firmware/software project of this level of complexity, various risks exist. Our teams, with over 90 years of combined experience in embedded system designs and high-volume (tens of millions units) consumer product development, are fully aware of these risks and have been working diligently the past three years to get to where we are today. We have ordered multiple pcb (printed-circuit board) revisions of KoolBridge, KooldWand, Koolsensors, and Beta tested close to 100 Koolbridges, 35 KoolWands, hundreds of KoolInfraredDongles with all types of peripherals from other vendors for system compatibility validation such as many brands and models of TV, DVD, camcorders, Canon, Nikon cameras, LED strips, NEST thermostat, Philips Hue LED, Wahoo Heart rate monitor...
Hardware risks include schedule delays due to time-consuming RF wireless system test/debug to tame unexpected noise and/or interference sources; we believe our decades of experience in debugging these system issues will guide us through these challenges to deliver robust products. Production supply chain or manufacturing quality, yield are other potential issues. Having qualified various contract manufacturing vendors for multiple revisions of KoolThings PCB, we have gained valuable manufacturing experience to ensure delivery of quality products to our backers.
Even though all of our advertised BLE/BT/Wifi features already run on iOS (including iOS7) , and Android apps (both Samsung S4 and Android4.3 OS) , and some of our apps are already on Apple appstore and Google store, software schedule delay is still possible. This is due to the long test and debug time of many of our apps on many generations of iPhone, iPOD, iPAD, iPAD mini with different iOS releases, and Android devices. We have mitigated some of these risks by proactively testing our apps successfully on iOS7 and Android4.3 to give us a headstart. Test results so far are very encouraging.
Similar to the term InfoTainment introduced about 15 years ago when LCD was first installed in automotive to display Information (e.g. traffic, weather forecast, GPS ) and to also serve as an entertainment center (music , DVD movies), KoolBridge marks the arrival of AutoTainment, a new term to describe SmartHome's automation and entertainment capability : instead of sitting idle waiting for a triggering event (such as motion, temperature, presence detection) to arrive, KoolBridge can simultaneously act as an audio baby monitor or a wireless wifi/Bluetooth audio streaming device to stream your favorite tablet/smartphone playlist to KoolBridge with synchronized colorful LED light show using Philips HUE LED or LED strip.
Health/Fitness and TV time reward; fitness and music; synchronous music and light: These are KoolWand and KoolBridge's new multifunction capabilities: is this a new consumer product trend? Which other products support similar features?
Yes, we believe with higher and higher chip integration technology and fast multitasking software, we are beginning to see the arrival of this new product trend. Here are a couple of examples:
--Fitbit and Belkin's WeMo: Exercise vs TV time reward
--Jawbone Will Acquire BodyMedia For Over $100 Million To Give It An Edge In Wearable Health Tracking.
-- On integrated music-lighting system: read this excerpt in link below: "Ranking second (32 percent) was fully automated/wired home environment-everything from high-speed cabling and integrated music systems to computerized lighting and home monitoring systems."
-- Infrared IR remote capability in smartphones: the latest Android smartphones (Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC ONE) are the first to integrate infrared IR remote control feature. Now, with KoolWand or KoolInfraredDongle, your iPAD/iPOD/iPhone can have the same capability and even more: with the built-in IR receiver, you can also replace/retire any of your existing remote by learning its IR code, or even use it to control your iphone's camera or music player.
KoolWand app has been tested successfully on both iOS and Android phones that support BTLE:
- iOS: iphone4S and above, iPAD mini, iPAD3, iPODTouch 5th gen.
- Android: both on Samsung Galaxy S4, S3 and other Android 4.3 OEM phones.
KoolWand is thicker, bigger than other commercial security/tracking devices. What is the reason? Do you offer thinner version?
This is due to a variety of reasons: KoolWand is packed with multisensors (3-axis accelerometer, IR receiver, IR transmitter, and optionally temperature/humidity sensor, food temperature probe,...) and a rechargeable battery. These sensors work together to support our multifunction features such as Exercise-TVtime reward as well as provide KoolWand with more versatile functions such as: BBQ grill temperature monitoring, remote control of DSLR cameras such as Canon, Nikon via infrared, or even controlling smartphone's camera, music player using any existing IR remote control. Of course the basic BLE functions such as proximity sensing, key chain tracker, smartphone finder, motion detector are supported.
We already have much thinner, smaller, lower power prototype board running on coin-cell battery that we are considering launching as Stretch Goal's add-ons to support just the above basic BLE functions found in other proximity/security/tag wearable products such as Tile tag.
While KoolWand supports similar security features as Tile tag, and fitness/pedometer features as Fitbit, and control features such as Gecko, it resembles WigWag's sensor block the most because of the many other supported sensors. Despite packing similar features from these four popular products, KoolWand is small enough to clip on your belt, your key chain, or your shoes.
KoolBridge video surveillance feature is supported with Apple Facetime only? Do you expect Max's owner to train his/her dog to accept the incoming Facetime call each time the owner calls home to check on him?
Yes, at this point, we believe it is simplest to use Apple Facetime to call home and establish a 2-way video/audio link with an unused iOS device at home (iPod touch, iPad mini, iPad, or iPhone ). The no-brainer setup, high bandwidth/quality of Facetime streaming service, and KoolBridge's automatic detection and acceptance of pre-authorized calls (and no, you don't need to train Max !) will give you the best home monitoring's total user experience. Pet lovers and parents of new born babies will love this easy-to-use feature. And we already work with our design partners at www.grifiti.com to recommend which iOS device's stands/mounts to buy for your setup.
From KoolWand Feature list, KoolWand is packed with features enabled via smartphone apps (at least 8 apps) or via 2 stand-alone KoolWands. All these capabilities for $46?
No, this is an introductory price for this Kickstarter campaign only to advertise the versatility of KoolWand and our apps. After this campaign, the retail price is $86 and up depending on the optional features selected: the actual price depends on the firmware (on the KoolWand) and the apps that you purchase. For example, universal infrared remote control, pedometer-TV time reward, or other stand-alone features require the purchase of a new firmware. Via a simple wireless update, KoolWand is quickly reprogrammed with these new features. See the above pricing table of competitors' single-function devices to compare and appreciate KoolWand's value.
Depending on usage, from 7 days to 3 months, or over a year with our optional AA battery adapter. Less than 15 minutes to fully recharge internal battery.
In open air, line-of-sight: 70-80m for iPhone5; 50-60m for Samsung Galaxy S4. Actual distance depends on various conditions such as the presence of other interfering signals or nearby obstacles.
What's the difference between KoolinfraredDongle, KoolHumidity/TemperatureDongle and KoolWand's infrared and Humidity/Temperature sensing? (see demo videos in Project Status section which contrast these 2 types of products)
"Dongles" are optional adapters that are pluggeg into iOS headphone jack and are cheaper alternatives to KoolWand which also supports similar universal Infrared remote control and temperature/humidity sensing (via the KoolHumidity/TemperatureSensor).
KoolWand uses Bluetooth low energy (BLE; BLE is only available in newer smartphones such as Samsung Galaxy S4, iPAD3, iPhone4S and above, ipodtouch gen5, iPad mini) to communicate with smartphone app. For older phones (e.g. iPhone4 and older) where BLE is not supported, KoolWand cannot be used; these two dongles must be used instead. Of course, on newer phones with BLE, either KoolWand or these dongles can be used to support Infrared remote control and Humidity/Temperature sensing.
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