Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 8.

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Give your ride a whole new sound with an easier, safer alternative: The AudioPLUX™ speaker system

AudioPLUX speakers are an "away from the ear" speaker system that delivers good quality audio near the ear while not suppressing ambient sounds around you.

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The AudioPLUX™ Story

Hey Kickstarters!

Like most of my creations, the idea for AudioPLUX™ was born during a long bike ride. I would love a good soundtrack while I'm putting in miles in the saddle, but I don't like how headphones and ear buds block out ambient sounds of nature, traffic and other cyclists. I refuse to wear them as It's just not safe. When I see people who ride with ear buds it hinders their ability to have a conversation with cycling friends or hear warnings. They scramble to grab their phone and turn down the sound or pop out an ear bud just to talk with me, which is a pain and isn't safe while riding in a group or navigating through busy streets.

I thought cyclists deserved a better alternative. So I made one. 

The AudioPLUX™ speaker system is an easier, safer alternative that lets me listen to my favorite music, talk to my cycling partners and keep an ear out for cars all at the same time. And there's never any earbuds to mess with! (I don't know about you, but my right earbud always comes out while exercising.) The AudioPLUX™ cord also features a volume slider for on-the-fly control at your fingertips. 

The AudioPLUX™ system redefines simple. You can have these out of the box and ready to go in seconds. The speakers connect with the microphone jack of any mp3 player – which also provides the power so you never need any batteries – and attach to your helmet using a dime-sized piece of 3M™ Dual Lock™ Reclosable Fasteners material, a state-of-the-art product that is FIVE TIMES stronger than Velcro. And the sound is a lot like listening to the stereo while riding in a convertible with the top down. 

The AudioPLUX™ speaker system is easy to use and safe while making sure you don't miss your favourite song during your next ride. And best of all, they deliver quality sound at an affordable price. With your support, I'll be able to bring these to market. The money will go to the final moulds for the speakers, getting the materials for production and placing a bulk order to meet our pricing structure. Please choose one of the reward levels on the right side of your screen and make a pledge today so you can be one of the very first to get your pair of AudioPLUX™ speakers.

See you in the saddle,

Lou Tortola

Product Specs

A first step. All good designs begin with "a paper napkin" sketch.
A first step. All good designs begin with "a paper napkin" sketch.

How Kickstarter works.

The following is taken from Kickstarter's info page.

Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects. Everything from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology. Kickstarter is full of ambitious, innovative, and imaginative projects that are brought to life through the direct support of others.

Thousands of creative projects are funding on Kickstarter at any given moment. Each project is independently created and crafted by the person behind it. The filmmakers, musicians, artists, and designers you see on Kickstarter have complete control and responsibility over their projects. They spend weeks building their project pages, shooting their videos, and brainstorming what rewards to offer backers. When they're ready, creators launch their project and share it with their community.

Every project creator sets their project's funding goal and deadline. If people like the project, they can pledge money to make it happen. If the project succeeds in reaching its funding goal, all backers' credit cards are charged when time expires. If the project falls short, no one is charged. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing.

Backing a project is more than just giving someone money, it's supporting their dream to create something that they want to see exist in the world.

Rewards

Check out the rewards below. Keep in mind you can pledge as little as $1 or as much as you like—every little bit helps.

Our project is based on making available a safe and affordable audio system for your bike helmet. We're not going to do t-shirts, posters, and postcards like many Kickstarter campaigns do. We are simply offering one BLACK or one WHITE AudioPLUX™ bike helmet speaker pair to KICKSTARTER backers that also includes the 3M™ Dual Lock™ Reclosable Fasteners, that you can affix the speakers to your helmet ready to use. For those of you who would like to ride in KICKSTARTER innovative style, we offer the above together with another Lou Tortola fitting invention to our project, and that is a special edition numbered and Autographed by Lou, hybrid RoundTail® bike (MSRP $1299).

Photos

We tested numerous speaker-housing-fastener combinations to get it just right and cost effective:

AudioPlux™ Speakers: Fully functioning prototype testing and building.
AudioPlux™ Speakers: Fully functioning prototype testing and building.
Lou sampling audio from different speakers
Lou sampling audio from different speakers

How we connect:

View VIDEO bellow to see of how simply we connect.
View VIDEO bellow to see of how simply we connect.

Other headgear uses for the AudioPLUX™ Speakers

We have heard form a number of people who would like to use the AudioPLUX™ speakers on other headgear such as snow board helmets, baseball caps, visors, construction helmets, headbands etc.. and to that we simply say: Why not? As a mater of fact, while sampling the audio from our speakers we often tucked them into the inside hem of a baseball cap and they fit and sounded fabulously! Once you have them; you can use them as speakers under your pillow, or on any head gear you like. Enjoy listening to your favorite music all the while not having ear buds directly in your ears. Pledge today and get yours to use on any headgear you like.

Other headgear uses for the AudioPLUX™ Speakers
Other headgear uses for the AudioPLUX™ Speakers

Industry feedback.

Over the last few weeks, we have had discussions with independent bike dealers, and one on one meetings with buyers of national parts distributors, as well as buyers with sporting good chains, and also presented the AudioPLUX™ concept to many avid bike riders. The unanimous feed back has all been extremely positive. The typical responses have been: "I would love one!" and "When can I get one?"

Check out reactions to the AudioPLUX™ from Cycle Culture Bike Shop.

Photo below: Lou recently attending InterBIKE September 2013, where he discussed the AudioPLUX™ project with LIMAR HELMETS managing director, Giovanni Caporali who loved the AudioPLUX™ concept. Limar welcomes the opportunity to work with us so that in the future we may offer their helmets together with our AudioPLUX™ product. We look forward to working with LIMAR and other helmet manufacturers. We need KICKSTARTER help to make this happen.

Get to know LIMAR HELMETS.
Get to know LIMAR HELMETS.

Discover 3M™ Dual Lock™ Fasteners

Included on each speaker is an integrated 3M™ Dual Lock™ Reclosable Fasteners, and additional peal and stick dime-sized pieces of 3M™ Dual Lock™ material that can be placed on any helmet. 3M™ Dual Lock™ Reclosable Fasteners are a fastening solution that can replace screws, bolts and rivets. The fasteners contain hundreds of mushroom-shaped stems that audibly "SNAP" together to form a secure attachment with strong adhesive backings that adhere to both the AudioPLUX™ speakers and your helmet. Adjust, realign or reattach with ease, leaving your helmet with clean, smooth lines free of holes or interruptions.

Get to know 3M™ Dual Lock™ Reclosable Fasteners

The RoundTail® Story

The RoundTail® design removes the standard seat stay, chain stay and seat tube of the typical diamond-shaped bike design. Instead, two rings support the weight of the rider. This revolutionary new design creates a vertically compliant, laterally stiff ride with numerous benefits.  In 2010, after a season filled with long-distance rides, Lou Tortola - inventor of the RoundTail® - began to rethink the shape of a bicycle frame. Why had the bicycle frame remained nearly unchanged for so long? Lou broke through the barriers of the triangle. He believed that a pair of continuous rings beneath the rider would absorb road vibrations without compromising performance or lateral stiffness. Five months later, his vision became a reality. Laboratory testing and Finite Element Analysis proved that the RoundTail® provides more than 10 times the vertical compliance of a standard double-diamond frame, and the ring design absorbs 60 times more road vibrations. This breakthrough reduces stress and fatigue to the rider's body, which means you can spend more time in the saddle - comfortably.

RoundTail® bike spec sheet.

http://roundtail.ca/pdfs/docs/delia-spec-sheet.pdf

Media coverage of the RoundTail® BIKE by:

                     

Get to know Lou Tortola, and the RoundTail® bike better.

On October 16, CTV airs a story about Kickstarter featuring the AudioPLUX™ speakers.

CLICK through to get see VIDEO of CTV coverage of this interview.
CLICK through to get see VIDEO of CTV coverage of this interview.

 Matthew Lesko interviews Lou Tortola:

Production Plan

Once we are successfully funded, we can jump right into large-scale production. Our timeline is as follows:

Our goal is to make sure all our backers have their orders by the end of January 2014 or sooner.  We are fast-tracking production now to have units ready for a possible mid December 2013 availability.

Packaging graphics.

What we will do with the money:

The AudioPLUX™ speakers are a perfect project for KickStarter, because your support will help us prove this safe away-from-the-ear audio system is something people desire to use. It is difficult for retailers to offer new things without first demonstrating there is a demand.  We've put a a lot of time and resources to get the speakers to a functioning prototype. Now we need your support to pay for tooling, packaging, ROHS testing, California 65 standards testing, and REACH standards certifications as well all things required to complete a first production run so we can get an AudioPLUX™ speaker set directly to you as soon as possible as our reward for supporting this project. 

Timeline

After contacting a number of speaker manufactures, we partnered with a respected and reliable factory in China where most electronics are made today. Lou has been to China and has extensive experience importing products from there.  

October: Promote AudioPLUX to ensure we can successfully fund our Kickstarter project. 

November into December and January: Diligently oversee all required steps to complete production, including new moulds, packaging designs, certifications and logistics to get a first production run here. 

Image posted October 24th, 2013, Our new mold is now complete, one giant step towards running a first production!  THANK YOU KICKSTARTER.
Image posted October 24th, 2013, Our new mold is now complete, one giant step towards running a first production! THANK YOU KICKSTARTER.

January or sooner: Ship units to Backers.  (Now targeting mid December 2013)

Our reward for doing good work, will be the opportunity to do more!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

As the inventor of the RoundTail® Bicycle, I know what it's like to deal with parts and factories and production and shipping. It's a process I'm already intimately familiar with. I already have a production itinerary in place so meeting the delivery dates shouldn't be a problem. If, for some unseen reason, a delay occurs, I'll keep AudioPLUX™ backers updated every step of the way.

Thank you for your support!

FAQ

  • Yes why not, the AudioPLUX™ speakers can be used on other headgear, such as snow board helmets, baseball caps, visors, construction helmets, headbands etc..

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  • Yes these speakers are 30mm mylar construction, they are tested and rated to work from -20C to +50C.

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  • Well not the standard units offered here. HOWEVER, YES! An in-line microphone is also available by our manufacturer. Many products they make include that feature. The cost difference is minimal. BUT there is one downside, and is that if you have an inline mic. you are able to also have an inline volume control. We are going to produce a number of units in BLACK made with an inline microphone so that you can answer a call. ANYONE, REQUESTING A MIC. OPTION CAN GET ONE. We will happy to make that version available to any Kickstarter backer. If you pledge $45 or more we can send you one of each. We will add this option to our Rewards.

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  • It's easy. Just double your pledge, or pledge as you like. If you have pledged before and would like one more unit, you can simply initiate a new pledge and your new pledge amount will be override the previous pledge. You can only pledge once. Each time, your last pledge becomes your current pledge.

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  • Pledge $1 or more
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    1 backer

    Big thanks for supporting AudioPLUX™ and the innovator spirit—every little bit counts! If you like our project, please share and help us get the word out!

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    0 backers

    THANK YOU!! Your contribution is very much appreciated! You’ll be added to our mailing list for product production updates, and we will add your name to the backer list on our website.

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    143 backers Limited (257 left of 400)

    Worldwide free shipping! Early backers! Thanks for your support! One black or one white AudioPLUX™ speaker pair with in-line volume control. first to ship!

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    13 backers

    Worldwide free shipping! One BLACK or WHITE AudioPLUX™ speaker pair with in-line volume control.

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    10 backers Limited (90 left of 100)

    Worldwide free shipping! One BLACK AudioPLUX™ speaker pair with microphone control for answering a phone call. NOTE this unit does not include in-line volume control. To be used safely we recommend while not in motion.

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  • Pledge $45 or more
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    13 backers Limited (87 left of 100)

    Worldwide free shipping! One BLACK AudioPLUX™ speaker pair with microphone control for answering a phone call. NOTE this unit does not include in-line volume control. To be used safely we recommend while not in motion, AND one WHITE, AudioPLUX™ speaker pair with in-line volume control.

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    1 backer Limited (299 left of 300)

    Free shipping to the USA, to our North American supporters! Ready to ride: One black or one white AudioPLUX™ speaker pair together with a special edition KICKSTARTER autographed by the inventor, white DELIA hybrid model RoundTail® Bike (Medium size only 18") (includes free shipping to the U.S.A. and CANADA) (This bike is 95% assembled, but will require final tuning and first setup out-of-the box by a professional bike mechanic, typically a $49 to $69 cost not included.) The DELIA RoundTail® MSRP is $1299.00

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  • Pledge $8,000 or more
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    1 backer Limited (1 left of 2)

    The ultimate V.I.P. pledge to the AudioPLUX™ Kickstarter project. Spend a Week in Italy with Lou. This reward includes your coach flight from Canada or the continental U.S.A. to Venice, then return from Rome. Ground transportation, by automobile, all accommodations, at nice hotels and at Lou's home in Italy. During this business trip, we will visit the Denver Bike company near Torino, who has expressed an interest in distributing the AudioPLUX™ speakers Europe wide, as well as Limar helmets whom AudioPLUX™ has partnered with. Industry visits might also include, prominent cycling companies such as: Campagnolo, Pinarello, Colnago, Prologo, and others along the way where Lou has contacts. We will also be stopping at the Ferrari factory museum in Modena, just to be inspired by world class design of form and function. During the trip, that should take place in the beginning of 2014, the focus will be to introduce the AudioPLUX™ speakers to potential industry partners as well as experiencing Italy and its culture in the company of the RoundTail® inventor and AudioPLUX™ creator: Lou Tortola

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Funding period

- (39 days)