About this project
Hello Kickstarter! Thank you so much for checking out our project. We hope you support our project and help Starfish come to life! As a new father, hearing the news of yet another infant losing his life in a hot car horrified me. I asked myself…How? Why? What can be done? The search for answers prompted me to start developing a device that could easily prevent tragedies like this from happening. That device is Starfish.
What is Starfish?
Starfish is a weight-activated seat sensor that notifies your smartphone when you’ve left a certain area – say your car –without your child. Starfish uses Bluetooth to pair with your iPhone or Android phone, and it fits snugly in your child's car seat. When you place your child on Starfish, the device automatically pairs with your smartphone, sending you a notification that your child is in his or her seat. When activated, Starfish then creates a “geo-fence” radius around itself. If you leave the “geo-fenced” area (around 20 feet), Starfish will automatically notify you that your child may be in danger. As an added layer of protection, Starfish can notify your emergency contacts if you haven’t responded to the notification after 5 minutes.
How does it work?
Starfish is incredibly easy to use. In fact, the one-time setup takes less than 3 minutes.
Simply download the Starfish app on your iPhone or Android smartphone, open it, and pair it with Starfish. Then, place Starfish under the pad of your child's car seat using the provided self-adhesive tape. Place your child in his or her car seat, and Starfish will automatically activate.
Upon activation, Starfish creates a "geo-fence" radius around the device itself. The “geo-fence” spans roughly 20 feet.
If you leave this "geo-fence" while the seat sensor is still activated, you will be immediately notified that your child may be in danger through a mobile notification. After 5 minutes, the Starfish app on your device will notify your emergency contacts of your last known location and that you have not responded to the alert. Emergency contacts can be set up in the settings panel of the Starfish app.
To deactivate Starfish, simply remove your child from their car seat. Starfish deactivates and goes to sleep to preserve battery life. The Starfish app will alert you before the battery has reached a low use level, and needs to be replaced (Starfish takes a standard battery).
Research and Development.
We are 85% complete with our design and engineering process, and with your help, we will be able to produce our first production run. Together with our manufacturing partner, we have designed and developed several working prototypes. These prototypes are currently being tested and validated in both laboratory and real-world environments. Above is our current working prototype and battery that we are using to test Starfish's functionality and provide inputs for developing our mobile app user experience. Outside of its enclosure, a button depress simulates the weight sensor. We see the prototype come on and automatically pair with the mobile app (led coming on). Starfish is paired with the mobile device and registering the weight activation as it is depressed and released. Each time the weight sensor is activated and deactivated, the mobile app logs it.
We will be moving into testing of our production run prototype within the following weeks, and hope to sign off on all tooling by the beginning of September.
By supporting Starfish at the $40 and above contribution level, you will be effectively preordering your very own Starfish, helping us reach a huge milestone in our production process. Your contribution will allow us to purchase our first production run of Starfish. In return, you will be one of the first people to have Starfish, and will become part of a group that will provide real world feedback to us.
We know you are placing a lot of trust in our product and its development. Because of that, we are committed to 100% transparency. To achieve this, we will post an update video every single Tuesday during and after our Kickstarter until every backer has received his or her rewards.
Why do we need your support?
For me, this technology is all about saving lives. If the trend continues, 40 U.S. children will perish from hot car incidents this year alone. These are preventable deaths! Starfish is a simple way to prevent these tragedies from happening. Kickstarter has opened new doors for products to go straight into the hands of people who can use them the most, while offering a great way to get real world feedback. We want you to be part of Starfish's story! With your support, we will enter production by October and have plans to ship beta units by November and first runs by December.
Please back, support, or share our project with friends and family!
Starfish is Patent Pending
Spread the word and thank you for your support!
Risks and challenges
Manufacturing technology products is never easy. And having worked with manufacturers in past positions, I am well aware of issues that can delay manufacturing. We have planned for as many of those issues as possible in order to mitigate risk.
Starfish has begun manufacturing components, but we need your help to put the product in full production.
As an enterprise software developer at the largest academic medical center in Alabama, and having worked for Apple, I know how technology can improve lives, and even save them. Join me and my fellow Starfish backers as we make the world a safer place for our children.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Starfish will activate any time a child greater than 3.2 lbs is placed on it, It has been testing to properly function with weight up to 60 lbs.
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