MotorMood: A better way to say thanks on the road
MotorMood: A better way to say thanks on the road
Say thanks to other drivers at night using a remote controlled light-up happy face // Just $19
Say thanks to other drivers at night using a remote controlled light-up happy face // Just $19 Read more
About this project
Make the road a happier place. The road can often feel like a hostile place full of traffic jams and miscommunication. We're here to change that! MotorMood is an accessory for your car which lets you say thanks to other drivers at night using a remote controlled light-up happy face in your rear window.
Everything is designed to be safe, simple, beautiful, and easy to use. Oh, and did we mention it's also a lot of fun?
Just a single push of the button. A single push of the remote button lights up the happy face for 6 seconds before it automatically turns off.
As you can see, it's ridiculously easy to use and looks great.
Choose from 3 colors. Get a blue, pink, or green MotorMood with a matching remote. There is also a red face for certain jurisdictions which require it, scroll down to the "Legal Compliance" section to learn more.
Swapping colors is a breeze.
Want to see more? Check out this in depth How it Works video: https://youtu.be/NW7B1HhgJ1Y
The face attaches to the inside of your car's rear window using removable adhesive clips.
The remote slides onto your sun visor just like a garage door opener. It's easy to reach, but doesn't get in your way. And of course, everything is wireless and battery powered.
(1) Entrepreneur Magazine (2) CNET (3) Huffington Post (4) The Guardian (5) Forbes (6) MSN News (7) YAHOO Tech (8) Fast Company (9) Vice (10) Details (11) Psychology Today (12) iDigital Times (13) Q13 Fox (14) Digital Trends (15) TechSpot (16) Gear Hungry (17) Trend Hunter (18) PSFK (19) Yanko Design (20) HiConsumption (21) Springwise
Changeable Faces. With just a twist of the face's outer ring you can insert new colors. We're launching with blue, pink, and green, but more colors and faces are coming soon!
Wireless. Infrared communication between the face and remote ensures a reliable and battery saving experience.
Backlit Remote. An LED on the back of the remote casts a soft light on your car's sun visor to let you know how long the face stays lit up.
Battery Powered. The face uses four AA batteries and the remote uses one coin cell. Batteries last 6 months and are included with the product.
LED Backlit Display. MotorMood uses a special LED light guide display to create a colorful vibrant image.
Optimized for Night. We've optimized the display's brightness for nighttime use when simple hand waves aren't visible.
The three partners Jesse, Alex, and Kina met at a Startup Weekend event in 2013. The fourth partner Arman joined a few months later. Over the last two years they've been hard at work to bring MotorMood to the public.
Arman Bastani, Lead Engineer. Arman brings 25 years of electrical, mechanical, and software engineering to MotorMood. His 2,500 square foot prototyping lab in Costa Mesa specializes in the Internet of Things, and he has close ties to plastic injection molding facilities in China.
Jesse Kramer, President. Jesse is founder, president, and lead designer at MotorMood. He's worked as a UXUI designer for large companies, agencies, and startups including DIRECTV, Coalition Technologies, and Rap Rebirth. He also studied Business Entrepreneurship at USC's Lloyd Greif Center in Los Angeles.
Alex Sewell, Vice President. Alex is vice president, and lead of operations. His background includes work with startups across several industries including publishing, e-commerce, and personal care. Alex specializes in supply chain management, research, and financial projections.
Kina De Santis, Marketing Director. Kina leads marketing at MotorMood, as well as public relations, pitches, and event coordination. Her background includes years of experience in her family's restaurant business. She also heads Real Office Centers' ROC Edu program and is an active advocate and organizer for Orange County's startup ecosystem.
Watch the team introduce themselves: https://youtu.be/M-ERFmBc78c
MotorMood uses a proprietary light guide display to create a beautiful, high quality image on the road. Three specifically placed LEDs fire light into a substrate with tiny divots, which distribute the light across the product's surface for an evenly lit appearance. The brightness has been carefully optimized for nighttime use so that it's bright and vibrant, but does not interfere with visibility or safety.
PCB and LED layer. The PCB (printed circuit board) contains the electronics necessary to receive the wireless signal from the remote and light up the face. Part of this are three white LEDs (light emitting diodes) positioned at the base of the PCB which fire light into the layers above.
Reflective backing. The reflective backing is made from a high gloss plastic material called mylar. It helps ensure a bright, vibrant display with high color contrast.
Light guide. The aforementioned light guide is a polycarbonate substrate with tiny divots arranged in a proprietary pattern. The divots distribute the LEDs' light across the face for an equally illuminated image with minimal hotspots.
Face overlay. The face overlay is a thin sheet of transparent plastic with the MotorMood face silk screened on top. This overlay is removable so you can swap in different colors and future faces.
For a video explanation of our technology, click here: https://youtu.be/OVOn1iaNR8Y
Our plastic injection molding, circuit board printing, and product assembly will take place in a factory in Shenzhen, China. We are working with a contract manufacturer called PJ88 (based in Hong Kong) to facilitate the process. PJ88 has 30 years of experience in manufacturing consumer products throughout East Asia.
More on our manufacturing plan: https://youtu.be/lw0QGX_NlOk
We plan on delivering by December 21st! Just in time for the holidays :)
Of course manufacturing delays can occur, and we want to be transparent, so our worst case delivery date is February 10th. We will keep you updated regularly throughout the manufacturing process on any new developments. To learn more about possible delays scroll down to the "Risks and challenges" section.
The idea for MotorMood came out of our founder Jesse's frustration with commuting and his desire to make driving a more enjoyable experience.
Jesse grew up in Los Angeles, a place famous for beautiful weather and notorious for long slow commutes. Driving there and in many places around world can be a dehumanizing and isolating experience. We’re surrounded by people and yet we’re separated by glass, steel, distance, and speed. All too often this brings out the worst in drivers. But every now and then there are good Samaritans who make gracious gestures.
It occurred to Jesse that if more people said thank you, drivers would feel encouraged to drive more politely and the road would be a more hospitable place. That’s when the idea for MotorMood was born: a simple but powerful device to share good will when the usual hand wave isn’t visible.
Watch Jesse tell the story behind MotorMood: https://youtu.be/II78-i7eeWE
Stare at the happy face above for 5 seconds. Seriously count to 5... Guess what? Science proves that you're actually feeling happier now than you were before.
A study at Australia's Flinders University in Adelaide showed that “the pattern of brain activity triggered by looking at an emoticon smiley face is now the same as when someone sees a real smiling human face." (1)
A separate study in The journal Social Neuroscience showed that the visual perception of faces activates “nonvisual somatosensory areas that contribute to emotion." (2)
Finally, a study at the University of Bristol in England demonstrated that aggression and anger are reduced in teens who are exposed to happy faces. (3)
In short, the ubiquitous use of emoticons on smartphones and the internet, as well as innate biological associations have created a positive conditioned response in consumers when they see a happy face. MotorMood leverages this conditioned response to diffuse road rage situations, humanize driving, and create a happier experience on the road.
But don't take our word for it...
(1) "Emoticons in mind: An event-related potential study", Social Neuroscience, 2014 Vol. 9, No. 2, 196–202, January 6, 2014
(2) "The Emotional Homunculus: ERP Evidence for Independent Somatosensory Responses during Facial Emotional Processing", The Journal of Neuroscience, January 26, 2014
(3) "Increasing Recognition of Happiness in Ambiguous Facial Expressions Reduces Anger and Aggressive Behaviour", Psychological Science, January 8, 2012
These goals will be become reward options once we hit the associated funding level.
Inventory. The MotorMoods we send you will be directly funded by the proceeds of this Kickstarter campaign!
Plastic injection molding. Mass manufacturing requires expensive steel molds to be made to form liquid plastic into casings for MotorMood.
Production refinements. Certain technical aspects of the product's mechanical and electrical design will be fine tuned for production.
Additional intellectual property (IP). We've got lots of great ideas up our sleeve we want to protect so that we can bring them to you!
Other. Starting a business is expensive! A portion of the funds will go toward the business, legal, and e-commerce costs associated with getting you our product.
Face display diameter: 4.8"
Face dimensions (w/o adhesive pads): 5.5" x 5.5" x 1"
Remote dimensions (w/o clip): 1.5" x 1.2" x 2.6"
Since day one, safety has been at the top of our list of priorities. That's why we've designed MotorMood to be easy to use and easy on the eyes.
Remote. The remote is positioned conveniently on the sun visor which means you never have to take your eyes off the road to use it. Furthermore, pressing the button is even easier than turning on your car's air conditioning or adjusting the radio.
Face. The face has been optimized for night time use, meaning that it's vibrant enough to be seen at a distance, but not so bright that it will distract or blind other drivers.
We've worked with law enforcement to make sure our product is street legal and safe. However, certain jurisdictions require all rear facing lights to be red, so each MotorMood will ship with a red face overlay. This red overlay must used with MotorMood in the aforementioned jurisdictions. Therefore, to make sure you are in compliance, we recommend you check your local and state laws before installation and use of the MotorMood product.
Learn more about the red overlay here: https://youtu.be/Vuzb1Gnn3_c
A huge thanks to everyone who has helped make MotorMood a reality including...
Devin Schiro - Video production, Oval Integration - Research and development, Nick Arciaga - Illustrations, Jay Dinsmore - Rapid prototyping, Joe Anguiano - Cosmetic finishing, Doug Jacobs - 3D printing, Dave and Diane Miller - Manufacturing, Susan Arete - Elance advisor, Andy Gale - Legal, Seamus Crowley - Legal, Kit Stetina - Patents, Chris Hazard - Industrial design, Dmitry Tereshchenko - Photo editing, Lisette Silverman - Insurance, Dennis Cabarroguis - Manufacturing, Allen Goh - Accounting, Ash Kumra - PR, Dave Baity - Mold making engineer, Tyler Bengard - Mold making consultant, Margot Shapiro - Business development, Mike Brown - Business development, Cynthia Kirkeby - Technology consultant, Terrance Yang - Financial consultant, Pete DeAngelis - Manufacturing, Wayne Morris - Manufacturing, Fred Vierheller - Mechanical design, Matt McCree - Display technology, Jennifer Cruz Bowerbank - Component consultant, Doc Vu - Prototyping consultant, Cheril Hendry - Marketing consultant, Edward R Dana - Behavioral science consultant, David Glicksman - Technology consultant
Dr Richard Sudek, Chris Buckstein, Barry Lieberman, Gene Alexander, Jeff Earl, Jeff Kearl, Scott DeLong, Craig Martyn, Brian Stewart, Matt DuBois, Lee Mayer, Doug Allan, Paul Darby, Marilyn Stemper, Dick Dadamo, Tony Crisp, Benny Luo, Anil Patni, Ray Chan, Amir Banifatemi, Will Clark
Emily Cordova, Filip Westlander, Jonathan P. Doerr, Andrew Delvasto, Bobby Pollack, Adam Albek, Shelley Lamotte, Michael Grigorieff, Kimia Vakili, Sue Mang, Aishwarya Ravi, Alekha Kulkarni
Video Cast and Crew
Cade Prolux, Taylor Ackerman, Addison Sewell, Jordanna Lily, Heidi Wiebelt, Chiara De Santis
Carolyn Malone, Robert Kramer, Jonna Howard, Joe De Santis, Michele De Santis, Jeanne Griffin Sewell, Mark Sewell, Lisa Sewell, Mark Hunter, Jennifer Hunter, Victoria Bastani, Hamid Bastani, Mariam Bastani, and all other Friends & Family, Chapman University, University of Southern California, University of California Los Angeles, University of California Irvine, University of California Riverside, Cal Poly Pomona, Fullerton Community College, Loyola Marymount University, Launch Labs, Entrepreneur Organization, General Assembly, Yang Ventures, K5 Ventures, Real Office Centers, TriNet, Tech Coast Venture Network, Tech Coast Angels, Inventor's Forum, The Eureka Building, The City of Orange, The City of Costa Mesa, The City of Hermosa Beach
Anyone else we forgot!
Risks and challenges
We've worked very hard to bring this project to Kickstarter and we're confident we'll deliver by December 21st. Of course, there are always risks that may cause delay.
As MotorMood is readied for mass production, there will be some small changes made to improve the final product. Pre-production prototypes based on final production designs will also be built to validate our product's functionality and aesthetic across thousands of units. Any changes we make will be for the benefit of you, the customer, and we'll let you know exactly why they are made.
Creating the tooling to manufacture a physical product requires time and precision. There is typically a 60 day lead time and this is where delays can occur. To minimize this, we're using tooling partners our engineer has worked with before and who have a track record for on time delivery.
Sometimes certain things can't be planned for: a supplier misses a deadline, a machine breaks down, or a shipment gets lost. These things could cause delay. To minimize this possibility we'll enter the manufacturing stage with at least one back-up supplier for each component pre-located, and our contract manufacturer will help ensure good communication with our suppliers and factories.
We know that backing a brand new product comes with a mix of excitement and anxiety. That's why we're committed to delivering on time and to keeping you updated throughout the production process. We'll be working with manufacturers who have years of experience delivering excellent products in large quantities. There will no doubt be surprises along the road, but any obstacles will be overcome by our team's internal knowledge, the outside expertise of our supply partners, and our commitment to you.
Any pledge amount brings us one step closer to our goal. Help us make the road a happier place by clicking the "Back This Project" button at the top of the page, or by helping us spread the word by sharing this page on Facebook and Twitter.
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