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$2,305
pledged of $35,000pledged of $35,000 goal
32
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, July 12 2015 5:46 PM UTC +00:00
Last updated July 12, 2015

My Driving Pal: IoT for the Things that Matter Most to You

MDP is the new Device/App smart tracking product that monitors, issues alert, and tracks car/drone/bike/child, while protecting privacy

My Driving Pal: IoT for the Things that Matter Most to You

MDP is the new Device/App smart tracking product that monitors, issues alert, and tracks car/drone/bike/child, while protecting privacy

$2,305
pledged of $35,000pledged of $35,000 goal
32
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, July 12 2015 5:46 PM UTC +00:00
Last updated July 12, 2015

About

My Driving Pal (MDP) is a combination hardware device and smartphone app that monitors a variety of different things in a person’s life including a car, a drone, a bicycle or even a child.

Imagine the peace of mind you will have if, for example, you are visiting Disney Land with your children and one of them wanders off. Instead of panicking, you will be able to track them and locate them immediately. Our tracking device is designed to monitor your 2 to 10-year-old child, typically the age group  that does not have a smart phone.

MDP is the first versatile tracking product that even protects user's privacy. It consists of:

  • The MDP Device - Battery Powered Hardware
  • The MDP App - for iOS and Android Phones
  • The MDP Server - the Backend Server

The MDP Device and App communicate with each other via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). When the MDP Device and a phone (on which the MDP App runs) are within range (15 meters) of each other, the MDP App tracks the asset and MDP Device goes into idle mode. In order to protect user's privacy, all tracking data remains locally on the phone and is not transmitted to any Backend Serve. However, when the phone is out of range and yet the object that is carrying the MDP Device is moving, the MDP Device turns on its built-in GNSS (GPS) receiver and Cellular Modem, tracks the asset and immediately notifies the user on his/her phone via remote push notification.

The MDP App allows the user to easily change the type of the asset that is being tracked from the default Vehicle/Motorbike to Person (Child/Elderly) or Bicycle, as shown in the App screenshots below. Users may also adjust the radius of the geo-fencing circle for receiving alerts when the Person exits it.

How about our bikes? We park them outside a coffee shop and by the time we return, they're gone!

That's too bad, but no worries! If your bike is equipped with the MDP device (placed under the seat), you would immediately receive an alert on your phone and could track it on map, no matter how far it moves away. The range is unlimited, because the MDP Device comes with built-in GNSS (GPS) and Cellular modem and will find the location of the bike with an accuracy level of meters, anywhere in the world.

Vehicular Heatstroke: Car getting too hot? MDP Device is equipped with a temperature sensor. If interior temperature of the car gets too hot and it hears noise from inside (pet, child, etc.), MDP App immediately delivers warning (via remote push notification) on user's phone, if he/she is not in close proximity of the car.

Did you know that 37 children die of #heatstroke in vehicles every year? This is not only sad, but also should not be happening at this age of technology, when we are so connected in every place and at every minute.

How about locating our Quadcopters or UAV? Drones - strictly speaking, ‘multicopters’ - are ubiquitous now. We see them in the news, behind the camera filming aerial footage, and more frequently in parks. There is something thrilling about zooming through the air, controlling the futuristic device from your mobile phone. If you are one of these guys, then I bet you would also love MDP. You can place (or attach) an MDP Device inside your drone to track it in real-time on your phone and obviously locate it with meters level accuracy, if you ever lose it.

Can the MDP Device automatically track and log driving trips? The answer is: Yes. Wouldn't it be nice if we had a product that automatically record our trips and could show where and how long ago the vehicle was parked. Additionally, if someone is foolish enough to attempt to steal it, you will receive alert immediately on your phone and be able to track it on a map. This feature will help you as well as law enforcement get your vehicle back to you in record time - and mete out justice!

Manual recording of Walking/Running/etc. trips using the App: It doesn't matter if you are a professional runner or a casual walker like me, the  MDP App allows you to manually record your walking, running, biking, or driving trips. It shows the route on a map and updates the  distance and duration of the trip in real-time in both US (foot, mile) and Metric (meter, kilometer) units. The Trips History page of the MDP App lists up to 20 previous trips, as shown in screenshots below. The user has the option to delete those they do not wish to keep. The App will automatically overwrite the earliest entry.

Pre-Ordering MDP on the Celery Platform

We are also accepting pre-orders for the MDP Device 1 and 1s on Celery, which is a great platform for pre-ordering. You will not be charged until your order ships and if you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase, you can return the product to us and get a full refund. Please click on links below to pre-order MDP Device 1 or 1s on Celery:

 World-Wide Coverage

The current version of MDP Device, which is going to be delivered through this campaign, works in at least 88 countries (including the United States, European Union, Russia, Japan, India, South Africa, Australia, and many more). We are getting our cellular data service from Aeris and our modem is 3G (that is also compatible with 2G). To find out if your area is covered, please check this website.  On the website, please go to "GSM Data Coverage Map” section and then click on “View Detailed Coverage” button. The only geographical limitation associated with MDP product is the cellular (mobile) network availability. GPS, Bluetooth Low Energy, and MDP Apps all work fine everywhere in the world.

V2V and V2I Communications via MDP

Starting 2017, when cars begin talking with each other on the roads via DSRC-based V2V and V2I wireless communications, MDP (as an off-the-shelf product) will be there to enable such communications for the existing cars, like my Chevy from 2006 that does not have any GPS or connectivity. In fact, there are more than 250M cars in the US alone (and more than one billion in the world); every year about 15M new cars enter the US market, hence just 6% of the total. In 2014, only 10% of these new cars were connected (meaning that had some sort of capability to wirelessly transmit data). Average life of a car is plus 11 year. Thus, it will take at least a couple of decades before majority of the cars being connected and capable of communicating with each other and/or infrastructure.

Current version of the MDP Devices does not support V2V or V2I feature. However, we are on top of it and as soon as the auto companies roll out cars with such capability, we will also upgrade our devices. We pledge to ship one MDP Device with V2V and V2I capability to all supporters of this campaign at that time.

Other Use Cases

MDP may be used to monitor and track any moving object, from Luggage to Ski gears, to Surfboard. In fact, one great use case can be surfing. MDP Device 1s is water-proof and may be used to record the surfing distance and routes. MDP App pulls the recorded information, when phone comes within range of the Device, after surfing. User can also setup a geo-fencing radius for the Device to automatically transmit the position information, when she moves too far from the shore. This feature can potentially save lives.

Size of MDP

The MDP Device comes in two models for this campaign:

  • MDP Device 1
  • MDP Device 1s

As shown in the image below, the "MDP Device 1" is slightly bigger than a credit card, but fairly thin at 10 mm (about the thickness of iPhone 4S). "MDP Device 1s" is smaller than a credit card, but a little thicker at 15 mm. The MDP Device 1s easily fits under a bike's saddle (seat).

MDP Device Colors

The MDP Device comes in five colors: White, Blue, Green, Yellow, and Pink.

MDP Feature Breakdown

MDP Device consists of the following major components:

  • Bluetooth Low Energy chip from CSR
  • GNSS receiver from Furuno
  • Cellular modem from Sierra Wireless
  • Atmega processor from Atmel
  • Accelerometer sensor
  • Temperature sensor
  • mini USB connector
  • 1500 mAh Li-Ion Battery
  • SIM card
  • Buzzer

Current Status

We have designed and manufactured the first version of the "MDP Device 1" and we are currently developing the firmware. We are also in the process of manufacturing the "MDP Device 1s", which is smaller in size. The MDP Server is fully developed and up and running on Amazon Cloud EC2. iOS version of the MDP App is fully developed. A Beta version of the Android App is ready as well.

We have also developed a separate iOS App called the "MDP iOS Device", that emulates our hardware. This App, together with the MDP IOS App are available for download on iTunes TestFlight. Please email us if you would like to test these iOS Apps. The Android App is not fully developed yet. You can evaluate almost all features of the MDP solution using these iOS Apps, except battery consumption and very early detection of movements. Please note that Apps must run on two separate phones. The iPhone must be 4s or newer. As for Android, it should be OS version 4.3 (API level 18) or newer. The majority of new Android phones support Bluetooth Low Energy. To check if you Android phone supports it, please check this website.

Use of Fund

We will use this campaign's fund to support the following tasks:

  • Hardware Development and Refinement
  • Firmware Refinement 
  • Develop Waterproof Enclosure (case) for MDP Devices
  • Power Consumption Optimization
  • Certifications - FCC, CE, PTCRB
  • Customer support

Technical Details

The GNSS receiver of the MDP device is the GN87, made by eRide (formerly based in San Francisco, now a Furuno company). It is one of the best of its kind in the market. Shahram, founder of MDP, worked for more than 8 years at eRide and was the main developer of eRide's long-term GNSS aiding data (known as LTCSM). This aiding data enables the receiver to determine its position within seconds, even in tough environments. Long term aiding data are good for 7 days. At MDP, we have implemented an innovative method (patent-pending) to transfer this aiding data to the receiver inside the MDP device. As shown in the diagram below, the MDP App downloads this data from our backend server, which itself receives the data from Furuno's GNSS Aiding server. When the MDP device and phone are within range of each other, the App sends the GNSS aiding data to the device via Bluetooth Low Energy.

When the BLE connection between phone and device breaks, the MDP device starts monitoring the movement of the object carrying the device. Upon observing a movement, it transmits location data of the object to MDP server. The server then sends a remote push notification to the App in order to notify the user about the event and query if he/she would like to track the movement or simply dismiss the alert.

There are some cellular based tracking devices in the market that claim to be able to determine the location within 100 meters accuracy level, but don't believe it! To prove it for yourself, use an Android phone and run a Network Location App, like Network Location Tracker, to find out how poor the accuracy is, even when there are several cellular towers around the phone. Actual accuracy of these systems is from several hundred meters to a few kilometers. They determine a device's location by scanning nearby GSM cellular towers. The Location of cellular towers are mostly known (check Opencellid for example) and distance to each tower can be roughly estimated from  the strength of the received cellular signal. To achieve even a 500 meter accuracy, a strong signal from three or more GSM cellular towers needs to be received. This is not possible in many regions. Out of the biggest US carriers, only AT&T and T-Mobile run on GSM networks, while Verizon and Sprint use CDMA technology. So, the three cellular towers mentioned above can only be from AT&T or T-Mobile.

 Schedule

We are very excited to deliver the MDP Devices and Apps to our supporters by November 15 of 2015. Our iOS Apps are already available for download on iTunes via TestFlight. The Android version of the App will be ready by July 15 of 2015. We will start shipping our evaluation boards to the backers that have selected this reward on September 15 of 2015.

Contact Us

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any questions, comments, or suggestions! You can leave your questions on the comments page or send us an email at info@mydrivingpal.com.

Please like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/mydrivingpal and follow us on Twitter @mydrivingpal.

For inquiries regarding Distribution, Retail, and Partnerships please send emails to info@mydrivingpal.com.

Risks and challenges

There are always significant challenges in manufacturing and delivering any hardware product at scale.

Fortunately, we've have been working hard and established relationships with manufacturing partners in the US that will help us bring MDP to your doorstep. That's right, MDP is made in the USA!

Of course, there are still risks associated with producing the MDP Device. Unexpected changes in component lead times, availability, and cost are examples of factors outside our direct control that could affect our delivery timeline, but we are working hard to mitigate those risks and plan to be transparent throughout the delivery process.

The other risk with this and any other project that involves physical delivery comes with shipping. There are a number of unforeseen circumstances that can cause problems during the actual physical shipping of the MDP Devices. We plan to work with proven companies to help ensure that our devices arrive (in perfect condition) at their delivery destination. Since unforeseen circumstances can sometimes impact the shipping world, we will also make sure to have methods/resources in place to overcome any difficulties.

Please note that the final look and features of the MDP Device are subject to change based on your feedback and circumstances outside of our control such as component availability.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    One 'MDP Device 1' with 3 months of service included at Kickstarter special price. After the 3 months expires, user may request for additional months of service at $20 per every three months. Hence, for example after one year of using the MDP Device, the total cost will be $20 initial payment plus 3x$20, thus $80.

    The 'MDP Device 1', is little bigger than a credit card in size and is NOT water resistant. However, it's very thin at only 10 mm.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    One 'MDP Device 1s' with 3 months of service included at Kickstarter special price. After the 3 months expires, user may request for additional months of service at $30 per every three months. Hence, for example after one year of using the MDP Device, the total cost will be $30 initial payment plus 3x$30, thus $120.

    The 'MDP Device 1s', is little smaller than a credit card in size and is IS water resistant. It fits well under a bicycle's saddle (seat) and inside children's pocket.

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    Pledge $39 or more About $39

    One Evaluation and One Final Product 'MDP Device 1' at Kickstarter Featured price for the first 100 backers that select this perk. We will send out the evaluation device by September 15 and then in addition to that one final device by November 15. We kindly request these backers to provide us feedback after using the evaluation device, in order to for us to incorporate them in the final product.

    This is a one time payment and without any additional monthly or annual subscription fees-EVER! The regular price for this MDP device will include a $99 annual renewal fee outside this campaign. The 'MDP Device 1', is little bigger than a credit card in size and is NOT water resistant. However, it's very thin at only 10 mm.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    One 'MDP Device 1' at Kickstarter special price. This is a one time payment and without any additional monthly or annual subscription fees-EVER! The regular price for this MDP device will include a $99 annual renewal fee outside this campaign. The 'MDP Device 1', is little bigger than a credit card in size and is NOT water resistant. However, it's very thin at only 10 mm.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    One Green Color 'MDP Device 1' at Kickstarter special price. This is a one time payment and without any additional monthly or annual subscription fees-EVER! The regular price for this MDP device will include a $99 annual renewal fee outside this campaign. The 'MDP Device 1', is little bigger than a credit card in size and is NOT water resistant. However, it's very thin at only 10 mm.

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    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    One Blue Color 'MDP Device 1' at Kickstarter special price. This is a one time payment and without any additional monthly or annual subscription fees-EVER! The regular price for this MDP device will include a $99 annual renewal fee outside this campaign. The 'MDP Device 1', is little bigger than a credit card in size and is NOT water resistant. However, it's very thin at only 10 mm.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    One Yellow Color 'MDP Device 1' at Kickstarter special price. This is a one time payment and without any additional monthly or annual subscription fees-EVER! The regular price for this MDP device will include a $99 annual renewal fee outside this campaign. The 'MDP Device 1', is little bigger than a credit card in size and is NOT water resistant. However, it's very thin at only 10 mm.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    One Pink Color 'MDP Device 1' at Kickstarter special price. This is a one time payment and without any additional monthly or annual subscription fees-EVER! The regular price for this MDP device will include a $99 annual renewal fee outside this campaign. The 'MDP Device 1', is little bigger than a credit card in size and is NOT water resistant. However, it's very thin at only 10 mm.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    One 'MDP Device 1s' at Kickstarter special price. This is a one time payment and without any additional monthly or annual subscription fees-EVER! The regular price for this MDP device will include a $99 annual renewal fee outside this campaign. The 'MDP Device 1s', is little smaller than a credit card in size and is IS water resistant. It fits well under a bicycle's saddle (seat) and inside children's pocket.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $105 or more About $105

    One Blue Color 'MDP Device 1s' at Kickstarter special price. This is a one time payment and without any additional monthly or annual subscription fees-EVER! The regular price for this MDP device will include a $99 annual renewal fee outside this campaign. The 'MDP Device 1s', is little smaller than a credit card in size and is IS water resistant. It fits well under a bicycle's saddle (seat) and inside children's pocket.

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $105 or more About $105

    One Green Color 'MDP Device 1s' at Kickstarter special price. This is a one time payment and without any additional monthly or annual subscription fees-EVER! The regular price for this MDP device will include a $99 annual renewal fee outside this campaign. The 'MDP Device 1s', is little smaller than a credit card in size and is IS water resistant. It fits well under a bicycle's saddle (seat) and inside children's pocket.

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $105 or more About $105

    One Yellow Color 'MDP Device 1s' at Kickstarter special price. This is a one time payment and without any additional monthly or annual subscription fees-EVER! The regular price for this MDP device will include a $99 annual renewal fee outside this campaign. The 'MDP Device 1s', is little smaller than a credit card in size and is IS water resistant. It fits well under a bicycle's saddle (seat) and inside children's pocket.

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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $105 or more About $105

    One Pink Color 'MDP Device 1s' at Kickstarter special price. This is a one time payment and without any additional monthly or annual subscription fees-EVER! The regular price for this MDP device will include a $99 annual renewal fee outside this campaign. The 'MDP Device 1s', is little smaller than a credit card in size and is IS water resistant. It fits well under a bicycle's saddle (seat) and inside children's pocket.

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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $180 or more About $180

    Two 'MDP Device 1s' at Kickstarter special price and with 10% discount. This is a one time payment and without any additional monthly or annual subscription fees-EVER! The regular price for this MDP device will include a $99 annual renewal fee outside this campaign. The 'MDP Device 1s', is little smaller than a credit card in size and is IS water resistant. It fits well under a bicycle's saddle (seat) and inside children's pocket.

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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $240 or more About $240

    Three 'MDP Device 1s' at Kickstarter special price and with 20% discount. This is a one time payment and without any additional monthly or annual subscription fees-EVER! The regular price for this MDP device will include a $99 annual renewal fee outside this campaign. The 'MDP Device 1s', is little smaller than a credit card in size and is IS water resistant. It fits well under a bicycle's saddle (seat) and inside children's pocket.

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Funding period

- (60 days)