Project image
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$23,730
pledged of $80,000pledged of $80,000 goal
58
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, June 19 2015 2:00 AM UTC +00:00
$23,730
pledged of $80,000pledged of $80,000 goal
58
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, June 19 2015 2:00 AM UTC +00:00

About

Netonos Note™: Amplify your Sonos®

Sonos is a great multi-room digital music system.  Wouldn't it be great if you could leverage your existing investment in your Sonos system and make it easier to use and even more capable?

Now you can.  Netonos Note is a small, Sonos-compatible device that adds features to your existing Sonos installation, including control of your surround sound receiver, creation of group presets, integration with doorbells and playback of short announcements through Sonos speakers.  It requires no programming, only simple configuration; you can set it up and simply enjoy it, as you do with your Sonos system.

We believe in manufacturing in the United States and plan to manufacture the newly designed parts and the unit itself domestically, so please join us in supporting American custom manufacturing.

Note will retail for about $399 but you can have one via a Kickstarter reward for significantly less as a thank you to backers for early adoption. Simply choose a single reward level that you like from the list on the right.

As Seen In

Note in Detail

Note's capabilities include:

  • Surround Control: Note links a surround receiver to a Sonos player and automatically controls the receiver's power switch and input settings based on Sonos system events such as play and pause. Note supports surround receivers released within the last three years by Denon, Marantz, and Yamaha. Receivers may be controlled in any of the following ways if the receiver allows: ethernet network, RS-232 serial control, infrared remote codes, or 12-volt trigger codes.
  • Groupsets: Note supports the storage and recall of Sonos zone group presets or groupsets (groupings of all your players plus their respective volume levels). Groupsets are recalled from your Sonos app by selecting from a list that appears within the Folders section of your Music Library. (Favsets are similar but restore favorite channels or playlists).
  • Doorbell Chimes: Wire your doorbell to a Note and it will pause any selected Sonos zones, play a chime (or audio file of your choosing), and then restore the music.
  • Announcements: On demand, Note will pause any selected Sonos zones, play an announcement, and then restore the music.  The announcement may be either an audio file you record or a text message you type which is automatically translated to speech!

Installation is simple; Note's web-based configuration utility automatically detects your Sonos players and any surround sound receivers on your home network. You then pair a player with each receiver to be controlled. Whenever you play or pause that Sonos zone, your surround receiver will automatically power on to the proper input, adjust its volume, and power off as needed.  Note essentially gives you a pre-programmed control system for your surround receiver zones.  Doorbell chimes are also automatic.  Sonos system users use their Sonos control apps as before and need not even know that Netonos Note is working behind the scenes for them.

After Groupsets and Announcements are created, new files appear under the Folders section of your Music Library in the Sonos app and when chosen, they automatically invoke the associated Groupset or Announcement.  Other means of invocation and integration will certainly be a part of future releases.

Netonos Note Images
 

Netonos Note Top and Front
Netonos Note Top and Front
Netonos Note with a Sonos Connect
Netonos Note with a Sonos Connect
Netonos Note at home with a Sonos ZonePlayer
Netonos Note at home with a Sonos ZonePlayer
Netonos Note Rear Prototype
Netonos Note Rear Prototype
     
Note Case Interior and Lid 3D Design
Note Case Interior and Lid 3D Design

Web-based Configurator Screenshots

Note Configuration: Linking Receivers to ZonePlayers
Note Configuration: Linking Receivers to ZonePlayers
Note Configuration: Groupset Management
Note Configuration: Groupset Management
            

Status

Note is at a mid-point stage of development with many challenging problems already solved. We have web-based configuration software that communicates with Sonos ZonePlayers and implements many of Note's features; this runs on the Raspberry Pi computing platform inside of Note.  We have started our custom circuit board design which provides all of the hardware interfaces to surround receivers and doorbells but have not yet finalized it nor tied it together with the Raspberry Pi.  We have a 3D-printed sample case but have not yet chosen a final case manufacturing technique. We have consulted with circuit board manufacturers, case manufacturers and have lined up a packaging vendor.

Estimated Timeline

  • May 2015 - Kickstarter Launch
  • June - Sept 2015 - Industrial Design, Software and Hardware Development, Iteration and Testing
  • October 2015 - Manufacturing Begins
  • November 2015 - Production Unit Testing, Quality Assurance and Packaging Production 
  • December 2015 - Initial Product Boxing and First 50-100 Kickstarter Netonos Note Initial Deliveries
  • January - February 2016 - Many More Kickstarter Deliveries

Use of Funds

Funds will be used for all aspects of the project. All of the earlier work will help us maximize the value of your Kickstarter funding.

Our Story

Bob Weiner and Andy Stevens both studied engineering at M.I.T., lived across the street from each other, graduated the same year, and yet never knew each other.  Many years later, they met, found they had complementary skills, and started Netonos to deliver innovative, connected products for the Internet of Things.

We have been integrating Sonos products into home technology solutions since the earliest Sonos releases.  Sonos quickly became known as the best and easiest-to-install multi-room music system on the market.  But in order to keep the user experience simple and to keep their business focused, Sonos designers have omitted some features that many people want.  With Netonos Note, we are building a platform that will make Sonos even easier to use and will better integrate it into the home.

Bios

Bob Weiner - Cofounder

Bob drives the Netonos vision and works on delivering the best overall user experience and software for Netonos.  Bob has backed a good number of technology Kickstarters in the last year.

Bob has computer science and engineering degrees from M.I.T. and Brown University, extensive embedded and application software experience, and many years of building unique, successful systems, often years ahead of other efforts.  He believes in approachable, easy-to-use designs.

He started as a researcher for Motorola working on the convergence of information management and wireless handheld devices.  He developed core technology for the first Fedex mobile package trackers, designed and implemented a large, high-productivity software engineering environment, and has created many advanced user interfaces for home and music control.

Andy Stevens - Cofounder

Andy designs our hardware and manages our systems.

Andy received his bachelors degree from M.I.T., his masters from University of Pennsylvania, and his doctorate from Columbia University, all in electrical engineering.  He did his Ph.D. thesis work at IBM Research in the area of integrated circuit design.

He has held R&D positions at Bell Laboratories and Argonne National Laboratory.  He has been a consultant in computer hardware/software, network security, and digital forensics.  He has also worked on E-commerce and publishing systems at the Voyager Company and John Wiley & Sons, and was CTO of startup Double Agent.  He holds three patents in the areas of analog circuit design and computer user interfaces, and has co-written a college textbook on MATLAB.

Richard Costello - Advisor

Richard advises us on branding, marketing and usability.  He is a long-time user of Sonos systems and a music lover.

Richard was the brand guru for General Electric during the Jack Welch era. He led the development and implementation of the long running "We Bring Good Things to Life" advertising campaign.  Richard provided marketing guidance to every GE business, including lighting, jet engines, plastics, NBC, appliances, financial services and medical systems.  This has given him an extraordinary diversity of business and marketing experience.  Additionally, he was a member of the business team that transformed the culture of GE from a sleepy bureaucracy to a lean, aggressive growth machine.

Richard leads seminars around the world in branding, integrated marketing communications, new product development, marketing innovation and marketing planning.

SCORE

SCORE consultants advise us on business strategy and consumer thinking.  Special thanks to our advisors at SCORE, who wish to remain anonymous.  SCORE offers free business consulting from retired executives with broad knowledge bases.

Thoughts for Backers

We know that backers will have many good ideas for features and integrations in future releases.  We welcome your thoughts.  We very much want to hear your ideas and interact with you.  We promise to work hard to make Note great and to find fun ways to make you a part of that process.  Please join us today by choosing one of the reward levels at the right of the page.

Questions and Answers

1. How many Netonos Notes do I need?  You need one Note per surround receiver you want to control. You need one per doorbell to which you plan to connect. For whole house uses such as announcements and groupsets, you need only one Note. You need at least one Note per Sonos network, e.g. if you have two houses, you would need at least two.

2. Does this replace the Sonos controller app?  No, all users continue to use the same Sonos controller apps they have already. Note simply adds extended capabilities within these apps by responding to events from the Sonos system that you set via our web-based configuration app.

3. Which Sonos players does Netonos Note support?  Note is compatible with all Sonos players as far as we know. To pair a player with a surround receiver, it must have a "line out" output such as a Connect (ZP90) or the older ZP80 and ZP100 models. You must be running fairly recent versions of Sonos' player software; just update your Sonos player software if not.

4. Is it wireless? No, a Netonos Note must be connected to one of the network ports on a Sonos or to a network switch. However, you can use a wifi-connected Sonos player and simply plug the Netonos Note into one of its network ports. Note also requires an electrical outlet.

5. Will there be a way to integrate Note with other systems, i.e. an application programming interface (API)?  Not as part of this Kickstarter, unless it is added as a stretch goal during the Kickstarter. Netonos Note is meant to be an easy-to-use end-user appliance. But we recognize the importance of APIs and have plans to build developer and integrator-centric platforms connecting Netonos technology to the Internet of Things and allowing connected control of various home technologies.

6. How is Note related to the Internet of Things? Beyond this Kickstarter, Note will evolve to be able to receive events and signals from devices around the home and across the Internet, process them and either send them out to other devices or speak results to you.

7. What does the button on the front of Note do?  This is pressed to identify a particular Note unit on the network so you can pair it with a surround receiver or a doorbell.  We are also likely to use the light on the button to provide feedback that the unit is attached to the network or to flash the light to indicate which unit you have selected when multiple Notes are in use.

Reward Levels Summary

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Netonos and Sonos are trademarks of their respective holders and are not affiliated in any way.

Risks and challenges

New hardware projects are always challenging and subject to unforeseen delays. We have worked to mitigate such problems by doing development part-time for the last year prior to our Kickstarter launch and by working only with experienced partners. If any major issues arise, we will communicate them to our backers and seek input.

On the experience side, Andy has broad circuit design expertise and Bob has extensive software design and development expertise. We both have startup experience. We have several advisors with broad business and marketing knowledge.

We are using the Raspberry Pi and Linux operating system as a stable computing platform and adding our own custom circuit board for input and output functions such as infrared command control. This will help speed development and ensure we have the requisite computing and networking capabilities for our custom software.

We have prototyped a case for Note but need to refine it through further industrial design work. We have a highly experienced design firm who can work with us on this.

Today, we have a working base of software that communicates with and receives events from Sonos systems and controls one brand of surround receivers (production versions of Note will support most popular receiver brands). We still need to finish off all the features, make the install process simple, build test setups and test extensively.

We plan to do all custom work and high-level manufacturing in the U.S., subject to being able to meet our specified price points. We have identified and spoken to several domestic suppliers and custom manufacturing partners with decades of experience and customer service.

Netonos is presently not affiliated in any way with Sonos, Inc., so all of our work is done independently and without any of their support. We are open to working with them on future integrations.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Follower - Follow the progress of Netonos Note and join us in discussion.

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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Joiner - Adorn your gear with a set of Netonos Note stickers.

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    Topper - Don a Netonos baseball cap (colors to be determined).

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    Wearable - Receive one Netonos shirt (available sizes to be determined).

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    Pledge US$ 199 or more About US$ 199

    Early Bird - One Netonos Note: You know how great this will be. You jump in early and are rewarded for it.

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    Pledge US$ 229 or more About US$ 229

    Fast Draw - One Netonos Note: You are in the fast lane. Get a Note at a great value.

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    Pledge US$ 259 or more About US$ 259

    Easy Rider - One Netonos Note: You love music and you dig the Netonos Note idea. Get on board with the first production run. Plus receive a set of Netonos Note stickers.

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    Double Trouble - Two Netonos Notes: Make it happen in two locations.

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    Pledge US$ 1,200 or more About US$ 1,200

    Surround Extravaganza - Five Netonos Notes: You love surround sound and now you can easily integrate with your Sonos systems. Give one to each member of your family.

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    Pledge US$ 1,900 or more About US$ 1,900

    Leader - Acknowledgement in Note's Kickstarter credits at our website as a Leader and significant backer. Receive two Notes and two Netonos shirts.

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    Pledge US$ 2,750 or more About US$ 2,750

    Visionary - Acknowledgement in Note's Kickstarter credits at our website as a Visionary. Receive one Note hand-signed by a founder, one regular Note and two Netonos shirts.

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    Pledge US$ 5,000 or more About US$ 5,000

    Musical Backer - Receive one of the first 100 production Notes, hand-signed and numbered by the founders. Plus one regular Note. Plus a telephone consultation by a founder to help you with initial setup. Plus two Netonos shirts and a Netonos cap. Plus a big thank you in our Kickstarter credits at our website.

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    Pledge US$ 10,000 About US$ 10,000

    Note Launcher - Two of you will enjoy a great dinner in Connecticut with the Netonos founders, see some production work, discuss future ideas and celebrate the launch. Receive two of the first 50 production Notes, hand-signed and numbered by the founders. Plus one regular Note. Plus a telephone consultation by a founder to help you with initial setup. Plus four Netonos shirts and two Netonos caps. Receive a very prominent mention in our Kickstarter credits at our website.

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Funding period

- (29 days)