A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:
Proof of Concept
Explorations that test ideas and functionality.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
About this project
The Doppler is Amazon Alexa enabled, so you can communicate with the Doppler using your voice. Amazon Alexa is built in the cloud, so it is always getting smarter. The more you use Alexa, the more it adapts to your speech patterns, vocabulary, and preferences with new features continually being added. Ask Alexa to answer questions, hear the news, get weather and traffic reports, control your smart home, and more.
You can use most Amazon Alexa skills on the Doppler. These will expand its capabilities even further. Some examples include:
Tired of repeating yourself or need to be quiet? Use the Doppler's customizable smart buttons to repeat a command at the press of a button. Stream music or automate your home, the possibilities are endless. Want to turn on the lights or order pizza? The quick access buttons will allow you to activate tons of services at the touch of a button.
Quick Access examples:
With acoustically and digitally tuned full-range stereo speakers, the Sandman Doppler plays music with amazing clarity.
The Doppler connects via Bluetooth to your phone allowing you to stream your favorite music to the Doppler's speakers.
Just like smartphones or computers, the Doppler connects to your home’s internet wirelessly via Wi-Fi. This allows features that most alarm clocks don’t have like weather notifications, Amazon Alexa, and automatic time syncing.
At a glance, quickly view the traffic on your commute, today's weather, stock prices, or even your calendar. Don't need that information? You can turn it off leaving just the time on the Doppler's huge 1.8" display. The Doppler also has a built in light sensor so the screen will automatically adjust when the brightness in the room changes, you can even turn the display totally off if you'd prefer to sleep in total darkness.
Multi-color RGB LED's allow you to customize the Doppler's screen color. Teal? Ochre? Fuchsia? No problem!
Phones, smartwatches, fitness trackers, tablets, power banks, cameras, and anything else that charges via USB are no problem for the Doppler. It has 6 high power USB charging ports so you can charge all of your devices at once.
To eliminate the mess of all of these cables the Doppler has a simple and effective cable management system which allows you to route your cables underneath the Doppler to organize them. There is no power brick so only one power cable goes from the back of the Doppler to the wall. The Doppler's internal power supply is dual voltage (110/220) so it will work worldwide.
In case your devices have USB-C you won't be left without a charge. You can swap out three regular USB ports and get three USB-C ports (sold separately and will be available at launch).
It's a smart clock, so it must have an app! Easily setup and control all aspects of the Doppler from the intuitive and free Sandman app (iOS and Android). You’ll need to use the app when you setup the Doppler and to update the software on the Doppler. We will be able to update the Doppler’s feature remotely so you can look forward to new features all the time.
Using the app you’ll be able to control multiple alarms on different days of the week. You’ll also be able to set alarms with your voice or directly onto the Doppler using the buttons. A large snooze button on top delays the inevitable.
Keep track of the time with large 1.8 inch auto-dimming numbers. Time can be displayable in 12 or 24 hour time modes.
The Doppler is powered by the Next Thing Co.’s C.H.I.P. Pro and are both open source products. Want to add your own features? Great! Access the C.H.I.P. Pro via a hidden Micro-USB port.
Some have said that the bedside Alarm is going the way of the dodo, we all have phones! Here is why the Doppler is going to save the alarm clock from extinction.
It's Better at Checking the Time
We have all been there before, you want to check the time in the middle of the night. When you look at your phone you get blinded even if you have your brightness set to the lowest settings. After you check the time you frequently get distracted by whatever else is on your phone causing restless sleep. With an alarm clock like the Doppler, it's huge 1.8" numbers can be easily seen from across the room or without your glasses on.
It's Better at Snoozing
The Doppler can't be easily knocked off, tilted, or moved on your nightstand. The Doppler's illuminated snooze button makes it easy to find, even in a sleepy daze.
It's Better at Playing Your Music
Phone speakers are getting better and better every generation, but they aren't anything compared to the stereo speakers on the Doppler.
It Comes at a Better Price
A comparable setup would cost you:
Amazon Echo Dot ($50)
6-port USB Charging Station ($23)
Bluetooth Stereo Speaker ($75)
Alarm Clock ($19)
Power Strip ($10)
6 USB extension cables ($30)
Comparable setup = $207
Sandman Doppler = $119 (Kickstarter price)
+ includes customizable RGB digits
+ includes date, weather, temperature Dashboard indicators
+ clean cable management
We chose the Kickstarter platform to help bring the Doppler to life. You can help make that happen by making one of the pledges below!
In early 2015 we wanted to make our own products and created the original Sandman, a 4 port USB charger alarm clock. That first Kickstarter experience was a whirlwind and unfortunately didn't end the way we would have liked, but we learned a lot.
We Brought Our Own Product to Market
We learned a lot about how to run a business, a Kickstarter, and about our product, the Sandman Clock (available now on our site and Amazon). In general, people loved it, but they really wanted it to do more... and wanted speakers!
Soon after we shipped all of our Sandman pre-orders, we started development on what would become the Doppler. The main feature that separates the Doppler from the original Sandman? You got it, speakers!
Here are some early sketches of the Doppler showing it's design evolution:
Once we chose the design and form factor for the Doppler, we could get deep into the actual mechanical engineering. Because the Doppler has speakers we had to acoustically tune the design to get the best possible sound. To do this, we experimented with different methods of sealing the Doppler, having different bass port designs (that's what the hole in the back of the Doppler is). As well as different air volumes for the sound to resonate in. This was an iterative process of testing, designing, 3d printing, and testing again. We now have a design we are very happy with!
While all of the industrial design, mechanical, and electrical engineering was going on, our software guys were hard at work on the software for the Doppler. We broke down the components of the software and tackled them one at a time: Wifi connectivity, connecting to a phone app, playing sounds, recording sound from the microphones, communicating with Amazon's servers (for Alexa support), and changing the colors of the LEDs.
About two months ago we "locked" down the features of the Doppler and started focusing on the plan to get it manufactured. We met with the head of our manufacturing partner about the Doppler, went through the manufacturing plan, the costs, and most importantly some very important feedback called DFM (design for manufacturing). Our manufacturing partner is very excited about the new product and is ready to bring it the life.
Why we need help from Kickstarter
The tooling required to make the Doppler at scale is very expensive and is a one-time, sunk cost. We need Kickstarter's help to get this paid for so we can start selling Dopplers to the world.
Below is our estimated timeline. Please note that we will do our best to stick to this timeline. If something slips due to us, our manufacturer, or other vendors, we will update our backers.
For those who love the nitty gritty details, here they are!
Width: 11.6" (29.5cm)
Height: 4" (10.2cm)
Depth: 4.7" (12cm)
Stereo Speakers with Bass Port
220 Hz - 20 kHz
Large 1.8" Digits
Customizable colors and brightness
Display can be turned off
Dashboard indicators with 29 RGB dots, traffic, weather, temperature, and day of the week lights
12 & 24 hour time modes
6 USB ports total
6 High Power (2.1 amp each)
3 ports user upgradeable to USB-C (sold separately)
Internal rechargeable battery backup in case of loss of power for alarm
Hidden Micro-USB port access
Amazon Alexa is currently only available in the following countries (as of 7/2017).
United States of America
Amazon is quickly expanding Amazon Alexa to other countries. If you don't have Amazon Alexa available in your country the Doppler will still work great, it just won't have all the functionality listed on this page. Any other way to get Amazon Alexa working on the device is not supported.
Thanks for checking out our Kickstarter project and we hope you'll back us today. We can't wait to get you your Sandman Doppler!
Amazon, Alexa and all related logos are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.
Risks and challenges
The people of PAI have brought many products to life and the lessons we have learned along the way are all remembered and continuously brought up when working on the Doppler. That being said, developing a product is incredibly difficult, there is no getting around that.
The Doppler requires and interacts with numerous software services to function properly, we will need to rigorously test and in some cases certify the Doppler so these various integrations function properly. We don't anticipate any issues, but we want to make sure we are transparent with these sorts of things.
In the almost guaranteed event that things don't go according to plan, we commit to giving you honest and frequent updates on the status of the project.
The original Sandman 4-port USB charging Alarm Clock. This was our first product and is available now. The Sandman is great if you don't want all the features of the Doppler or if you can't wait for a great alarm clock.
We will be able to ship these weeks after our campaign ends as we have them in our warehouse.