About this project
Inspired by the sawtooth roof architecture of the early 19th century, Sawtooth is a docking station comprising of a series of ridges to stand devices while charging on your desk, office, meeting room, classroom and anywhere at home
Sawtooth will charge iPhone and iPhone6 faster
Read update here.
6-Port USB with up to 3A each and 120 Watts of Power
The Sawtooth dock has six (6) USB ports. Each port is capable of charging up to 3A (amps) of current independently. It’s the first in the market to provide up to 120 watts of power. Each port is equipped with our OptimalPeak™ technology to automatically detect and select the optimal charging amps specifically for your device.
Fast Full-Speed and Quick Charge™ 2.0 Charging
Powered by our OptimalPeak charging technology that detects the charging protocol and optimizes charging amps for your device. The OptimalPeak technology supports all existing charging standards, including Qualcomm™ Quick Charge 2.0 that charges up to 75% faster. Sawtooth will be the first multi-port charger that delivers fast charging for Quick Charge 2.0, Apple 1A, 2A and 2.4A schema, Samsung and other protocols.
Charging, Safety and Protection
With Quick Charge 2.0, Sawtooth optimizes charging and maintains good battery cycle life by regulating the power (amps) pumped to the device. The LED light shows the speed of charging (amount of amps) pump to the device. The higher the amps the faster the LED light will blink. It should noted most new devices has internal regulator to prevent pumping too much power into the battery and damaging it.
For safety, it has over-current, over-heating, over-voltage, and short-circuit protection. Sawtooth is the only multi-port charger in the market that provides an indicator for each port to show the charging amperage or speed.
Reception Area of Your Business
Increase customer happiness with a Sawtooth dock and charger in your reception area, waiting room, co-working area, bar, saloon, coffee shop, or restaurant. Strategically place a unit where you want your customers to mingle and to pick up a few things on their way out. No more worried customers messing around with the power outlets in your store.
Stop library patrons from congregating around power outlets. It does not look good when you have people sitting or squatting on the floor next to an outlet. You can stop all these behaviors by having a Sawtooth dock and charger in the checkout area. Remember that it is a fast charger.
In the Office
Put a Sawtooth dock and charger on top of the credenza in a meeting room or common space in a cubicle area. It may increase productivity.The Sawtooth is so beautiful and elegant that you may want one on your desk to organize your gadgets. Everyone may want one in their cubicles to save space.
At Home Anywhere
Like a building with a beautiful sawtooth roof with ridges, Sawtooth is an art piece for your home. Whether on the table at the foyer, in the den, on the kitchen counter so that everyone can be with Mom, or in the study, Sawtooth makes a good presence.
As one customer wrote, “It works so that when my grandkids come to visit there are no wires all over the house that I could trip and fall over.” Sawtooth is also great for kids’ rooms. It is not only perfect to help keep their room neat, but also safe. Sawtooth charges fast and it will cut off power to each port when the device is done charging. Sawtooth has a surge protector.
SPECIAL DESIGN ELEMENTS
Chaining the Docks
We designed Sawtooth with classrooms in mind, where there is a need to charge many tablets at night. You can connect many units together (up to 10 or more) in a row to one wall outlet, giving you up to 60 or more USB ports. The unit is also designed to fit into book shelves, cabinets and filing drawers so you do not need to buy additional furniture and fittings.
Inspired by Sawtooth Design Architecture, circa 1827
The sawtooth design pays tribute to a British architect, William Fairbairn, who designed the sawtooth roof around 1827 to bring daylight into buildings. Lately, sawtooth roofs are becoming trendy again to maximize interior daylight. We adopted the sawtooth design, using the ridges to stand the devices.
The grooves are wide enough to accommodate smartphones and tablets with thick covers. We also provide a ridge rod to hold the devices in the dock at a 15º slope.
Lifetime Warranty Charging Cables
You can get Sawtooth with or without charging cables. There are two types of cables. The Micro USB, USB 3.10 and iPhone4 30-pin are regular cables. The iPhone5 Lightning cables are Apple MFI-certificated. Our Plashr branded cables come with a Lifetime Warranty, subject to conditions and limitation
Our Design, Manufacturing, Fulfillment & Support
Sawtooth is designed in California. The Printed Circuit Board Assembly (PCBA) is architected by our engineering team in Berkeley, California and Shenzhen, China in collaboration with engineers from our integrated circuit (IC) partners in Silicon Valley.
We founded Plashr with an OEM manufacturer in Shenzhen that has more than 15 years of experience doing injection moulding and making plastic objects. This manufacturer also owns a PCB factory and PCBA assembly facility. In other words, you can say we are vertically integrated, from design to manufacturing.
Plashr takes full ownership of the quality control. We strive for the highest quality. Our team has and will continue to meticulously identify and define testing and quality control points in our manufacturing process to ensure quality. Our testing and quality control extend beyond our factory and also to the suppliers from whom we are sourcing some of our parts, such as cables.
We have experience supporting our backers and managing the fulfillment process from another Kickstarter project. We learned from our mistakes from the All Dock project. This time we are working with forwarders in the USA, EU countries, Canada and Australia to manage the last shipping tier.
We will expedite shipment by consolidating packages to the USA, EU countries, Canada and Australia into bulk parcels and shipping them by air to the respective forwards, who will clear customs and unpack, label and ship the packages to you via the postal services. There will be NO SHIPPING or import duty/tax charges to these countries.
We will be shipping door-to-door to other countries either from our factory in Shenzhen, or via our forwarder, by air using the most reasonable postal service or carrier. There will be NO SHIPPING charges to Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Malaysia. Customers from China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan will enjoy a discount of $10 to $40 because we are able to use local S.F. Express services. Use "Back This Project" button to enter the pledge amount with appropriate rebate. There will be a $20 surcharge to ship to countries not mentioned above. We will constantly update this page and shipping calculator as we find better shipping solutions for the rest of the countries. Customers getting the package door-to-door are responsible for import duty/tax. Please consult the import duty/tax policy of your country.
Everyone knows fulfillment is a daunting step in Kickstarter. We are prepared this time. We are starting early to plan our survey, stretch goals, packaging, invoicing and picking slips. We have identified and will apply appropriate human resources to prepare for fulfillment and to support the backers. All inquiries and questions will be answered within 24 hours, except for on weekends.
Our Design Story, Innovation & your Awesome Experience
We got the requirements for a cable-outside multiple charger for public places in September 2014. Having the cable outside is more manageable for businesses, libraries and other public areas where they may have no idea how many of their customers/patrons use Android or iPhone, and having the cable inside the box does not really work. With the sawtooth design and short and flat charging cables, we believe Sawtooth can also be used anywhere at home.
We started exploring various design ideas in October and adopted the sawtooth roof design very early in the design phase. We now have a final prototype and are ready to construct our injection mold.
We challenged our engineers to build the fastest USB charger that not only supports the new Qualcomm™ Snapdragon 800 Quick Charge 2.0™ technology, but also is backward compatible to the existing USB charging standards. This has resulted in a new circuitboard architecture that we call OptimalPeak™ technology. We are now printing and assembling our new sample circuitboards and working with our integrated chip partners to test the circuitboards and chipsets. This design iteration and testing will take another month (February - March) or so to complete.
Meanwhile, we are also very serious about Quality Control in our manufacturing process. We not only have to develop test procedures for the circuitboard assembly process, but also we need to impose Quality Control on our suppliers, especially the cable manufacturers. The cost to replace and reship defective units is very high, and everyone in Plashr strives to achieve a 99.9% rate of no defects.
As you can see in the schedule below, Design and Prototyping, Printed Circuit Board Assembly (PCBA) Design and Testing, and QC Testing take up most of the time in our schedule.
Furthermore, we are very serious about preparing for fulfillment and supporting our backers. We are updating our IT infrastructure to use better Help Desk, Invoicing, Shipping, Billing and Payment systems. We want to answer all inquiries and questions within 24 hours except for on weekends. We want to ship as early as possible. We want to send you notifications when your package is in transit and the tracking number when it’s with the carrier or postal service.
We are aiming for a totally awesome experience from the day you backed us, keeping you connected with us until you receive and open your reward.
You pick a color. If we exceed the first $20K, we will add Marsala Red to the collection. You vote and pick 2 more colors when we reach $50K and $100K, respectively.
NOTE: The second stretch goal below is now an option you can choose at the survey step.
The second stretch goal is about the power plug at the back of the unit. We started designing Sawtooth for classrooms, where we needed a way to connect one unit to another to plug into one wall plug. This requires a C-13 type of plug. As you can see in the picture on the right in the image below, the C-13 plug is bulky. But if you are using Sawtooth as a standalone unit, you really do not need the bulky C-13. A C-5 plug would look better, like in the picture on the left.To have both C-5 and C-13, we need to construct two injection molds and support two SKUs. If we exceed $100K, we will make two molds and provide the standalone configuration a better looking plug.
Our manufacturing team is to start mass production and assembly in April 2015, and we will ship as the products leave the assembly line. We will start shipping in late April and continue until May/June, depending on the number of units. The two stretch goals may affect timing somewhat.
We need to know that if we build it, people will like it. So, please give us feedback and share with your friends, even if you do not need another multiple-port charger.
Your pre-orders would help us pay for the construction of the injection mold and pay for the integrated chips and parts to manufacture the circuitboard assembly.These are the most expensive elements of the product.
Risks and challenges
When we got involved in the All Dock project, we always felt very uncomfortable because we were in a weak position to manage the risk. The project was sourcing from different companies that did not talk to each other, and it was questionable whether we were dealing with a trading company or actual manufacturer. We parachuted into the project to get it delivered. There was no quality management system, nor was there an IT infrastructure to support fulfillment and customer service. What we experienced was typical of many Kickstarter projects, making them very risky.
We founded the Plashr platform because of our risky experience. Our goal with Plashr is to mitigate the manufacturing risk and to build the infrastructure to better distribute our products and serve our customers globally. We did it by partnering and offering a compelling value proposition to the right manufacturers. With a manufacturer in the founding team, we are now vertically integrated with access to everything PCB (design, assembly and firmware programming), injection molding design/production and product assembly. We are also putting in place a Quality Management System across the entire supply chain, including at our supplier factory. In short, we are addressing the risk at the root of the problem.
Nevertheless, there will still be unforeseen circumstances going forward. Some we can foresee early, but some may pop up during execution. For example, we have been told there is a backlog in the supply of Apple-certified chipsets for lightning connectors. We are still engineering our circuitboard to combine Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 and existing USB handshake protocols/standards. We will announce how we will support Quick Charge 2.0 at 9V, 12V and 20V.
On the fulfillment front, we are working with logistic companies to pin down the most efficient and cost effective way to ship in the USA, EU countries, Australia, Canada, Japan and Greater China with no shipping and import duty/tax. Our goal is not to make money on shipping but to lower the cost of ownership of our product for everyone around the world. Today, we know where we can send with no shipping charges, and many countries have no import duty/tax below a certain amount. For the rest of the countries (not listed above) we have to impose a $20 shipping surcharge. As we uncover ways to ship to new countries, we will update you. If you know of a cheaper and effective way to ship to your country, please let us know.
Finally, we would like to add that our challenges go beyond Kickstarter. Kickstarter is a valuable launchpad to connect with our backers. We would be doing a disservice to our backers if we did not grow and bring more innovations to market. The Plashr brand is also the platform for how we are going to get there. We are developing the capability of selling online everywhere, including China.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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