This project's funding goal was not reached on March 30, 2013.
About this project
The campaign is over, if you want to know what’s next, check the latest update!
TeleSound is a new way to communicate with your friends and family in a casual or exclusive way, by simply using sounds.
It’s great to send sweet thoughts to your loved one, poke friends, share your feelings, surprise your cat, play with your kids or annoy your colleagues!
Over 1,000 great sounds
TeleSound contains over 1,000 sounds carefully designed to express a wide range of emotions and situations. From fun to poetic, from meaningful to musical.
The sound vocabulary is based on the standardized Emojis - which are an extended set of emoticons originally coming from Japan. Every sound corresponds to one Emoji and is graphically represented by it.
TeleSound is full of surprises: most sounds have variations, so you don’t hear exactly the same sounds all the time, and certain sounds combine into composite sounds. For example, when you send several laughs in a row, they will combine into a gigantic laugh. Have a look at the video in the project update #1 to get a feel about it. We’ll unveil further ways to combine sounds in future updates, but most combos will remain secret surprises for you to discover!
Can you add sounds or upload your own sounds? No: it’s a language. If everyone invented their own words, then you would never be understood! But some rewards will allow you to participate in the sound selection, and even let you choose your own sound, under scrutiny of the sound police, of course ;)
How does it work?
TeleSound connects wirelessly to your smartphone or tablet using Bluetooth 4.0 (see the list of compatible devices in the "Compatibility" section below).
When it’s connected, anyone that you authorized can trigger sounds on your TeleSound from anywhere in the world, by sending a series of icons from a free iPhone/Android application. It's like text messaging with Emojis, transformed into sounds.
No friends? Use your TeleSound as a soundbox with the "play" mode!
How do you know who sent you a sound message?
It’s up to the sender to include a sound signature in the message, but even if he/she doesn’t, just have a look at the app to know who sent it: all messages are logged and replayable there.
Your TeleSound knows when you are around
Once it’s peered with your smartphone or tablet, your TeleSound connects automatically when it is less than 30 feet away (10 meters).
You’ll never miss a sound message: as soon as your TeleSound (re)connects, it gets back online and messages received while offline are played automatically. The senders will also receive delivery confirmations.
Fast and easy: go offline by turning your TeleSound over. Replay the last message with a simple “moo box” gesture.
The history of messages received, volume and privacy settings are controlled via the app on your smartphone or tablet.
And TeleSound has its own grammar too!
TeleSound will come initially in four colors: orange, red, yellow and blue.
Power management & battery life
TeleSound is powered by 2 standard AAA batteries that last for months, depending on your usage.
The TeleSound app is running in the background of your smartphone or tablet and has been carefully optimized to save your device's battery life.
To receive sounds, you need a Bluetooth 4.0-enabled smartphone or tablet running iOS (Apple) or Android, such as:
- Apple - iPhone 4S & 5, iPad 3, iPad Mini, iPod Touch (5th generation)
- Android - Samsung Galaxy S3, HTC One X, Nexus 4
- Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity
- 2W amplifier, 4 Ohm high quality speaker
- 128MB storage
- 2 AAA batteries
- Dimensions: 2.4" x 2.4" x 1.5" (62mm x 62mm x 38mm)
Where are we and what’s next?
We’ve been working on Bluetooth 4.0 products for nearly a year now and have developed several prototypes.
Since last December we have a fully working prototype that include every components of the final product: electronics and firmware, iOS application, cloud software (for persistence and interface to the notifications services) and (of course) sounds.
Here’s one of the prototype of the electronics we’re using to validate the software components, test the sounds and the user experience.
What’s next is the final routing, integrating on a single board the Bluetooth 4.0 module, sound amplifier, storage and tilt-sensor. Once this is done, the factory will produce the engineering samples before manufacturing the first runs of PCBA.
We have a BOM (Bill of Materials) ready that can change a bit when we move forward as some local components could be cheaper than the ones we used.
iOS and Android application
The Beta version of the iOS application is working pretty well, the screenshots you saw above are taken directly from it. The next steps are iterations on the user interface and continuous improvements of the energy efficiency.
The Android development has not started yet. We have chosen the developer and we’ll start as soon as our funding goal is reached.
Design and mechanical
External design is ready now. What’s next is the mechanical design of the speaking chamber and we expect to have some modifications to make when we have the final version of the electronic board.
When this is done, we’ll proceed to the manufacturing of the injection mold and the first runs.
We have defined guiding principles for the different families of sounds, set up grammatical rules to compose "sound sentences", and produced around 20% of the individual sounds.
The process of creating the rest of the sounds will be highly participative and fun for our backers! We’ll post the new sounds as part of the process and every backer will be able to vote for the ones they love most or suggest fun combinations.
What you get as a backer
All backers will be listed on TeleSound.me and have access to backers-only updates: where we are, listen & vote for new sounds (see above) and a lot of insider information about the development process.
The pledge levels go from $1 to $1,000: have a look at the rewards on the right of the page. All rewards from $34 up include one or several TeleSound products from the very first production batch which will be reserved for Kickstarter backers. Well, the others will have to wait!
The $500 and $1,000 rewards offer the unique possibility to have a personal input on the final product, by selecting a combination of emojis and its corresponding sound, or by choosing the sound of one the 20 emojis that we have reserved for backers.
Why we need you
To launch TeleSound we need to have a first batch of at least 3,000 units to begin the production. Below that quantity, unit price is too high and it’s very difficult to find a good factory that will be interested in manufacturing the product.
So if you too want to have fun with sounds, back us now and spread the word!
Marc & Olivier
Risks and challenges
Launching hardware products is not something easy but we think that our team holds the required experience to face the challenges.
TeleSound is not our first product: the same team launched and shipped reaDIYmate in 2012, thanks to Kickstarter backers.
Before that, Olivier was cofounder and CEO of Violet, the company behind Nabaztag - the iconic Wifi bunny. He supervised the product development, manufacturing and quality control of all the Violet products (more than 300,000 units were shipped).
TeleSound will follow the same proven development process than the team's previous products: design, user experience and software developed in Paris, and manufacturing outsourced to a trusted partner in China. For the manufacturing of TeleSound, we have shortlisted two partners in Shenzhen and one of them is the factory Olivier worked with for more than 5 years at Violet.
We’ll keep our backers informed during the whole process, so that you know what challenges we are facing and what actions we are taking at every stage of the development.
As of February 2013, we keep a particularly close eye on the following challenges: delivery timing and battery life.
We’ve planned 6 months between the end of the Kickstarter campaign and the delivery of the product. We’ve learnt from our past project and are confident with this deadline for the first batch of 3,000 units. If we go above the next batches will be delivered later.
Also, as in every battery-powered device, there is the challenge of the energy efficiency and battery life. We have already performed tests on the prototype and calculations based on different usage scenarios. We are confident that the batteries will last over two months, but we will keep optimizing both the hardware and the software, and try to extend battery life up to 6 months.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We'll publish the API between the smartphone/tablet and the TeleSound.
That means you'll be able to write your own iOS/Android app to control the TeleSound!
- (30 days)