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€5,692 pledged of €73,500 goal
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By Robert Lielacher
€5,692 pledged of €73,500 goal
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What is a prototype?

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.

Functional Prototype

Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.

Appearance Prototype

Looks like the final product, but is not functional.

Design Prototype

Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.

Production Prototype

Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.

E387b13eb4e4b92e887520a0f72a53c7 original

Prototype Gallery

These photos and videos provide a detailed look at this project’s development.

About

 

SAM White cane  - SAM Blindenstock
SAM White cane - SAM Blindenstock

Hello there! 

For English Speaking.
Despite our mother tounge is german, we decided to offer the information in English, but we created additional websites in DE and EN which are optimized for blind people.

English Version: https://www.sam-whitecane.com/
German Version: https://www.sam-blindenstock.com/

Explore the project below.

Hallo da draußen!

Für Deutsch Sprechende.
Wir wollen umfassend informieren und beantworten hier Fragen sowohl in Deutsch und Englisch. Wir haben uns aber entschlossen die Kickstarter Inhalte in Englisch zu verfassen. Kickstarter rät dazu, da man damit viel mehr Leute ansprechen kann und mit 2 Sprachen würde die Übersichtlichkeit sehr leiden. Als Ausgleich haben wir eine Website in deutscher Sprache eingerichtet, die auch - soweit wie uns möglich war - für Blinde und Sehbehinderte optimiert wurde.

Deutsche Version: https://www.sam-blindenstock.com/
Englische Version: https://www.sam-whitecane.com/

The SAM - white cane – reconceptualised from the ground up.

SAM is the white cane reconceptualised from the ground up. It offers numerous improvements, yet will be no more expensive than a conventional white cane. SAM is our contribution to making the world a better place.

SAM is intended to improve the lives of as many individuals as possible. We want to begin serial production so that we are able to offer sufficient quantities of our white cane for direct purchase from us or from specialist retailers. To this end, further investments (tools for serial production, material etc.) are required. This is where we need your support. Take part in the KICKSTARTER campaign for SAM and receive your very own SAM white cane – perhaps with a personal engraving in Braille! We’ll notify you in our newsletter as soon as it kicks off.

  • SAM has a pleasant feel! Roughened (sandblasted) surface – also ideal for custom grips
  • SAM is pleasant to hold in both cold and hot weather (both handle and stick!)
  • SAM is light
  • SAM has a perfect trigonal grip that enables the user to adopt a range of hand positions
  • SAM is safe – the material is optimised in terms of its stiffness, stability, flexibility and breaking strength in hot and cold conditions
  • SAM is very robust in day-to-day use and can withstand a good deal of stress
  • SAM glows in the night – for prolonged periods! (Please note that the prototype shown here does not glow yet. This functionality is solved & working but still in development)
  • SAM can be folded up in the blink of an eye and is easily stored
  • SAM has an adjustable length
  • SAM is customisable (cane tips)
  • SAM can be made affordable with your help (KICKSTARTER)

What SAM means

A white cane is a daily companion, which is why it deserves a name. What’s more, it deserves a first name, something really personal. SAM! But SAM also has a meaning – and this meaning reflects our motivation for creating it in the first place: SAM means Security, Agility, Mobility – making the world better for the visually impaired.

The Team - Who we are

We are Thomas, Bernhard and Robert. We are the creators of SAM. The aim of our KICKSTARTER campaign is to make SAM available to as many blind people as possible at an affordable price. For this, we are asking for your support. The best way is to get involved and receive your own SAM – perhaps with a personal engraving! We’ll notify you in our newsletter as soon as it kicks off. 

Thanks to Eduard

At this point, we wish to say THANK YOU to Robert’s father, a truly incredibly source of support who encouraged us not to give up to until we had found a credible solution for the design and for our detailed ideas. 

Background

There are 39 million blind people worldwide.There are also a far greater number of people whose sight is severely impaired. We want to make these people’s everyday lives easier and improve their quality of life. For us, this vision is a huge motivation and source of drive.
With SAM, we can make the lives of many blind and visually impaired people that little bit easier – in a small way, but one that makes a fundamental and lasting difference – every day.

1 of these is Robert’s father
Many great developments come about as a result of luck or chance, and this one is no different. The idea for SAM and its many features would never have come about if Robert’s father was not himself blind. As such, Robert has always been confronted with the challenges of everyday life without eyesight and recognises the requirements very precisely. We know what blind people need. Furthermore, we consistently sought feedback from blind people and rejected many, many ideas and designs on this basis. This immediate and honest feedback on our ideas was crucial in shaping the final result. In fact, one might say that we invented SAM not only for blind people, but with them.

The time was ripe for a new generation of white cane
It’s not easy to identify when the last innovations in white cane design took place. Still today, this essential companion is a somewhat cumbersome object – one that the age of modern technology and innovative materials seems to have passed by without trace. 39 million blind people worldwide – and the best support we can offer them is a stick with a rubber cord?

By chance, a brilliant product idea arose
Robert and Thomas are specialists in the development of innovative plastics. Around 3 years ago, they were struck by a question: “We’ve developed so many brilliant materials; why have we never worked on an actual product?” The weather was very cold, and Robert’s father was suffering – as he always did in winter – from cold and a lack of feeling in his fingers. Since conventional white canes are made from metal, they tend to be cold to the touch; at the same time, blind people shy away from wearing gloves, since they’re then able to sense even less than usual. In a flash, Robert and Thomas knew the solution. „We’ll make a white cane out of plastic!“

Development

The material: where it all began
Three years ago, in a meeting one Thursday morning, we were discussing the test results for a new plastic mixture. “It’s as though this plastic was made for our white cane!” Robert thought. The optimisation of the material for SAM occupied us for some time.

As a first step, we began to seek out possible polymers, but fell down repeatedly when it came to the technical details. Not tough enough, not stiff enough, difficult to process, not luminescent, couldn;t withstand temperature differences, brittle, and so on. We soon became desperate.

But there had to be a solution.

Two years of tinkering followed
The first breakthrough came in the form of the material. We found one that fulfilled our requirements – even better than we had hoped. It was at this point that Bernhard joined us. He was enthused by the idea and got to work straightaway on the drafts.

We had an unbelievable number of ideas, and set about tinkering and working on them. We rejected solutions, created new ones, tried them out and sought Robert’s father’s feedback and input. We produced a number of protoypes and were consistently self-critical regarding the results. We looked at every detail, questioned everything and left nothing as it had originally been.

Just over a year ago, we saw the light. With our new mechanism – which enabled the product to be unfolded in fractions of a second – and trigonal grip shape, we had a product that everyone could get behind.

Next step: KICKSTARTER
It was another year until we had developed this prototype sufficiently for serial production to be begun – which brings us to the present day. We need a good deal of capital to finance the necessary machines, tools and material. Our goal is to raise € 70,000 with our Kickstarter campaign, which will allow us to produce the first 1,000 canes for our participants.

Our Time Plan

We have spend a lot of time in this projekt and we wanna become the SAM White cane reality the next Christmas (2018). That's ambitious but doable because we've prepared a lot.

Our Timetable to make the SAM White cane real
Our Timetable to make the SAM White cane real

What is the money for? 

We wanna produce 1000 SAM White canes. Most of them will recieve the backers. First we need the rawmaterial to produce enough of the new plastic for 800 - 1000 white canes. The Big part the money we need to buy industrial tools who allow to produce the parts form the plastic material and also make the assembling. Of cource the are also costs for parts, packaging and shipping.

Estemated Cost factors:

Raw material            € 8.000
Injection tools         € 14.000
Extrusion tools        € 28.000
Sourcing Parts        €  5.000
Assembling             € 12.000
Packaging                €  3.000
Buffer                       € 3.500 for more canes

Risks and challenges

The big Steps

The biggest challenge for us is finding enough people to support this project. We are technicians and scientists and not very communicative or well connected. We have help from friends, but the circle from which we start is very small.

Nevertheless, we believe in the success of the campaign. Because the blind stick is awesome and will bring really great improvements and many people can use it.

To bring the prototype to serial production

We have the expirience to produce the new plastic for sure. There is little risk in calibrating the tools optimizing the assembling which can cause a few weeks of delay. But we planned time with buffers so we are ready to start.

There is a risk, which is how much material is needed per cane. But we have measured the amount of material so that 800 - 1000 cane can be produced. We expect a maximum of 600 - 700 to be delivered to the supporters in Klickstarter. There is also enough room for maneuver here.

Hope you are on board!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge €1 or more About $1.18

    Thank you!

    You want to be a part of the story. But you can't pledge for the full product. We appreciate your support and we'll keep you in loop with project updates during the campaign.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge €5 or more About $6

    Making the world a better place.

    Want to follow along or just support the project? This is the reward for you We'll keep you in loop with project updates during the campaign, and you'll get an inside look as we begin manufacturing - plus a hi-five when we see you in person!

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    5 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge €25 or more About $29

    A self-luminous keychain for you!

    We’re producing a key tag that is self-luminous so you can easily find it - in your handbag (ladies), lying around (guys). The tag is made out of the same innovative material as SAM!
    We'll also keep you in loop with project updates during the campaign, and you'll get an inside look as we begin manufacturing.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge €50 or more About $59

    2x self-luminous keychains for you!

    We’re producing key tags that are self-luminous so you can easily find it - in your handbag (ladies), lying around (guys). The tags are made out of the same innovative material as SAM!
    We'll also keep you in loop with project updates during the campaign, and you'll get an inside look as we begin manufacturing.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge €100 or more About $118

    I want my own SAM!

    Plus: This is where the innovation starts. Get a SAM - for yourself or a relative/friend or maybe just as an avatar to remind you of this great project?
    We'll keep you in loop with project updates during the campaign, and you'll get an inside look as we begin manufacturing.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge €200 or more About $235

    I want two SAMs!

    Get two SAMs – if you need to configurations or simply want to support this project even more!
    Plus: We'll keep you in loop with project updates during the campaign, and you'll get an inside look as we begin manufacturing.

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    5 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge €900 or more About $1,058

    10 SAMs

    This is the bargain school-package! Get 10xSAM for your group or your schoolclass. Bake 8 and get 2 for free.
    Plus: We'll keep you in loop with project updates during the campaign, and you'll get an inside look as we begin manufacturing.

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    2 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge €1,200 or more About $1,411

    Bake up to 13 SAMs for blind children

    in need! We’re going to send up 13 SAMs to schools in so called developing countries. Please let us choose form our partner list, depending on the success of the campaign as we will need to optimize numer of pieces vs. shipping costs and the like.
    You will be able to contact us if you have something special in mind.
    You will Plus: We'll keep you in loop with project updates during the campaign, and you'll get an inside look as we begin manufacturing.

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    0 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge €2,200 or more About $2,587

    Bake up to 24 SAMs for blind children

    Bake up to 24 SAMs for blind children in need! We’re going to send up 24 SAMs to schools in so called developing countries. Please let us choose form our partner list, depending on the success of the campaign as we will need to optimize numer of pieces vs. shipping costs and the like.
    You will be able to contact us if you have something special in mind.
    Plus: We'll keep you in loop with project updates during the campaign, and you'll get an inside look as we begin manufacturing.

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    0 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge €5,000 or more About $5,880

    I love the idea

    This is for people who love the idea, concept and story behind SAM. Developing SAM is important to make the world a better place,
    you know that. With this money we will be able to develop more options to fullfill each and every wish and we will be able to optimize SAM so close to everyone will be able to afford it.

    We will send you greetings and a suprise package to remember your important part in this project.

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge €7,500 or more About $8,821

    I love the idea even more

    This is for people who love the idea, concept and story behind SAM. Developing SAM is important to make the world a better place, you know that. With this money we will be able to develop more options to fullfill each and every wish and we will be able to optimize SAM so close to everyone will be able to afford it.

    We will send you greetings and the top 5 suprise package.

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    Limited 0 backers
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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge €8,500 About $9,997

    SAM prototype. The one and only.

    You love the idea most!

    WOW. You will receive the first ever SAM prototype, in a presentation box, ready to show off.
    This is for people who love the idea, concept and story behind SAM. Developing SAM is important to make the world a better place, you know that. With this money we will be able to develop more options to fullfill each and every wish and we will be able to optimize SAM so close to everyone will be able to afford it.

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    Limited 0 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)