Always felt that there was something missing while gaming or watching movies? That it could be just that bit more awesome? So did we!
That’s why we created StringPad headphones, the world’s first motion simulation headset: all the power of a motion sim setup in just a pair of headphones! StringPad takes haptic feedback* to the next level.
StringPad makes it possible for users to « feel » the digital world: you can hear ànd feel every sound and movement around you in the game or movie. Gunning your way through your favorite game is much more satisfying when you feel every shot fired from your rifle like a jarring vibration to the back of your head.
(*Haptic or tactile feedback, often referred to as simply "haptics", is the use of the sense of touch.)
The vibration-generating bone conduction transducers on the mastoid bone just behind the ears, mimic the effect of a powerful woofer or sub-woofer in a bigger audio system and can make a user feel very impressive bass effects.
What does it feel like? We could explain to you all kinds of technical details, but we’ll skip that for now and let our testers tell you directly: watch our test videos! This first video shows the gamer's beta test.
This was our first test, we asked people walking in the streets of Nancy (Fr) to test the prototype while listening to war sounds on an iPad.
Later, we asked shoppers in a hifi media center in Neufchâteau (Fr) to test the prototype while watching a movie on a tv screen.
Two French streamers, Kikettestar and NanardBE tested the StringPad in this review video (subtitles available in English & Dutch), check it out! The actual review starts at 1'40".
With StringPad headphones, you can watch movies enhanced with tactile feedback and experience your action sequences with heart pounding tactile effects. While listening to music with StringPad headphones, it'll be as if you’re in the concert hall with the performers, moreover: it’s like you’re standing next to them on stage!
StringPad comes with it's own TDM amplifier, that only needs a standard 3.5 mm audio jack to work. Thus, it’s compatible with almost all devices, such as TV’s, tablets, smartphones, VR devices and gaming platforms. No fuss, no stress, just plug & play!
A classic black-on-gray color scheme with an antiperspirant cover on the haptic transducers and ergonomic ear pads in durable material (changeable). The headband is adjustable in height and the ear pads rotate on their axis to assure a perfect fit. The cable and external microphone are both detachable through a jack plug.
More versions may come if our project is a success. They will then become available as add-on options with your StringPad Classic.
In the box with your StringPad Classic:
• TDM Amplifier : A specially designed two-way TDM (tactile dynamic motion) amplifier emits two different signals: one for the sound and one for the vibes. This makes it possible to adjust the volumes for the chat, music and gameplay, as well as the haptic feedback effects separately.
• The TDM Amplifier has an incorporated Li-Polymer battery pack to power the transducers and it can also be used as an external power bank to charge your smartphone, iPod, tablet etc.
• 3m / 10ft long cable unpluggable from the headset. The TDM amplifier works with a standard 3.5mm audio jack that can be plugged into any device such as TV's, tablets, smartphones, gaming consoles, hifi installations, PC's etc.
• A mini-USB to USB cable to recharge the Li-Polymer battery pack.
• A neckband at the back for optimal fit.
• A plug-in noise-cancelling microphone : we did a lot of research within the community and discovered that this was the preference of most users. The game and chat volumes are adjustable separately.
- Input impedance: 10 kOhm
- Output impedance (transducer): 4-32 Ohms
- Transducers: 4 Ohm 3 Watt
- Frequency response: 20-20,000 Hz
- Driver Unit: 40 mm
- Sensitivity: 106 dB/mW @ 1 K Hz
- Distortion: 200 Hz~1000 Hz, <3%
- Max. input power: 100 mW
- Microphone: external plug-in high quality & noise cancelling mic
- Li-Polymer battery: 2000 mAH, support to play up to 4.5 hours
- Ergonomical ear cushions in high quality and durable material
- Antiperspirant cover on haptic transducers
- Adjustable in height and on axis (ear pads)
- Neckband at the back for optimal fit
- Multi device compatible
- Active Low-Pass filter 20 Hz – 800 Hz
- 2 x 300 mW output
- Max. input power: 20 W
- Impedance: 4 Ohm
- Controllable and adjustable effect
- 3.8 V operation voltage
- LOW THD
- LOW cross over distortion
- Multi-role power pack Li-Polymer battery
StringPad was created as a Belgian start-up company by Patrick Villas and Jean-Pierre Geelen, both creators of multiple designs.
- Patrick Villas is the actual inventor of StringPad, he also makes all the videos and part of the 3D renderings. In "real life", he's a well known artist, who has also created several design products such as the bollart® and the twist®, 2 design chairs. The bollart® was presented at the World Exhibition in Shanghai in 2010.
- Jean-Pierre Geelen is a successful industrial designer and product developer who redesigned the StringPad. He's been designing products since 1983 and he's been working with Asian manufacturers for 25 years.
- Edwina Van der haegen joined the team as PR, sales and social media representative. She speaks 7 languages and is responsible for the website and social media campaign.
- Daniel Boucherie is our 3D modeler. He's been making industrial 3D renderings since 2000, before that he was a industrial illustrator for 25 years.
Kris Van Acker is our electronics engineer, he created the special two-ways amplifier that makes the StringPad unique.
Together, we have more than 100 years of experience in product design and development.
We've been building the StringPad community for 6 months now and we've received amazing reactions! Here are some of our favorite quotes, from fans on Facebook, YouTube, our website and our test subjects:
"C'est une sensation vraiment differente, c'est une immersion, ça ajoute une sensation réaliste!" ("It's a totally different sensation, it's immersive, it adds a realism to the experience!") Kikettestar (test subject/Youtube/Twitch streamer)
"C'est vraiment immersif (...) et pour la musique, c'est le top!" ("It's really immersive (...) and for music, StringPad is the best!") NanardBE (test subject/Youtube/Twitch streamer)
"I think your headphones are the future of gaming." Sam Schilder
"The most amazing bass sound I've ever heard through earphones!" Tom Goethals (test subject)
"I really love to see innovators making such cool things." Andrej Zalcik
"I find your product/concept absolutely amazing." Karl Pilkington
"C'est absolument génial !" Clara Ragot (test subject)
"We appreciate you coming out with a great product to help us gamers and I look forward to finally getting my hands on one." Erick Brittingham
"Great design" Ian Staniforth
"I just can not wait." Oliver Sieling
"I would be happy to test your StringPad, it looks amazing" Quentin Sama
"Must have!!" Brian Jones
"You guys have a out of this world product can't wait to get a set! It's unheard of!" Koty Schwarz - R3M Gaming
"Excited doesn't cut it" Andy Goodman
"I'm more excited for these than I was for Skyrim remastered !" Scott Hutchinson
Main prototypes of the StringPad headset (there have been many more) :
Prototypes of the TDM Amplifier :
We’re hoping to raise €80K with our campaign. That sum will cover the further development of all the StringPad typical components and the making of the tooling moulds, regulatory certifications and the actual manufacturing of the first batch of headphones, as well as the import taxes and VAT, the shipping and fulfillment costs.
Risks and challenges
After several rounds of hardware prototyping and testing, our StringPad is ready to be manufactured. Jean-Pierre Geelen, our product developer, is continuously evaluating and working with various manufacturers in China. We have working prototypes of the headphone and the amplifier that need to be optimized for manufacturing.
This is a series of various “go / no-go" steps in any product development process, so from time to time it can have its hick-ups here and there, only to be addressed and solved. It might be necessary during this process to adjust specs or design features for optimal result. Timelines on this can be estimated quite well, but as we are developing a rather new concept, we also need to remain realistic. Some things may take more time then others.
Once we're funded, we can go ahead : we then will initiate the final product development ( final development of all mechanical and electronic parts ). We then have the production-moulds produced for the various body parts of our headphone.
First out-of-tool series:
Once all production moulds are ready and all components are available at the factory, we can go for a "first out-of-tool series”. We then can start an actual pre-manufacturing and assembly cycle, make a "0-series" of actual products.
These first headphones and amplifiers of the of the "0-series” will be tested rigorously to meet our and the factories quality and finish standards before giving a green light for a full production run.
Together with the manufacturers we are also evaluating to add bluetooth functionality apart from the standard wired connections. Whether this is feasible, will depend largely on the number of pledges.
Once the factory delivers the final products, we need to fulfill and organise the shipping.
Early delivery to our backers is expected by early December 2017, normal deliveries as from mid December 2017.
We're setting up a customer service to keep you updated throughout this whole period and beyond.
Please note that shipping to any country outside of United States, Canada, United Kingdom, European Union, and Japan may be delayed or cancelled depending on the feasibility of local product approval requirements or local import regulations. In the event of a cancellation, we’ll refund your pledge. While we tried to anticipate all extra charges, there may be additional duties, fees or taxes charged by the authorities in your country which will be covered at your expense when receiving the shipment.
- (60 days)