The Acorn: Hassle-Free Universal Fan Speed Indicator
The Acorn: Hassle-Free Universal Fan Speed Indicator
After-market ceiling fan attachment that indicates any fan’s current speed setting by a simple tug. Installs quickly. Works instantly.
After-market ceiling fan attachment that indicates any fan’s current speed setting by a simple tug. Installs quickly. Works instantly. Read more
About this project
Why Every Fan Needs an Acorn
I can see you're getting frustrated just thinking about this. We were too, but you can relax now; there is finally an answer: The Acorn. We couldn't find anything out there that was simple to install and easy to use, so we made our own device to fix these issues forever. And now, we want to share the science with you.
What's this Acorn Device Anyway?
To put it simply, The Acorn keeps track of your fan speed so you don’t have to. It’s a professionally designed, after-market attachment for your ceiling fan that instantly indicates your fan’s current speed setting with a simple tug. The Acorn displays this information to the user through an entirely self-contained LED indicator, so there are no extra wires to connect to the fan. And the installation, a less than 30-second process of clipping the device onto the pull chain of any fan, is the easiest and fastest home improvement project you'll ever complete.
What We've Done Already
- Designed, created, and improved upon several iterations of body prototypes until we crafted the most elegant design possible for our device -- the one we're now presenting to the public.
- Assembled, integrated, programmed and repeatedly tested the device's electronic hardware to ensure maximum efficiency, reliability, and durability.
- Coordinated with and obtained hard price quotes from several plastics, circuit board, and assembly manufacturers ready, willing, and able to make the Acorn when we give them the signal.
- Showed our prototypes to over 100 people and received an overwhelmingly positive response to the device and its capabilities.
Why We Need You
With the help of the Kickstarter community, we'll be able to accomplish our goals of:
- Funding our first-ever production run of 2,500 Acorns.
- Increasing awareness of our product with the ultimate goal of having The Acorn stocked in every major home improvement and home decor store around the nation.
- Stopping fan abuse while drastically diminishing fan annoyance, hatred, and disobedience.
- Distributing our product across the country and around the world to our community of supporters.
- Getting our device and ideas vetted by the general public with this campaign as a proving ground.
- Garnering a sound reputation from this campaign to support other, really cool projects we have in the works.
Our Production Plan and Timeline
The bigger picture:
Once our Kickstarter campaign comes to a close in December, we'll immediately send in our orders to the manufacturers to begin the creation process. We've got everything already lined up; we just need the initial capital to give them the green light.
It will take manufacturers approximately 2 months to create, assemble, package, and ship our large order of Acorns to us. Assuming some time of a few weeks for us to process your orders and then redistribute them to you all (as per your donation and color requests), we predict that you should have your donation rewards in hand by April 2014.
How to Operate The Acorn
What's Inside The Acorn
The Acorn measures 1.5" in diameter by 2" tall, not including any length of chain. It weighs approximately 1 ounce (less than an average egg) and can withstand over 57 lbs of force. The Acorn is made of the following:
- Injection-molded ABS plastic shell selected for finish, color choice, impact resistance, and toughness.
- Custom-drawn exterior shape optimized to visually integrate with a wide variety of ceiling fan styles.
- Three high-intensity, green LED lights with a pleasing diffused lens and a wide, easy-to-see 90-degree viewing angle.
- Two high-capacity lithium coin cell batteries, pre-installed in every Acorn for a long service life. The batteries are simple to replace, taking about thirty seconds of your time every five years.
- Expertly-designed circuit board that fits the most functionality into the smallest space possible.
Who We Are
The Acorn was completely designed and engineered in house by Chris, Ross, and Matthew – three enterprising guys from the Georgia Institute of Technology. These fellas have been friends and classmates for nearly two years, and now they’re looking to become business partners as well.
They’d grown so frustrated with the shortcomings of ceiling fan designs that, as entrepreneurially-minded techies, they’d set out to create a device that would make every single ceiling fan easier for the consumer to enjoy. As naturally inquisitive and talented as they are, they have each dabbled in every facet of the engineering process, so nothing about the device can be claimed by any one of them alone. Except for the initial idea, which came out of Chris' sheer annoyance and impatience with a life’s worth of disobedient and deceitful ceiling fans.
And one more Acorn, just to take with you in case you get hungry on the road, because...
Risks and challenges
We've spent many, many hours prototyping and carefully tweaking our final Acorn design and hardware. We already have final samples of all our components in hand and use the demo models regularly in our own homes. The hard part is mostly over, but we can’t guarantee that everything will go as smoothly as we've planned from here onward.
Our project’s specific risks include mold creation, component availability, shipping, and customs delays. The biggest hurdle is the fulfillment process – better known as getting the Acorns in your hands. Because our shipments will come from overseas, we do not know how the freight will be impacted due to weather and regular shipping demands. Our goal of delivering your rewards by the end of April 2014 is both optimistic and realistic. While timelines are often a concern for other Kickstarter projects, we are confident that we have carefully prepared for any potential delays. We have laid out a reasonable manufacturing timeline and included extra time to allow for any fulfillment, assembly, and delivery issues that may potentially arise along the way.
Most importantly, we are committed to open communication. Our team is dedicated to being honest and transparent, and our backers will be the first to know if anything comes along that may affect this fulfillment schedule. We are fully prepared to make sure this project happens in the stated timeline. We're all in this together, and we want you to enjoy the Acorn as much as we do.
Much love, and we thank you endlessly for all your support.
-- Team Acorn
This solution is really simple. Before installing the Acorn, make sure that your fan chain has been pulled enough times so that the fan is actually off. (This’ll be the last time you’ll have to verify this in your life.) Also, pull the Acorn’s chain until all three lights blink together three times. This means that it has been reset. Now, when you install The Acorn and pull it for the first time, you’ll pull it (and change the indicator lights) in sync with your fan’s speed, and all will be glorious in the world.
Quite so! The Acorn can be used with any electrical ceiling fan that operates by a pull chain. You can adjust the length of the chain to hang however long you prefer, or need, as based upon the height of your ceilings.
We designed The Acorn with the residential consumer in mind, and nearly every ceiling fan made for the home has three speeds. If there is enough demand, then we will design a new Acorn for a higher number of speeds (so please let us know if you want that). But for right now, those types of fans will not work properly with The Acorn.
The color options are Kickstarter green, firetruck red, navy blue, khaki, and clear. Once the Kickstarter campaign concludes, we’ll send out a brief survey asking for you to vote for your favorite color from the choices we’ve provided. The color with the most votes wins, gets manufactured with our first-edition run of Acorns, and receives love from all of its multi-colored, fellow Acorn brethren.
Well, you’re in luck! We can custom-fit the brains of The Acorn to your fan housing so that you can still enjoy the benefits of both your fan and our device. Email us about it (before donating), and we’ll be glad to see if we can arrange a way to install it for you.
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