VoltVoyage - Wireless + Wired Charging Suitcase (Canceled)
Eliminate battery anxiety while traveling. VoltVoyage is the world's first luggage suitcase with wireless charging built-in.
We founded VoltNow in March of 2015 with a simple mission: to design and develop innovative charging solutions to help customers stay connected.
Since we founded VoltNow just a few months ago, we've successfully created five products so far and are excited to introduce our most innovative one yet... VoltVoyage, a wireless charging suitcase.
At VoltNow, we are obsessed about batteries and charging solutions. We believe there is a charging revolution coming and we want to be at the forefront. One of the more exciting developments to come along is related to wireless charging technology. If you've seen or used a Sonicare electric toothbrush then you have likely seen or used wireless induction charging technology. The technology is certainly not new but in the last couple years has improved tremendously in terms of efficiency, rate of charging and most importantly adoption. We believe that not only is wireless charging here to stay but soon, people will wonder how they ever got along without it. After completing our Wireless Charging Alarm Clock - DreamQi, we set out on our next challenge of eliminating battery anxiety while traveling.
We've all experienced wandering around the airport or transit terminal searching for an outlet. Often times, many people are huddled around a limited number of outlets. There may be plenty of seats 50 feet away but no outlet. So everyone huddles around these precious few outlets.
Portable battery packs have risen in popularity as well. Although, we wouldn't need Kickstarter funding if we got $1 for every time we forgot our battery pack or forgot to fully charge it before leaving. Plus, it's a hassle to dig through your suitcase on a busy airport floor searching for your battery pack and cables.
Our solution to this issue was to incorporate wireless charging directly into a premium suitcase.
This project involves the integration of a premium uncompromising suitcase with an innovative wireless charging transmitter battery pack. We have a rough prototype of both the suitcase and wireless charging battery pack completed but now need help from Kickstarter to truly customize VoltVoyage to our ideal vision and invest heavily in tooling and molds.
We took our prototype through it's paces at various airports throughout the US. It was great being able to find comfortable seats regardless of outlet location. Then to simply put a wireless charging capable phone to begin charging. The phone was safely located next to me at all times. We got a few curious stares and enjoyed the convenience. Need to move, get snacks, change gates? Just pick up the phone and go. No need to re-pack a battery bank and cords.
We started off by designing an incredibly well made suitcase without compromises. Some of the features include:
- Standard 22"h x 14"w x 9"d carry-on size.
- 100% polycarbonate shell. Polycarbonate is incredibly durable and much lighter weight than less expensive ABS plastic.
- We’ve Integrated TSA locks directly into the suitcase so there are no more locks to lose.
- Zippers are incredibly important so we spared no expense and are adding Waterproof smooth glide zippers.
- Aluminum trolly handles are very durable and lightweight and a perfect compliment to our overall design.
- Of course you want a suitcase that is easy to maneuver. We opted for quad spinner wheels made with polyurethane for silent rolling. Each corner has double wheels for added stability.
Wireless Charging Battery Pack
- We will be integrating the Qi Wireless Charging Standard which is the most widely available standard currently.
- We are using a multiple-coil design. This means that the surface area for wireless charging is significantly larger. Instead of a 2” x 2” charging area, the area is actually about 2” x 5”. This makes lining up to charge super easy.
- To make sure you have ample battery capacity for your travels, we are incorporating a high capacity battery. Based on our current prototype and sizing, our final battery should be 18,000 milliampere hours. That’s enough to fully charge a typical smartphone about 8-10 times!
- Since our company is focused on batteries and charging, we made sure to incorporate high output USB ports that have 2 Amp outputs.
- The input is also 2 Amps so you can recharge the Volt Voyage battery pack twice as fast as 1 Amp battery packs.
Putting it all Together
Where we are today
We have spent several months working on the concept and design of VoltVoyage. We were able to meet with numerous factories in Asia that are excited to work with us on this project. We have rough prototypes of both a suitcase and wireless charging battery bank and have been field testing both. We will be incorporating numerous enhancements into the next iteration of the suitcase.
We are now ready to launch our Kickstarter project which will allow us to go into production. We already have the funds necessary to invest in tooling and molds to move to the next stage but lack the funding required for the high minimum order quantities for production. We also have some early PR interest and even wholesale interest so are quite confident we will reach our funding goal.
- We visited China and Taiwan to finalize selection of our factories for production.
- We developed a proof of concept prototype and have several changes we are incorporating. We are adding a weather sealed port cover to access traditional USB ports, visible LED indicators, and changing the single coil transmitter to multi-coil. Timing is also good to incorporate the latest 1.1.2 wireless charging spec which is stable.
- Completed final mechanical designs and renders of product.
- We are testing various block diagrams and designing PCB boards for the battery bank.
- We are working with a 3rd battery manufacturer to supply the actual battery cells and have finalized selection to meet sizing and capacity requirements. Mechanical design of wireless charging battery bank has been finalized.
- Excluding travel, we have invested over $10,000 in development fees, patent expenses, mechanical designs and initial rounds of molds. We will personally invest again in a 2nd round of molds, tooling and legal fees estimated to be $10,000-$15,000. Kickstarter funds will be used directly for the remaining production costs estimated to be $36,000.
A Bit About Wireless Charging
We realize to many people wireless charging is something they are not familiar with. There are also several competing standards. We met with a factory and discussed the pro's and con's of each standard. In the end, it came down to a hybrid single coil that combined Qi 1.1 & PMA or a newer multi-coil design with Qi 1.1.2. We went with Qi simply because just about every device out on the market utilizes the Qi standard and having multi-coil has significant benefits.
More and more phones are incorporating Qi wireless standards directly integrated into the phone including:
Even if your phone does not include built-in wireless charging capability, there are many aftermarket phone cases and backs that add this capability. For this project in particular, we realize that there are many Apple fans out there. In fact, in our team of five people, three use iPhones. We were able to work with a factory to come up with a slim fitting Qi receiver phone case for both iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. There are others on the market but we feel our design is better due to the slim profile connector. Or feel free to shop around as there are many aftermarket cases to choose from.
The coolest feature of this suitcase is being able to just rest your phone down on top and begin charging. However, there are also two high speed USB ports if you prefer to use a cord. One is accessible from outside the suitcase and one is securely located inside the suitcase. So with three charging options, you are sure to stay charged.
For now, everyone will have a choice between two colors. Black with green trim or white with green trim. Stay tuned for stretch goals as we approach our $36k funding goal. We'll incorporate some feedback and likely offer additional colors and surprise gifts.
Risks and challenges
As founder of VoltNow, I've been leading teams as well as personally developing consumer products for nearly 20 years. We have great relationships with factories and a track record of delivering great products.
There are always risks including quality issues that lead to delays. We have a working proof of concept but as we finalize the design, unforeseen issues may develop. Our team has extensive experience with anticipating issues and working through them quickly. This is not a hobby business for us but a passionate entrepreneurial endeavor for our small team. We are absolutely committed to making this project a reality. As a customer driven organization, we can promise total transparency and constant communication throughout the process.
- (45 days)