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.
Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.
Looks like the final product, but is not functional.
Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.
Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.
About this project
For boaters, surfers and ocean lovers, digital information about tides and waves is available via smart phones, tablets and computers, but there’s nothing fun, natural nor beautiful about it. The WaveClock marries digital information with old world ocean instrumentation to give you the data you need in a beautiful piece of functional art.
What Is It?
The WaveClock is an intuitive, analog display of the ocean. It queries real-time oceanographic databases to find the wave and tide information at locations around the globe. The WaveClock wooden display, connected to your WiFi, gives you an accurate view of what’s happening in the ocean. By linking to the NOAA buoy network through your WiFi network and programmed with a FREE smart phone app, it shows you what's happening at a glance using easy to read analog dials. Once set, the WaveClock downloads the data every half hour. The WaveClock displays in real-time:
Wave height in feet
Wave period in seconds
Rising or falling tide height in feet
Any location in the NOAA network
When you’re headed to the coast for a walk, surf, fish, sail or any activity, you need to know what’s happening with the tide, is it high or low, the waves, have they been building or falling, before heading out. Out comes the phone, computer, or whatever device to look up the latest local information and after some browsing you have what you need. Scrolling through websites and apps to find what we need and where we need it loses the intent of a quick glance at conditions.
Why don’t we have something as easy as a classic nautical clock to tell us the information? Now we do. The WaveClock is designed to address this need for information in an easy analog display of the latest information that can be seen at a glance! No cumbersome devices to browse around and try to find what you need.
The WaveClock is a beautiful piece of art that comes in a variety of wood styles to match the aesthetic of your room or office. It shows you at a glance the data you need to plan your fishing trip, tide pooling, exploration, surf session … or simply to daydream about ocean adventures from anywhere. And, when you’re out in the world, the WaveClock app gives you the same information on any digital device for any ocean location in the NOAA buoy network. Download the free app now to explore the WaveClock functionality.
The WaveClock dials show you the wave height in feet, the wave period (or time between wave crests) in seconds, and the rising or falling tide height. The display provides a multitude of information in a quick glance, but continues to tell you how the conditions are changing.
The WaveClock app provides access to the entire NOAA buoy network for the latest information. By accessing the entirety of the NOAA National Data Buoy Center, you can set your WaveClock to any buoy for real-time wave conditions. All NOAA tide stations are also available for the latest measured tide levels. As soon as you select a new buoy on the app, your WaveClock will instantly update showing to the stations you chose. The WaveClock will continue to automatically update with data from that location every half hour.
How Is It Programmed?
The WaveClock is optically programmed through a BlinkUp procedure developed by Electric Imp. Through the smartphone app, you enter your WiFi network settings, begin the BlinkUp procedure, hold your smartphone screen to a port on the WaveClock and the flashing screen programs the WaveClock hardware to your WiFi network and links it to your smartphone. It’s that simple!
How It All Started
The WaveClock was originally a microcontroller powered gateway between the local Monterey Bay wave buoy and a few servos shoved in an old pine wine box. As I realized what a fixture it became in my morning routines of checking the conditions before dawn surfing, it made sense to think about scaling this up. Quickly spinning up with the help of many open source makers who continue to post fantastic information online, I learned the ins and out of motors, controllers, WiFi microcontrollers, and the wonderful world of cloud computing. But at the end of the day it left me with a mess of wires that certainly wasn’t ready for any production.
Over the months, I enlisted the help of freelance electrical engineers, local graphic designers, and app developers to help refine and fine tune the ideas in the form of prototype WaveClocks. A few colleagues joined me the formation of an LLC and the WaveClock was officially born. From there, we moved online where customers purchased individual custom-made WaveClocks. Kickstarter will provide a way to scale the WaveClock up and bring this innovative instrument to every ocean enthusiast.
Who Are We?
As an ocean and environmental scientist, I've always been obsessed with the water and anything associated with it. Waves, wind, tides, and water have driven my passions. Growing up as an avid sailor and swimmer, learning to surf at 18 changed my life for the better. I’ve continued to learn more about the ocean and our inherent relationship to the coast. All of the WaveClock partners in the project have similar paths and relationship to the ocean, its understanding, and its preservation. To be able to combine 21st century technology with the natural world and develop the WaveClock is a natural extension of our love for the ocean.
What Are We Doing For You?
Your support for this Kickstarter campaign will help us go beyond the functional prototypes to a refined WaveClock product and service. We have three primary goals as part of the project:
Develop robust hardware and electronics that are guaranteed to work the first time and last for many years without maintenance. The design will include a perpetual cloud environment that supports each WaveClock and its ability to connect and update over standard WiFi connections for as long as the NOAA buoy network continues to supply high quality data.
Develop methods for creating the WaveClock boxes from sustainably sourced wood and preserving a unique custom feel for each clock. While each clock will have its unique beauty, they will all have a similar look and feel so that they always remain easy to read.
Refine the smart phone app to include historic data and predictions for the NOAA buoys. The NOAA data and model results provide the fundamental information driving United States surf nowcasts and forecasts ensuring the highest quality information powering each WaveClock. The app will allow you to view that data stream in more detail if you choose.
Rewards With Local Santa Cruz Collaborators
We have created strong relationships with like-minded artisans and ocean enthusiasts and you will see those collaborations offered throughout the rewards. We are collaborating with Wetfeet Photography, who is providing outstanding imagery and photography. Also, Ventana Surfboards & Supplies provide world renowned woodworking, style, and reclaimed materials embodying the values of craftsmanship responsibility, and adventure that will be incorporated into special edition WaveClocks. PPD Multimedia, based right here in Pleasure Point, has provided creative designs throughout the development of the WaveClock and continues to support and inspire the designs and graphics.
In the rewards you’ll find the standard and premium WaveClocks, photo shoot opportunities with Wetfeet Photography, Ventana’s custom wooden surfboards, and other unique equipment in the rewards. We are proud to have such excellent collaborators and proud to be able to offer you such an amazing array of rewards.
What Do You Get With A WaveClock?
You will receive one WaveClock made in Santa Cruz in the style you choose in the rewards, a manual for setting up and using your WaveClock, and a standard cable for any home AC outlet. The WaveClock will be ready to plug into a standard wall plug and program to using the Android or iOS app through the BlinkUp procedure.
The WaveClock supports all WiFi networks with WEP, WPA and WPA 2 security. Unfortunately, the WaveClock will not initially support networks which require login access through a web page.
Your clock will ship within 2-3 day priority USPS. We ship via USPS Priority within the U.S. The WaveClocks are not presently setup for use outside the U.S.
Thank you for your support and let us know if you have any comments or questions!
As practicing engineers, scientists, and artisans, we understand that every project has its challenges and pitfalls that must be traversed. The app and electronics development are fraught with hidden challenges and costs. To ensure we move through these challenges successfully upon funding, we have engaged local electrical engineers and app developers to oversee the successful implementation of each goal in the project. We have developed custom approaches to date that can be feasibly scaled up with the expertise on board to minimize the technical risks.
Scalability is a significant risk with any start-up product. The fundamental design of the WaveClock, while state-of-the-art, focuses on simplicity in both the woodworking and the electronics. The wooden boxes are simply designed to allow for easily scaling up production in a woodshop. The circuit boards, microcontrollers, and motors are all commercial off the shelf products that are readily available for large scale production. The designs will be refined with the Kickstarter project to ensure a high quality scalable product.