Today’s feature comes from Rosemary Beach, Florida and is headed up by Todd Rice. Rice is a self-described “father, husband, designer, professor, problem solver, innovator, investor and amongst all things, entrepreneur.” He has built a successful company and is now seeking to develop a pet project through Kickstarter.
“With my career in the digital space and my love of toys, I found myself wanting to work on projects that combine the digital and physical worlds in order to create a symbiotic relationship between the two,” says Rice.
A key inspirational source for the creation of this crowdfunding campaign is Rice’s daughters and nieces. However, the invention by no means is limited to the female youth demographic but is applicable to all—or at least those who have smartphones.
Lights. Party. Action. This week I would like to introduce you to a device that is sure to be a success at your next party but first let me introduce to you the team behind it.
Andreas Haase and business partner Jack Cheng had been toying with an idea inspired by Haase’s daughter’s affinity with lights and music. The original idea was released on Kickstarter earlier this year but did not get the traction necessary to bring it to market. Now with essential product design changes and a campaign nearing 70% backing Haase and Cheng are seeing light at the end of this tunnel.
“The biggest challenge is getting the word out and the traction. As you are aware getting a product visibility with customers takes hard work and a lot of PR. We use social media like Facebook, Twitter and the like for getting our message across and are terribly excited when we get picked up with the press to help spread the word further and reach a bigger audience,” says Haase.
You’re engaged and in the zone—actually crossing time zones. You’re keeping your boss updated and your clients satisfied. You’re mobile devices are humming, when all of a sudden you get that all too familiar notification - running low on battery.
The above situation is not unique, but common to many, including David Giacomini. But, rather than seek out the nearest kiosk for a quick charge, Giacomini created a company dedicated to staying charged. Giacomini is so committed to the new venture, VoltNow, that he stepped down from his CEO role of the Florida-based retail chain Levenger earlier this year to fully devote himself to its success.
Selfie first entered the American lexicon in 2002 and was formally accepted by major dictionaries about 10 years later. Since then, the selfie stick has penetrated continents and cultures far beyond its original entrance with GoPro cameras. Now that cell phones are continually upgrading their cameras, more and more people are taking quality photos and video. However, the audio receiver of these phones has not improved nearly at the same pace as the camera.
Selfie sticks only further degrade the audio quality by extending the distance, and create the opportunity for other sounds to compete for center stage.
Benny Goldstein, an entrepreneur from Airport City, Israel, was amazed to find that there was nothing on the market to address the poor audio options of the selfie styled shots. He and a team of 10 other enthusiastic members have worked hard and extensively to produce a solution.
Campaign spokesperson Dana Kemper commented, ”When Benny Goldstein first participated in The Big Brother and in other TV shows, he became aware to how hard, complicated and expensive it was to produce high quality photoshoots in terms of camera crew, sound, editing, lighting etc, so he tried to come up with a simple solution that would work for everyone.
How far are you from the ones you love? Not only geographically, but also emotionally? Emotional distances are often caused by the physical ones. This is especially true with children who need to be nurtured and cared for daily. Not only this, but kids need an outlet for creativity and imagination. In the younger years, this usually expresses itself as ‘play time’.
How can you interact and play with your child, niece, or nephew if you are not there physically? This has been a hurdle for most men and women on business trips, in the armed service, or living far from extended family. The advent of Skype undoubtedly has minimized the impact of this issue, but it does not include the level of interaction that a young child needs.
Dallas based co-founders Helen Tien and Jim Welch, along with their team of six, have come together to solve the distance gap with a product that enables family to engage with their little ones no matter the distance.
Mindarin, the team that brought you Astro: a camera mount that adds motion to your time lapse videos, brings you their latest endeavor—Pico—which enables any camera to shoot time lapse videos without the motion. The team of six has again returned to the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter for its latest edition. As its second product launch, the team behind Pico has really leveraged the learnings of Astro’s launch in 2012.
Although ultimately successful, there were many mistakes that the team learned from the first go around. And now with streamlined processes, including communication to backers, relationships with suppliers and manufacturers, and keeping to scheduled timelines, Mindarin feels very confident with this campaign. As an added bonus this campaign is enjoying the existing backer base from the crowdfunding launch of Astro numbering 2,053, many of which have already backed Pico.
As state, Pico is a "smart, affordable, and easy to use time lapse trigger.” It is about the size of a thumb print. The flat circular device allows your camera to snap pictures every 1-60 second(s) as directed by you. Pico is programed in either one of two ways: through the mobile app or manually while connected to your camera. Once programmed (set to the desired cadence to snap photos) Pico is plugged into the camera via its accompanying cable.
To manually do this, simply press and hold Pico while connected to the camera. You will hear a series of beeps from Pico and you release when the appropriate amount of beeps has elapsed. Each beep represents one second. If you would like to snap a photo every three seconds press and hold Pico until three beeps have sounded and then release. Your camera will automatically take a photo every three seconds until the device is removed or the camera shuts off.
Using your smart phone you can likewise set the device as desired. Additionally, you can vary the exposure levels including bulb ramping and speed ramping.
Pico is showcased in red, but the campaign has a special Kickstarter exclusive black. While all early bird specials have been taken, you can still acquire this photographer’s must-have with a backing of $50.
I got to speak with Carlos concerning the campaign for Pico, and he shared with me some of Mindarin’s goals further down the road. For one, they anticipate plenty of invention and ingenuity. All of the team members are developers and they are constantly working out new models and prototypes. The next product will most likely be unrelated to photography and hinge more on robotics. As for distribution of its products, Mindarin has been selling only through its website, but is currently in talks with distributors to expand its accessibility and reach.
Mindarin has benefitted from the experience of running, what looks to be, two successful Kickstarter campaigns. More and more entrepreneurs are circling back to crowdfunding as a viable source of exposure, product testing, and of course funding. In the case of Mandarin, what they have done so far with Pico took them a year to accomplish with Astro. That POPs.
Pico’s Kickstarter Campaign Page