Halo (f/k/a iZZapper)
Multifunctional, stylish accessory targeting 1bn+ smartphone users worldwide. You need one!
- London, United Kingdom
Categories: Programming & Security Mixed Digital/Non-Digital B2C
Apples's iPhone redefined handset aesthetics as well as functionality, starting a trend of monolithic slab design. A thing of beauty - even if designed on the basis that we all have flat hands.
iZZapper's design brings functionality that physically can't be accommodated in a "slab", and encapsulates it within a sleek, comfortable and ergonomic sleeve for either iOS or Android devices.
More tactile and secure to hold, and better protected when dropped, iZZapper will be positioned as a "must-have", fashionable add-on across age and gender boundaries.
We believe that our theft alarm will encourage thieves to discard the handset quickly so that it can be recovered.
We believe that our attack alarm will disorientate, alarm and deter attackers.
We believe that our social listening capability will encourage social listening.
We believe that our battery boost feature will add usability and convenience to the handset generally.
We believe that the physical form of the iZZapper will make it more comfortable to hold, and that the desk stand will make it easier to use during video calls.
Substantial accomplishments to date
Instructed a UK patent attorney who has conducted searches for the relevant prior art and has identified innovations which will form the basis of UK patent applications and subsequently world-wide applications (these innovations cannot be disclosed prior to patent filing);.
Registered the domain names iZZapper.com;
Engaged with a number of design consultancy candidates (under NDA) and determined a short list of two, including the US designer responsible for an existing accessory whose styling will provide some design cues (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hern/waldok...); and
Developed the (indicative only) budget which is the basis of this fundraising, for patent filing and development of a working prototype which is required before we are able to secure the second funding round (non-dilutive) through Kickstarter.com (see below) which is expected to underpin production tooling and a first production run.
The company plans to contractually own all of the intellectual property in the designs that will be executed by our selected consultancy. Manufacture is planned to take place either in China (Shenzen) or Taiwan. The bill of parts - the components required - and the manufacture cost will vary depending on scale of production and these factors will need to be given further consideration following the preliminary validation and marketing exercise that we expect to conduct on Kickstarter.com.
Additionally the price point can only be established in conjunction with the distributor, who will likely be appointed only following the validation exercise. Our operational target will be a net margin per unit of US$20. Our gross revenue will depend largely upon the success of our nominated distributor in reaching each of our market segments.
Use of proceeds
We are raising £35,000 in this round and we do not currently expect a second dilutive funding round.
Proceeds will be spent with the objective of creating a prototype product within three months which can be actively promoted on Kickstarter.com. To accomplish this objective we would first need to file patent applications in the UK to protect the innovations that will be disclosed publicly for the first time on the Kickstarter website;
We then need to finalise a prototype design for the minimum viable product with our selected design consultancy; and
We will need to work with their software developers to build a basic iOS app to control the iZZapper, and we will need to work with their manufacturers to build the prototype.
Our basic premise is that handset designers set out to accommodate the majority of target users and in some cases, this means they have had to sacrifice the "long tail" whose specific needs can't be addressed.
An opportunity arises for iZZapper because amongst handset makers, the general preference for a compact design has trumped the desire for speakers that deliver high volume and performance. Speaker performance is dictated by the laws of physics: louder sound means bigger size. The result is that most smartphones on the market today deliver only modest volume.
Our target market is the long tail, comprising handset users who want better speaker performance for a variety of applications, as an integral part of their handset rather than as an occasional accessory.
These applications include:
- Music playout. Performance will still be limited, but we believe that the teen audience in particular will enthuse over the facility of ad-hoc social listening.
- Theft alarm. Currently available products can alert the owner that the phone is missing, but don't sound an alarm on the handset itself. We have sought advice from a German specialist audio engineer to define a speaker technology to deliver 115dB which can be benchmarked against: 83dB is a phone ringing; 115dB is like a power saw; 125 begins to be painful; 130dB is jet engine starting.
- Personal attack/security alarm. Parents of teenage daughters will understand the challenge of making sure that the chosen device is with her, accessible, and charged; whilst app-based attack alarms function by sending a panic message by SMS: response may be too late. Conversely, the iZZapper would always be there, always be accessible, always be charged and at 115dB would a real deterrent. The multi-functional nature of the unit reduces any risk that it might be seen as "uncool".
- Battery booster
- Silent, LED based alert to incoming messages
- integrated security grip to prevent snatch theft and desk stand.
Characteristics of target market
The number of activated smartphones globally passed the 1,000,000,000 mark in the third quarter of 2012. It is expected to grow to ten times that number (exceeding the population) by 2016. As such we believe that the market comprises all geographies and demographics but there are particular features of certain markets which make certain features of the iZZapper more relevant than others, we believe. For example, we anticipate strong demand in India underpinned by the personal attack feature given the recent rape cases; whilst amongst professinals/executives, silent colour-coded alerts for incoming messages will be a popular feature; and urban users generally will find the theft alarm feature attractive.
Once our prototype is complete we intend to promote the product and raise new funding via the US-based site, Kickstarter (www.kickstarter.com).
Kickstarter is not an equity funding site. Rather, it works on the basis of allowing early adopters to acquire new innovations early on ("rewards") at a discounted price. This brings significant benefits - production scale, idea & market validation, and cash flow without equity dilution for the early investors.
We believe that product validation through Kickstarter will be instrumental in capturing the interest of significant distributors in the mobile/accessory sector, leading amongst which is 20:20 (www.2020mobile.co.uk). Combining the iZZapper core functionality with the creative and imaginative output of third party developers who we allow to access the software development kit (SDK), together with the marketing reach of a leading distributor could, we believe, create a market of perhaps 1 in 1,000 or 1 in 500 smartphone users, globally.
Functional innovation, a free of charge SDK so that third party developers can write apps for the iZZapper thereby increasing the value of the iZZapper ecosystem, leading-edge design, and intellectual property protection are all expected to combine with the forging of powerful marketing relationships to keep iZZapper in a market leading position.