BROOKLYN, NY - iBamboo, a natural wood amplifier that boosts the sound for iPhone4s, has won funding for product development through a new online source: KickStarter.com.
Using an approach known as "crowd funding," inventor Anatoliy Omelchenko gathered small sums from dozens of private investors at KickStarter, collecting over $19,000 to get his project launched.
KickStarter gathers small investments from private individuals who contribute online to form a business funding pool. Iwantproof.com, an Ontario, Canada manufacture of wood-framed sunglasses, used the site to raise $19,000 to develop and launch a new line. The company offers frames in Lacewood, Ebony, Zebrawood and Bamboo.
iBamboo and Iwantproof.com are among several wood products developers who are tapping into KickStarter's online resources to fund new product development. Robert Campbell, "The Joiner's Apprentice," solicited commissions for woodworking projects. "My dream is to build historically accurate woodcraft items for you, using exclusively hand-powered tools and traditional techniques," Campbell says in his listing. He received over $5,900 in funding. Eric Petersen sought (and received) $5,000 in funding to develop a wall-mounted wooden bike rack for home interiors.
The iBamboo speaker "merges high tech with the simple beauty of nature," Omelchenko says in a video solicitation for hios wood product in development (watch it at Woodworking Network). Made from a whole length of bamboo, the natural resonance of the bamboo amplifies the sound produced by the iPhone's built-in speaker. "The sound waves move in two directions at once, intensifying the stereo effect created by the iPhone," Omelchenko says.
Bamboo is stronger, more flexible and forgiving than plastic or some metals, Omelchenko notes. A foot-long, whole link of bamboo requires only a few modifications to make it an iPhone-compatible speaker.
The top of the bamboo is precision-cut to create an opening that, in concert with the natural construction of bamboo, serves as a fitted dock that fixes the iPhone in place, according to his KickStarter prospectus.
"It is practically impossible to listen to Classical, Instrumental and Jazz music on the iPhone speaker," says Omelchenko. "The quality is very poor and flat."
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