Thank you for being so patient, as I know many of you have signed up to the mailing list without an update in a long time. Over the past twelve months, it’s been challenging to develop a new product from the ground up. However, I am now in a position to announce that the Crowdfunding campaign’s launch date is set for April 2022.
Many of you may not be familiar with Crowdfunding or how it works, so I shall do my best to explain my reasons for adopting this approach. Crowdfunding enables small businesses or individuals to raise money from investors to launch their products. This is becoming one of the more common approaches for tech start-ups. Launching a new product often requires large bank loans or capital raised from private investors.
Being a single person running a startup business, these two options are not readily available to me, so I am reaching out to the community of like-minded nature lovers to get this product off the ground.
The aim of the project has always been to create a worldwide network of connected nest boxes that we all can enjoy, learn and share whilst at the same time gathering essential conservation information about bird breeding. This has required a different approach to how traditional nest box cameras operate.
Typically most nest box cameras are simple devices that plug into the back of a television unit for casual viewing. This is fine for the most part however, there is no way of knowing when the birds are visiting or what species are using the nest box. Nest Box Live aims to change this with a revolutionary new internet-connected ‘smart’ nest box. The new technology I have developed comes with a smartphone app that sends a notification each time a bird visits. It uses AI (Artificial Intelligence) to identify what species are visiting. You can also view videos each time a bird visits, so you will never miss any activity that happens. The app integrates with social media, meaning that you can live stream your nest box to friends and family on Facebook. The nest box also has intelligent sensors that track, in real-time, temperature, humidity and weather data which could provide researchers with essential information in the future.
Nothing like this has been attempted before!
Where is the project up to right now?
The nest box hardware is in the final prototyping stages. There are still some minor changes needed to ensure that the technology will run smoothly. The first version of the app (which will be available on iOS and Android) is being tested by a handful of existing Nest Box Live owners.
What is the plan for the next stage of the project?
The plan is to launch the Crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter in late April 2022 to raise funds to produce 100 units. If the funding target is met, I will have the capital to put these units into production and deliver them to backers at the end of 2022.
Challenges moving forward…
One of the most significant challenges holding back production is the global shortage of computer microchips caused by recent events. Due to the complexity of the hardware design, the system would not function without them. I have attempted to mitigate this by placing pre-orders for out of stock components; however, there is a wait time of at least 6-months for some of them, and even then, there is no guarantee that they will be delivered on time. I shall be monitoring this closely. Once available, I estimate production should take between three to six months, bringing us to the estimated delivery time for initial backers of the crowdfunding campaign.
Why only 100 units?
The aim at this stage is to create an exclusive club of nest-watching individuals around the world. The crowdfunding campaign will have a limited number of nest boxes available for each region, and essentially the individuals who purchase them will become the representatives for that region. I regularly live stream nest boxes from the existing network on the Facebook page, which currently has over 430 thousand followers. I want to ensure that live content is available for followers all year round.
How much is it going to cost?
This is one of the most common questions I get asked, and unfortunately, I don’t have an answer to that question yet. I am still in negotiations with suppliers and manufacturers. I won’t be able to update you further until I conclude those discussions. Please remember this is a premium product, so manage your expectations on the price accordingly.
In the coming weeks, I shall be sending out regular emails and messages on social media informing you about more of this product’s features and demonstration videos.
Once again, thank you for your patience and for taking an interest in this project.
All the very best,