An easy to use Wi-Fi enabled touch light that gives you a beautiful and unobtrusive way to stay connected with the people you love.
About this project
What Is Filimin?
Filimin is a light that changes color with a single touch. It’s a light that connects with other lights and stays connected, no matter the distance. Filimin is a light that connects you to the people you love.
How Does Filimin work?
Each Filimin is wifi-enabled so it can connect to a group of other Filimins. Your Filimin could be part of a group of Filimins belonging to your family.
Touch your Filimin to reach out to your family. Your Filimin will gently glow one of hundreds of possible colors. Touch your Filimin again to vary the color slightly. Keep touching it to find a color that speaks to you.
When one Filimin in the group lights, all the Filimins in the same group will also light the same color. Geographic location does not matter. Your family’s Filimins will all glow. Your loved ones will know that someone has reached out.
If a member of your family then touches their Filimin, all of the Filimins in the group will change color more dramatically. Your family will know that one of you has responded. And with no further activity, your Filimins will fade to black within a couple of hours.
What Are Filimins For?
Every day you get emails, messages, and notifications. Things to take care of, events to attend…
Is something lost with the complexity of it all? How do you share an honest “I love you” with one person or with a group of people? Is there any Facebook message, text, tweet or email that will capture it the way you mean it?
Filimins are decorative. They are part of the warmth of your home or workplace. They have one function: to reach out to people you care about. No text. Nothing to read. Your gesture sends an expression of love.
Are Filimins Easy To Set Up?
Filimins are very easy to set up! You can buy Filimins as a connected set or, if you prefer, buy them individually and tell us what group yours should be associated with. Either way it will be a simple process that anyone – no matter their level of technical expertise – can perform. No special setup is required. Configure your Filimin one-time with your wifi credentials using our free mobile app and you are good to go. No user accounts or passwords to remember, no worries about firewalls, static IPs, or confusing router configurations. It couldn’t be easier than this. This also means that it will be easy to set up Filimins for family and friends regardless of whether they’re a software developer or a real estate developer.
What do I do with Filimin?
Since Filimin communicates with no words, you and the people you care about get to choose the meaning of your interaction. Maybe you want to tell your friend that you’re ready to meet at your favorite hangout. Maybe you want to tell your cousin overseas that it’s an ok time for a video chat. Perhaps somebody you care about is in the hospital and you want to let them know you are thinking of them. Or you might have a partner in the military and want to be assured that they are OK. It could be you share your Filimins with a group of Wichita State University Shocker fans, the Shockers just scored and you need to celebrate. Or maybe you just want to tell your mom you love her. (Always tell your mom you love her.)
What Will My Filimin Look Like?
Our standard design will be manufactured to match the look and styling of our prototypes. In addition, we have just completed the design of a round Filimin with more contemporary styling.
All the raw materials for the new design have been sourced and we are currently tweaking the molds for the concrete base. If we are able to meet stretch goals to manufacture more designs, we can give you the choice of which design you want shipped to you.
We have ideas for even more designs. And maybe you have ideas for designs you’d like to share with us?
How Are You Going to Make Filimins?
Our intention is that Filimins offer a positive benefit to the world, and this includes manufacturing. To that end we are in conversation with several non-profit charitable organizations, including Ketch and EWARM about how we all might work together to assemble Filimins for you.
Ketch is a non-profit whose mission is “to promote independence for persons with disabilities through innovative learning experiences that support individuals’ choices for working, living, and playing in their community.” EWARM is a non-profit dedicated to helping refugees resettle in the Wichita, KS area by helping them find work and community.
Both Ketch and EWARM are remarkable organizations and we’d like to give back to them in appreciation for what they offer our local community. Although the roles of each organization are as yet unspecified, we are committed to Filimins will being assembled locally in Kansas under the direction of a nonprofit and for the benefit of our community.
What Are Your Stretch Goals?
We’d love to create more designs and add more features to Filimin. And with each stretch goal we achieve, we’ll give back to the nonprofits we team up with.
What Are Your Rewards?
What’s Your Timeline?
Do Filimins Really Work?
Yes Filimins work, and they will work for a long time. Filimins are powered by a microcontroller and cloud both developed and maintained by Spark Labs Inc. Spark Labs is huge, their products are solid, and they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
I’m a Geek. Gimme the Technical Details
If you want to know everything about how Filimins work and maybe even make something similar, we are currently developing an Instructables for you that outlines all the details about how we made our first prototypes.
Why Did You Make Filimin?
John Harrison, the inventor of Filimin, is Concertmaster of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra and a graduate of MIT’s Media Lab. Like many families, John’s family struggles to feel connected. Part of the problem is that they are spread out across two countries — but the struggle extends beyond the challenges of physical separation.
David, John’s brother, once had a ritual with his partner at the time: the two of them would light a candle every night when one of them was away. Expanding the idea, John built the first 6 Filimins and developed the software to connect them. He finished the Filimins as a holiday present for his family in December, connecting the lights and the people.
Demonstrating the Filimins at a New Year Kickoff party in Wichita, John realized how many people shared his desire for simple, authentic connection. He put together a team so we could bring this idea to you.
Who is Behind Filimin?
John Harrison, the inventor of Filimin, is musician, electrical/computer engineer, and new media artist. A graduate of MIT’s Media Lab, John currently serves as Concertmaster of theWichita Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Chamber Orchestra. He is also the co-founder and technical lead/programmer for Snappy Kids, a proprietorship which builds therapeutic mobile apps for kids. John is the lead on the project and is responsible for all technical and functional aspects of Filimin as well.
Barrett Morgan is the sole proprietor of Barrett Morgan Design LLC. Barry does website design and development, brand development, responsive web design, mobile projects, and much more. Barry is responsible for the website and Kickstarter layout. He works closely with John on all other aspects as well.
Kenton Hansen was born, raised & resides in Wichita, Kansas. With his passion for startups, he consults as a Product Developer, lending a hand in marketing and new products. He is the Technical Cofounder at Books & Whatnot, a resource for independent booksellers. With his friends (Todd, Jarrett & Chris), he started Wichita’s first creative coworking space, the Labor Party. Kenton is head of product development.
Ian R Blume specializes in videography, video editing, titles, motion graphics, and graphic design. He has a BFA in graphic design from Wichita State University. Check out Ian’s awesome demo reel. Ian made the Kickstarter video for us.
Lisa Rundstrom is a multi-disciplinary artist who has exhibited her work in galleries and art centers across the U.S., including: Artist’s Space in New York, ADA Gallery, Richmond, Va., The Art Center, St. Petersburg, Fl., and Millennium Arts Center, Washington, D.C. Lisa is part of the Filimin design team.
Gary P. Israel has been Design Director for Vornado Air for the past 7 years. Previous to this, he was Brand Director for Coleman International. He holds over 100 U.S. utility and design patients and almost as many International patients. Gary shares his love for the outdoors by working with the Boy Scouts of America. He is married and the father of 4 grown daughters and 1 grown step daughter. Gary is part of the Filimin design team.
Chris Parks is a native of Kansas who has parlayed his insider knowledge of culture, business, and demographics, as well as his studies in design and sculpture into a successful career. Co-founder of the design boutique, UP Design Bureau, Chris specializes in identity development and illustration. Chris was formerly with Wichita’s Gardner Design and Insight Design Communications, and was senior art director of Wichita’s Greteman Group. Chris designed the Filimin logo and is part of the Filimin design team.
Spread the word!
We initially learned about the Spark microcontroller platform at MakeICT, Wichita’s Makerspace. The idea of Filimin as a marketable product happened at a gathering hosted by MakeICT,devICT, and Startup Wichita at The Labor Party. We cannot thank these organizations enough for the wonderful services they provide to the Wichita community. We also want to thank our families for the time, energy, and support they give us.
Thanks for supporting Filimin. If you have any questions or comments, please share them with us.
Risks and challenges
Our primary challenges lie in the areas of materials, assembly, and timeline. For example, we have located sources for our raw materials but sources sometimes dry up unexpectedly or materials aren’t of the quality promised. And while we have carefully constructed what we think is a very doable timeline, that timeline is dependent on our sources delivering product within the timeframes they have expressed to us.
For the benefit of our community and the good Karma it brings us, we are choosing for our assembly to be performed by one or more local nonprofits seeking to improve the lives of others. From a manufacturing standpoint this is good news in part because we can visit the facilities regularly to personally oversee manufacturing and ensure that the product leaving is of the highest quality. These nonprofits may not have the rich experience in manufacturing that an overseas manufacturing facility might offer; we will address this by working closely with our nonprofits throughout all steps of this process.
If anything unexpected arises, we will communicate to you immediately. And with the homework we have already done, the team we have, and the timeline we have created, we fully expect to ship to you in time for the holiday season. Our intention is that we handle everything in the most expert and professional manner possible so you have no worries all the way from your initial contribution to the project to your years of using Filimin with your loved ones.