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Jun 12, 2015 10:16 AM ET

Archived: StoryHome: The Connected Storytelling Device: A connected audio recorder that help you capture and save your family stories

iCrowdNewswire - Jun 12, 2015

Skype or Facetime on smartphones and tablets are helping us stay together like never before, but something is missing. The magic of telling stories at bedtime is somehow lost with today’s solutions. That is why we built StoryHome.

We created a simple way for families to share great stories with each other. StoryHome is so easy, you plug it in, and it will help grandparents tell a first story. It will automatically send these stories to another device in the bedroom of their grandkids.

Before bed it glows. The kids pick it up and listen to their grandparents voice.

Just like their favorite stories, the kids we tested it with wanted to hear the stories again and again

Though we love to talk on the phone and use video chat like Skype, Facetime and Hangout, it can be very frustrating finding a good time to talk, the topics are limited to daily life, and these conversations are largely forgotten.

So we created a simple audio story sharing system to tell & record, listen & play, and treasure & keep your family stories.

Your family will be able to make meaningful connections again.

 Tell & Record

We make telling and recording your stories just a matter of pushing a button. To get started, you just plug power and the internet into the Device, and it will light up. It cues you to tell a first story: answer one of 1000 life questions, read a book or just tell your own tale. The Device will then automatically send the stories to the rest of the family.

Listen & Play

Later, another Device lights up, often just before bed. You pick it up, push the flashing button and a new story will play. Even leave a comment or ask a question, listen to an older story or tell another one.

Treasure & Keep 

The Device connects to the internet either by plugging it into your internet router (LAN cable) or connecting with WiFi (using the StoryHome App on your smartphone). Your stories are sent through the StoryHome Family Cloud. Right from your computer you can access the Cloud where you edit, organize and save all your stories. There you can manage accounts, change the time when stories arrive, push or block stories to devices, and invite the extended family to listen.

Connect & Share

Anyone can use the StoryHome App to also connect and also listen to stories on their smartphone. Sibling, cousins, aunts, uncles and friends can also listen to the stories, ask questions and even tell their own stories.

If you are like us, you want to be closer to family, and find yourself living too far away. Even when we are nearby our modern life doesn’t allow us a lot of quality time outside of our daily routine. Our kids lose that connection with their grandparents, and forever these stories are lost.

Grandparents tell the Best Stories 

Easy to set up: Plug it directly into your internet router, no need for WiFi setup
Simple to use: One button to talk and another to listen
Inspirational: Just tell your own tale, answer one of 1000 life questions, read a story from a book, or respond to questions from your family
Keep the stories: Pass the stories down from generation to generation on your own StoryHome Family Cloud

Be there at Bedtime 

Hear your voice: Kids love to hear their parents or grandparent’s voice at bedtime
No tablets before bed: You can’t give them a tablet or iphone before bed
WiFi cuts off: There is no WiFi when off the basestation
Built safe: Built safely and certified for kids
Bedtime Ritual: Stories arrive at bedtime so your kids know when it’s time to brush their teeth

Connect your Family with Stories

App when on-the-go: Connect when you are on a business trip and miss bedtime
Control the stories: On the Family Cloud, filter and manage who gets to hear particular stories.
Organize: Order and rename the stories, even edit the stories yourself
 Connect the family: Lead and connect the whole family by inviting family members to listen and tell

Three years ago I moved away from my home, my family and my friends. I met my now wife sitting outside in a cafe in Toronto, Canada. We spent every day that week together, then I followed her to Uganda in Africa for two weeks.

Four months later we were engaged. Seven months later I had sold my two businesses and was living six time zones away in Munich, Germany.

StoryHome came from IDEO Make-a-thon in Munich, the leading innovation consultancy. I was part of the team that outlined the idea, but afterwards the idea was largely forgotten. Months later, the idea stayed with me, as I was losing this connection with home and current solutions like Skype and the Telephone were not working.

I applied for The Founder Institute, an early stage accelerator program. 37 people started the program and I was one of 4 who finished with StoryHome.

This is when I met Thomas Pannek and Daniel Neumann. Thomas is an audiophile, bass guitar player and expert at building large backend software systems. Daniel is a techie, father of two and former CTO. Together with me, a storyteller who has grown and sold two media companies, we formed the founding team of StoryHome.

We went out and spoke to storytellers, family psychologists, performers and oral history experts. They told us about the power of stories and how get to the best stories out of people. We then build prototypes out of paper and foam and took them to grandparents, parents and kids to record their stories and test our ideas. This is how we were able to develop a system that is addictive.

Today, I have a six-month-old boy. He just saw his grandfather for the first time, as they are living 6 times zones apart. We’ve always told great stories, and StoryHome can make that happen again for many families.

We’ve had an exciting journey. StoryHome was the finalist and the youngest company at Best of Munich. We recently graduated from the hardware.co accelerator in Berlin, and there learned about Kickstarter’s opening up to German companies. That is when we decided it was time to launch StoryHome to the world.

We have a collection of storytellers, programmers, musicians, parents, performers, all who are focused on helping people tell and share great stories.

StoryHome enables users to share important and intimate moments of their lives.

Of course, all of these stories need to be kept private and secure. They should only be shared with your loved ones and only be accessed by people our users want to. That is why we created the StoryHome Family Cloud to store your family stories.

We worked hard with experienced partners to build a great ecosystem. The StoryHome Family Cloud is reliable, safe and secure, but flexible enough to connect with your family around the world.

The Cloud is located in Germany, a country with some of the world’s most advanced privacy regulations laws.

Building a Storytelling device, which makes grandparents and grandchildren happy at the same time, was one of the biggest challenges you can imagine. We went through several stages of prototyping starting with paper and foam prototypes to our latest full functional version to invent an easy and non-distractive system which helps our users to focus on what really matters – to tell their story.

Sometimes we had to rethink because during our tests we realized that even obvious icons like the red record icon from old cassette players would not work for some of our users. Also it is hard for children, to navigate back and forth through virtual menus. That’s why we invented a simple three button system — one record button and a playback section with a play and a skip button.

Together we have tried out various different shapes and did tons of sketches. Some were more inspired by a character, some were looking more technically.

Our goal was to create a recognizable device, which is cheerful and simple at the same time. We broke down the interaction into its main functions for a simple use for kids and grandparents. The overall shape is inspired by a matrioshka (babushka or russian doll) that treasures a family of dolls inside. Except, this one is not keeping another one inside. It’s containing stories. Stories that you want to keep for the future generation and want to listen to over and over again…

Making hardware devices, apps and cloud systems are expensive, that is why we need your support to make StoryHome a reality. Backing a reward will not only show that StoyHome is a product that is needed, but it will help pay for moulds, final engineering, setting up the production lines, building the backend of the cloud system and coding the apps.


How does the StoryHome Cloud connect together with the App, computer portal and Device?

How does the Device work???

 What do you mean by Inspiring?


Risks and challenges

Although much of the breakthrough technology in StoryHome comes from the design of the device and system as a whole there are still, as with any advanced technology, risks:

MANUFACTURING: We have identified and outlined a path to manufacture StoryHome, we only are working with companies and people recommended to us, but as with any manufacturing process delays are likely to occur. We are using some pre-certified elements, a device like this will require some strict certifications, which has been a cause for delay with other products. To minimize setbacks, we have identified potential delays, and are working with experts who have manufactured hundreds of products to provide guidance. Of course, we will keep you informed of any changes.

FEBRUARY DELIVERY: We are scheduled to deliver our first products in February 2016 . This is a planned and realistic goal. In preparation for this campaign, we talked to many other successful campaigns, many of whom who were all stuck with delays. We can only say that we have planned and are on track to deliver on time.

PRODUCT DESIGN: The process of continuous improvement is key in the development of any new product. There will likely be some minor developments in the product, many of which could be suggestions that develop from the ideas and opinions of our backers. We believe the StoryHome Device is something to be used and displayed. We will ensure that any changes we make will follow these basic principles.

WEB AND APP PLATFORM: The Family Cloud and App will be ready for use upon delivery. The first versions will likely have simplified functionality. As opposed to hardware, the software will be constantly improved upon allowing increasingly great tools for account management, editing and organizing, sharing and storytelling inspirations.

We care about this product and want you to have the very best experience with it. This is our real promise. Not only are we partnering with those who believe in the product too, but they all come recommended and have built great products before.

Every pledge not only brings StoryHome closer to becoming a reality, but enables us to hear your ideas, add more features, and deliver faster. Be part of the StoryHome by clicking the ‘Back This Project’ button at the top of the page or spreading the word by sharing our page.

Thank you for helping StoryHome live happily ever after…

Contact Information:

Campfire UG

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