Author Topic: Ninja Socket  (Read 6942 times)

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Offline Josh2205

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Ninja Socket
« on: January 14, 2016, 09:28:40 am »
Hi, I'm josh and since a young age I've been interested in taking things apart and thinking of ways that they could be improved or brought into the modern world inline with technology. The Ninja Socket is the most powerful plug socket you will find jam packed with features which would otherwise be bulky and take up valuable space and plug sockets around the home.

I'm currently studying mathematics, physics and computer science in the uk and I would appreciate your opinions and support to make my dream a reality! Feel free to share this project and comment your opinions or questions,
Josh

Indiegogo link - https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/ninja-socket

 

Offline Codemonkey

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Re: Ninja Socket
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2016, 09:34:10 am »
Your budget doesn't look anywhere near big enough.
No prototype hardware or software = vapourware.
You could blow your entire budget just getting it through type approval.

I'm out.
 

Offline Josh2205

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Re: Ninja Socket
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2016, 09:44:24 am »
Thank you for your reply, what are your ideas on the project as a whole? With both software and hardware prototypes would this make you more likely to back and support this project?

I'm interested to know, thank you.
 

Offline Codemonkey

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Re: Ninja Socket
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2016, 10:01:46 am »
Put it this way, any product that is to be permanently wired into my house would have to have some ability to turn it off (isolate completely from the mains), and also have been fully tested to whatever standards required.

I wouldn't put any cash up front until I saw something at least working and looking like it was ready for production, so no arduino's screwed to the back of a socket plate from B&Q.
 

Offline tom66

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Re: Ninja Socket
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2016, 11:13:01 am »
1GHz ARM for this... Why??
 

Offline StuUK

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Re: Ninja Socket
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2016, 11:29:16 am »
Your budget doesn't look anywhere near big enough.
No prototype hardware or software = vapourware.
You could blow your entire budget just getting it through type approval.

I'm out.

I agree, the approval alone will require considerable money and resource. Like the idea though......
 

Online wraper

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Re: Ninja Socket
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2016, 12:05:23 pm »
Thank you for your reply, what are your ideas on the project as a whole? With both software and hardware prototypes would this make you more likely to back and support this project?

I'm interested to know, thank you.
Requesting the money for such a thing which is promised to do everything you can imagine and a bit more without making any prototype is just ridiculous. How can you even estimate it's cost to design/manufacure? This is just doomed to fail even if not a scam from the very beginning.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2016, 12:07:19 pm by wraper »
 

Offline tom66

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Re: Ninja Socket
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2016, 12:15:27 pm »
I will agree I like the idea but consider dropping some features to reduce the design complexity and you should have a prototype ready at this point (using your own money to manufacture it.) Even if it is just a 3D printed socket prototype and a first revision PCB, it should exist. (Don't make one using an Arduino! It needs to be assembled hardware.)
 

Offline Josh2205

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Re: Ninja Socket
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2016, 12:32:01 am »
Thank you for your feedback! I certainly agree that prototypes of both hardware and software are needed tO give backers proof and also a visual idea of what they're backing and this certainly is a priority. All of the hardware is there in concept it's just bringing it all together into a finished prototype which is now our main focus. I'm confident that all of the features can be implemented giving such huge functionality to a simple everyday device.

Keep checking the campaign for updates!
 

Offline Muttley Snickers

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Re: Ninja Socket
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2016, 01:14:45 am »
Your budget doesn't look anywhere near big enough.
No prototype hardware or software = vapourware.
You could blow your entire budget just getting it through type approval.

I'm out.

I'm with the others on this one although due credit is given for your enthusiasm, you may want to declare on the IGG campaign that in most countries mains connected devices such as these are required by law to be installed by a licensed and registered electrician, most of which by the way prefer not to get involved with in depth configurations or device programming. In addition should your product manage to pass regulatory testing and approval in certain countries you may be required and or compelled to maintain both product and public liability insurance, we are required to have it by law and we are only the installers of other manufacturers products.     

I have worked on many home and office automation systems over many years and one in particular that stands out was where a sprinkler solenoid would not operate, this minor fault alone required the simultaneous attendance to the site of the product manufacturers representative, the configuration programmer, the site electrician, the plumber and the premise owner all because of a software glitch, once found it was easy but it took a day to find.

For our part I declared to the owner that we would not be interfacing at all to the home automation system and that our systems would be completely independent, we could not confirm or guarantee the integrity of the HA system or the people involved with setting it up so we kept away from it altogether, the owner wasn't happy about it at the time but did come back to us months later to thank us for keeping our part independent.     

« Last Edit: January 15, 2016, 09:23:50 am by Muttley Snickers »
 

Offline Josh2205

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Re: Ninja Socket
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2016, 10:32:01 am »
Your budget doesn't look anywhere near big enough.
No prototype hardware or software = vapourware.
You could blow your entire budget just getting it through type approval.

I'm out.

I'm with the others on this one although due credit is given for your enthusiasm, you may want to declare on the IGG campaign that in most countries mains connected devices such as these are required by law to be installed by a licensed and registered electrician, most of which by the way prefer not to get involved with in depth configurations or device programming. In addition should your product manage to pass regulatory testing and approval in certain countries you may be required and or compelled to maintain both product and public liability insurance, we are required to have it by law and we are only the installers of other manufacturers products.     

I have worked on many home and office automation systems over many years and one in particular that stands out was where a sprinkler solenoid would not operate, this minor fault alone required the simultaneous attendance to the site of the product manufacturers representative, the configuration programmer, the site electrician, the plumber and the premise owner all because of a software glitch, once found it was easy but it took a day to find.

For our part I declared to the owner that we would not be interfacing at all to the home automation system and that our systems would be completely independent, we could not confirm or guarantee the integrity of the HA system or the people involved with setting it up so we kept away from it altogether, the owner wasn't happy about it at the time but did come back to us months later to thank us for keeping our part independent.   


Thank you for your feedback and I understand entirely your point of view. As this product will be almost certainly a like for like replacement of an existing power outlet an electrician is not required and anyone is free to legally fit the product in their own home? (In the uk at least)

Please do inform me if I am wrong, all of your feedback is greatly appreciated and is all read and will certainly be taken into consideration when working to make this product a success. Josh.
 

Offline matseng

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Re: Ninja Socket
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2016, 10:54:59 am »
Thank you for your feedback and I understand entirely your point of view. As this product will be almost certainly a like for like replacement of an existing power outlet an electrician is not required and anyone is free to legally fit the product in their own home? (In the uk at least)

Please do inform me if I am wrong, all of your feedback is greatly appreciated and is all read and will certainly be taken into consideration when working to make this product a success. Josh.

I just looked up the regulations for Sweden - you are allowed to replace an already existing wall-mounted outlet or switch. It seems reasonable to assume that the regulations is the same in all EU countries...

https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=sv&tl=en&js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.elsakerhetsverket.se%2Fprivatpersoner%2FVad_du_for_gora_sjalv_med_el_hemma%2F&edit-text=
 

Offline MrSlack

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Re: Ninja Socket
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2016, 11:03:10 am »
UK here. Some comments.

a) This isn't going to last 5 minutes. The kids destroyed my sockets with USB charging ports in after about a week. I'd imagine it would take them less than that to break this. Also UK plugs are hard bastards. They will inevitably get jammed through the OLED screen and the ethernet port. Most sockets are near the floor and ethernet ports get smegged up and destroyed pretty easily as well. Even a small knock when hoovering would kill this dead.

b) Better not be more than an inch deep. The majority of pattress/flush boxes will not take anything deeper with a bundle of cable behind it.

c) If any of it breaks, which it will it's easier if I don't have to take the entire thing off the wall and rewire the socket so I'd rather this functionality was external to the socket.

d) It's going in a large metal box inside a wall next to several meters of radio antenna that just happens to also carry mains electricity. How do you expect the WiFi is going to perform in that circumstance? Your little 2.4GHz bent piece of flat metal antenna isn't going to have enough wumph to overcome that. External antennas would look stupid too.

I wouldn't buy this if I'm honest. It's a gimmick. I like all of the concept separately and use a number of them myself i.e. the WiFi booster, powerline ethernet, power monitoring and switching but not in one unit like that.

As for legality of installing this yourself in the UK, that's entirely fine. If you're adding a spur or changing any hard wiring then it's notifiable otherwise you don't have to bother telling anyone. Although if I'm honest I rewired my entire house without telling anyone after seeing the shitty job "professional electricians" did, so meh.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2016, 11:05:08 am by MrSlack »
 

Offline Josh2205

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Re: Ninja Socket
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2016, 11:50:44 am »
UK here. Some comments.

a) This isn't going to last 5 minutes. The kids destroyed my sockets with USB charging ports in after about a week. I'd imagine it would take them less than that to break this. Also UK plugs are hard bastards. They will inevitably get jammed through the OLED screen and the ethernet port. Most sockets are near the floor and ethernet ports get smegged up and destroyed pretty easily as well. Even a small knock when hoovering would kill this dead.

b) Better not be more than an inch deep. The majority of pattress/flush boxes will not take anything deeper with a bundle of cable behind it.

c) If any of it breaks, which it will it's easier if I don't have to take the entire thing off the wall and rewire the socket so I'd rather this functionality was external to the socket.

d) It's going in a large metal box inside a wall next to several meters of radio antenna that just happens to also carry mains electricity. How do you expect the WiFi is going to perform in that circumstance? Your little 2.4GHz bent piece of flat metal antenna isn't going to have enough wumph to overcome that. External antennas would look stupid too.

I wouldn't buy this if I'm honest. It's a gimmick. I like all of the concept separately and use a number of them myself i.e. the WiFi booster, powerline ethernet, power monitoring and switching but not in one unit like that.

As for legality of installing this yourself in the UK, that's entirely fine. If you're adding a spur or changing any hard wiring then it's notifiable otherwise you don't have to bother telling anyone. Although if I'm honest I rewired my entire house without telling anyone after seeing the shitty job "professional electricians" did, so meh.

Thank you for your feedback and opinions. I'd just like to go over some of your concerns and explain the ideas behind them and the ways that they've been over come for yourself and others on the forum

A) The OLED will be protected behind a tough transparent layer to protect any rogue plugs from being violently rammed through it when trying to find the socket. And the USB ports will be securely mounted and recessed a couple of millimetres below the surface to prevent damage. The USB and Ethernet ports will be no weaker than any other charging or power line Ethernet products on the market and if anything they will be much more robust.

B) the product will fit the standard 25mm or above back boxes without any concerns. The product will protrude the surface around 15-20mm and a spacer will also be provided In case the user has unusually small clearances behind the product.

C) as mentioned above the product is designed to be robust and will survive just as any mechanical plug will, there are ideas being tested where the mains electricity is isolated in a separate compartment and the low power face plate can be removed and replaced easily and simply by anyone.

D) the antenna will function just as a standard wireless booster as it's highly shielded from the mains supply.

Thank you again for your feedback!



 

Online Ian.M

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Re: Ninja Socket
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2016, 12:18:32 pm »
Wall socket USB charging is virtually a gimmick.  Few homes have the sockets in a convenient location to charge a valuable handheld device that you really don't want to leave on the floor.

Make it in a 4 gang rewirable extension lead  that also provides surge protection and a true switch/RCBO breaker, and you *might* have a worthwhile concept, but by using the BS1363 socket, you limit your market to just the British Isles and a few small Commonwealth countries.  Consider adding CEE 7/3 (Schuko) and CEE 7/5 (French) versions to increase your market to the majority of Europe.

Also consider adding USB/IP functionality so data connections can be made to USB devices being charged.
 

Offline AlxDroidDev

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Re: Ninja Socket
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2016, 03:32:05 pm »
- Your £25 pledge has a syntax error. It reads "Thirst + Stickers". I believe it should read "T-shirt + Stickers".

- Why not add stickers to the £50+ pledges as well?

- that type of power outlet  (or wall socket, if you prefer) will limit you only to backers in countries that use it. If you want backers from all over the world, offer more choices of outlets.
"The nice thing about standards is that you have so many to choose from." (Andrew S. Tanenbaum)
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: Ninja Socket
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2016, 08:53:50 pm »
- Your £25 pledge has a syntax error. It reads "Thirst + Stickers". I believe it should read "T-shirt + Stickers".

- Why not add stickers to the £50+ pledges as well?

- that type of power outlet  (or wall socket, if you prefer) will limit you only to backers in countries that use it. If you want backers from all over the world, offer more choices of outlets.

Not the only place, even on the main project image it says that is has:
10/100M POWELINE ETHERNET

It's interesting but pretty niche market.

 

Offline Josh2205

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Re: Ninja Socket
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2016, 10:22:58 pm »
i know that some of you have mentioned that different countries and socket types would miss out on this project. This got me thinking, what would your views be on a
'one for all' approach where all major plug types are incorporated into a single outlet?

please see the link below for referance

http://www.meteorelectrical.com/crystal-ct-multifunction-dual-double-plug-socket-white.html?tax_val=1&currency=GBP&country_id=222&gclid=CJn0vL7srMoCFRBmGwodv3AO0w
 

Offline free_electron

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Re: Ninja Socket
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2016, 10:31:40 pm »
it will have powerline ethernet ? any idea how you will develop that ?
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Any comments, or points of view expressed, are my own and not endorsed , induced or compensated by my employer(s).
 

Online Ian.M

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Re: Ninja Socket
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2016, 10:42:55 pm »
Universal sockets have excessive clearance round UK plug pins and also permit you to plug in an unfused 16A Schuko plug, so cannot legally be put into service as a fixed installation in the UK.  They also generally have problems with getting enough contact area as the contacts aren't shaped to fit the plug pins, so tend to have problems with bad contacts and overheating. 
« Last Edit: January 15, 2016, 10:50:12 pm by Ian.M »
 

Offline tom66

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Re: Ninja Socket
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2016, 12:20:45 am »
Why not have a pair of exposed banana points so you can wire any 240V device in using thumbscrew terminals. Bonus points if the terminals are correctly colour coded.  >:D
 

Offline Josh2205

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Re: Ninja Socket
« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2016, 12:31:17 am »
Why not have a pair of exposed banana points so you can wire any 240V device in using thumbscrew terminals. Bonus points if the terminals are correctly colour coded.  >:D

I must admit i did smile to myself when reading this  :-DD

On a serious note, do you think that stand alone product for each area (plug type) would be a more suitable and aesthetically pleasing design choice for the end user? rather than an all in one approach.
 

Offline _Andrew_

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Re: Ninja Socket
« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2016, 02:59:52 am »
A lot to cram in to the standard UK double gang socket.

The space in side the wall box is only just enough for the wiring and the socket face plate to fit in to. 

There is currently a question mark over power-line networking products as to whether they are a cause of excessive RF interference. OFCOM finally seem to be closing in on devices that are non-compliant and there seems to proposals for fines of up to £5000 for each household where a power-line device cause harmful interference. It is looking like a FTSE 100 company that supplied potently non-compliant power-line devices to it's customers is tangled up in all of this.
It would certainly be in your interest to contact OFCOM regarding this type of technology to obtain copies of there reports and technical requirements.

This type of active device may not withstand the standard insulation resistance tests that are applied to UK house hold electrical systems during commissioning / recertification. For a 230V AC circuit a 500V insulation resistance test is applied on the completed circuit between the conductors. A lot of electricians may not be happy breaking the completed circuit to isolate such a device to exclude it during testing, on a power circuit that supplies portable / hand held devices.
A warning label would also have to be placed on the distribution board identifying the circus with sensitive fixed devices that may not withstand insulation resistance tests. These label are supplied with the products.     

Remote switching of devices. Most people plugging in an appliance in to a UK 13A socket don't have any idea of it's current consumption and whether it is a resistive or reactive load. You will have to give consideration to the double pole switching on each outlet that will have to be able to any type of attached load up to the maximum permitted rating for the outlets. People will plug kettles, dishwashers, washing machines, heaters ect...
You may also probably want to include some means of switching on and off the sockets on the faceplate it's self.

Energy is getting more expensive so consideration has to be given regarding the power requirements in standby and in use.
The electronics are going to have to be ultra efficient in there use of power. It may seem small but it's going to be powered all year round leading to little numbers that can add up and subsequently adding zeros to power bills.
I went through this recently for a friend who was convinced his electricity meter was faulty. I transpired that there was nearly £1000 pounds a year being added to his electricity bill just by devices still plugged in not being used nibbling power in standby.

USB charging I would say that these days each individual usb charging outlet ideally would be able to deliver 2.1A each. Ever more devices are (phones, tablets) demanding the maximum charging current. 

For a connected device with wifi, power-line, interactive IP connections ect careful consideration needs to be given to security.

How will you fund ongoing costs relating to maintaining and supporting software / app / firmware. 

I would also say your funding goal is lightly to be two low. 
 

Offline Corporate666

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Re: Ninja Socket
« Reply #23 on: January 16, 2016, 05:41:58 am »
Hi, I'm josh and since a young age I've been interested in taking things apart and thinking of ways that they could be improved or brought into the modern world inline with technology. The Ninja Socket is the most powerful plug socket you will find jam packed with features which would otherwise be bulky and take up valuable space and plug sockets around the home.

I'm currently studying mathematics, physics and computer science in the uk and I would appreciate your opinions and support to make my dream a reality! Feel free to share this project and comment your opinions or questions,
Josh

Indiegogo link - https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/ninja-socket

The project is not going to fund.  I'll be brutally honest about why (so, in other words, don't get offended)

1) The campaign page appears to be written by someone who really doesn't know anything about business or the markets involved, but "just believes" that with some money, it will all be possible.  It's like me saying "with a billion dollars, I can build a rocket ship to go to mars".  I don't know anything about that, but a billion dollars seems like a lot of money so, in my mind, surely it must be possible.  The problem is that you are being incredibly irresponsible with other people's money.  You don't have a design.  You don't have a bill of materials.  You don't have manufacturing costs, or insurance costs, or the costs involved in running a business.  So you can't possible know you can do anything with 30k GBP... it's just a number that makes you think it's possible - but a number based on nothing.  So anyone reading it sees your campaign is akin to someone asking for 10k GBP to fly to Vegas and bet everything on double zero, but presented as if it's a sure thing.

2) I'm afraid your campaign page looks terrible.  Blue on a purple background?  It's also full of spelling errors.  And it seems to be written by someone very young.  How can you say it uses a 1Ghz processor when you haven't done the hardware design yet?  It's clear that buzzwords are just being tossed around to try to attract attention.

3) As others mentioned, you have no hardware prototype

But the biggest problem is that you haven't actually invented anything.  You've just put existing things together and called it an invention and tried to market it.  Like the computer-and-monitor in one, or the TV-and-VCR in one, or the microwave-and-oven in one.  All such products fail.  Virtually always.  And when you are mixing about 10 different things together, it's guaranteed to fail.  So many reasons why - some of which are...

-So I get to spend thousands of pounds to put these all over my home?  Why would I do that?

-You are necessarily making people pay for all the functionality when almost all your users would only use a fraction of the proposed functionality.  Why wouldn't I just buy what I need instead of buying everything?

-It will be obsolete in no time.  It will be a matter of months (if that) before some new USB, WiFi, powerline ethernet, home automation or other protocol/standard comes along and all of a sudden, that function has just become useless in this product... meaning now you need a plug-in module, and if you were going to do that, why buy this product in the first place?


It is the Homer Car of the electronics world.  Everything but the kitchen sink that ultimately appeals to nobody and is so expensive that nobody will buy it.



I know that sounds harsh and you're probably a young guy trying to make something happen.  Congratulations on that and don't give up... but this isn't a good idea and putting things together isn't going to make for viable products.  You've clearly put the cart before the horse considering you are asking lots of "what if" questions above, yet you already have a funding page active.  Should be done the other way around.  You MUST respect people's money, especially if you don't have it and are asking for theirs.  You can't be callous or irresponsible with money or you will ruin your reputation and go nowhere. 

A better suggestion - keep a notebook (whether tangible or electronic) and whenever something frustrates you or you find something tedious, write it down.  Think about how that problem could be solved.  Do other people have that problem?  Would people pay to solve that problem?  Can you develop a solution to that problem?  That's a good way to develop ideas.  Out of 100, one might be a viable product.  Focus your time and effort on those such products, not just globbing stuff that already exists together and asking other people to pay for your learning experiences and adventures.  It will be MUCH more profitable and fruitful.

Good luck!
It's not always the most popular person who gets the job done.
 

Offline miguelvp

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Re: Ninja Socket
« Reply #24 on: January 16, 2016, 06:06:16 am »
Yup, Type-C might take over.

No one now uses 100 Base-T Ethernet in the house anymore let alone 10 Base-T, it's all 1000 Base-T at the moment with all the streaming and media sharing.

The wifi has no specs if it's a MIMO and supports dual channel.

As for the USB, I can go to Home Depot and get one of those plugs already that has USB charging ports built in, but I don't trust those and actually I do unplug my power bricks so they don't trickle my electric bill when not in use.

As for plugging headphones to the same receptacle with mains on it? Yeah, ain't going to happen, specially when wireless audio is not that hard to do if I did care about wearing headphones at all.

Power Ethernet, well I use it at work, for our phones that no one rings or uses, but once every 2 or 3 months at best, but they use power over Ethernet.

Security would be a concern as well since not only they'll gain access to your outlet but to your home network unless is done right.

This might have worked 10 years ago, still too niche because I don't know of anyone that actually installed those wall outlets that have USB charging that have been around for a while now.

It's a neat idea, but too niche and probably too late anyways. And as Corporate666 has implied you don't have a product and it doesn't take £11000 to build a prototype, maybe to fine tune it. nor £1500 to do the software for the prototype.

You need a prototype and drop the stickers :)

Edit: imagine someone too tired or impaired because of to much drinking trying to listen to music and plugin the headphones to mains by accident (not on the UK plugs, but you are mentioning now all kinds of plugs just to see if you can get someone to bite)

Edit2: the new trend for audio jacks, is they belong in your remote control, or use wireless headphones.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2016, 06:13:06 am by miguelvp »
 


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