Crowdfunding campaigns never fail to surprise. From Oculus that came from Kickstarter and was acquired by Facebook to the recent crowdfunding scam on Indiegogo, these platforms have given the internet a lot to talk about! And when Rahul Dharod got in touch with us recently, we found yet another fascinating idea- an iPhone case that doubles up as a hand sanitizer.
“I am an avid traveller and have always felt the need of carrying a hand sanitizer or a freshener alongside. But I never seemed to have it when I needed it the most!” says Rahul. But at all times, he had his smartphone alongside. And this is when he started thinking about a device that could be attached to a phone and would act like a spray pump too. Pondering over the idea, Atomyzer took birth and Rahul came up with a prototype. “Atomyzer was designed with two key factors in mind: functionality and style. The case's functionality primarily depends on three key parts- the refillable cartridge, lockable nozzle and secure encasing,” says Rahul.
The cartridge is the key component of the Atomyzer- it is made of tough plastic and is ultrasonically welded to make it leak proof. The Cartridge is fitted with an adapter that lets users refill the cartridge with their favourite fragrance or hand sanitizer (the cartridge stores up to 60 sprays). And to avoid any spilling, there is a lock cap on top of the Atomyzer. Turning the knob clockwise will lock the nozzle. “Above the function, we also have multiple designs for the cover which is an added advantage for our users,” says Rahul.
The prototype is ready and Rahul says that the product can immediately go for manufacturing as well if they see the demand. The plan is to retail the case for $35 including shipping and the early bird pricing is at $20. “We’ve just launched the campaign on Indiegogo and are psyched up to see Atomyzer in production,” says Rahul. He is joined in this endeavour by Raymond Ciardella who is the chief product designer. Rahul is an engineer from Mumbai University and went on to get an MS from US post which he worked at a few startups in the Silicon Valley. Rahul met Raymond Techshop, where they started building the first 3D printed prototype. Talking about the process and manufacturing, Rahul says, "We arrived at the current version after testing proto-types through different 3D processes such as PLA, SLA, SLS and Poly Jet. The current version was manufactured though SLA 3D printer. For the end product we will be going with injection molding with ABS plastic."
This product also throws light on two complimentary trends- rise of hardware products that go along with a phone (the immensely impressive Wello is another case), the power of crowdfunding that is helping bring ideas to life. Speaking of crowdfunding nationally, India has given rise to a few platforms- Wishberry, Catapooolt that recently raised funding, and the more socially inclined Ketto and HopeMonkey. There is an increasing number of people taking to crowdfunding and the trend is changing the funding landscape as well.