Is it a Flashlight? The iCiHear is more than just a Flashlight

Paloma Basilio

What do you get when you design a 4-in-1 device based on a Swiss army knife?

A collaboration of two like-minded friends, Fernando Coye and Charles Toh, the iCiHear is an innovative new product that was designed by CharlesDesigns. The duo is asking for funding through Kickstarter to make components of the device better.

Nvate CharlesDesigns Crowdfunding iCiHear Kickstarter LED flashlight USB portal

Credit: CharlesDesigns via Kickstarter

At first glance the iCiHear looks like a very modern flashlight, but take a closer look and witness the complexity of the gadget. The creators of the iCiHear refer to it as a 4-in-1 device which hosts a Bluetooth speaker, speakerphone, emergency flashlight, and a portable power bank. So why create a device with so many functions?

“We believe our products have to be multi-functional; we achieve this by ‘squeezing’ as many devices into a single intelligent product,” according to Kickstarter. “In this way we cut down on excesses like cables, plugs, multiple single devices, and packaging, while providing our users with an intelligent product with versatile functions.”

Three of the functions can be used at the same time, for example, if you find yourself in an urgent situation. Let’s say you got separated from your friends at a camp site and it is getting dark. You can turn on the LED flashlight and play a siren sound while using the USB portal to charge your phone. The siren sound can be applied to the iCiHear using an MP3 file. On a lighter note the speaker along with the Bluetooth function are great for listening to music. The iCiHear can be used to answer phone calls when connected via Bluetooth.

“When paired to any video media player, the iCiHear enables bi-directional volume control and fast forward/rewind control of the movie,” as stated on Kickstarter. “When paired to any music media player, the iCiHear enables bi-directional control of song selection, volume control and play/pause function. It will also support audio playback formats from MP3, WMA, WAV.”

The iCiHear can be held in one hand and the functions are all very easy to use. The controls are all on one side while the LED flashlight, along with the USB portal, is located on the opposite side on the controls. The length of the device is about 7 inches and the width is approximately 2 inches. It weighs around 9.5 ounces. The emergency LED flashlight provides about 24 hours of light.

CharlesDesigns is asking for $50,000, but the project was suspended. Coye and Toh have been working to improve the iCiHear device for over a year. Pledges will go toward “improving circuitry for the iCiHear model, the quality of the components, the power bank for the different models, speakers and vibration control,” according to Kickstarter. They will also improve technical issues.

Part of the money will go into packaging as the CharlesDesigns team believes that nothing should go to waste therefore “they intend to redefine packaging, by producing a multipurpose, waterproof case to protect [the] iCiHear.” Through Kickstarter the device is $199, and the retail price is $249. There is no word yet on if and when the project will be back up.

Visit the iCiHear Kickstarter page to learn more.

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