20201010 is a beautiful day.
It is a day for celebration. We made a few great things yesterday.
1.ReportFires app Kickstarter campaign is successfully finished
Our 30-day crowdfunding project ended yesterday morning. Thank all 105 backers from 14 countries! We met our funding goal of US$20000!
We initially were not sure we could meet the goal. App is not a popular Kickstarter category. Anyway, we decided to fund the development of the Free app ourselves. Any third party financial support is a bonus for us! Nothing to lose!
The campaign helped us to promote the app and reach more potential users! B2B and B2C marketing are very different. This is a very valuable lesson learned for us!
2.ReportFires is approved by App Store
On the same morning, Apple approved our submission to App Store! The whole approval process was than 48-hour! Pretty good.
Apple asked a few questions about the use of the ReportFires app and the target uses. The requested a video to show how our AI image detection of wildfire smoke works.
We replied promptly. Apple responded quickly too. It made us thought that Apple found the app useful and wanted to make it available on the App Store ASAP!
Here is the ReportFires App Store link:
3.Unwire.Pro interview is published
Unwire.Pro, a popular tech news website, interviewed RoboticsCats.com a few days ago. They found our app was very unique and they were interested in the golden circle, the why-how-what of ReportFires.
The Unwire.Pro crew was very professional and they asked many good questions. We provided them great answers too!
They published the article yesterday at noon! What a coincidence! It helped us to promote the ReportFires app too.
We believe the ReportFires app is a useful tool. It is useful when people are using it.
Here is the online article:
4.Successful fire test in Europe
In yesterday afternoon Hong Kong Time, which was morning Eastern Europe Time (EET), our partner was doing a fire test to demonstrate InsightFD features to the forest firefighter department. The weather was windy and very challenging for wildfire detection! We’re glad that the InsightFD system successfully detected wildfire in the fire test! Cool!
It was a great result. The partner and we spend huge effort to optimize InsightFD for the Eastern European forest environment! And our effort pays off!
It is a beautiful Saturday!
Time flies! The 30-day Kickstarter campaign of our ReportFires app will end this week! As of 04-Oct-2020 noon, there are 99 backers and the project is 90% funded! 4 more days to go! Please support and pledge our Kickstarter campaign!
Besides introducing the new ReportFires app to different stakeholders and promoting our Kickstarter campaign, we were spending a lot of time on testing. We have been testing the beta version of the ReportFires app for more than one week.
The app requires iOS 13. The oldest iPhones support iOS 13 are the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. We did many tests on iPhone 6S Plus to evaluate the app functionality and performance.
“Why the ReportFires app supports iPhones only?” some backers ask. The main reasons are the camera system and edge computing. Edge computing enables the app to work without Internet connectivity. Two lines break first in wildfires – the power circuit and telecommunication cable. In order to make the AI smoke detection most useful, we design the app to process the Machine Learning image detection 100% on iPhone. ReportFires will detect wildfire smoke and make sound alert no matter the iPhone is online (connected to Internet) or offline. ReportFires will help you to detect wildfire even if you don’t have reliable network service.
We used some early-stage wildfire photos to test the app. We used different screen sizes to display the images. The app could detect 90%+ of all the wildfire smokes in the photos! Very impressive.
We’re lucky in Hong Kong that we don’t have frequent wildfires in the city. In order to simulate an actual user environment – an iPhone running ReportFires is monitoring the fire-prone forest near home, we tested the app in our partner’s office. We projected wildfire smoke photos on a huge screen and put an iPhone 6S on a tripod. The app successfully detected smoke in the photos.
We had a gathering last Saturday at our colleague’s home. The government has just loosened the COVID-19 social distance requirement. The team could finally have some good food and spend a good time together! The colleague lives in a suburban village near forests. There is a specific term for this kind of residential area, WUI (pronounced woooeeee), stands for wildland-urban-interface. Controlled burns of debris/rubbish are common in suburban villages. We were lucky to see a controlled burn that day! We tested if ReportFires could detect the controlled burn smoke:
It was our first field test. ReportFires performed perfectly!
ReportFires will be available for Free in App Store in October 2020.
We are on the same journey of global WFH movement, aren’t we?
Working-From-Home is sometimes lonely. Solitude will bring new things.
And it brings us our first Kickstarter campaign! Cool!
Here is our “app journey” summary:
Jan: First Australia mega-bushfires. Then the coronavirus outbreak. The world was never the same.
Feb: Supply chains and transportation were not functioning! We developed the ReportFires web app to help people to mitigate wildfire risks and damages.
Mar: RoboticsCats ReportFires web app launched in Chiang Mai, Jakarta and Hong Kong.
Apr: we evaluated the lesson learned in the ReportFires web app
May: we finalize the ReportFires mobile app scope and design. It is an AI wildfire detection mobile app
Jun-Jul: R&D. We met a few mobile app developers to discuss outsourcing partnerships. Glad to team up with a very experienced development house to build the ReportFires mobile app!
Aug: work in progress! We target to launch ReportFires app in coming October!
What you can get from ReportFires?
- to help you to fight or flight, respond ahead of wildfire
- to protect your family and community from nearby wildfires
- to alert others of wildfires in the vicinity
What is ReportFires? What can it do?
It is a FREE AI wildfire detection app. It can
- alerts you of nearby wildfire reported by other users
- detects wildfire near your home
- helps you report wildfire location easily by map clicks
We build the mobile app because we want to help people to better respond to wildfires. The app will be a good marketing tool to showcase our technologies. Doing both is great!
Software development is now at full speed! Interim deliverables are very promising! We believe it will be a useful and popular app when it launches in October.
A good app is useful if there are people using it. We’re exploring different options to promote the new ReportFires mobile app, to drive adoption, and to help more people to know and use it. The challenge is we don’t have much budget to do it.
We want to market the app to the world. We need fundings. We’re a startup. Why not try crowd-funding? Let’s go Kickstarter!
We studied both successful and failed Kickstarter campaigns. There are a lot of tasks and subtle details to launch a campaign. Significant workloads for an IT start-up. Many tasks are professional activities of different domains. Moreover, mobile app is not a popular Kickstarter category and only about 20% of app campaigns can meet their funding goals!
With all potential challenges, we are committed to moving forward with our Kickstarter campaign. We don’t have all the skills we need, but we have abundant talents from our customers, partners, advisors, and friends who will help us!
Thanks for all the invaluable supports from our friends and advisors in different professions and countries! The coming Kickstarter campaign is only possible with their generous help in graphic designs, copywriting, proof-reading, gift production, online marketing, etc!
It is our common goal to build a better world that brings us to work together. It is our differences which create new great things!
After months of preparation, our Kickstarter campaign is going to launch in September. Many moving parts in the project. A few critical tasks are still work-in-progress. We will start promoting our Kickstarter campaign next week. The coming weeks will be very interesting and exciting! The preparation itself is a successful crowdsourcing experience!
What do you think about our Kickstarter campaign landing pages?
The ReportFires Kickstarter campaign will launch in early September. See you then!
It is a fun and meaningful journey. We invite you to join us~