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The team that had spent a year developing the Chipolo app (Jure Zdovc in 2nd on the left-hand side, with a phone in his hand) is preparing to deliver a carefully designed product that will help anyone who forgets where they put their keys, wallet etc. Foto: Chipolo
Everyone has probably misplaced their car keys at least once, and then spent quite a lot of time to find them. Foto: Chipolo
An increasing number of Slovenian entrepreneurs has been resorting to online crowdfunding to find the capital, since it's currently difficult to get a bank loan in Slovenia. Chipolo is extremely successful. By last Thursday, pledges worth 170,000 dollars had been recorded, and the number has already risen to 180,000 Foto: Kickstarter
       We're especially pleased to see that we [Slovenians] are not waiting for the government to provide us with a job but creating jobs on our own instead.”       
“We believe that 2014 will be the year of Bluetooth technology. We’re aware of the competition Chipolo has had and will have, but we believe in our product. In our opinion, a unique design as well as advanced features of the Chipolo app are what makes us different from our rivals.” Foto: Chipolo


Chipolo key ring substantially exceeds crowd-funding goal

You'll save 2 days and a lot of nerve-wrecking situations in one year
8. November 2013 ob 12:57
Ljubljana - MMC RTV SLO

You probably know that annoying feeling when you're running late for work and you can't find your car keys. The Chipolo app will save you the trouble.

According to statistics, we spend approximately 10 minutes a day searching for things we've misplaced. That means over two days a year, not to mention the number of nerve-wracking situations. A group of young Slovenian entrepreneurs has developed a special key ring called Chipolo, which can be put on your keys, wallet, purse, even your pet. Using the Bluetooth connection and a smartphone, the system of “warm-cold” search will enable you to determine its location. If you can’t find your phone, you can shake the Chipolo, and the phone will answer by producing a sound. A week before the deadline of their Kickstarter campaign, the developers had gathered funding pledges worth 180,000 dollars, which is 12 times more than their initial funding goal! We’ve talked to one of Chipolo developers, Jure Zdovc.

You've become a hit on Kickstarter with a simple idea. You've gathered pledges worth 180,000 dollars. Did you expect such a good response?
In the beginning, when the campaign started, we were a bit sceptical, since none of us could predict what to expect, but as early as the very first day a trend started to emerge. And we were of course relieved to see that.

Chipolo works on both Android and iOS. Have you faced any problems when developing the app?
The Chipolo app is available for free both on Android as well as iOS phones. We’ve recently announced that Chipolo will be available to Windows Phone 8 users in the first half of 2014, which made a lot of people happy. Since we’ve been developing apps for a long time, we haven’t had any trouble with the app for iOS-based devices, but we’ve faced some problems when developing the app for Android.

The connection between the smartphone and the Chipolo key ring works at a distance up to 60 metres. What can we do if we lose an object with the Chipolo attached to it while on a walk through a forest, and we miss the phone warning, only to realize when we get home that we had lost the object?
The Chipolo app saves the GPS location detected when the phone and Chipolo were last connected. In this way, users can open the Chipolo app at home and get a map with the last detected location. Then they can go to the forest and when they’re 60 metres away, the phone connects to Chipolo, and the object can be found using the app or even with sound assistance, since Chipolo has a built-in loudspeaker.

The first Chipolo devices will be delivered to customers in the beginning of December. Could this be an interesting Christmas gift?
That's right. We'll be sending Chipolo to our supporters in December, before Christmas. One of the prizes we had offered is Chipolo being sent as a gift. There are multiple prizes offered, including a prize for the supporters who buy 4 or even 9 items in a single purchase. This prize is extremely popular, since it enables the supporters to get Chipolo in all of the colours it is made in.

Will you keep the production of Chipolo in Slovenia?
Chipolo will be made exclusively in Slovenia. We've already signed agreements with all of our partners and we're ready to start the production.

The current price of the basic model is 20 dollars. This poses a logical question – it's definitely worth buying it for a phone, but what about a set of keys, which is worth much less than a phone? If we lost the keys, we'd probably pay a lot less for them than for a new Chipolo. What do you say to this?
The price of Chipolo on Kickstarter is 20 dollars; it will be slightly higher after the campaign. We believe that people don't only take the price of a new set of keys into consideration, but also the trouble that comes along with losing them. Likewise, it's not easy if we lose a wallet, even if there's no cash in it; we might have kept photos of our loved ones in there, too, and this is worth more than our product.

What do you think about the fact that more and more Slovenian projects have successful campaigns on Kickstarter?
We're glad that Slovenians have been developing new products, services and apps despite the poor economic situation, and we're especially pleased to see that we're not waiting for the government to provide us with a job but creating jobs on our own instead.

Tomaž Okorn, MMC; translated by K. Z.
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