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Crowdfunding success brings phone music amplifier to life

Innovation

A MINI amplifier for cell phones is due to hit the market next month following an overwhelming response to a crowdfunding effort.

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Lifelong best friends Joseph Chehade and Bart Kowalski developed the mini amplifier “Uamp” to increase the quality of music played through phones, laptops and other portable music devices.

There is a massive amount of people who listen to music through mobile devices, so we knew at the very least we had a market to sell to.

The Uamp is used as a conduit between earphones and the music device.

“Bart and I both worked as DJ’s, so we are always listening to a lot of music on our phones,’’ Chehade said.

“But the quality was so obviously poor we started discussing simple ways of how we could improve on it. Everyone knows there is a massive amount of people who listen to music through mobile devices, so we knew at the very least we had a market to sell to, if we could come up with a successful idea.’’

That massive market spoke as soon as the pair put the prototype they developed up on Kickstarter in January.

The response was overwhelming. They met their goal of $15,000 in less than a day and, by the time they closed the offer a month ago, had raised $297,000 and booked 5000 pre-orders for the Uamp device from across the world.

“We really felt the response had validated what we are trying to achieve,’’ Chehade said.

Kowalski is an audio engineer and to develop the prototype the pair started experimenting by building little devices with parts sourced through online electronic stores.

“Eventually we had created a prototype which was small, portable, affordable to manufacture and which increased the sound quality from phones and computers by up to five times,’’ says Chehade.

They have negotiated with a manufacturer in China to make the devices and a batch of 500 will arrive in July.

“If all goes well with that first 500 we will then ramp up the production immediately to create the 5000 already ordered.’

This is a Creative Commons story from The Lead South Australia, a news service providing stories about innovation in South Australia. Please feel free to use the story in any form of media. The story sources are linked in with the copy and all contacts are willing to talk further about the story.

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