Every time I think about the beginning, I recall what Soohun told me after our first talk:
“I am a dreamer too. I want to help your project, make it a success.”
But how does a dreamer succeed in the very tough industry of high-tech?
This is Thino’s story!
Last year, in March at CEBIT, I spoke to a Korean company. They showed me a concept for a magnetic snap adapter. In a few months, the same concept exploded with crowdfunding campaigns everywhere, media promoting the idea, several companies with their own take on it. I saw dozens of offers of similar products while browsing online shops. And many of them were successful, they evolved the concept, took it in new directions.
And I’m glad this happened. Many of them did a very good job and deserved it.
But this is about innovation.
The story of Thino is that of starting from nothing, and building something unique. It’s about creating and testing, prototype after prototype. It’s about the countless days and the sleepless nights spent trying to figure out the best solution, fixing problems, redesigning, reprogramming.
It’s about the work put it to make sure we have something that is wholly our own. Something people have never seen before, a product that they’ll be happy to use and that will make everyone’s life just that much easier.
When we started, we were so excited about what we had – an idea that could, and did, turn into something special. It was going to be a challenge and it was going to lead to a lot of unexpected outcomes, but we knew we had what it took to see it through. Our path took us over peaks and through valleys.
It’s much more than a business venture, it’s about human emotions, it’s about excitement, worry, ambition, uncertainty, certainty, passion, again worry; and then exhaustion fatigue, disappointment; and then ambition, faith, self confidence and trust.
A good idea can be the beacon that guides your throw many lows, but it’s never enough. You have to deal with the obstacles in your path. You have to be the one to carry it from the drawing board, to the production line, to your customer’s front door.
So how’s this path been treating us? Well, we can tell you of our best moments, and we can tell you of our worst moments. We’d like to start with our worst moments, just so we can enjoy the better ones that much more.
We believe in our product. So much so that we expected everyone else to be just as excited as we were. Of course, the world does like to throw a few wrenches in the works now and then. We forgot to keep our feet on the ground, so we had some very bad experiences with a manufacturer, and some differences with a few marketing services providers. It doesn’t make sense to name names. The point being, we learned, we overcame and we adapted. And we moved on.
Our proudest moment, so far, has been when we got everything together and it worked. Our design team did a fantastic job, and our first prototype turned out beautifully. Our electronics designer gave us the product we’ve always imagined, and more. We’ve always imagined Thino as being the perfect companion to a smartphone, but now, Thino is much more than that. Thino is brilliant.
Still, our best is yet to come, and as we draw closer and closer to the launch date of our campaign, we want to walk the last steps of our journey with you, our faithful backers and passionate supporters.
Help us bring Thino to life by sharing with your friends, family and by backing us on our IndieGoGo campaign. Don’t forget to subscribe to our Website so you can receive updates, news and special offers!
Finally, we’d like to give out some special thanks to those who helped us get on our feet:
Soohun, Jake and Rich
Jeffrey Cheng from HWTrek
Brian Hegna from Maxim Integrated
Preetham Gowda from Amazon LaunchPad
Victoria Tang from FoxConn
Eran Sandhaus from CyPress Semiconductors
Flo Corvisier from UberGizmo
A few days ago, a friend of ours asked some pretty important questions that we’d like to address. What is Thino? Exactly how does it work? Why is it better than other fast-chargers? How do you charge it? So, here it is:
Thino is a slick, sturdy On The Go (OTG) charger and backup battery. Wearable anytime and anywhere thanks to its secure locking mechanism, Thino is the charger that keeps you going. It’s able to use customised technology to give your device as much juice as it can take, effectively making charge times more than twice as fast as regular chargers.
So, how does it work? Better yet, what makes it tick? Simple. Optimization. While most ordinary chargers are set to supply a specific amount of current, Thino is able to detect exactly how much current your device can draw from the source and supply it with its maximum intake by using an in-built Micro-Proccessing Unit (MPU). This MPU communicates directly with the USB unit on, for example, your laptop and tells it to give the maximum charge it can. At the same time, it prepares your device to receive its full power intake.
However, to make sure your device is always protected, Thino has in-built power path and dynamic power path management, current sensor technology as well as over charge, over discharge and short circuit protection. This means that if anything goes wrong between the source input and your phone, Thino will automatically shut down power transfer and prevent any damage to either itself or the plugged-in device. So you can safely use Thino with non-standard sources like car outlets and the wall adapters at the airport without having to worry. It supports a wide array of voltage options, and it will detect and adapt to each one.
In addition, Thino’s on-board 480mAh Lithium Polymer (LiPo) battery provides a backup charge the can refuel your phone for up to 2 hours. It’s charged from any current not actively used to charged your device while Thino is connected to a source. If your smartphone can draw up to, say, 1.5A and the source can provide 2.1A, the rest of the 0.6A are going into the battery.
All this is done via its Programmable System-on-Chip (PSoC) Technology. The PSoC unit manages everything, from the USB handshake, to charge detection, to short-circuit protection. It’s also what makes Thino unique. No other charger is as efficient, as optimised, as clever. We’ve put thought into energy and made charging smart.
We are so excited to announce the new features of THINO , based on the state of art electronic design , completed by our brilliant engineer. Mr. CHIP, from Israel.
Thino has now the following main features:
· Ability to recognize smartphones as a maximum current supply source
· The ability to demand maximum current from the USB PC/Adaptor
It contains a state-of-the-art management unit based on Cypress Programmable System-on-Chip (PsoC) Technology. Using a dedicated, smart algorithm, Thino can detect any mobile charging method, be it iPhone, Samsung or any other standard BC protocol, and can distinguish between charging source types: SDP, DCP and CDP.
Once the charging method is detected, Thino is able to supply the smartphone with the maximum current it can draw from the source. It supports a primary and secondary USB detection algorithm as defined by the BC 1.2 specifications.
In addition, Thino provides emergency power to your device via the internal Lithium Polymer battery. The internal battery is charged from the current not used to directly charge the smartphone battery. What this means is that if, for example, the smartphone can be charged with 1.5A and the charging source is able to supply a total of 2.1A, the remaining 0.6A will be used to charge the internal battery.
Charging Management Features:
- High Efficiency consisting of:
Low battery current leakage, low power consumption of electronic components inside Thino and efficiency in boost mode (from Thino internal battery to USB bus voltage).
- Power Path Management
The device accommodates a wide range of input sources - from USB, wall adapters, to car batteries. The device provides automatic power path selection to supply the system (SYS) from input source (VBUS), battery (BAT), or both.
- Dynamic Power Management
To meet maximum current limit in USB spec and avoid over loading the adapter, the device features Dynamic Power Management, which continuously monitors the input current and input voltage.
When input source is over-loaded, either the current exceeds the input current limit or the voltage falls below the input voltage limit. The device then reduces the charge current until the input current falls below the input current limit and the input voltage rises above the input voltage limit.
When the charge current is reduced to zero, but the input source is still overloaded, the system voltage starts to drop. Once the system voltage falls below the battery voltage, the device automatically enters the supplement mode where the battery starts discharging so that the system is supported from both the input source and battery.
- Integrated Current Sensing
Thino is able to determine current levels and has the following safety features:
Over charge protection – Disables charging when battery voltage goes above a safe threshold.
Over discharge protection – Disables discharging when battery voltages goes below a threshold.
Short circuit protection – Disables discharging if a short circuit is detected.
- ESD Protection on USB data lines
ESD is the sudden flow of electricity between two electrically charged objects caused by contact, an electrical short, or dielectric breakdown. It is large enough to cause damage to sensitive electronic devices. ESD occurs when differently-charged objects are brought close together or when the dielectric between them breaks down, often creating a visible spark.
ESD can create electric sparks (lightning, with the accompanying sound of thunder, is an example of large-scale ESD event)
- Maximum current provided: 3A, depending on usb power source and mobile capability.
- Internal battery
The power path management regulates the system slightly above battery voltage but does not drop below 3.5V minimum system voltage (programmable). With this feature, the system maintains operation even when the Thino battery is completely depleted or removed. When the input current limit or voltage limit is reached, the power path management automatically reduces the charge current to zero. As the system load continues to increase, the power path discharges the battery until the system power requirement is met. This supplement mode operation prevents overloading the input source
- USB Host or Charging Port Detection
Compatible with the latest USB Battery Charger Specs (BC1.2)
- Supports Non-Standard Adapters Detection
- High Accuracy Charge Voltage (±0.5%) and Charge Current (±7%)
- Input Voltage and Current Limit Supports USB2.0 and USB 3.0
- Internal battery (480mAh), charged from USB featuring:
Autonomous Battery Charging with or without Host Management
Priority for smartphone battery charging when available
Battery Temperature Sensing
Battery Charging Safety Timer
 SDP (Standard Downstream Port): The regular USB port present in desktop PCs and laptops. It can provide a maximum current of 500mA with enumeration and 100mA without enumeration.
 CDP (Charging Downstream Port): A special USB port present in most modern PCs, laptops or other USB d This USB port can provide a current of up to 1.5A to peripherals.
 DCP (Dedicated Charging Port): A USB port meant only for charging and does not perform any communication functions. This port can supply up to 1.5A of current to a charging device.