Tag Archives: OrbMi

OrbMi is reinventing the answering machine

OrbMi lets you stay in touch with those that matter to you the most.

Take a look around you. Whether you’re in a coffee shop, at work or even sitting in class, chances are nearly everyone has a smartphone in hand. Instead of actually conversing with their voice, more times than not their excitement, emotion and words are being replaced by an “LOL,” “<3” or some sort of emoji. Sad but true, gone are the days when people would use landlines. As the number of ditched landlines and social IM services continue to rise, so does the number of meaningful messages. Well aware of this change, Florida-based startup Retropreneur Labs has set to reverse this trend by reinventing the age-old answering machine for today’s mobile-centric world.


Howeverunlike the antiquated answering machine, OrbMi is not for missed calls — it’s for the voice messages people aren’t getting or sending, but should. The personal voice messaging system is designed to provide your closest friends and family a more convenient way to both send and receive comments, so your daily routine isn’t disrupted by unwanted texts and emails, nor will you have to scroll through hundreds of phone contacts. Plus, this should prove to be useful for those living in different time zones or find themselves working opposite schedules. 

“At its heart, it’s about better communication at the perfect time, every time. It allows us to share more freely and openly with our loved ones without inconvenience or disruption. With OrbMi, it’s ALWAYS a good time to call,” its co-founders Kelly Dyer and Andrew Ruppar explain. The duo had conceived the idea after challenging themselves to conceptualize a smart gadget that would change how people interact through technology.


Not only does its companion app make voice messaging relevant again, the OrbMi is different from other voice messaging alternatives, as it allows you to control your network of people who you can “Orb” or who can “Orb” you — also known as your “Orbit.”

With an ATmega168 at its core, the hardware device features a single button interface that enables you to play your messages. From the mobile app, just send a color and voice message to anyone in your Orbit. This message is received on the Orb and illuminates a soft color glow to indicate a new message is available. Once the receiver is at their Orb and ready to listen, they simply tap the top and the new memo is emitted through a built-in speaker. Not unlike the answering machines of yesterday, you can skip and repeat through your saved messages as well. What’s more, the Orb works by connecting to your home or office Wi-Fi network and doubles as a multi-port USB charging hub for your smartphones and tablets.


“Mobile devices allow us to communicate efficiently, but not sometimes not effectively. No matter how convenient our mobile lifestyles, we can’t lose our ability to communicate through voice, especially when sending meaningful messages.” Dyer adds.

So whether you’re a grandparent, a spouse, a college student, or a soldier overseas, OrbMi is ideal for anyone —  regardless of age, location and technical proficiency. Intrigued? Head over to its official Kickstarter page, where the Retropreneur Labs team is currently seeking $75,000. The app is available for both iOS and Android, with one for the Apple Watch app in the works. The first batch of units is expected to begin shipping in March 2016.

21 smart crowdfunding campaigns you may want to back this week

Every Friday, we’re taking a look at some of the smartest, most innovative projects that caught our attention on Kickstarter and Indiegogo over the last seven days. 



This ring-sized computer analyzes your daily activities to help you sleep and perform better. ŌURA has already well surpassed its $100,000 goal on Kickstarter.



This A.I. platform is an open source alternative to Amazon Echo that allows you to play media, control lights and much more. Mycroft is currently seeking $99,000 on Kickstarter.

Fotokite Phi


This GoPro-carrying quadcopter can capture bird’s-eye view photos while being leashed to your wrist. Fotokite is currently seeking $300,000 on Indiegogo.



This standalone machine learning device can detect when your drone is about to crash and deploy a parachute. North UAV is currently seeking $12,000 on Kickstarter.



This solar-powered tracker lets you find nearly anything (or anyone) using GPS. LightBug is currently seeking $77,782 on Kickstarter.



This intelligent car battery will never need to be jumpstarted, works reliably on the coldest winter days, and lasts twice as long as the average lead-acid battery. Ohm is currently seeking $50,000 on Indiegogo.



This four-in-one machine allows you to laser cut, mill, etch and 3D print a wide range of materials. Zhuhai CTC Electronic Co. is currently seeking $35,000 on Kickstarter.



This futuristic head-up display provides hands-free access to maps, phone calls, text messages, notifications, music and on-board diagnostics for your car. Exploride is currently seeking $100,000 on Indiegogo.

OnCourse Goggles


This pair of point-and-click goggles allow athletes to stay on course, swim in a straight line in open water and receive real-time feedback. OnCourse Goggles is currently seeking $60,000 on Kickstarter.



This ultra-compact, Arduino-compatible board features an integrated stepper driver and 12-bit rotary encoder, enabling it to be mounted directly on the back of your Nema 17 motor. ON Development IVS is currently seeking $8,882 on Kickstarter.



This portable battery-powered gadget can illuminate your pool or hot tub for an awesome light show along with sound through its Bluetooth speakers. Andreas Haase is currently seeking $50,000 on Kickstarter.



This pair of super small, Bluetooth-enabled buds fit comfortably in your ear without a single cord and boasts a battery life of six hours. Pear Designs has already well surpassed its $50,000 goal on Kickstarter.

Trekz Titanium


This pair of wireless, open ear headphones offer runners, cyclists, hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts superior safety, comfort and high-quality sound through bone conduction technology. AfterShokz has already well surpassed its $65,000 goal on Indiegogo.



This Bluetooth tag clips and sticks onto anything you’d like to keep tabs on, all of which can easily be tracked right from your smartphone. Verti is currently seeking $10,000 on Indiegogo.



This voice messaging system is reinventing the answering machine by having you communicate with family and friends using an orb. Retropreneur Labs is currently seeking $75,000 on Kickstarter.

go-e ONwheel


This lightweight, add-on motor can transform your bike into an e-bike in a matter of seconds. Frank Fox has already well surpassed his goal of $55,253 on Kickstarter.



This smart appliance tracks, sorts and dispenses your pills whenever it’s time to take them. LITE is currently seeking $100,000 on Kickstarter.

Knut Water


This connected detector can sense water, temperature and humidity to protect your home from water damage. Amperic is currently seeking $50,000 on Kickstarter.



This standalone “like” button gives you the ability to express your adoration for anything and everything, while also collecting input and other forms of crowdsourced data. Luvit is currently seeking $25,000 on Kickstarter.



This smart home security kit is comprised of a central control unit, an HD camera, a motion sensor, a door/windows sensor, a smoke detector and an alarm trigger. iGia is currently seeking $10,000 on Indiegogo.



This highly-customizable, privacy-enhanced robot not only can serve as your personal companion, but can learn by doing, keep an eye on things, snap photos, receive weather and traffic reports, connect to household devices, and much more. Nxt Robotics is currently seeking $50,000 on Indiegogo.

If your project is powered by Atmel MCUs and you’ve been featured on our blog, be sure to download the respective badges here for use in your ongoing marketing efforts. 

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