What is an Eyebloc? Why Should I Cover My Webcam?It sounds crazy, but someone might be watching you through your webcam without you knowing. In the last two years schools have used webcams to spy on their students, people have been blackmailed, and criminals have used webcams to spy unsuspecting minors. All of this brings up new concerns over new technology being used in unwelcome or illegal ways. This summer, Americans were shocked by revelations about widespread government surveillance and shoddy management of personal data by technology firms.
So we created the Eyebloc. Could you use tape or a post-it note? Sure, but that leaves gunk on your expensive equipment. We designed Eyebloc to protect you and your webcam lens.
No adhesives that can damage expensive computer equipment
Designed to fit a variety of sizes
- Simple to use
- Delivers the peace of mind no one is watching you
- 1000s sold, we need your help to get to version two
- Talented design team partnering with us
With $5,000 can make the next version sleeker and softer.
If we raise more than $10,000 we can create our next line of products for video game machines like the Xbox 360 Kinect! More than that and we have a whole slew of privacy ideas we want to bring to the market, but let’s cross that bridge when we get to it.
Keep reading to see how we went from idea to sales in 30 days and national TV weeks later! Join us, you can be the "6th Shark"
The Brief History of Eyebloc Webcam Blocker
In January I was just on ABC’s Shark Tank in front of 8 Million people telling the world to "cover their webcams" - because they are being watched!
Still can’t believe it happened. It was a whirlwind. In less than 30 days I went from an idea for a better webcam cover to being confirmed to appear on national television. Here's how it happened.
- After reading about high school students being spied on by their teachers, I came up with the idea of a webcam cover. But it was always just an idea; I hadn't done anything to make it a reality.
- After NSA revelations I decided to finally take action. On July 4th 2013 I put up a website that said "You Are Being Watched", ran some ads. In one day, I had over 200. So...
- ...I found some awesome designers in Massachusetts to help me create the first design for the Eyebloc webcam cover. I showed up with a bunch of chip clips, and they made it way cooler and more useful....
- ...then we had it 3D printed at the DC Public Library (yep for $1). It looked good, and I decided to use the prototype to make a pitch video for Shark Tank producers....
- ...and they loved it! It was really timely, webcam spying was heating up in the summer of 2013
- September 17th I found myself with MY OWN TRAILER in Studio City, CA getting my hair done (just kidding, I'm bald) and jumped into the tank.
- All I had was my 3D prototypes, a couple weeks of sales, and a dream so.....
- THE SHARKS ATE ME UP!!
What's happened since filming Shark Tank in September 2013 in Los Angeles
- We've sold THOUSANDS of Eyeblocs
- I invested over $20,000 of my own money to design Eyebloc, build a prototype mold in Minnesota and started making plastic Eyebloc Webcam Covers
- We sold TEN TIMES as many Eyeblocs on Amazon.com in December as we did in the previous 4 months! And double that in January!
- We spoke with big retailers about carrying Eyebloc
- The press wrote about Eyebloc, including in Europe which led to our first international customers. Webcam spying is a global problem.
- Designed some really cool packaging for retail and online.
Together we can make the Eyebloc a global product. This money will go towards building a full production mold that can crank out hundreds of thousands of Eyeblocs. With your support we can keep informing the world of this issue and create great solutions for the market.
Gain Peace of Mind, Be the "6th Shark"
We are looking to raise $5,000 for the mold so we can lower production costs. My wife agreed to let me sink more of our savings, but we need more capital to build a mold. What's a mold? Remember Play-Doh and that machine that would crank out shapes? It’s like that but for plastic. We have a prototype mold now, but we need a big bad steel mold to lower our part price.
Let me show you the evolution of our product:At first I looked at duct tape and Post It Notes for inspiration, but I didn't like how it left gunk on my computer. Some people are happy with tape or stickers, but I actually like to use my webcam – and a sticky cover makes using it a pain. I also ordered some of the products in the market but they all had adhesives. The ones that claimed to leave no mark also didn't protect me the way I wanted. Then I bought a bunch of chip clips, thinking I could clip over my laptop. But that (predictably) didn't really work.
Then I went looking for a designer to help create a better Webcam Cover. After meeting the awesome design team at Plus Fabrication
They came up with these drawings
That led to these 3D printed prototypes
And then this 3D Printed final version. Man was I excited to get these. These are the versions we used for Shark Tank. I had another version made at the DC PUBLIC LIBRARY that I used to tape my audition tape that is unfortunately lost to history.
After I found out I was going to be on Shark Tank I invested in the prototype mold and got these, but was really disappointed to see the peg marks. Even without the marks, they weren't ready in time for filming.
So after another big investment, I got the part exactly how we intended it to be. These are what we sell on Amazon today.
With the new funds we are going to decrease the lip of the shield so that laptops can close flatter. We are also making a couple other tweaks including looking at new materials that will have more grip. And most importantly we are going to LOWER OUR COSTS so we can sell to big retailers and get Eyeblocs in more customers’ hands.
We also had some great packaging designed for retail from our friends at Brand Katalyst
Here are a couple action shots of our current product.
So are you ready to step up and help? We're serious, we're moving fast, and we need your help. You are the "6th Shark"!
Did You Say Perks?
So why fund us? First you will be helping us get to the next step of our development, something we couldn't convince the billionaires to do on Shark Tank. But we’ve come a long way since then. The sharks knew webcam hacking was a threat, but they recognized this is a real problem and the Eyebloc is a great solution.
We have awesome perks, check them out! Every pack is a discount to our current pricing.
If you have more than one device or want to give out a unique gift, grab a family pack.
If you work for a company consider getting your logo on the Eyebloc. Here is where we can print the logo's on the Eyebloc's:
If you are a mini-shark, please check out the Eyebloc Hall of Fame perk!
You ask, I'll do it.
Thanks for your support. If we can raise more than $5,000 we have other products we will be able to bring to market even faster. Stay tuned...
Impact Beyond Eyebloc
This campaign and our appearance on Shark Tank is not just about Eyebloc. It's about getting the word out about webcam privacy. By supporting the campaign either with a donation or by telling your friends you are helping inform others. Here are some the stories that got us interested in this important issue on the Eyebloc Blog:
- Miss Teen USA On Fox: She Was Blackmailed by Webcam Hacker
- High School Settles for $610,000 in Webcam Spying Case
- Webcam Hackers Blackmail Detroit Teen Into Pawning Jewlery
- NBC News Scares Family by Hacking Webcam
- BBC Webcam Hacker: "It's Like They Are Your Slave"
- Researchers Prove Macbook Vulnerabilities
We also seek to support groups that are getting out the word about internet privacy. Check out Stop Watching Us and sign the petition
Please Help Get the Word Out
Please help us get the word out, weather you choose to donate or not.
- Tell the world about our campaign, share it on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, your bowling league...
- There are great share tools in Indiegogo, use them
- If you really can't afford an Eyebloc, please put a post it note over your laptop. I'd rather you stay safe.
Thanks for reading, looking forward to staying in touch over campaign.
Keep your private life...private.