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Network Offers Opportunities for Neighbors to Safely Get Acquainted, Cross-Utilize Resources, Announce Events--Even Get Delivery from Autonomous Vehicles
PALO ALTO, Calif., June 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- For years, neighborhoods have become increasingly impersonal places as people retreated behind air conditioners, garage doors and computer screens. But a new private social network, aimed directly at the needs of neighborhoods, is ready to change all that-with a list of incentives geared specifically for today's active, smartphone-savvy resident.
Fatdoor® (www.fatdoor.com), developed by a team of Web, robotics, and computer science engineers, helps next door neighbors get to know one another safely, communicate, share resources and even control autonomous vehicles serving their immediate area. The site and free iOS/Android mobile apps are different from other neighborhood social networks because Fatdoor goes beyond mere security and crime prevention. With Fatdoor you can:
Fatdoor also departs from existing neighborhood social networks in one key aspect: it doesn't publish personal addresses. Homes or apartments for rent, for example, will show up on neighbors' Fatdoor pages in terms of distance away, not address. Private messages are the only way users can exchange address information.
"Fatdoor is far more than a neighborhood bulletin board. By integrating geolocation and robotics it gives neighbors new reasons to get acquainted and interact. It builds the local social fabric in a way never before possible," said Raj Abhyanker, chief executive officer of Fatdoor. "By gearing our benefits to the practical needs of neighbors, Fatdoor creates a whole new sense of community. We believe the result is going to be transformative."
Safe, Useful Information
Fatdoor's unique features and services create the ideal mix of privacy, safety, convenience, interaction and fun. By touching the "broadcast" button on the app, for instance, verified users can immediately notify neighbors around their current location about a block party or other neighborhood event, or even a lost pet. The other button-"emergency"-lets people send out instant notice of a car accident, school lockdown or other unfolding emergency around their mobile phone while also calling '911'. Fatdoor members can be anywhere-at home, work or out of town-and still receive emergency messages.
Fatdoor ensures safe use by verifying the identities of all members. Every neighbor must verify his or her address and sign in using their real names. User names and addresses are periodically audited to ensure that all users really live or work in a neighborhood that they have claimed. In addition, Fatdoor uses HTTPS security protocol to prevent hacking or other unwanted entry. Addresses in the Fatdoor database are never shared with other users or third-party advertisers.
A novel aspect of the Fatdoor neighborhood social network is its integration with robotics. Autonomous vehicles are quickly changing the delivery landscape, not to mention providing new opportunities for photography and videography. Fatdoor is out in front of this exciting trend through two concepts: the Skyteboard, a flying aerial delivery vehicle and the Bot Appetit, a Main Street U.S.A. delivery vehicle that autonomously delivers hot food from restaurants on Main Streets to neighbors living nearby.
Skyteboard™ is an aerial vehicle that lets Fatdoor-connected friends coordinate flight patterns in the neighborhood, record or live-stream personal or community events, or carry small objects between houses. Skyteboard is labeled as the world's first Internet-enabled quadcopter, having unique features such as onboard 3G cellular, GPS WiFi, a thermometer, and a 3D printable payload attachment. Unlike traditional quadcopters, the Skyteboard communicates using the Internet and is controlled by the Fatdoor mobile application. Friends can coordinate flights with multiple users by sharing the GPS location of their Skyteboards with friends. The Skyteboard is available for pre-order for $899 on the Fatdoor website and through Kickstarter, and will ship in time for the Christmas 2014 holiday.
The Bot Appetit is a four-wheeled autonomous vehicle capable of delivering food or other purchases. The Bot Appetit is currently being tested on University Avenue in downtown Palo Alto. Cities and towns having a Main Street wishing to apply to test the Bot Appetit can reserve one now on Fatdoor: http://www.fatdoor.com/Bot-Appetit. Up to ten additional cities across America will be selected to test the Bot Appetit in the coming year.
Both the Skyteboard and the Bot Appetit were collaborations with design and innovation firm IDEO. Both products were designed to be both functional, friendly, and practical in neighborhoods across the country. The Skyteboard has an iconic shape-with foldable rotors that neatly store underneath the top rotors, giving the Skyteboard a more compact, approachable form.
Expert Management Team
Fatdoor is the product of a founding team of pioneering experts in e-commerce, social media, robotics and software engineering. The founding team includes Manuel Lopez, a president of Stanford University's unmanned aerial vehicle club, Raj Abhyanker, and Dongxia Liu, co-founder and CTO, is co-founder and former CTO of Trademarkia.com, and former founding VP of Engineering at ImageKind/CafePress.
Fatdoor is an outgrowth of a concept with the same name that received nearly $7 million in investments from a number of top Silicon Valley institutional and private venture funders including Bill Harris, the former Chief Executive of PayPal, and Dr. Rajeev Motwani, a Stanford computer science professor and early investor at Google.
Bay Area Launch
Already pre-seeded with over three million geocoded locations and profiles throughout the Bay Area, Fatdoor is now available nationwide but with a focus on Bay Area residents. Millions more profiles are in the process of being added. The company has over 65 patents either issued or pending, and offers a developer API.
To take a tour of Fatdoor or to join for free, visit www.fatdoor.com.
Fatdoor is a neighborhood social network the helps people living in neighborhoods communicate, share resources and control autonomous vehicles. It's the easiest way for people to keep track of things happening around their home as well as make their neighborhoods more secure and better connected to each other, to businesses and to the world about them. The free service is available online and via iOS and Android smartphone apps. Privately-funded Fatdoor is based in Silicon Valley. To learn more, visit www.fatdoor.com.
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