About Team Kinoko
We're a group of former IoT veterans based in NYC. As we've grown older, we've become keenly aware of how our families and parents have grown more distant. And unfortunately, oftentimes this physical distance transforms into social distance, isolation, and loneliness.
We believe the right technology can help. But many of the current solutions on the market ask for yet another account to remember, compromise your privacy, and serve you gratuitous advertisements. How many times have you had trouble getting your family or parents to use that video conference tool?
That’s why we’ve built Kinoko Chat. We've deliberately stripped out features to declutter your experience. Instead, we hope it'll enable you to truly reclaim your family time.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does the order process work?
Step one: Simply click the "Order Now" button, and you'll be taken to the order page where you'll see the current pricing and availability. Follow the instructions to the checkout flow where we'll ask for your credit card. You won't be charged anything (you may see a small "pre-auth" on your statement for a fraud check), and our payment processor (Stripe) will securely store your payment information until we're ready to ship your order. If you'd like the second unit to be shipped directly to a family member's home, simply email us at [email protected]
Step two: One week before we're ready to ship out your order, we'll email you confirming your expected delivery. At this point, you'll have a final option to cancel your reservation before we ship.
Step three: Upon shipment, we'll charge the card on your reservation for the full amount and send you a shipping and payment confirmation.
Currently, we are limiting orders to one starter set per customer. If you're an interested business and need more, please contact us at [email protected]
What comes in each order?
We'll send you 2x Kinoko Chat systems. This includes 2x Relays, 2x Cameras, 2x Buttons, and all required cables and instructions to get connected. You'll have one system for your home and one for your family's home. Keep in mind, we can ship one of these units directly to a family member's home.
When can I expect to receive my order?
We expect customers to start receiving their orders in Fall 2020.
Can I cancel my reservation?
Yes. You can cancel your reservation at any time before your order ships. We'll also send you an email one week before your order ships to give you an opportunity to cancel before shipping.
Can I return my order after I receive and use it?
Yes. If you and your family aren't happy with the product, please reach out to us at [email protected] and we'll send you prepaid labels to ship one or both units back to us for a full refund. No questions asked. See our return policy for more information.
What are the main features?
We deliberately designed Kinoko Chat to deliver one feature exceptionally well: video calling through your TV. We think it delivers everything a family needs, and nothing it doesn't, and we're excited to hear feedback from our customers.
What costs are involved?
Each Kinoko Chat system is made up of hardware (the Camera, Relay, and Button) and software (a dedicated video chat room). We charge an up-front fee for the hardware (2x systems), and a required monthly subscription for the software (currently waived for the first 12 months with every beta reservation). We don't have long-term contracts of any kind and you are free to pause your subscription at any time, but your Kinoko Chat systems will not work without this monthly subscription to your dedicated video chat room. Please see the reservation page for the latest pricing.
Why do I have to pay a monthly subscription for a dedicated video chat room?
This monthly fee covers the infrastructure we have to maintain to securely and reliably connect your Kinoko Chat systems together in your dedicated room. In the future, we'll add more bang for your buck, like making calls to other Kinoko Chat systems. We wish we didn't have to charge this, but keep in mind we don't make any money off of selling your information for advertising or other means that infringe upon your privacy, and we never will.
Why does this seem more expensive than other video chat apps?
Achieving the quality that we set out to offer takes quality hardware and robust software to keep video chats private and stable. Keep in mind we also don't store any of your video chat information or sell your personal data to advertisers, and never will. While other solutions might be cheaper or free, customers often end up trading their privacy.
Security & Privacy
How secure is Kinoko Chat?
Kinoko Chat is end-to-end encrypted, which means that when a call is initiated we create a direct connection between two Kinoko Chat systems into your dedicated room. All video and audio is encrypted before it leaves a Relay and can ONLY be decrypted when it is received by the other Relay. This ensures that no one, including us, can eavesdrop on your calls.
When you say no accounts or ads, what do you really mean?
No accounts or ads, really! Unlike other video chat solutions out there today, we try and collect as little information as possible about you. Part of why we may be more expensive than other solutions out there is because we don't generate revenues by monetizing your personal information or video chat data through advertising.
Set up & Functionality
Is it really as easy to set up as you describe?
Yes! We include all the hardware and wires you need. The only requirements we ask from you are a stable Wi-Fi connection and a laptop or phone to enter in your Wi-Fi information.
How will my family members set it up?
If you elect to ship one unit directly to them, they'll have the same setup instructions as you have. We can even get on the phone with them to help set it up, although they shouldn't need it. If instead you have both units shipped to you, we suggest going through the setup process with the second unit, but add your family member's Wi-Fi information instead of your own. Then, you can put the 2nd unit back in the box and send it to your family. All they have to do is plug it in, and it will connect to their Wi-Fi network. Each of you will press the Button and be placed into your dedicated video chat room.
How many people can be on a call at one time?
At this time, only the two systems in your starter kit can be on a call together. But hang tight, as we will expand this to incorporate more Kinoko Chat systems soon.
Can I call other people?
Not yet, but hang tight! We have plans to expand this in the future.
Can I plug the Kinoko Chat system into ethernet instead of using Wi-Fi?
Yes, the Relay includes an ethernet port which can be used as an alternative to Wi-Fi. Since ethernet is not subject to wireless interference or wireless bandwidth constraints, it usually results in a more robust video chat experience.
How fast should the internet speed be for the video chats to work?
Most DSL, cable, or fiber internet providers provide more than enough bandwidth for video chats. We recommend an upload and download speeds of at least 2.5+ Mbps to enable HD chats.
Where does the output sound come from?
Your TV! One of the benefits of leveraging the TV for video chat is that we can make use of the big speakers that fill up your living room.
Where is the input microphone?
Each Camera includes two microphones capturing sound from up to 20 feet away.
Get in Touch
How do I get in touch with you or send you feedback?
Please email us at [email protected] We'd love to hear from you!