The Good News: We signed off on Touchfire going into volume production; hooray! Our factory will start making Touchfires next week.
The Bad News: We had to order 80,000 new magnets, and it will be about 4 weeks before they get here.
More Good News: By the time the magnets arrive, the factory will have made a lot of Touchfires!
Even More Good News: We were able to come up with a single version of Touchfire that works for all generations of iPads. In fact, we were forced to….
The Full Story
Getting Touchfire into production has been a wild ride, but the last few weeks have been the wildest of all.
Touchfire Released To Production
As you might recall from our last update, we found that our magnets were not fitting into the completed Touchfire keyboards. We tried all the alternatives we discussed in the last update, but at the end of the day we needed to go with new magnets. The samples of the new magnets arrived today, and they fit great.
So we gave the go-ahead to our magnet supplier to make 80,000 magnets. And then we released Touchfire for production in our Los Angeles factory. Needless to say, this was a big day!
Our factory will now send our tools out for Teflon coating and anodization to get them ready for mass production. This will take about a week. And then they will dive into making lots of Touchfires. Three shifts a day, seven days a week.
The magnets will arrive in 4-5 weeks. At which point our factory will have made all the Touchfires. They will then insert the magnets, seal up the magnet wells, and ship you your Touchfire. So, we are looking at shipping out your Touchfires by the end of June.
iPad 3, Revisited
We bought two iPad 3’s to test Touchfire on, and as we previously reported, quickly discovered that the polarity of the speaker magnet was reversed between the iPad 3 and the iPad 2. We switched the polarity of some of the magnets in Touchfire to match, resulting in a Touchfire version for iPad 2 and a different version for iPad 3.
A few weeks ago, a friend came by with their new iPad 3 and we put Touchfire on it for a test drive. OMG! The speaker magnet in this iPad 3 was the same polarity as an iPad 2. What was going on here?
We headed out to the Apple stores in the Seattle area with Touchfires in hand, and tested about 40 iPad 3s. We found that the iPad 3 speaker magnet polarity was completely random. This is pretty unusual for an Apple product, and it was feeling like a catastrophe for us. The iPad 3 version of Touchfire was dead unless we could find a way to make one version of Touchfire work for all iPads. So we went to work.
We tried micro-Velcro, suction tape, etc. as alternatives for retracting Touchfire. But nothing worked as well as magnets. And then we hit on the answer. If we changed the size and power of the affected magnets in the chin, we could have a balanced solution that worked with both polarities of speaker magnets. And since we were ordering new magnets anyway, this solution would work out.
So, there will now be just one version of Touchfire for all three generations of iPads.
As always, thank you so much for hanging in there with us. Touchfires will be rolling off the assembly line at last!
Steve & Brad
pledged of $10,000 goal
seconds to go
Oct 20, 2011 - Dec 13, 2011
Pledge $1 or more
THANK YOU! Pledging any amount you feel comfortable with will help turn this project into reality. You will be listed as a contributor on the TouchFire Web site.Estimated delivery: Dec 2011
Pledge $45 or more
Congratulations, you've just pre-ordered the TouchFire Standard Pack! It contains a keyboard, a storage case and a pair of cover clips, all in black. Shipping is free in the U.S. Please add $10 to your pledge for shipping to Canada, $25 for International shipping.Estimated delivery: Dec 2011
Pledge $80 or more
KICKSTARTER SPECIAL! We created the TouchFire Variety Pack exclusively for Kickstarter - 2 keyboards in black and white, 2 storage cases and 5 pairs of cover clips in colors that complement the iPad Smart Covers. This is a $100 value. Free U.S. shipping, please add $10 for Canada, $25 for International.Estimated delivery: Dec 2011
Pledge $200 or more
Five TouchFire Standard Packs. Outfit your friends, co-workers and clients with TouchFire! Plus save $25 over the single unit price. Free U.S. shipping, please add $10 for Canada, $25 for International.Estimated delivery: Dec 2011
Pledge $350 or more
KICKSTARTER UBER-SPECIAL! Five TouchFire Variety Packs - 10 keyboards in total! The perfect gift for your group of iPad toting compadres. This is a $50 savings over the single unit price. Free U.S. shipping, please add $10 for Canada, $25 for International.Estimated delivery: Dec 2011
Pledge $1,000 or more
Customize TouchFire! Add a graphic (your logo, your signature, or whatever you'd like) to the bottom of the TouchFire keyboard and choose your keyboard and cover clip colors. 20 custom units are included in this reward, and you will be able to order more of your customized TouchFires at volume prices. Free shipping anywhere in the world.Estimated delivery: Jan 2012