I have some great news to share with you.
We have developed a brand new tip for Stylus Caps. Before I tell you about the new tip, I want to recap what I learned from the old tips.
The first tips we released had a production issue that only became apparent when they were exposed to prolonged heat and humidity. Basically, sitting on a hot, metal mail truck at the end of August altered them from being slippery to grippy. The tips we tested and approved were not exposed to, nor tested for reaction to heat, so we didn't catch the flaw until after we shipped the first batch.
In spite of their grippyness, the tips were surprisingly well received. And by well received, I mean that only 40% of Backers hated them as opposed to 90% which is what I would expect from a product not performing as intended. Quite a few people liked them actually. It turned out that Backers who wanted to use Stylus Caps primarily for sketching were far more likely to appreciate the grip or "slowness" of the experience. These "Slow Tips" provide a texture and feel that is closer to using a real drawing tool, in this case an oil pastel, something that's lacking in touch screen styluses. This was a revelation.
Of course, not everyone wants a Slow Tip. Listening to Backers who didn't like these tips, it's obvious they needed to have less friction to make Stylus Caps usable for them. Asking a more specific question: "What kind of apps do you want to use with your Stylus Cap?" led to a real insight. The vast majority of Backers that wanted a less grippy tip, wanted to use to use their Stylus Cap for taking hand-written notes. The question to ask isn't, "How do you make the tip less grippy?" The right question to ask is, "How do you make a tip that's better for writing?" Just solving the grip issue is not enough.
Well, I am happy to report that I think we have developed a tip that not only greatly reduces the grip, but also works really well for hand-written notes. I'm calling them "Firm Tips".
Why are they called Firm tips? Most styluses with rubber tips have a bouncy, squishy feel to them which makes it difficult to do precise things like taking hand-written notes.
Firm Tips eliminate a lot of that bounce, making Stylus Caps feel much more, uh… firm, and therefore feel more precise than the typical rubber stylus tip. A few friends and I have been testing Firm Tips over the past week and they have totally rekindled our love for taking notes on the iPad. Check out this sample page I wrote in my all-time favorite note-taking app, Penultimate:
Not only are Firm Tips better for note-taking, but they're also great for doing more detailed sketching work. Here is a portrait I did of my co-worker Rolf:
Besides feeling more precise, Firm Tips maintain all of the advantages of other rubber tips: they're durable enough to toss into a bag or a pocket without a case and yet soft enough to protect your screen from scratches. On top of this you have everything thats great about Stylus Caps: your pen is your stylus and the tips are replaceable.
I'm really happy with Firm Tips and I think that you'll like them too.
Production on Firm Tips began this morning (10/10) and we should be ready to start shipping again as early as Tuesday 10/25. All Backers will be receiving both Firm Tips and Slow Tips with their pre-orders. If you have already received your Stylus Cap pre-order, I will start mailing out your new Firm tip soon after we start shipping again. Best of all, everyone will be getting the new Firm Tips for free. I will send out an update when the new shipments start going out.
Thanks again for your patience and allowing me to get this right. I'm looking forward to getting these into your hands very soon.
Talk to you soon,
ps. Wondering if your Stylus Cap shipped in the first batch? Check out this handy chart.
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Feb 14, 2011 - Mar 16, 2011 (30 days)
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BACKER - Your $5 or more will go towards a coupon of equal value that can be used towards the purchase of a Stylus Cap after its fulfillment to all Kickstarter Backers.
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STYLUS CAP PRE-ORDER - 1 Stylus Cap (Stainless Steel) of your choice. Comes with one pen (Sharpie, Bic, or Fineliner). (Shipping in US add $5, to Canada add $10, International add $15 to pledge amount)
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BRASS PACK - 1 set of each Stylus Cap in limited edition Brass. Comes with one Sharpie, one Bic, and one Fineliner. (Shipping in US add $5, to Canada add $10, International add $15 to pledge amount)
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BOTH PACKS - 1 set of stainless Stylus Caps and 1 set of Stylus Caps in limited edition Brass. Comes with two Sharpies, two Bics, and two Fineliners. (Shipping in US add $5, to Canada add $10, International add $15 to pledge amount)
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