Hello dear backers,
We're shipping today!
Today is a big day for the Spark team. We're breathing a sigh of relief as the first shipments of Spark Cores are beginning tonight!
What happens now?
STEP 0: WE SHIP
Rewards will be leaving Seeed Studio en route to your homes over the next two weeks. There is still manufacturing work being completed (~50% of Cores have been manufactured, the rest will be completed this week), so rewards will be going out in the order that they've been manufactured, followed by order of complexity (meaning that simpler orders with a smaller number of items will be delivered before more complex orders).
Many Kickstarter projects deliver in the order that the backers came in (earliest backers receive their rewards first); we are not able to do so because we need to manage the complexity of our orders. We hope you understand our reasons for delivering this way; simplifying shipping makes it less likely that we'll make mistakes and more likely that you get exactly what you ordered.
STEP 1: TRACKING NUMBERS
Sometime in the next two weeks you should expect to receive a tracking number in a personalized email. It will come from firstname.lastname@example.org, and it will look like this:
STEP 2: DOWNLOAD THE SPARK APP
The iPhone app is still awaiting approval from Apple, and we're putting the finishing touches on the Android app right now. Both should be available in the App Store/Google Play before you receive your rewards; simply search "Spark Core" in either store to find our app.
STEP 3: CONNECT YOUR CORE
The easiest way to get your Spark Core online is using our mobile app, although there are two other methods: over USB and using Texas Instrument's Smart Config app. We have instructions for all three methods here:
STEP 4: BUILD YOUR OWN SOFTWARE
When you're ready to start building your own software, head over to Spark Build, our web IDE, where you can write software and re-flash the Core wirelessly.
Our documentation has everything you need to write your own firmware for the Core:
Over the month of December we'll be putting together further resources such as more examples and screencasts. Please share your experiences with us as you get your feet wet! If you create any tutorials or examples, we will share them on our resources page:
This is just the beginning. We've got a lot of plans for the next few months to make the Spark Core and the Spark Cloud better. We're switching to bi-weekly sprints to deliver new features and bug fixes on a regular basis, so expect regular announcements of new improvements!
In particular, there are a number of major features that we promised during our campaign that aren't done yet, which we'll be working on in the short term. Those features include:
- Publishing the Spark Private Cloud that you can run on your own machine, and documenting how to use it
- Publishing the source code of the iOS app and Android app
- Documenting TCP/UDP communications so you can talk peer-to-peer without using the Cloud
- Spark.event(), which will let you generate events from the Core that you can listen for (so you don't have to keep polling for information)
- Compatibility with other products like SmartThings and Pebble
- Custom shields for our top backers
- Libraries for easily reading to and writing from the external flash
- A command line interface for building Spark apps locally in your own IDE (Sublime Text, vim, Eclipse, etc.), plus an easy tool for chatting with your Cores without cURL
- Language wrappers for Ruby, Node.js, and Python
- Non-blocking connectivity (currently the user application doesn't run until after the Core is connected to the internet; this is something we want to change)
In addition, we will inevitably encounter bugs as we quickly scale from a couple dozen Spark Cores to thousands. PLEASE report your bugs to email@example.com or on our forums so that we can quickly fix them and make everything better!
Thank you, dear backers, for giving us the opportunity to build this product and this company. We hope you like it as much as we do.
Although this stage is coming to an end, there's way more ahead. We're here to make it easier to invent, develop, manufacture, and scale internet-connected hardware products. Everything we've learned over the last six months we're eager to share with you: our first customers and our partners.
Expect regular updates with new features and new developments with the Spark Core, the Spark Cloud, and more. Please keep us posted on your own projects and products; we're easy to reach over IRC, our forums, Facebook, Twitter, and email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Zach and the Spark team