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Multi-touch keyboards and mice are the next generation in quality computer peripherals.
550 backers pledged $143,583 to help bring this project to life.

The never ending story

Kickstarters, I have had several requests for an update, and rightly so. This is not an excuse but I have had a fair amount of trouble with my internet here and am sending this update via phone. I'll start with the good news... I am in Sandpoint Idaho setting up the assembly facility. It looks like we are about to secure a 16,000 square foot building (that's about 1,800 meters square for everyone outside the US;). In this building we will be able to build about 100,000 keyboards or trackpads per month.  Our full website www.TransluSense.com will be going live in a couple weeks. I can't wait for you all to see it. Our brand manager and web people are really doing an amazing job. We have some big names very excited about the product and ready to help us market these all over the world.  But none of this stuff really matters to you. You need your product and that is our biggest priority. So here's the bad news... We continue to run into small problems that kill our schedule. Right now the biggest issue is one of the smallest parts... The lens on the camera.  We received samples from the molder and the lenses had significant sink marks in them. If you haven't heard of that, sink is a blemish like a dip in the plastic. It's caused by the uneven shrinkage of the plastic after it returns from the molten state to the solid state. It can be fixed and by itself is really not that big of a deal. The problem is that we need functional lenses to finish the touch recognition software. With the lenses we have we can't see the finger touches at all.  So, your wondering how is this going to affect the schedule... Me too.. There are a couple ways this can go... I have requested adjustments to the molding process. If that fixes the problem we could have working lenses within a week. If not we will need to rebuild a portion of the lens tool which will take a few weeks or so. Either way we need time after we get good parts to finish the software and firmware which will likely be a few weeks after that. Depending on how all this goes we may ship your product with beta software and firmware allowing basic function and then give you firmware updates on line just so we can get you your keyboards and trackpads as soon as possible. One last thing... There are 14 folks out there who contributed a lot more... Their reward was going to be a prototype as well as a functional unit including their name laser etched on the product. I still plan to do the laser etching but, the prototypes, while they work OK to test fit and function, the stereolythography material they are made of is really week and won't hold a screw not to mention extremely fragile. I am up for suggestions but I was thinking two complete laser etched units would be a good alternative. Let me know your thoughts. Keep in mind, you could probably sell one one set on eBay an make most of your money back. When we release these to the public I expect the demand to far outweigh the supply! Thanks for your patients and all your tremendous support!

Comments

    1. Creator Richard NL on July 18, 2012

      Just try to keep updates coming. Projects running late is nothing new - not in construction, not in CAD design projects, not in movie making and not in CrowdFunding ( iirc the figures were 25% deliver on time and after 8 months 75% were delivered - see: http://www.appsblogger.com/behind-kickstarter-crowdfunding-stats/ ). What matters is how you're handling delays in terms of the project, and the communication toward backers. Perhaps share some media of the new facility/etc.? :)

    2. Creator G Nagel on July 18, 2012

      While I am sad to see the project delayed again, I am happy to see an update.

      I am happy with 2 production quality units instead of 1 prototype / 1 production.

      Please keep us updated with the progress.

      -G

    3. Creator James Botham on July 18, 2012

      Jason I don't mind the delays at all..you are bringing multiple technologies together to form a complicated new product. I'm truly excited about getting mine. I desperately need a new keyboard and have been hanging tight for this...I may just go buy a regular keyboard so I can hang tight longer.

      However, one thing that I would appreciate and it sounds like the other backers would too is just the occasional update (however brief) say every 2-3 weeks....it gives us something to read, keeps us in the loop and in IMO keeps the backers happier. Which in turn will make it easier for you.

      Good luck....don't settle for ok and make us proud!

      Cheers!

      James

    4. Creator Jason Giddings (deleted) on July 18, 2012

      @Craig... I am sorry you are frustrated. Your comments are valid. The fact is that there is so much going on it it difficult to dive into every detail but I am happy to answer your specific points above.

      We did have a building before. The building was owned by the city and they were going to let us use it at a very low rate to help our company get off the ground. The company that was in the building had signed an agreement to move out but when their last day came and went they decided not to. This all happened a few weeks ago. For us, this caused 2 big problems... One; we had been awarded a grant from the state for $50,000 to start our business in that building, and two; the city was giving us a really great deal on the monthly lease. So the other company refusing to move after they had agreed to, forced us to flex our legal muscle and in the end the other company paid us $62,000 for the problems they caused. We managed to find another building just recently that will actually work better for us. We are now in the process of making some changes to it so that it will suit our needs better.

      The fancy assembly line is still fancy but it is located in Oregon and is being moved to Sandpoint Idaho. If you're wondering why we have put so much effort into moving to Idaho, it's all about taxes and new business incentives. There are a lot of politics to starting a new large scale business. Idaho is aggressively soliciting us to manufacture in their state because like us they want to create jobs to help their state.

      With regard to the parts... We had received lenses as well as many other parts at the last update but first articles always need fine tuning. So over the last few weeks we have been working with the factory in China to get the quality to a point where we could assemble devices with some level of accuracy. Tooling and process changes are common in this sort of production. So if there is blame to be assigned it should be on me, not the tooling factory, as I should have planned much more time in the project for uncertainty.

      The lens for the cameras has always been plastic... This is the most common way to make them. The top of the keyboard is still glass. That has not changed.

      I'll try to give more frequent updates. Remember, I want this project to work too. I am really giving everything to insure the success. We're on the same team.

      Sorry for any typos... Still working from my iPhone.

    5. Creator Luke McDaniel on July 18, 2012

      I'm sadly not one of the top tier backers, but the prototype as a collector's piece sounds nice, maybe have their names on the final production packaging. Or give theirs a special paint job before the etching?

      And yeah, hiccups are expected, and while I can only speak for myself, I'm sure smaller more frequent updates are preferred. Maybe pass that job(chore?) to your marketing manager. We are an asset to you, we're obviously already fans, and word of mouth is always good advertising.

    6. Creator Craig Dunn on July 18, 2012

      Seems like we were at or beyond this point a number of updates ago.... Before, we had a building, a fancy assembly line to "assemble and test," and all sorts of things were in production or about to be released to production after final approvals. Now, we don't have the most basic element required for the product to work (a lens - which is now plastic rather than glass, apparently)...and there is no software/firmware written to perform recognition. It seems this core functionality would have been prototyped, if not fairly mature, during the KS campaign and certainly over the course of the many subsequent months post-funding. I get the distinct feeling of running in circles and getting fed updates meant to shut us up rather than reveal any factual information. The lack of communication and transparency is disheartening.

    7. Creator David Ramsey on July 17, 2012

      It's not surprising that you run into unexpected production problems with a cutting-edge product like this. Just keep us informed about how things are going...

    8. Creator Marcus Frasier on July 17, 2012

      2 etched units should do it I think -- though having prototype stuff could be kinda cool too. Sort of like an early collectors item or something.