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I also intended for music or might use. Corded phone is not an issue for me.
I had bad results from 2 of 10 Kickstarter projects, this one and another not received yet and both looking to come through in decent shape.
The 2 bad ones were terrible, bad product and disappeared for one and the other one now disappeared and rebranded to something now on the market I think and left us all hanging.
One more note. The updated photo of product can only be seen on computer version of ks not the mobile app.
Thanks. Believe me I’m really disappointed too but I also work with a lot of startups and have to say that Tim was very honest and spelled out a clear story that makes good business sense. He should have been more transparent here though. There would have been less complaining.
I don’t know know how to post the photo he sent me but the splash page here on ks was updated with the new version and it looks just like that. It looks really nice. Nicer than the original imo. Better fabric. I get the whole mic thing but for me I intend to use this only for sleep and meditation and not for work or leisure.
Tim should hire you for comms!
I enjoyed your take on it.
Would your brother share the pictures the took?
Just want to say that I read the interview that someone posted the link to -- I was really impressed with the founder's candor and focus. Sucks that it's late, but he's committed. Bottom line here's his story:
1. Plan was to hit the campaign target and use sophisticated KS backers to deliver a beta, take feedback and then manufacture a mass produced commercial product (this is not an unreasonable goal for a KS for h/w).
2. Response surprised him and given number of backers it was clear that he was going to be delivering to the general market, not just a small group of beta testers willing to ride with him on the project.
3. Decided that he could either stick to the plan and deliver a less than optimal product on time but with issues that would need to be worked out; or treat the funding as a plan to go to a fully commercial and competitive offering. He chose the latter because he felt that if the initial offering had problems - backers would trash the product and the brand, be unhappy and his prospects for business would be over.
4. Painful decision and everyone agrees this has taken too long but I think he made the right decision even though I really want the product now. But it goes to show how strong the need was that this product fills that there are so many backers that are hanging in there for this (he did offer refunds at various points).
My bro-in-law visited Kokoon at CES. Booth was packed with visitors. He couldn't even try the headphones because there was so much interest. He sent photos. I have to say that while I like the original design - I like this better. I am also encouraged that @Tim spent so much time working on comfort and function for side sleepers, back sleepers, etc. That there was a focus on perspiration and the other nasty realities of putting your ears in cans for 8 hours at a time every night. He's trying to deliver a competitive product that we will rave about.
I'm definitely disappointed with timing but I can understand his plan, do not think this is a scam and really hope that the product is as good as planned and is delivered in March/April. Personally, I still think it will end up being a summer delivery because there will inevitably be factory issues (there always are), but I feel that @Tim has been a straight shooter with us, even though he has not communicated enough. Read the interview - you'll be proud you backed it.
I have no idea who Tim is and have no relationship to this company other than being a backer.
Are we there yet?
I come here for a laugh, I have backed one of the best projects on Kickstarter (The Oculus Rift) and I was one of the poor people that wanted a ZANO !! I have backed more 3d printers that never shipped then I want to admit ( TIKO and others). My Kickstarter life was a roller coaster of ups an downs. I have not backed an item in a bit. There are things I forget that I backed (like this one!) I will be surprised if this ever gets finished. I'm happy we did not buy the team a house or anything like that. (as far as we know) however we are YEARS into a headphone project ??? While waiting for this to finish VIRTUAL REALITY has become something you can get at BEST BUY! APPLE removed the headphone jack and I can talk to my house that most of us call ALEXA! I am happy that updates are keeping the angry mob just out of reach. I will file this away with the list of other projects I WISH were completed and check back next year to see what is keeping them... Remember - Kickstarter is a gamble not a pre-order!
I read an article quoting @tim
"Our challenge is that we have quite a lot of backers and, when you're scaling a factory, you don't want to go all out just in case. So, we'll have that month to fix any possible small issues but, as ever, manufacturing is a tricky beast and it's always prone to something going wrong here or a supplier letting you down there. Even the big companies like Apple get hit by these things."
Antos's confidence comes from Kokoon's latest £1.6m round of investment on Crowdcube to add to the £1m of private funding gathered in between the two campaigns. Asking for more money is the kind of move that sets alarm bells ringing for backers of a project that is already well past its delivery date, but the truth, certainly in this case, is quite the opposite.
"We could have shipped the product that we originally designed a long time ago but, frankly, it would have worked for about 25% of the people and caused more issues than it solved," explains Antos.
"There's two approaches you can take to a Kickstarter campaign - the first is that you ship the basic version, use the community as your beta testers and then come up with a second generation of the product that really delivers based on the feedback. That route became closed off to us when Kokoon went big. We had to make something quality the first time around because any problems are on the scale of tens of thousands and it would be too damaging and it's the end of the show. So, our success meant we had a responsibility to design and engineer this to the next level."
@Tim, how is not delivering the basic model (no mic) engineering the product t to the next level.
Simply it is not.
The fact is, you can’t create the basic model that had all the functionalities and the design you sold us, so you compromised.
That sir, is not engineering to the next level.
That is just hard to read.
As to the rest, well it is a statement of jibes about people’s expectations. The contempt is palpable.
@tim You has fully turned me away from backing / investing.
@J Fiott I think the Kokoon headphones have potential for that. I was actually making a mobile app for learning languages at bedtime so I’m waiting eagerly to test it. I don’t know about learning while sleeping but I’m at least interested in using them at bedtime for learning and listening to some relaxing music to fall asleep.
I hope I got the headphones for the next flight to Singapore .... early june 😊
WHEN IS THE DELIVERY???
It took 8 years to put a man on the moon with slide rulers and long division. I think we're going on year 3 and you still can't figure out how to finalize bluetooth headphones that have been widely available for at least 5 years. I think the people working on the Manhattan Project already had a nuclear weapon by now. Kudos for not stealing everyone's money and running off to Mexico, but seriously? Less engineering and more project management. It's not like these delays are because you've been sticking to your guns and not wanting to compromise on the original design. Almost every update consists of some sort of compromise to the Chinese manufacturer that makes the product look less like what I originally backed. And Chinese New Year happens every year at the same time. No one saw this coming? Two years in a row? I hope you haven't quit your day jobs.
Backer 6766 here asking for a refund. Hope I don't need to be at CES to get my money back.
Dave and Cake,
My colleague tried them on (I’m a bit icky about wearing things 180k people have already!) and the first thing he said was that he loved the headband it felt really soft. I honestly couldn’t see too much difference between how it looks now and how it looked when I first bid....it’s been a while after all!, but the Kokoon guys were the ones who corrected me and said they admit it’s changed in looks quite a bit. Their perspective was that it had to, due to their original mock-up not working in real-life. They seemed very open to the criticism and accepting that they underestimated just how complex the task was. They seemed genuine in their statements that if people were unhappy they accept it and would refund.
With regard to the sound quality, they had a working Bluetooth one playing and I was told the quality was really good. All the sleep sensor stuff that is built in was not the reason I bought them so I didn’t pay too much attention to that stuff..sorry. I just want comfortable headphones I can sleep with on a plane and it looks like as soon as the factory stops their New Year shenanigans we’ll be close to getting them.
One final comment: I asked if they will continue to use the same suppliers for their next version/run and they said they probably would. Not a ringing endorsement, but not a clear ‘no’ either.
So got to play with product for a few minutes at CES today - if you want to find them, they are in the Startup area.
@Mark C, sorry I wasn't clear, I wasn't saying that Kokoon was the same as Zano, far from it, I have no issues with Kokoon or their delays in the slightest!
I meant more that reading the back story to Zano was interesting to see how I project that was asking for x amount, that had planned for x amount, was completely overrun when x amount became significantly more.
This is the only thing I see as similar, for example, people keep asking why the design changed, and Tim has explained that the original intended design was not scalable into mass production. I am sure if they were producing 100 rather than 10,000 that issue may not have been quite so impacting, and therefore there would not have been quite so many redesigns and delays. I forget the original amount that they asked for, but I am sure they were significantly more successful than expected with the funding.
Sorry if I wasn't clear, again I was not comparing the two, only how the unexpected success can lead to changes.
Sorry, the article is here:
Hi Tim, I just came across this article about learning in one's sleep and was wondering if maybe at some point in the future (not now so as not to disturb progress!) your team might perhaps develop some sort of learning app that maps the optimal point during sleep at which to play key phrases, such as one would use to learn a language or maybe at a simpler level, even just mnemonics that one is trying to memorise.
Taking this further, maybe you could maybe later evolve the business into one where the headphones are just normal priced but added value comes from add-on apps of this type. But please, if you do this, do keep your faithful Kickstarter backers in mind.
Good to hear, did you ask about the application functionality, was there any information on it? Were you allowed to try them on? Did you think, I can’t tell they are on my head as we are led to understand by tim?
Hi Dave - I backed Zano and I don’t see the similarities, as the Zano guys clearly lied about their development right up to the time they declared bankruptcy and most of us got nothing. I saw these guys at CES just today and they seemed pretty genuine, the product worked and they genuinely seemed proud of the (nearly) end result. The point they made to me was that if people want a refund then they would do that. Zano strung people along and then stole their money.
Just my 2cents.
I only just found this today, but its an interesting read as to what happened with Zano. One of the key things was they were overwhelmed by the success on kickstarter and couldn't very well cope with the increased production (eg. wanted to build locally and test every one by hand, which would have become impossible due to volumes).
I am not saying the same is true here, but timescales, plans etc that may very well have been put together in good faith at the start (whether the prototypes existed and were accurate is another matter), would have been affected by the unexpected success and sales later.
It also goes into why Zano did ship to pre-orders first (again, not saying that is the case here).
It's an interesting, if not slightly sad how it all unfolded, and incredibly long! read:
For all those that give unwavering support regardless of time and changes, fair play to you, I respect you and hope you can respect other positions. This is not amazon or pre amazon. It is community backed funding, key word community. We stump up our money, support and don’t expect creators to be evasive and to have some semblance of project management and timeframe setting. Especially when there are orders or millions now in the pot.
So a side from the removal of the microphone, the premium leather has gone too. Please advise why.
As to the app, forgive me but your statement gives no indication of what it will do day one. It reads that as if it’s not even being developed and you are giving your team endless time for iterative functionality additions that many would expect day one considering the time the project has taken.
Be straight please.
What is day one app functionality and what is scheduled for this without timescale road mapped.
I don’t know if I can invest more years, it’s so difficult to articulate the frustration this brings.
Simply be straight, give a full breakdown of what to expect day one and what will come.
The huge earmuff design is a massive departure from what people pledged for.
The only good for bed use now is a huge departure from what people pledged for.
The lack of any information on the app (apart from future roadmap overtime) is not only shocking at this stage but sadly expected.
I am sure I am a thorn in your side now, like all who bought into the original and exasperated by the changes, communication and even duration.
The latitude given by so many to take your time to produce what we all bought into is slipping for many as these changes and massive omissions are drip fed to us over to me.
How far do you think you can reasonably push further?
I for one just don’t get it. It’s starting to feel like Zano.
I’m backer #12, I have lost faith on your product and your updates full of excuses. I would like to get refund!!!
@Tim, part of your comment was a bit ambiguous: given recent design changes, are these still suitable/comfortable for sleeping on our side?
I sent a direct message to @Tim as well as the project yesterday asking for a refund. Tim came on 3 hours ago and didn't reply to my message. I also tried to send an email to the kakoon.io email address provided, but it is not valid.
Long story short, where is my refund?
Please do not ignore us.
To the yes men below claiming that this is perfectly normal - imagine if someone went on Dragon’s Den asking for an investment of nearly two million dollars (and that’s just the Kickstarter backers), and then said that there’d be no profits for two and a half years because the product wouldn’t even be finished. They’d get ripped to shreads.
Maybe a dragon is exactly what these guys need, because they clearly don’t have a clue what they are doing.
Thank you all for your comments and questions. Apologies again for the delay, we will continue to keep you updated with progress in the coming weeks.
@SB @Robert @Stijin @Aaron thanks for the kind words. We really appreciate the support and can’t wait to get your products to you! The units to be shipped to our European based customers will be shipped from within Europe and we’ll be taking steps to ensure that where possible there are no additional taxes/duties to pay.
@Cake We no longer use any animal products in the headphone, fabric is used instead of leather. The headphones require a cable to be used for voice calls. We have adapted the form factor of the headphone to ensure the best performance for as many people as possible. In terms of the app, it will continue to evolve after launch where we have a long roadmap of innovations we’ll be adding over time to deliver all the functionality and more.
@Advait @Oz This is not correct, we will be shipping to Kickstarter backers first.
@Bernard We will contact you directly
@Billie @Klaus @Dale We have evolved the design over time to be suitable for as many people as possible in all sorts of sleeping positions. The original design unfortunately was not scaleable to a large population. We have conducted many hours of testing and produced many prototypes to arrive at a design which we find spreads any pressure around the head as best possible to ensure comfort.
First time commenting - and I don't expect to receive a response, but why has the design changed so much? The original product photos from the campaign compared to now are vastly different looking. They looked much more unique and comfortable in the original campaign images? Why did the design change so much?
Just swinging by to say great job. The recent pictures look awesome. Building a great product for the long term can take time, and I really enjoy seeing the detail and insight in these updates. Keep pushing forward!
just here for the comments.
The update did not enclose that most Chinese factories will cease manufacturing by the end of this month and will not resume before end of Feb. This update was posted actually to tell people they are not going to deliver any time soon. The make of the product looks just like cheap unbranded products from Chinese village factories.
Extremely terrible project management is not the worst part. They invest a lot money on online promotion for a product that can't be delivered. I keep seeing ads on Facebook tricking people to think this is a ready-to-ship product while all us initial backers who provided developer the expense to learn and play, have beening waiting for 3 years for a product that many no longer want. This is a typical bad project that ruin Kickerstarter's fame.
I agree with others about the design looking like it is losing the main selling point for me. These are looking like just another run of the mill, noise canceling headphones. I wanted something that I could fall asleep to. Sigh. I’ll wait more for the thing I actually bought into.
now, actually after a few month it became very obvious that project management isn't our developer's best skill ... so I didn't mind about all the delays and changes through the years. But from the first design concept I had hoped to get headphones which would be suitable to use while sleeping, especially as a side sleeper. I think the (almost) finished project is far away from that point ... and that is the real issue.
Backed on 19 May 2015.
966 days since.
@Rodney Bates The original delivery date was Feb 2016. Which makes them a bit over 2 years late, not 44 months. I know it's been a long time to wait, but no need to exaggerate.
Hahaha. Unexpectedly it will be Chinese New Year soon.... Another delay of 2 months. This project really begins to look like a big scam. The tricks? Continuously sending updates about tweaking and overdesigning. Delay, delay, delay...
@adavit please provide your source for Oz.
I'm confused, where does it say they'll be doing pre-orders first?
@tim - outstanding effort!
More backers requesting a refund
No details on the application as asked. Why choose silence?
No keeping to delivery dates again, after years of delays you still can’t get help with that
No clarity on any other removal of functionality in the device or application.
No delivery date.
As to honouring preorders first, well I would ask for clarification but you blank what you do not want to answer.
So odd that the comments on the update page are all extremely positive, bordering delusional, particularly on this last one as opposed to the legitimate frustration expressed in the larger comment section. What's up with that? Same project but it feels like a totally different crowd. The latest delays were extremely foreseeable - most called it many months ago and yet it is still announced as a surprise and people buy it? S.M. Rhoads is absolutely right..
Can someone call the police in England? Tim antos is the name.
This is a joke !! Is all I can afford to say without expletive language
One word comes to mind....shameless.
According to your crowdcube documentation you envisage the headphones having a life of a mere 2 years - your backers have waited significantly longer for the product to arrive.
You need to stop the excuses & deliver what you promised.
When are y’all gonna get it? This isn’t “miscommunication” or “unforeseen” anything. They knew when they made that video they were misleading us. That they didn’t have the product anywhere near the level they said they did. Maybe they HOPED they could deliver, I don’t know. But they knew they weren’t presenting things as they were. They’re liars. Quit appealing to a conscience that they don’t have.
Thanks for the update - appreciate the attention to detail and quality that you guys are putting in. Delays occur in developing projects, the important thing being the quality of the product in the end. Looking forward to April.
Kevin Canavan, at least you received a reply. I never did.
I consider that my money was lost. I honestly do not believe we will receive a product.
You might have raised over $4m from Venture Capitalists and pre-order sales (including me) but as a fellow Brit, you are a disgrace to the nation. Forty-four months late in any project is beyond incompetence. Month after month we get your drivel masquerading as updates about the headphones.
This latest one about Chinese New Year delays is just laughable - it happens every year (you should know - you're making the units there); you should have doubled your efforts to make sure that at least some of the first deliveries should have been made before the end of 2017.
May I suggest that anyone tempted to place a pre-order at https://kokoon.io/ doesn't before the company gives some official statistics as to how many of the £2.3m pre-orders it already has have actually been delivered to the ever-growing list of disappointed Kickstarter backers.