Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 18, 2012.

Update #23

Logistics, Lenses and Test Builds

Logistics

While we're not ready to start shipping out Pebbles yet, getting prepared to ship Pebbles to 113 different countries has been quite a task. Okay, just one of you lives in French Polynesia but we care deeply about all our backers. That's why we've been running extensive shipping tests to determine the best methods to use as we ship out 85,000 Pebbles. All the test shipments reached their destination. Outside of a postal strike in Uruguay, we found that our test shipments reached their destination even faster than we expected. We also learned some important lessons about all the different customs documentation requirements around the world.

There's absolutely no point in designing and building the most awesome watch possible if it doesn't reach your wrist in perfect condition. That's why we designed a custom shipping box to protect your Pebble while it's in transit. We're battle-testing the box to make sure it stands up to drops, spills, rips and maybe guard dog attacks (okay, we're not actually running that last test).

We'll be shipping Pebbles from two distribution centres: one in Asia and one in the United States. If your shipping address on account.getpebble.com is in the US, your Pebble will be shipped via USPS from San Francisco. Otherwise, our international backers will receive their Pebbles via postal mail sent directly from Asia. As our test shipment backers can attest, we've put together an extremely efficient and quick system.

Manufacturing Progress

Our industrial designer was on the ground this week in Southern Taiwan overseeing final modifications (T4) to our plastic manufacturing process. As I mentioned in Update 21, we're working our way through several test builds before Pebble enters Mass Production (MP). Every time we perform another test build, it's a chance to build samples of each part inside the watch. The great news is that all the plastic components (including the most recent lens samples from T4) look, feel and work great. We're sending the tools off for final texturing and polishing now.

As we work through environmental tests, we're tweaking and tuning the gluing process that is used to join the main case portion of the watch with the lens. Here's a short video of the computer numerical controlled (CNC) gluing machine that we're using on the assembly line:

Roadmap

I'm heading to our factory in Dongguan, China on Saturday for 2 weeks of work on the Design Verification (DV) test build. After DV, we have one more test build scheduled in December called Production Verification (PV) before Pebble enters Mass Production (MP). As I mentioned in Update 17, our assembly line will be set up to manufacture 15,000 Pebbles per week. I know each one of you has a burning desire to see Pebble on their wrist, but I want to caution you that even after we begin MP it will still take us several weeks to manufacture all 85,000 Pebbles.

Work on the software development kit (SDK) is progressing well. Since I'm a novice programmer, I decided to test out the SDK and see what the experience is like. I wanted to write a little watchapp to keep track of important Pebble-related timezones while I was in China. While the software team is still working heavily on the SDK, I was still able to code up a basic world clock in 20 minutes! I know it doesn't look too pretty, but that's a function of my limited programming ability, not a fault with the SDK.

As usual, you can find high resolution versions of all the photos in this update at http://imgur.com/a/mLJzW.

That's all for this week, thanks Pebblers!

Eric + Pebble Team

Comments

    1. Small-blocks-plain.small

      Creator WhyIsThisOpen on November 10, 2012

      The screen (display and lens) is looking great. Thanks for the update.

    2. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Arlan Levitan on November 10, 2012

      Eric & PebbleHeads,
      Thanks for the continuing updates. Rest assured that most of us appreciate your attention to detail and commitment to quality. I'm confident that this Pebble will Rock!
      Best regards,
      Slime

    3. Missing_small

      Creator Rick Popowitz on November 10, 2012

      Thanks guys for the update and detail. Now, be straight with us. When will (best, honest guess) you begin US shipments? We've all been patient with you but that patience is now on thin ice.

    4. 341_40150452564_2829_n.small

      Creator Richard Webb on November 10, 2012

      @Trevor Lewis - Spot on! Keep up the excellent work guys, I admire your strength to stick to making a quality product and not rushing to please the impatient kids.

    5. Missing_small

      Creator Alex on November 10, 2012

      My prediction is that ship dates will be announced in Update #26 (Dec 22).

    6. Missing_small

      Creator Ivy Chuang on November 10, 2012

      Can 'back out' of the backing? A free-ended timeline was not what I was expecting.

    7. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Trevor Lewis on November 10, 2012

      To all of you people whining about not having your Pebble already... You're welcome to have any pebbles that are in the reject pile, I'll happily wait until the product is actually ready. Suck it up and quit whining, if you wanted an off the shelf item you should have gone to the mall.

    8. Missing_small

      Creator Thomas Galyen on November 10, 2012

      I would say that it would be at least late February 2013 before anyone can realistically expect to receive their pebble.

      At 15,000 per week, a quick calculation says it will take almost 6 weeks to manufacture all the pebbles. And I would not expect any to be shipped until all are manufactured.

      As the speed of the gluing machine in the video shows, precision takes time. I was hoping to receive it by Christmas but I now realize this will not happen. If lucky I will have it in time for running in the spring.

      Tom G.

    9. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator James Sadlier on November 10, 2012

      Did I miss the update where we could say actual manufacturing samples as opposed to renders of the different colours?

    10. Missing_small

      Creator Charles Coward on November 10, 2012

      My three Jack Russell Terriers are willing to do the guard dog attack test of the shipping box. They are very determined especially if shipping box contains a dog treat. Just offering... :)

    11. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Alexey Tyurenkov on November 10, 2012

      I advise you to send in Russia ASAP, 'cause we've got quite a slow postal service. Slower than in most part of Afrcan countries. And it sucks.

    12. Missing_small

      Creator Francisco Leon on November 10, 2012

      It's pretty clear to me that receiving this product, project or whatever you call it before the end of this year is very wishful thinking or optimistic. If so, (this year) the developers would have already announced a shipping date. Similar products are already out. It is clear we are being 'distracted' with not so important details such as shipping trials and nice pictures but definitely, nothing concrete worth making this illusion, I emphasize illusion because pictures and videos do not prove its going to get real.

      A 3 month delay is inexcusable and makes me mad.

      But not knowing WHEN, makes me even madder.

    13. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator ozmars on November 10, 2012

      Thanks for another fascinating update. I'm proud to see the start up I backed get up and running. The watch, when it arrives, will be an added bonus.

    14. Missing_small

      Creator Stefan Seidel on November 10, 2012

      @all those thinking that writing "gift" on a customs declaration will change anything: in most countries I know, the import duties and tax will ENTIRELY depend on the actual VALUE of the item. I doesn't matter if it's a gift, an item you bought or some junk your mom found on the attic. Whatever this thing is worth, it'll be taxed for.

      I am a little disappointed to not have my pebble as soon as I hoped, but I understand that I didn't "order" a Pebble, but I backed the project and I wouldn't want to be the one who has to consider all the different issues with design, production, shipping etc. - it's great to watch the entire team putting so much effort into creating a great product, THANK YOU!

    15. Missing_small

      Creator Muescha on November 10, 2012

      Thanks for the update

      Writing GIFT on the shipping would be a good idea, but:

      In germany they dont trust this writing on package not any time. So they open the package and then the shipping goes to a special office for customs. Here you have to show the order and payment documents. Sometimes this is not in your city and you have to travel a long way to pick it up. And additional: you have to pay customs on of the full pledge and also the shipping (the hole pledge) - one time i make a early access pledge of 300 with 2 physocal items with value of 30 = 60 value of the item. Because they do not include a customs declaration i have to show up and the caculate the customs of 300 (because i pay this on kickstarter) and not of the value of the shipped items. :-(

      Also in my customs office here in cologne/germany they not accept this kickstarter things as a pledge and the items as gifts. They say i have ordered with kickstarter and it is processed like every online order.

      If you do this by fax or email (if you are lucky if they accept this) the package makes a roundtrip of germany because a different office on the other end of the country do this stuff for fax&email. A one or two week delay.

      Better is to write commercial sample and a value which represents the value of the material ;-)

      Then it can be (maybe) fly under the radar and maybe go though customs. And if they dont accept it as free then they have a value on the box for a fast calculation of customs without the need of additional documents.

    16. Missing_small

      Creator Frankns on November 10, 2012

      Long time lurker ... first comment.

      I suspect Drew's comments are close to the mark. Transparency is no substitute for proficiency. Great as the team may be, they may be in over their heads.

      The team tells us that communication is more valuable than our dollars. It's okay to be late and then later, because we are keeping you informed. But there is no concern for the value of the dollars "invested," that could have been invested or used elsewhere. September was promised; backers assessed the time-value of their dollars and agreed. Extending a delivery sate to February or March, gives the team 5 or 6 months use of backers' dollars with no additional value. The team is saying that they don't see any value in their use of backers' money for 6 months. They offer backers no "make-up," no value for the added time, but rather say, "We need to keep you better informed, about why we are not providing you with value." Of course, this doesn't make sense. They DO get value out of backers' dollars during these months ... the project stays alive, bills and salaries get paid ... and so forth.

      The project is a sunk cost to me ... I'll continue to accept the risk. I like the idea of the watch. I think they'll deliver a quality product. And at the same time, I have to realize the economics of the situation.

    17. Missing_small

      Creator Neil G on November 10, 2012

      Same question as above, why not ship to Canada from the US instead of Asia?

    18. 3718_8676_480.small

      Creator Arthur Dent on November 10, 2012

      Nice packaging.

      Thanks for the update and keep up the good work.

      Better late than rushed.

    19. Myfirstsolvderingiron.small

      Creator Stephen Holinaty on November 10, 2012

      Why not ship Canada from the US site as well?

    20. Popoyred.small

      Creator Rom on November 10, 2012

      Thanks for the update! Nice to see the box :)

    21. Missing_small

      Creator Doug Frost on November 10, 2012

      Finally, a little glimmer of light on the horizon. But it's too bad they won't be in peoples' hands in time for Christmas.

    22. Missing_small

      Creator Francisco Leon on November 10, 2012

      STILL no shipping date?

    23. Missing_small

      Creator Michael on November 10, 2012

      Poh, if you're pissed and don't want your watch anymore, just resell to one of the 2,615 people who pledged $1 just to find out when they could pay $150 for it. (mutter mutter ungrateful mutter)

    24. Fra_luca_pacioli_letter_t_1509.small

      Creator Sean Riley on November 10, 2012

      I don't think you typically answer questions in here, but you indicated previously that you would be shipping in the order that people backed the project. This update made it sound a bit like you are intending to wait until all 85,000 are completed.

    25. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Joanne Scarola on November 10, 2012

      I can't believe people are actually complaining about when they get their pebble. If this is the only thing people have to look forward to in their sad lives, well, that's just sad...The watch is being built with quality. If they wanted something quick perhaps they should go to Walmart... Keep up the good work Pebble!

    26. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Igor Sawczuk on November 10, 2012

      Hello. I fully support @Kristofer Norén :

      As the Pebble is essentially a reward for funding the project and not something we bought for the pledge we payed, I think you should consider putting 'GIFT' on the package, thus not making us pay extra money for the shipments.
      What do you say?

    27. Missing_small

      Creator Meriana on November 10, 2012

      Thanks for the Update :)

      BTW: It's nice to know that i'll be - at least for a few weeks - probably the only person in my country who owns a Pebble :-)

    28. Missing_small

      Creator Poh Keng Jin on November 10, 2012

      1 more test build in December? Mass production starts in January perhaps? 15,000 units per week will still take almost 6 weeks to produce. Chinese New Year is 10th Feb 2013. Not going to finish by then and the factories will all close for maybe 2 weeks. Further delay?

      Seriously, an option to refund would be good. A 6 months delay on a project that was to ship within 4 months is too much.

    29. Missing_small

      Creator Drew Miller on November 10, 2012

      I have refrained form posting before, however with the fact hat it will now likely be 2013 before I get this thing, I can't help but comment I understand we're backing a project & not a product, that the team watns to get out the best possible product & I can comprehend the great increase in scale due to the success of thier kickstarter project. However, due to my experience in PCB turnkey - and the pressure I received from cusotmers when I was even a week late - some of this is BS.

      All of these delays have absolutely nothing to do with the increase from 5K to 85K watches. If that was the case, they would have started building in time for their original September ship date at a rate of 15K per week (from the update above). There would either be a total shipment 6 weeks late (so mid-November or NOW) or they would ship 15K every week as they were produced. I would be happy with scenario 2, even if I was in the last week's shipment.

      All of these delays are due to design - and design is design whether you're building 10 or 85K watches. There are a few additional steps with tooling ,etc - but by & large those tooling fixtures would have had to have been produced for 5K watches as well. This is still in the design phase which is minimally (if any) affected by the increase in scale.

      You just can't be that far off with your estimate to design the thing. I backed this thing in April with a september ship date and it will likely be well into december or 2013 before design is done and mass production starts - and that is not even shipping the watches.

      Even worse is that I backed this thing in April and paid inMay I'm not going to get it until early 2013. I can go onlione now and order one for delivery in....early 2013. And I wouldn't have to pay until it acutally ships.

      Very disappointing, that you either gave us an extremely aggressive target ship date to get our pledges, or the design pahse was woefully unplanned. Either way, that is not good planning. I can tell you from experience in the real world - not kickstarter land - that my company would have been fired from the contract with this type of delay regardless of how well kept the cusotmer informed of our progress.

    30. Missing_small

      Creator ocin70 on November 10, 2012

      Great update! Thanks!
      To all the people complaining about the "late" delivery!

      STOP CRYING LIKE BABYS ALL THE TIIME, I CANT HER IT ANY MORE! ASK YOUR MOM FOR A HUG AND BE PATIENT!

      But the point with the taxes is a good one! As ist is always said that we dont buy the watch but get it as "thank you" for becking the projekt it should really be possible to ship it as a gift! That could save a lot of people a lot of money! Please keep this point in mind!

      Go ahead with the good work!

    31. Missing_small

      Creator Alex on November 10, 2012

      @Seshan, you got until February to get bulkier wrists ;)

    32. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Jason de Nys on November 10, 2012

      I never look at the ship date when I back something, I understand that it is hard to account for everything that needs to occur in the manufacturing process. Really appreciate the detailed updates.

    33. Missing_small

      Creator Edmond Overbey on November 10, 2012

      Did you test ship to the states?

    34. Missing_small

      Creator Oscar Tapia on November 10, 2012

      Great! So no pebbles for the holidays. That's just amazing given that many backers backed it to get it in September (with maybe a delay, but not THIS kind of delay) just before the holidays. Pebble makes a great holiday gift... Next years holidays that is...

      After the first announcement that we wouldn't get the pebbles in September I knew we would face a delay of at least a month but I was sure we'd get them by December
      Well now let me just hope we get them by end of next year...

      One last thing, how is it a watch of the future if it won't get here till the future? Well let's just all hope now that when we finally get our watches they won't come with a battery defect like jawbone's Up wrist band
      Because I believe all this delay should've given you guys enough time for testing and fixing all problems a first gen product might face...

    35. Missing_small

      Creator Steve on November 10, 2012

      Thanks for the update, Eric! Looking good! I can't wait to see that package in my mailbox! =o) Keep up the excellent progress!

    36. Missing_small

      Creator Evan on November 10, 2012

      People, keep in mind, they didn't SAY they are shipping them in several weeks, they only said it will take several weeks to mass produce them all. Unfortunately, it could take longer...so don't mark anything on a calendar and expect shipment by a certain date.

    37. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Mick K on November 10, 2012

      This comment has been removed by Kickstarter.

    38. Missing_small

      Creator David Fildes on November 10, 2012

      I'm also a little irritated about the customs duties. Shipping to the UK would incur 20% VAT, not as much as some, but still a good chunk more than I was expecting to pay. If sending something as a gift is a legitimate way not to pay import duties etc, surely that would apply in this case, as we haven't actually bought a product. We have invested in a business, and are receiving the watches as a thank you for our help in getting the business going. It probably wouldn't wash with the tax man, but it might be worth a try (unless that has already been covered by your test deliveries).

    39. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Justin Steed on November 10, 2012

      Victor: they didn't 'give their word', they gave an estimate. And once again, you didn't order a product. You backed the project.

    40. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Kristofer Norén on November 10, 2012

      Hi, great update!

      I too was wondering about the value you will print on the package. Sweden has ~31% tax and custom fees on everything over 50$.

      As the Pebble is essentially a reward for funding the project and not something we bought for the pledge we payed, I think you should consider putting 'GIFT' on the package, thus not making us pay extra money for the shipments.

      What do you say?

      Regards, Kristofer

    41. Jurgen_proschinger_(300x306).small

      Creator gryphonent on November 10, 2012

      Great job, guys! Glad you're working so hard to get it right! Don't mind the stupid naysayers here. I too will face high custom charges on this, but that was something I've bee expecting all along. The only way to circumvent this is to ship as a present or lower the value to less than $20.

      So, keep on going strong and much luck during the endgame.

    42. 0065_modellbau_messe_2013.small

      Creator Florian Horsch on November 10, 2012

      Thomas: +1

      Everybody please calm down here. Eric and team are doing a great job from what I'm seeing here. Compared to other projects they are very transparent and share all those interesting insights with us. Isn't it great to follow an uprising company? We're all part of this.

      Best greetings from Germany
      Florian (Hardcore Kickstarter user with over 27 projects backed so far ;) )

    43. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Víctor Villasante on November 10, 2012

      I'm, as a lot people more, not excited with the project anymore.
      I think it would be great, if you have thousands of preorders, give the chance to cancel the orders and refund the money to the backers that made possible this project. It would be very nice considering that you haven't kept your word of delivering the watches close to September.

    44. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Rogier21 on November 10, 2012

      I'm not very pleased with hearing it will be shipped from Asia, us Dutch have to pay quite some tax over it, 21% + €12,50 customs!

      What amount will you put on the packge?

      I already paid $15 USD shipping, from an Asian warehouse this should be free!

    45. Hang.small

      Creator Callum Young on November 10, 2012

      Please don't ship to the UK with DHL, they charge us Brits a bomb for international shipments!

    46. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Arry Tanusondjaja on November 10, 2012

      Thomas: +1

      I know that I'm impatient to have my Pebble but I am very happy with the way Eric and the team continue to update us on the progress - although the pace is slower than some may expect, at least I can see the end point coming up in the not-too-distant future. Keep up the good work, Eric!

    47. Missing_small

      Creator Thomas on November 10, 2012

      @Darrius Jones. Darius. A Little patronizing in your tone, don't you think. I for one am very happy with the transparency. This is Update #23. This is far more frequent and informative than a lot of other kickstarters. I wish the SmartThings crew would be this transparent and detailed. Good that you're so wonderful with your "complex technical solution". I look forward to the Pebble crew putting out a quality product for us.

    48. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Darrius Jones on November 10, 2012

      Pebble team. Al Little useful transparency is in order at this point. I am in manufacturing of complex technical solution and understand delays occur but after your 4th proto and entering Mass production you should have delivery dates dialed in by now..

    49. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Christopher Le on November 10, 2012

      What if I live in SF and want to pick it up?

    50. Evilduck80.small

      Creator Juno on November 10, 2012

      Thanks for the update and roadmap. But is it me or does the packaging look extemely cheap? It doesn't have to be super fancy but this looks a bit like packaging for a $10 watch.

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