Production Verification (PV) build
Just a regular day on the DV2 assembly line, pumping out watches and tweaking the line
Just a fraction of all the custom gluing jigs that the Pebble production line uses
Things are moving swiftly here at our factory in Dongguan. I arrived just in time to see the tail end of the DV2 build completion, which tested all steps of the manufacturing process: injection molding, circuit board assembly, firmware loading, plastic hard coating, optical bonding, button assembly, hand-soldering, frame assembly, gluing (lens onto housing), curing, strap assembly, box preparation, charge cable packaging and final barcode printing.
Mixed in with those steps is our strict testing regimen. On the production line, every single watch is tested multiple times mechanically (buttons, charging contacts, display) and subjected to a custom Bluetooth boundary scan which queries each unit and confirms that all radio and internal software functions check out. In addition, every single watch is tested for water resistance and visually inspected several times.
Early in December when most of the assembly steps were solidified, we began organizing the equipment necessary to bring our line up to full production speed. One of the steps that proved to be quite difficult was gluing. In order for Pebble to be water resistant the top lens needs to be fixed very tightly onto the housing. In the first revisions of our design, we used an ultrasonic welding machine to join them. But after extensive water resistance testing, we decided to switch to a glue method, which was stronger and provided a better seal. This change had an effect on our assembly plan. We had to quickly figure out a way to glue and cure up to 120 watches per hour. Our team came through and produced hundreds of custom jigs to hold each Pebble during a multi-hour curing step. You can see some of the jigs in the photo above.
Our PV build, the last step before mass production (MP), will start this week. I'll be on hand to check each watch as they pop off the production line and approve the quality.
Gold-Master software release
Our software development team has been working incredibly hard to architect, program and test Pebble's operating system. They're proud to announce that the gold-master version of the firmware has been released to the factory. This is a major milestone on the software development path.
This doesn't mean that our software work is complete, we have a lot of functionality that we're working on building into Pebble. The Pebble operating system is designed to receive over-the-air firmware updates, meaning that your Pebble will never be out of date. When you receive your Pebble, there will already be a new software version ready to install which is as easy to do as tapping a button on your smartphone.
Longer wrist strap option
Your wrist strap will come assembled, of course :)
Here's some information for our larger-wristed backers. In order to accomodate larger wrists sizes, we have designed and begun manufacturing a longer version of the Pebble wrist strap. If your wrist circumference is between 21cm and 24cm, this longer strap will fit you well. It may fit slightly smaller (~20cm) wrists as well, but you might like the default strap more.
To order one of these straps, please log onto account.getpebble.com and request a longer strap. We're offering them to our backers below our cost at $3 (which includes worldwide shipping since we aren't able to include them in the Pebble shipper box). The longer strap is only available in Black right now.
- Hacker special watches shipped out last week. We're receiving extremely valuable feedback that will help us weed out bugs and tweak software before the general release.
- We're still powering ahead on the customizable elements of Pebble, including the Android intent SDK, OAuth2 web notification API and watchface SDK. Nothing new to announce yet.
Thanks again, Pebblers!
Eric + Pebble team