Happy new year! We hope everyone had a great holiday season. We continue to make great progress towards EO1 production, and we remain on track to ship in May. Here's a quick update on Bill's visit to China, the arrival of our first set of samples in NYC, and our plans for the coming weeks!
Bill’s Trip To China
EO1 is made up of over 50 distinct components. Some are large (the display panel) and some are small (an 1/8" screw). Some components we designed ourselves (our main plastic housing) and some are “off the shelf” (our WiFi and Bluetooth antenna).
The “off the shelf” components are sourced and purchased, and the custom components are developed in partnership with contract manufacturers (CMs). Our CM partners and vendors are spread out all over the world — from New Jersey to Arizona, Korea and China.
Some of our most critical components, including the main plastic housing and metals, will be manufactured in Shenzen, China, where Bill spent the first week of 2015.
Bill’s visit coincided with the production of the first round of samples. His job was to review and provide feedback on these sample parts, so that the CM could make any necessary changes to the mold or manufacturing process to improve their quality.
There are always small tweaks to be made, but our hope was that any changes would be minimal, since any major re-working would threaten to impact our delivery schedule. At the end of a long week, and after 26 hours of travel, we were happy to hear some excellent news: the samples looked good!
The tool that produced our first set of samples for the main plastic housing is above. If you look closely, you’ll notice the shape of the back of EO1.
The Samples Arrive in NYC
And just this morning, the second set of plastics samples arrived to our offices in NYC.
We continue to be impressed by the work from our plastics and metals CM. They’ve incorporated Bill’s feedback from the last round of samples, and the plastics look gorgeous. They’re 10% glass, with a “soft touch finish” that gives them a really hefty, meaningful look and feel.
This afternoon, Bill is going to assemble the very first, almost finished, EO1!
So What’s Next?
In the next few weeks, we’ll begin shipping EO1 Beta to our Beta backers. This is truly a Beta, in the sense that we’re testing our production, assembly, and fulfillment processes as much as the product itself.
With that in mind, here’s the plan for the next few weeks:
- Custom boards (the computers) for EO1 Beta begin to arrive at our integration facility in Arizona on January 21st
- Plastics, metals, and packaging for EO1 Beta begin to arrive at our integration facility in Arizona on January 23rd
- Bill, Jacob, Kyri and I fly out to Arizona to work closely with our board CM and integrator CM
- Kyri and Jacob work with our integrators to design a system for uploading the latest version of our Operating System, and for serializing each device (so we know which computer belongs to which finished unit belongs to which customer)
- We assemble the first set of EO1 Beta units alongside our integrator, and document the process so that they can do it without us when we leave
- We package, print labels, affix labels, and ship the first 100 units to our Beta backers!
Beta backers: we'll be in touch shortly with delivery details!
Thanks for reading, and for your patience and support. As always, get in touch with any questions (or virtual fist bumps) at firstname.lastname@example.org.