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FreeWavz provide complete freedom from wires, have a naturally perfect fit and deliver the fitness metrics you want, when you want them
FreeWavz provide complete freedom from wires, have a naturally perfect fit and deliver the fitness metrics you want, when you want them
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1,591 backers pledged $325,208 to help bring this project to life.

November Progress Update

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Good day Kickstarter backers,

We realize your frustration and have read all of your posts. Yes, we are running behind the schedule that we have shared in the past and we understand this is disappointing. In reading the unhappy comments that some backers are posting, we wanted to set the record straight. All money raised from investments in FreeWavz from both Kickstarters like yourselves, as well as private equity investors, has gone to the design and engineering of the product. Freewavz’s management has never received a salary of any kind and their compensation is entirely tied to the success of the company. All funds and resources that come to Freewavz are used to pay both operations and engineering contractors. We are working to set a new standard in Hearable Technology and are committed to bringing a quality product to the market. That said, we have a number of engineering challenges to solve, but we are committed to delivering the Freewavz to market.

  • We are having difficulties realizing ear to ear wireless connection with consistency. The tuning and design of the PCD trace antenna is extremely challenging. 2.4GHZ standard BT protocols work well with single point to point implementation, but running the True Wireless Stereo with one earphone being a master and the other being a slave has caused severe drop outs in the stereo single. This problem has proved difficult to isolate and problematic to solve. We have several RF engineering experts both in the US and at our factory in China working on the problem of re-tuning and redesigning the antenna, but this is taking more time and money. We are also considering options that might allow us to realize another methodology to use a separate frequency from standard BT between the ears for stereo delivery.
  • We are in the process of updating the design of the shrouds on our earphones to give us better Transmissive Pulseox results. We are delighted to have shared in our last update that we have gotten good and fairly consistent resting pulseox readings for both HRM and O2 saturation. When exercising, we saw an unacceptable increase in interference that tasked the proprietary algorithms we developed for pulling out HRM and O2 sat. We have customized shrouds which help fit the earphone more flush to the ear on both sides of the ear’s conchal bowl. This will give us the consistency needed to supply stable HRM and O2 and will actually help fit the driver of the earphone more securely and comfortably on the ear. We are in the process of finishing the design and testing.
  • Although we have seen some success in pulseox readings, we are experiencing less than targeted battery performance. Our engineering team is working on tracking down the power-loss. We believe there may be a higher than anticipated draw from the pulseox but more testing needs to be done to isolate the power drain on the planned 5-6 hour performance.

So to summarize, we are going to be delayed and not make production within 2015. We are committed to producing a quality product and are devoting the time and resources to solve all of our challenges. Until we have a better handle on how to provide quality solutions to the engineering issues we cannot provide an updated production schedule. We hope in the coming weeks to share with you an updated schedule. Here is some bright news. Recently, we were given the opportunity to meet with engineers from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Yes the same federal agency that put a man on the moon, has created a program to help startup companies solve technical problems.. Turns out that NASA engineering is very interested in our application of wireless pulseox. They have agreed to devote resources in helping us solve our pulseox challenges that are mentioned above and we have asked for help with the RF issues. Well, that’s about all for this update. We continue to be optimistic about bringing a quality Freewavz product to the market.

Sincerely,

Freewavz Team

Dave Pekala, Nace Lanier, and 21 more people like this update.

Comments

    1. Heike Schmitz on December 13, 2015

      I don't think anyone tried to take money for anything else than the project and of course I admire your effort developing your dream without taking any salary so that all funding goes into product development.
      What upsets me is that you are misusing us as angel investors without our consent and without giving us the benefits appropriate for that kind of an investment, like equity and the opportunity to guide and advise. Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform, not an angel investment platform, a fundamental difference. Kickstarter money is pretty much the cheapest money that an entrepreneur can raise but it comes with an implicit expectation that there is a deliverable good to the backers within a certain timeline. I am sorry for you that you aren't able to fulfill your promise to us backers because I realize that this is your dream and hard work but you promised us a great practical product, not a perfect product. Deliver that product to keep your promise and then get more funding/take more time to make it perfect on your own, not with us as unwilling hostages.

    2. Alex Davis on November 29, 2015

      the resolution to this is really simple
      return any unspent money
      OR
      publish a project plan with realistic milestones. if you miss a milestone for a reason WE as the backers find unsatisfactory - you face financial penalties.
      -- get it right and you will succeed. get it wrong and you are out of business.
      show us that you have some understanding and comprehension of how to develop a product and fix this incredibly bad PR you have (caused entirely by yourselves)

    3. Missing avatar

      Mark Felix on November 22, 2015

      Stop playing with nasa and just refund us any money you have left. I dont believe that the founders have not taken any money out of the company

    4. FreeWavz Creator on November 21, 2015

      To our backers,

      Before we launched our kickstarter campaign we had a working prototype of the FreeWavz unit. These units were functional in pairing with bluetooth devices, answering phone calls, and playing music. We continued to make improvements from the first prototype and added the capability to record pulse rate and oxygen saturation while sitting. The main issues we are having currently are ear-to-ear connectivity issues and pulseox readings with movement.

      This photo album shows the prototype we had when we launched the kickstarter. http://imgur.com/a/Mpy3b

      This video shows the latest demo of FreeWavz by founder Dr. Eric Hensen. https://www.youtube.com/watch…

      We understand the frustration related to shipment delays and apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused. We are 100% committed to releasing a quality FreeWavz product to market. FreeWavz are not where we want it to be for release, but to say that the product does not exist is simply not true.

    5. Darryl Bosshardt on November 21, 2015

      I wonder if you can somehow partner with these guys? Sounds like they have the connectivity worked out. https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/phazon-wireless-earbuds-guaranteed-not-to-fall#/

      Seems like we are so close, lets do this!

    6. Missing avatar

      BRAD WONG on November 20, 2015

      Anyone else notice that the previous President and CFO Harry Ericson left in April 2015 after being with Freewavz in October 2012? Another red flag. Now the CEO (Mike Kahn) is in San Diego as opposed to Florida. Founder Dr. Eric Hensen is a practicing ENT in Florida. It's highly unlikely he is spending more hours with this project versus his practice. This project is seeming more like a hobby than a true business.

    7. Missing avatar

      BRAD WONG on November 20, 2015

      Wow. The reality from this latest update is that it's going to be months, not weeks, before any product will be manufactured. NASA? How much time is it really spending devoted to troubleshooting your problem? Daily? Once a week? Once a month? How much time is the Freewavz "Team" spending on this project on a daily basis? 24/7? 40 hours a week? Bottom line: You have unsolved issues and no timeline for production of the product.

    8. Rich Sustich on November 19, 2015

      OK guys, after reviewing the string of comments on whether FREEWAVZ had a working prototype when the started the Kickstarter campaign, I decided the easiest way to get to the answer is to reach out to some of the folks who were already using the device. So I sent the following message to Ryan and Sara Hall - Olympic level athletes who blessed FREEWAVZ with their testimonials: (pardon the all caps but it's a cut-and-paste right from their website Ryanandsarahill.com.

      I'M ONE OF THE NERALY 1,600 KICKSTARTER BACKERS WHO PUT UP >$325K TO SUPPORT THE FREEWAVZ EARPHONES.
      I SAW YOUR TESTIMONIALS ON THE FREEWAVZ WEBSITE AND AM HOPING TO GET AN UPDATE ON YOUR EXPERIENCE AND THE DURABILITY OF THEIR PRODUCT. IN FACT, IT WOULD BE INCREDIBLY USEFUL FOR YOU TO WORK WITH THE FREEWAVZ FOLKS TO GIVE THE KICKSTARTER BACKERS AN UPDATE AS THE INFO WE'RE GETTING FROM FREEWAVZ SEEMS TO SAY THE PRODUCT DOES NOT YET EXIST, AND CERTAINLY YOU KNOW DIFFERENTLY. EVEN IF YOU CAN'T GET YOUR MESSAGE OUT THROGH FREEWAVZ, JUST GIVE ME THE UPDATE AND WILL MAKE SURE IT GETS TO THE BACKERS VERBATIM.

    9. Tony Castle on November 19, 2015

      Dont care where the money went, dont care about these pieces of plastic anymor, return my money so I can buy Earins instead.

    10. Michael Fisher on November 18, 2015

      Finally, some truth - 'we cannot provide an updated production schedule'. It would have been WAY better to hear that over the past months than the annoying "... shipping in 2 months"... "delays, shipping in a couple months..." "...more delays, shipping near Thanksgiving..." I sincerely appreciate the candor in this update; if these are the difficulties you've been facing, it still really ticks me off that your previous updates have been SO hopeful about shipping 'soon'.

      Thanks for the honesty, finally...

    11. Thomas James Slater on November 12, 2015

      Valid point from sasquatch. I was also of the understanding that:

      "We have a working prototype in the final go-to-market form factor. We have produced final boards with all electronics to deliver the functionality in this Kickstarter project description."

      Was an accurate depiction of the project status. I realize the tumultuous nature of capital investment in tech doesn't have predictable outcomes, but what helps predictability is correct information. In truth, there was no finality to any such prototype.
      Anyone with experience in design or tech knows the word "final" is a powerful (and dangerous) word to use, and no one uses it until a project is absolutely, mathematically 100% complete.

    12. Missing avatar

      Dick Gunkel on November 12, 2015

      With 41 years in high tech state-of-the-art development programs, I am not surprised. However, I am impressed with your commitment to get it right! Far to many products are shoved out the door to customers before development and rigorous testing is complete! Regards, Richard

    13. Missing avatar

      sasquatch on November 12, 2015

      From the campaign page dated Jul 13, 2014:
      What is the status of development of FreeWavz?

      We have a working prototype in the final go-to-market form factor. We have produced final boards with all electronics to deliver the functionality in this Kickstarter project description.The pictures in the rewards section show the current form, which only needs production machining for finishing the design.

      Last updated: Sun, Jul 13 2014 2:22 PM EST

    14. Rod Allan on November 12, 2015

      So really you are saying you'll never launch. Please.close the campaign and refund what you have

    15. Tom on November 12, 2015

      I agree with both MF Calub and Grace Conyers. I feel mis-lead when I backed this product. I was lead to believe you had a working prototype. My guess, is that you guys knew you were deceiving us and didnt want to provide regular updates because many of us would have realized it sooner and demanded a refund.

      I would love to see this product come to a realization just like you guys, but to blunt. This update sounds like you are back at square one! you have physical design problem, wireless signal problems, and battery life problem. Sounds pretty much like all the updates you have given us from day 1 rolled into one update.

      even if you some how miraculously come up with a final product, I will have a very hard time recommending it. Unless you are able to blow my mind, and make replacement parts readily available because I have my doubts on the quality

    16. Missing avatar

      Grace Conyers on November 11, 2015

      I appreciate the update, but I must say, I'm losing faith in you guys quickly. When I backed this project, I was deceived by you. You said and showed that you had a working prototype on the project page. I saw with the earliest updates that this was an outright lie.

      Still, I am still proud to be part of something new. The technology is amazing, despite the setbacks. I wish you would share more of the journey so that way we can feel more of a community, cheering you on or crying with you, as Calub said. It would at least make up for the lack of product.

      But let this be a lesson to you. Nothing can make up for broken promises.

    17. Vincent Wong
      Superbacker
      on November 11, 2015

      This product will NEVER see the light of day. This will instead turn out to be yet another CST-01. Mark my words.

    18. Stuart Blair Wagner on November 11, 2015

      As a backer, this is massively disappointing. You took my money and outsider money and heavily missed the goal. When you take someone's money in advance, you should at least have the decency to provide regular updates. I not only believe you are tracking to fail your backers, but you did so in terrifying fashion by disrespecting your backers.

      The only person I'm more angry at is myself for funding you. While its impressive that you got connected with NASA, I do not anticipate NASA will fix your problems, which appear to fundamentally be 1) resources 2) team capabilities and 3) management and leadership and 4) ability to anticipate and adapt to challenges.

    19. Steven J Murphy on November 11, 2015

      Thanks for the update. I, for one, want a state of the art product that works so I am fine in waiting till you get the problem solved. I realized when I backed this product that there would be challenges. Let's get it right.
      Thanks

    20. MF Calub on November 11, 2015

      All projects on KS comes with the risk of failure. If a project fails, the only thing your backers receive is the journey. Being part of the journey can be a reward in itself. Look at Bragi and you will see that they were also delayed but maintained the support of their backers. How? It's all about the journey. They only have one person posting on KS but he makes sure people know what's going on. Oh, yeah, he's also the founder and CEO of the company.

      Please keep us involved. You don't need to share secrets or anything. Just include us in the journey. As I said in the past, the only difference between your style of communication and Soundless Band's is that you can name drop. At the end of the day, you both marginalize the community by repeating how our money isn't worth much. Yes, you've spent $100s of thousands besides our money, yes, Soundless Band invested $1.6 million besides our money. I'm sorry but when you repeat those things, I see someone who has mismanaged their KS campaign. They either deceived us in regards to how much they really needed or else they honestly screwed up.

      Again, our money is gone. If this project fails, and I'm not saying that it will, it would be nice to be at least be part of the journey, cheering you guys on or crying with you.

      Personally, I paid for a journey and the product is secondary. Many KS projects fail and that is a fact. At the least, I paid for a journey and possibly a product.

    21. Justin Berlin on November 11, 2015

      I don't care how much money you used to pay HR, the CEO, or the janitor. All that matters is that you outright lied to your backers. You represented a product ready for market. Roughly a year plus after your Kickstarter campaign you still don't have a reliable date for delivery. Good luck making it even after you hit market. No one will trust anything this company promises.

    22. Kirk Peterson on November 11, 2015

      Guys: Just update us more frequently. At the end of the day that's all your backers really want while we wait. The issue isn't so much the wait—though every single one of us would really, REALLY like to have our flipping earphones—the issue are your long-term silences.

      Knock it off! Update us more frequently. Even if you have nothing more to say than, “Hey all! We're still here!”, that's better than abject silence.

      Please listen to this advice.

    23. Missing avatar

      Jon Gumley on November 11, 2015

      And here I was backing the project 18 months ago thinking that you guys had a working prototype, with many athletes already using them... at least that's what the campaign page shows...

      Why not save all the advancements for version 2 of the product and actually deliver what was promised within the original or even one of the several revised schedules?

    24. Dave Pekala on November 11, 2015

      Agree w/ what Michael said. I'm glad to see you have experts working through your issues and even have NASA engineers involved!!

    25. Jamie Lerner on November 11, 2015

      Thanks team! Getc that this is challenging, and would rather have it late with better performance. Complaints can definitely make a tough process tougher- just remember, regular updates or messages *of some kind* let everyone know that you're working and their investment in your concept is being actively used. :)

    26. Missing avatar

      Michael Twomey on November 11, 2015

      Thanks for the 'warts and all' update guys. Of course we're all disappointed with delays but when you reach the end you'll have the best wearable on the market. Keep the faith! I'm still 100% behind you!