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World's First Wireless Smart In Ear Headphones. 1000 Songs. Performance Tracking. Body Sensors. Secure Fit.
World's First Wireless Smart In Ear Headphones. 1000 Songs. Performance Tracking. Body Sensors. Secure Fit.
World's First Wireless Smart In Ear Headphones. 1000 Songs. Performance Tracking. Body Sensors. Secure Fit.
15,998 backers pledged $3,390,551 to help bring this project to life.

BRAGI UPDATE - VERY IMPORTANT information for developers!!!

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BRAGI UPDATE - on track, design verification, how it works and what's next

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Dear Backer,

things are moving along well. This monday alpha6 production was initiated. If our design verification succeeds, this production run will turn into beta production (beta is used to tune and balance the production and test) equipment.

Design verification is supposed to be finished end of July for audio, electronics and mechanics.

Audio performance

In our last update we informed you we were working on removing the distortion originating from the water proofing membrane.

We have found a nice water proofing solution, and I'd love to show how it was done, but sadly cannot due to patent filing process. Hope you understand. 

Our audio team is working on fine tuning the production process to achieve consistent audio performance. If there is a small air leak inside the Dash, it will drastically reduce the sound pressure and audio quality. We are very happy with the audio quality at this stage. Audio transparency in particular is an interesting experience.

Mechanics

The (hopefully) final parts have been received and are being used for the next prototype run. We had to add glue ducts and add a few modifications to the construction to improve manufacturability.

The ultrasonic welding process had to be changed from alpha5 to alpha 6 production due to failures in waterproofing and drop testing.

Design verification of sleeves for white and black Dash
Design verification of sleeves for white and black Dash

Something as trivial as silicon sleeves need to be tested for durability, transparency, repeatability, bio compatibility and many other things. No one said it is supposed to be easy to make The Dash.

Electronics

The team is sorting out a few bugs in the hardware, that should be resolved with the  Alpha6 prototypes. The electronics team will spend the next 2 weeks on design review checking that the issues have been resolved.

Our alpha5 build from a few months ago had a lot of electronics failing, because we introduced a new chip that had tiny soldering pads. The solder paste grain size was not fine enough resulting in only parts of the pads connecting.

The solder paste on our electronics with the tiny solder pads. Each pad is 0,3x0,3mm big. Very difficult to manufacture.
The solder paste on our electronics with the tiny solder pads. Each pad is 0,3x0,3mm big. Very difficult to manufacture.

We have changed the solder paste grain size for the alpha6 run and improved the solder paste stencil (I know, it is very technical, but that is our life right now). 

BRAGI Operating system & software

Last update we mentioned Blacklight, Essence and Promise software releases. Blacklight production software was released last friday in time for our alpha6 production run starting this monday.

Our next software release called Essence is planned for final release mid August. We have a few bugs that need to be resolved with involvement from 3rd parties, and are relying on deliveries from them end of July.

BRAGI App

The android and iOS apps are coming along well, while the Windows App is approximately 3 weeks behind. 

It is absolutely unintentional, but the windows app team is missing a qualified resource right now. It has been quite difficult to hire people in Germany who are very experienced Windows app developers.

Without additional resources the Windows App will be released 3 weeks after the iOS and android app. We are very sorry, we are doing our best to catch up!

Certifications

The Dash need quite a few certifications before shipping. FCC, UL, CE, BT, USB and quite a few others. If Alpha6 passes design verification, The entire certification process takes approximately 4 weeks. Current time plan is still shipping early bird devices end of August as planned.

How The Dash works

Chris, our UX designer, has made a short video on how The Dash works. 

Chris is the person that has used The Dash more than anyone else on this planet. He is user experience testing The Dash several times a week. A process that takes 4-6 hours for the entire test. Chris didn't want to participate in the video because he had a bad hair day. I convinced him that our backers wouldn't care much about his hair. Enjoy.

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Timeline

We are tight on our deadlines right now, but project management has confirmed pending successful alpha6 design and Essence software verification, the current timeline is still valid.

What can happen? A lot of things. We could have faulty components, water ingress, bad assembly process and thus low yield in production, bugs in the software we receive from suppliers or in our own code and a lot of other things. Our list is very long, but we have contingency plans for all of them. None of the issues we see are critical, but could require additional work. That said, we are on track to ship:

Developer kits Early August

Early bird backers in late August

Rest of backers in September.

Shipment time is estimated to 5-10 days with the selected forwarder.

In the next weeks we will send updates asking you to update shipping address (especially developers and early birds) and update colour preferences.

Regards,

team BRAGI and Nikolaj

BRAGI UPDATE - on track, on track and gems overview.

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Dear Backer,

in our last update we told you that The Dash works. And it still does. 

Major part of our work has been focused at increasing the stability of The Dash to ensure that it works really well. 

Audio performance

We have speakers and microphones embedded in The Dash. Those are protected from water ingress by membranes. The membrane on the ambient microphone works great, while the membrane in front of the speaker induce distortion at low frequencies.

By applying different adhesive and optimizing membrane structure we expect to remove the distortion in the next few weeks.

Mechanics

The last puzzle parts of the mechanical structure have come together. All injection mould tools are done except for the injection mould tool for the charging area on The Dash. It needed further improvement to decrease assembly time and reduce production risks towards waterproofing. It is noncritical to the current plan.

BRAGI Operating System & Software

The Dash is a evolving platform that is capable of improving though time through software updates. All future operating system upgrades for The Dash will be free of charge for you. 

We have 3 major software releases planned. Blacklight (V1.0), Essence (V2.0) and Promise (V3.0). 

Blacklight has all features needed to be able to production test and user experience test The Dash.

Essence adds additional features and Bluetooth Low Energy support. We rely on a final firmware upgrade from a supplier promised for ultimo July to enable us to qualify the Essence software for final production.

Promise adds more advanced sensor features like airtime, cadence, laps and others.

Blacklight RC (release candidate V0.9) should be finished this Friday and will be tested until being used for our production run scheduled for July 13th through July 24th. 

Essence RC (V1.9) is planned for the 27th of July and will go onto all the developer kits. Essence (V2.0) is planned for the pilot production planned from the 17th to 28th of August.

Promise (V3.0) is planned for late September/early October update through the Bragi APP. After Promise (V3.0) you should expect bimonthly software updates that will improve the user experience, increase sensor precision and correct issues only found within large numbers of devices.

Device to program software for The Dash and testing. We call it The Vault.
Device to program software for The Dash and testing. We call it The Vault.

BRAGI App

Work is progressing according to time-plan. The App should be in the respective app stores by end of August.

A nice feature is the integrated help function in The App. Martin shows you how that works inside the iOS app. So if you have ideas, need help or have specific challenges, we will be able to help you directly inside the BRAGI App when you have received your Dash.

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This video below displays our special developer app capable of tracing all system feedback from The Dash and an interface to make The Dash do certain actions. This app will be used solely by developers to interact with and develop for The Dash.

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Things that aren't optimal

In order to make an ultra low power The Dash, we had to make some concessions. 

Lower USB transfer speeds require less power hungry chips inside The Dash.

Our choice was significantly longer battery life vs. faster USB data transfer. Battery life won.

It will take approximately 4-6 seconds to transfer a mp3 song to The Dash. Filling all the available space on The Dash with music would thus take an estimated 4000-6000 seconds (67-100 minutes). We hope that is acceptable to you with the obvious benefits in mind.

Hidden gems that make The Dash even better

If you haven't been following conversation in the comments, you wouldn't know that The Dash will do more than promised in our Kickstarter campaign. Just to sum up the most important gems:

Battery life up with 33% towards Kickstarter promise

Improved with better speakers and acoustic performance (balanced armature speakers)

Improved with higher performance ear bone microphone for speech 

The Case will be able to recharge The Dash up to 8 times at 20 deg C (In total providing 24 hours playtime without access to USB power).

Awesome case with aluminium slider

Magnetic connector for simple and convenient placement of The Dash in The Case.

Functions that are enabled in future software releases:

Added a 3 axis gyroscope sensor that can measure relative rotations (activated in Promise)

Added a 3 axis compass (magnetometer) tell absolute direction you are looking (activated in Promise)

Two independent bluetooth systems. One system is connected to your phone/tablet/laptop as a slave. The other bluetooth system enables other devices to connect to The Dash as the master. That enables The Dash to control or receive data from other sensors, locks, watches, IoT devices, remote controls etc. This functionality is expected towards a December/January release time.

An this is just the start of an exciting journey.

Refunds

Backers have no right to a refund from Kickstarter projects, but we felt that anyone should have the right to step back. Also due to the unforeseen challenges we encountered.

Your support has been amazing, and very few has chosen to get a refund. On this Friday we have to order all components needed to build The Dash for you. We hope that you understand that we can't do any more refunds for products we have already bought parts for. 

As of today we will not provide any refunds anymore. We have kept our timeline since early April, and are looking forward to provide you with The Dash.

Competition on name

We had a small competition on our Facebook page to give the magnetic charging interface inside The Case a name.

We chose MagSnap. Short, precise and similar to the noise made by The Dash when placed in The Case. 

Congratulations to Alasdair Grant who was the first one to come up with the name. What do you think?

Timeline

We are on track to ship:

Developer kits Early August

Early bird backers in late August

Rest of backers in September.

Shipment time is estimated to 5-10 days with the selected forwarder.

Mikme microphone

If you make music, record sounds or make video's you'll like Mikme. My friend Philipp from Mikme just started an Indiegogo campaign on an awesome wireless studio grade microphone. It has reached >$80K in a day. I've followed Philipp's progress the past years and I have backed it too. Check it out.

http://igg.me/at/mikme-microphone

Regards,

team BRAGI and Nikolaj

BRAGI UPDATE - years of development, moments of utter joy and finishing what we started

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Dear Backer,

bear with me if this update is slightly emotional. 

I quit my job 2,5 years ago, and it has been a wild and inspiring journey to achieve something that everyone told me was impossible. 

BRAGI and I wanted to make entertaining discrete assistants. Not just assisting while doing sports, but also enabling people that have been impacted with disability, to prevent diseases, to improve safety and ability of people at work and many others areas. And all of that with the highest regard for privacy. 

Because we are convinced that we are working on a project that can assist millions of people we needed and wanted to succeed. We have done everything within our ability to avoid failing. 

I must admit that we literally have been days away from failing. Our deep desire to succeed helped us through those challenging times. 

That is why I'm incredibly proud to announce that we have solved all major issues that could keep us from delivering The Dash to you. 

Wireless performance

Major cause of delay was caused by challenges with wireless performance between the right and left Dash. It might sound like a trivial thing to solve, but it definitely hasn't been trivial. We have spent millions of € to solve that problem.

Our previous solution should and could have worked, but in certain use cases it would have been challenging with frequent dropouts or stereo audio not working at all.

We initiated implementation of plan C as communicated a few updates back. We actually made sure that we could implement plan C back in October 2014.

It works

Plan C uses magnetic induction rather than radio waves for communication between right and left Dash. The Dash is still capable of connecting to a smart phone or computer via Bluetooth.

Each headphone creates a magnetic bubble of approximately 25cm. It is immune from wireless interference and virtually secure from eavesdropping. It is absolutely safe from a health perspective and much better than using bluetooth between the ears (we live in a huge magnetic field created by our dear earth).

The link is incredibly stable and works in virtually any condition except within very strong magnetic fields (that are very rare).

The Dash will provide stable stereo playback even if the user has long and wet hair, is wearing a helmet for skiing or biking and in other challenging conditions. It will even work while swimming (down to 1m depth due to water proofing). We think that is AWESOME!

The energy consumption has been reduced as well, so expect an increase in battery life of 30-40%. That results in improvement from 3 hours promised to 4 hours or more pending on sensor activity.

Testing

The technical challenges that could prevent us from making The Dash have all been solved unless there is something we have missed.

In next 2,5 months we are going to test, test and test The Dash to prevent any critical flaws when the product is delivered. We have an automatic hardware and software test system that simulates the use of The Dash with hundreds of interactions every second (rather than the one interaction every few seconds from a human) to find issues.

Our BRAGI app also features a feedback option, where users can feedback on issues directly to our developers (idea from a backer, thank you).

The Dash will go through certifications (FCC, UL, CE and a few others). These certifications could cause that we need to modify the product, but we do currently not think it is needed.

Production

Our team and our manufacturing partner have been developing fixtures and jigs as well as testing procedures.

This might sound trivial, but the task is quite massive. We need to manufacture and test thousands of products every single day and need automated equipment to do so.

An ultrasonic welding machine has been bought to weld the housing parts together, and fixtures to hold The Dash while welding has been made.

Fixture for the ultrasonic welding process.
Fixture for the ultrasonic welding process.
Production fixture to test and program the left Dash electronics
Production fixture to test and program the left Dash electronics

We intend to build 80 units of The Dash in the next few days. We then have to test and evaluate the devices. 

First left Dash built with the fixtures and jigs to be used on the production line.
First left Dash built with the fixtures and jigs to be used on the production line.
Some of the parts to build the Alpha5 units
Some of the parts to build the Alpha5 units

Mid July we intend to build another 500 units (developer units) in our beta build.

Mid to end August another 1000 units are built for our early backers.

And we are currently on track to do so.

So how does it all look now?

This video shows the Alpha5 build with final mechanics. The cable and yellow tape is of cause just for our internal development units ;-)

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The Dash with medium sleeve fitted.
The Dash with medium sleeve fitted.
The Dash with the intended finish (without the charging part)
The Dash with the intended finish (without the charging part)

The Charger without the aluminium cover case

The Charging Case without the aluminium cover
The Charging Case without the aluminium cover

This video shows how The Dash is pulled into the charging case by magnets.

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Evaluating laser engraved logo types on the aluminium case for The Case.
Evaluating laser engraved logo types on the aluminium case for The Case.

All the parts of the puzzle have come together. This has been an awesome week.

The team and I will go and celebrate in a local beergarden in a few hours. 

 Timeline

We are on track to ship:

Developer kits late July/early August

Early bird backers in late August

Rest of backers in September.

Shipment time is estimated to 5-10 days with the selected forwarder.

Regards 

the very happy team BRAGI and Nikolaj

BRAGI UPDATE - Alpha5 & back to China, backer day, on track!

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Dear Backer,

in our last update we reported on good progress with Alpha5 prototypes. Progress is still on target to what we communicated previously.

Alpha 5 & back to China

the Alpha 5 printed circuit boards are expected to start being populated with electronics on Monday. Right now, Eric, Vlad, Arne and Daniel are on their way to China to our contract manufacturer.

Eric and Vlad are going to work on factory hardware and software testing as well as bringing up the Alpha 5 products.

Factory testing is done to ensure that the processes are set up in due time to ensure smooth product introduction to the factory.

We have been testing the current electronics schematic in our offices on our development board, and all looked good.

From a mechanical point of view, Alpha 5 will be built from first out of tool production materials. We have made all plastic and metal injection (MIM) tools necessary for The Dash, and we are looking forward to see the first devices that look like finished product.

Alpha 4 where some parts are rapid prototyped
Alpha 4 where some parts are rapid prototyped

When we receive Alpha 5 back in Munich, we need to do thorough electronics, software, acoustics, algorithm and co-existance tests to ensure a solid product.

If Alpha 5 prooves to be solid, we could go into production of beta products in mid July (and even have some time to spare if another fine tune alpha 6 round if needed).

Backer day

Wednesday was a great day. Torgeir and Jeffrey came in from Bergen, Norway and Houston, USA/(Texas). On top of that 15 others joined in. Edy from Vienna had made a BRAGI cake all night, took the 8AM train, arrived in Munich 3pm, stayed until 9pm and took the night train back to Vienna arriving thursday morning. Amazing commitment!

Tour in our packed offices
Tour in our packed offices

I had the pleasure to tell how it all began, why I quit my previous job to make The Dash, our experiences through Kickstarter and the incredible time we have had building BRAGI and making The Dash.

Anne was hanging in there, while we were "nerding" along
Anne was hanging in there, while we were "nerding" along

We then went on to see our workshop and how The Dash is built. A microscope was needed to see some of the finer details.

It is tiny! (and hidden)
It is tiny! (and hidden)

Arne and Martin were demoing The Dash and the app.

Tap it, and you'll hear sound!
Tap it, and you'll hear sound!
And sound there was.
And sound there was.
The Dash in action
The Dash in action
It's a special feeling. The Dash is incredibly light (around 10gram) and has a great fit.
It's a special feeling. The Dash is incredibly light (around 10gram) and has a great fit.

They all obviously just tested a right Dash, since we have to wait for Alpha 5 to have the solid link between right and left. 

A few comments from our backers (copy pasted from comments section):

Roland Klingesberger: 

@for all I was there too on Wednesday. For me it was an interesting and very impressive visit. They spend about 4 hours with us. They explained how everything started, some background about the initial ideas and what they think and plan in the greater view for the future. 

 I was very surprised that they were very open and explained things about the long term view and the experience they made. For me everything is very promising and I' m confident we'll get a great product in September. I can tell that they work very hard and with all three heartblood to get the thing done. 

@for Bragi Thank's for the the afternoon and evening and it was awesome.

Fabian Göttel: 

I was there too. I was really surprised and amazed how much time every single bragi guy took for us. After nikolay told us how bragi started we continued our tour, splitting up and had intensive talks with the hard working guys. 

My personal highlight was the moment as I experienced the dash. First impression: sound quality is really good and the fit is even better. So I even got more excited and cant await to get my pair of the dash! 

Tldr: Amazing!

John Good:

@all I was there yesterday. We had to sign kind of an NDA and to switch off our phones. But you will get the video from Bragi anyway. 

 What I can say is that it was a really awsome, interesting afternoon and evening. They were receiving us very heartly and speaking very openly about their experiences during development of the product. We got the feeling that everybody at Bragi is working with blood, sweat and tears to bring the Dash to market. And it will be awsome. We were able to test the sound quality and the fit and it looks very promising. The new tech for left device to right device communication is awsome and will make the product even better. 

What impressed me as well is the long term vision Bragi has for the product. The evening closed with a beer at a bar. 

 @Bragi Thank you again for this great opportunity.

We will prepare a video for our next update with some recorded comments too.

Timeline

We are on track to ship:

Developer kits late July/early August

Early bird backers in late August

Rest of backers September.

Shipment time is estimated to 5-10 days with the selected forwarder.

Cross your fingers for a successful Alpha 5 release. I'll make a video for next update showing the device in details.

Regards 

Team BRAGI and Nikolaj