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Connect your favorite headphones to the Switch with a premium USB Type-C, Bluetooth 5, aptX Low Latency, multi-pairing audio adapter.
Connect your favorite headphones to the Switch with a premium USB Type-C, Bluetooth 5, aptX Low Latency, multi-pairing audio adapter.
Connect your favorite headphones to the Switch with a premium USB Type-C, Bluetooth 5, aptX Low Latency, multi-pairing audio adapter.
9,389 backers pledged $531,898 to help bring this project to life.

The Half-time Show

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Color Voting Results are in!

When we first clicked launch we never imagined we’d grow to this scale so it felt safe to just stick with the neon blue / neon red combination. You guys wanted color choices as a stretch goal and we opened the floodgates and let everyone vote for their favorite color last week. We closed the polls after 3 days with 1,273 votes (incredible) - so we know you take your Joy-Con colors seriously.

The good news is we found some ways to basically make a lot of options for everyone but may have to sacrifice the 1P / 2P inscriptions - this actually could be better because it means you can use GENKI backward if the lights annoy you (though we actually have them auto dim btw). Anyways, back to what you’re here for, the voting results! (drumroll):

2/3 of us want Switch themed colors
2/3 of us want Switch themed colors

So we’re glad to know that is default color is the most popular and we will be making sure to be making plenty to go around for our monochromatic buddies (my wife included).

Over a quarter of us want ARMS, Splatoon 2, and Super Mario Odyssey Editions
Over a quarter of us want ARMS, Splatoon 2, and Super Mario Odyssey Editions

Now the interesting part - we honestly didn’t expect there to be more than a 1/4 of our crowd wanting the game specific Joy-Con colors. And honestly there’s a dangerously low interest in the ARMS Neon Yellow demand but we’ve decided that we’re just going to be awesome for the community because you guys have been awesome to us (or we can set an arbitrary stretch goal of $200K and congratulate ourselves in a few days - just kidding). We'll make these game specific colors limited and ensure there’s just enough to go around to satisfy our Kickstarter backers - so let's just call this a Kickstarter Exclusive.

3% of us are troublemakers (even I want neon blue / neon blue)
3% of us are troublemakers (even I want neon blue / neon blue)

So what about the remainder? This is where we had an ‘other color’ field that will probably get us in trouble. But upon closer inspection, we realized that half of the “others” category wanted color combinations made up of the colors above. So in order to fulfill this demand, Chris our designer has stepped up to the plate and offered his support in those wanting custom color configurations. He will personally sit in the factory and assemble these customizations and we ask that you donate $2 to your order if you want this so we can at least put him up in a decent hotel for volunteering (you can do this when we confirm final addresses when the campaign closes).

So there you have it, we’re able to satisfy 97% of your color demands. Now just to respond to some of the messages you guys left us on this survey (these were anonymous by the way)...

Reading Your Anonymous Mail

Can you make it to where the colors can be changed? Like a removable piece of plastic or something. 

So we had this crazy idea to offer a DIY LABO-like kit where you get an unassembled GENKI and you get a bag of colors for you to put it together with glue or snaps. Let’s just say the Engineer and the Designer do not approve… The size would have to be much thicker and the QA process would be a nightmare and we couldn’t truly ensure it would work on arrival. So yeah we’re sonic welding this thing to make it as compact and robust as possible and just offering colors directly.

You guys are dope / You guys rock! / Love you 

(brushing the dirt off our shoulders) You're dope, you rock, and we love you too!

In the case that the Splatoon Edition does not win out, since I was the first to post about the idea, is there any way at all you guys can be like "Hey kid! You gave us a great idea and got all these people even more excited our product, so we will do one Splatoon Edition just for you since you're a real nice guy!" That would make me a very very very happy person. Thanks for making this product happen! 

It's not every day we make someone very very very happy, we're honored!

I’m allergic to soy. 

What if soy milk... is just regular milk introducing itself in Spanish? (but seriously don’t drink it)

Can you make a little hardshell case for it? 

Stay tuned.

Grey and Neon should be made mass market, others possibly as Kickstarter exclusive. 

You got it, boss.

I would really like the ability to flip the Genki away from me or turn off the green lights.

Free win! USB-C works both ways. And our lights auto-dim, they’re actually not distracting at all but we leave it up to you.

I love your company and glad you take your backers/supporters into consideration. 

And this is how you schmooze us into making your ARMS edition neon yellow!

How do I choose before receiving my Genki? 

Good practical question, you’ll get a survey at the end specifying all the add-ons, mods, and even your final shipping address.

Does this work for PS4? 

Yes, it works on the PS4 with the dock adapter!  Also works on a Macbook if you want to Netflix and chill voyeuristically. In all seriousness, we do hope Netflix comes to the Switch.

Is Splatoon edition US or international arrangement? (Colors are flipped) 

We're a bit ashamed we didn't know that there was a color difference… and yeah I guess it is the US edition with the green on the left, and pink on the right. Well, at least we have that customization option?

Please keep us updated on the microphone functionality research and production! 

Okay, perfect transition into our next topic…

The Mic Update

So on the first day of our campaign we were all hyped up and freaking out at the same time as it turned out to be the same day Fortnite had announced (but not enabled) voice chat for the Switch. We first thought, yay this is great! If people can talk without the smartphone app over Bluetooth headphones this would be great. Since then we've been furiously preparing solutions and trying to figure out how the Nintendo Switch and Fortnite would handle voice chat. We quickly learned a few things on how the Switch handles audio input after a few tests.

Not a paid actor
Not a paid actor

1. Enable Voice-chat through HFP Bluetooth Profile

This sounded simple enough at first and when it seemed like the ideal option since we had all the hardware in place to technically make this change. When we looked into it though we realized there's a lot of software development behind this, and not just adding Bluetooth profiles but also introduces some complexity in how we toggle between profiles. What this means is you can use A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile for stereo 48kHz bit rate) to play games but the second Fortnite sends a request for mic input it'll force downgrade to a profile which supports it, HFP (Hands-Free Profile, mono 8kHz bit rate) which is what is commonly used in modern car phone integrations. Your game audio instantly sounds as if it were on the other side of a phone call, muted, hollow, and muffled. It's dramatically noticeable and an unpleasant experience. If you've heard of people using USB wireless audio headsets it's actually because they're specific gamer headphones that are not Bluetooth, and use a proprietary radio connection with big bulky designs that tend to make you look like a cyborg (which is cool, if you're into that sort of thing!)

2. Build an Integrated Microphone Inside of GENKI 

So then we looked into how we could just build in a mic into GENKI. We didn't know if this was technically possible for GENKI to transmit audio through one source and receive audio through another source all through one USB-C port. So what we did was get a USB-C splitter and basically plugged in USB microphone on one port and GENKI on the other. We loaded up Fortnite and high fives all around we saw it load. Now we're looking into what impact it'll have for the final product as we'll have to add three things to the BOM (bill of material for manufacturing) which include a microphone, a hub controller, and a sound card with ADC audio digital conversion. We have to try moving a lot of components around and do some further testing! The good news is the sound quality remains top notch but realistically we will have to consider how to mute the mic for those who value their privacy at times.

3. Add-on a Microphone to the Headphone Jack

So this sounded simple enough, GENKI uses the USB-C port why not use the headphone jack for analog voice input? It's pretty smart too because you don't need to modify and do further testing - and you don't have to worry about it always being on if its a separate thing to plug in. It sounds almost too simple but we found some interesting things. If you plug-in a USB audio device into the Switch it trumps all connections so even if you were to plug in a mic after it would ignore it. Yet when you do it the other way around, plugging in the mic first its not a problem. You heard it here first, a GENKI discovery. The great thing about this option is that it doesn't impact the sound quality, de-risks development, and shipment schedules, but it would technically require a huge upfront order for us to make one that sits the way we want.

TLDR Executive Summary
TLDR Executive Summary

We haven’t made a decision yet as we still want to further explore and adjust our confidence in each option. We are least confident in #1 because sound quality is super important to us and it introduces risk and confusion of toggling profiles and will likely introduce many more bugs (we’ve squashed all of them last week). #2 we will keep trying different parts and test the performance and most importantly the impact. #3 will require a bit of design and confirmation of a supply chain to support it. Either way, we just want to say voice chat isn’t going to be an optional add-on, we want it to be ready for everyone before shipping (even if Fortnite turns out to be just a fad). If you read all the way to the end, bravo... 

Till next time, 

Eddie, Chris, and Andrew

------------------------------------

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Keith Yang, Dorlina Chan, and 30 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Michelle Babb on

      Just FYI, the US configuration of the Splatoon 2 Joy cons is pink on the left, green on the right. You listed it the other way in this update. (Green on the left, pink on the right, which is the Japanese configuration) Though since the device can be attached either way I guess it matters less.

    2. Human Things Creator on

      Chad - yep!

    3. Missing avatar

      Chad on

      Awesome! I'm in after the grey-variant announcement. Just to be clear, I'll be asked to clarify which color choice I want post-pledging, right?

    4. Human Things Creator on

      Hey Daniel - awesome, stay tuned and we’ll aim to make it all a win/win. Though the limits of Bluetooth for voice chat and game audio is just really traumatically bad - so let’s say we had ‘god mode’ enabled and we made an audio codec/profile that defied current limitations and could support awesome audio for sound and chat... well none of our Bluetooth headphones would even support it.

    5. Daniel Johnson on

      To me complete honest I would say if it had full Bluetooth function with mic use on headset and had a pass through. I would by it in a heartbeat. (More like the shut and take my money scenario) but if it was a upgrade that took longer and cost around 60-80 bucks then ya I'll buy it.

      Please make this because if you do, this will be "the accessory" that people will want.

    6. Human Things Creator on

      Hey Michael sorry for seeing this so late. Sorry about the translucent colors there really isn’t enough to make it a reality at this point. It fits snug like any other usb-c cable, definitely can’t be shaken loose.

    7. Michael
      Superbacker
      on

      • integrated mic would be awesome maybe possible switch to turn off or on?
      ♦ question on the snugness
      - if you shake the switch would the genki fall out?
      No option for a see through genki, for throwback styles?! like glacier blue or indigo?

    8. Human Things Creator on

      Joshua - Thanks Joshua! And to be honest we were a bit worried that if we labeled the 3 game themed colors “KS exclusive” that everyone would jump ship to them instead of the Standard Neon Blue / Neon Red or Grey. But then we realized, why were we worried again? We’ll keep working out the mic support for sure!

      Patricia - Yay for the 3%, great choice. You’d be surprised at how much research we have in this area in particular… but basically it comes down to just literally having a 90 degree connector is will result in more than half the height of GENKI. As for magnets, lovely but a patent trap I’m afraid… If you need it to work out with the case read my comment below to Rob :)

      Rob - couldn’t have answered it better than Adam :) We’ll have an option to basically to modify a small set using a longer USB-C connector that can support case, giving it about 1.5-2mm of extra space to sit flush with the case. We’ll have a final survey after the campaign where you can ‘pimp your GENKI’ to suit your needs :)

      Adam - yeah you can hopefully understand the stress that came from voice chat being so important at the start of our project! By the way we haven’t clearly defined option 3 but it wouldn’t introduce any wires, cause then like whats the point!

      Nosgoroth - thanks for the feedback! honestly we’ve spent 3 weeks alone debugging just to make the simplest UX for multiplayer pairing and are freaking out about adding a third physical toggle. Like I said, we don’t have a final answer yet and we’re also being very conscious not to be like GoPro where you need an add-on for everything

      Ben - please share photos when you have an all pink set!

      Rufo - very well put, better than I explained it for sure. thank you for this!

    9. Joshua Easter
      Superbacker
      on

      I voted for more traditional colors but with the Kickstarter only options I am definitely getting Splatoon colors-my favorite game. Thank you for looking into options for the microphone. I hope something works out or you figure something that will work in the near future even if a different add on. I was saddened when a friend I recommended this Kickstarter to pointed out it doesn’t work with mic. We’ve been getting into Fortnite so was hoping it would work with that. I primarily play handheld most of the time or tabletop occasionally rarely docking. My friend mainly plays docked and got a PS4 USB Bluetooth headset that works for him. But only because it’s plugged into the dock. One reason I was hoping for a handheld Bluetooth microphone support option. But do what is best after weighing all the options. If you can’t make it work please research and figure out something for future product ASAP. :)

    10. Patricia A Bradford on

      I too am of the 3%ers. I want the neon blue/ neon blue configuration. Have you thought about the magnetic c charging couplers to solve the Switch in a case? On another note, can this device be made with a 90° connector so the bulk of the device will be closer to the Switch and the risk of damage to the connection might be minimized?

    11. Missing avatar

      Adam on

      @ Rob Sartorelli

      I think they are offering custom lengthened USB-C connectors for people with cases. Last I saw they will all be hand modified and cost an extra $5?

    12. Missing avatar

      Rob Sartorelli on

      Hey guys, is there any chance you can make a usb-c stand-off to add to the genki for those of us that have cases on our switch? For example, I have the Skull & Co grip case, which is awesome and doesn’t even need to come off when I dock it. However, I’m guessing the Genki will not work with the case on.

    13. Nosgoroth on

      Of course, if you were going to go with option 2 you could potentially make the mute switch a tri-state switch and have the third state be HFP, but maybe I'm asking for too much.

    14. Nosgoroth on

      Oh, I think I get option 3? Mic embedded in Genki but NOT connected to the USB-C chain, instead going to a female jack on Genki so that you can plug it in to the Switch headphone jack with a male-to-male cable. If that's what it is I don't think I like it but it's definitely the easiest solution for you guys.

    15. Missing avatar

      Adam on

      Thanks for the though update. Just my thoughts on the mic options.

      1. Yes, sound quality is an important aspect. If that is the only option using bluetooth only for a mic, then I would say forget about it. If there id another work around in the future to retain higher quality with a mic, even for a paid firmware update, then I'm definitely interested. Not sure of all the specifics obviously, but if cutting the ability to use two headsets allows more options when using a mic (two headsets audio only, or one headset audio + mic when the mic mode is activated), then I'm sure almost everyone would be okay with that.

      2. Integrated mic would be a great compromise. Maybe second headset pair button could be used as mute when in this mode? The only concern would be when using the console in docked mode as the mic would now be across the room. A solution to this would possibly be a similar USB-C setup that plugs into the pro controller to get power with an integrated mic that transmits to the Genki receiver on the dock. Another similar idea for a future project would be a wired mic/headphone adapter for the pro controller (and/or just an integrated mic, audio through TV speakers). You would probably need some kind of a receiver for the dock as well (Genki?).

      3. Least favorite option. Not sure what the whole idea is; cord to plug into 3.5mm jack that connects to Genki then everything is bluetooth to the headset or bluetooth headset, plus a wire to a headset for a mic? Either way, it sounds messy and complicated and doesn't fit in well with Genki which is an easy to use, small device, that doesn't need any additional adaptors, cords, power supplies, etc...

      And very reasonable option for custom color combos by the way!

    16. Nosgoroth on

      Cheers for the transparency, so refreshing.

      Yes, I've experienced the switch from A2DP to HFP, it's jarring and it just feels wrong; my Macbook does it when I open a VM in Parallels and it decides to listen to mic input for a few seconds -- if I'm listening to music it sounds muddled and horrible. It's the most versatile, though, for anyone who might want to use Genki on the dock instead of in portable mode. Maybe make the profile switching manual with a physical on-device switch? That way you have a sort-of mute toggle, so that if you want to play Fortnite without mic input but the sound intact, you can.

      Option 2 is the most user-friendly, I think, but it has the drawback of docked play AND adding many components to the device, which I'm not sure about.

      Option 3 I'm not even sure how it works. Connect Genki to the Switch headphone jack? What for? You're still going to need to connect to the BT headset via HFP to receive mic data wirelessly, right? Besides, it would look janky, and there's the user-unfriendly plugging order restriction, which also could change with system updates and render the solution useless?

      Of all three I think I truly like, uh, none of them, but yeah, I'd say that 1 is the most versatile, 2 is the simplest user-wise but riskiest production-wise (you've already set the KS price) and 3 I don't get.

      I'm not even going to use the mic myself!

    17. Ben Hamler on

      Dual pink GENKI audio adapter for my dual pink Joy-Con Switch? Sign me up!

    18. Human Things Creator on

      I realized how unclear I was but basically we are offering these colors with no additional charge:
      - Standard Neon Red / Neon Blue
      - Standard Grey / Grey
      - KS Only Splatoon Neon Pink / Neon Green
      - KS Only Mario Odyssey Classic Red / Classic Red
      - KS Only ARMS Neon Yellow / Neon Yellow

      Don’t worry about making selections - we’ll send a survey out after the campaign closes to collect your color options, add-one, and final shipping address.

      The $2 for Chris is only if you want a custom color combo based upon a mixture of neon red, neon blue, grey, neon pink, neon green, classic red, and neon yellow and you can tell us when we send the survey as well.

      Tim - awesome thanks it means a lot

      Ben- we’ll keep it up thanks!

      Chandler - oh and this is specific to Bluetooth audio of course

    19. Rufo Sanchez on

      @Chandler Van De Water There's likely two things at work there; one is the compression is already designed for voice, so if you're on a phone call or meeting, the compression is much less noticeable than with game audio or music. Combine that with the fact that there's cell phone or VoIP voice compression, compression from the other caller's headsets, only mono audio on a phone/meeting, etc. and there's much less quality to lose in the first place. The second is that typically the phone will negotiate the lower quality as soon as the call starts and microphone input is requested; if you try toggling on the microphone while playing audio (something I've done with web meetings on my Mac while switching audio inputs), you'll notice a brief disconnection as the connection switches profiles, followed by the mono lower-quality audio described in the post. You might also be able to play music or some other audio during a call and notice the difference. As far as I'm aware there are no bluetooth audio devices that get around this; even the AirPods and other Apple W1-equipped headphones where they could specifically engineer this out when communicating to an iOS device have a drop in audio quality (although much less than many other bluetooth headsets I've used).

    20. Missing avatar

      Tim Callahan on

      This is an impressive update. Informative and genuinely funny without any cringe - that’s not easy to do. Thanks for putting the time into it. It’s clear your team is passionate about this project.

    21. Human Things Creator on

      Chandler - I challenged the team with the same question, then I tried to play music while on a phone call or skype call or FaceTime. It’s crazy it’s something I never noticed before - but yes mono is fine for voice but now have someone sing over the phone on the other side then play a song you’ve downloaded - sometimes it’s straight up blocked.

      Matt - sorry if the update wasn’t clear but yes we will have grey / grey as 29% of you wanted it

      Sania - if it’s not one of the basic colors we’ll have to manually assemble it so if it’s neon blue / neon blue yes

    22. Ben Appenzeller on

      So glad you're pushing solutions for audio input. Keeping my fingers crossed you can fit it in. Slight delay or cost are AOK by me.

    23. Chandler Van De Water on

      Exciting stuff for the color options!

      But concerning the microphone options... If I'm understanding this correctly, there won't be a way to use the mic on my Bluetooth headphones unless you guys go with option 1? How do they normally work via bluetooth on my iPhone, then? I don't notice any loss in quality when talking on the phone or on a meeting...

    24. Missing avatar

      Matt Choules on

      Or if not grey and grey (as I realise now these are LEDS) then something simple like white?

    25. Missing avatar

      Matt Choules on

      Can I ask if theres the option to have boring old grey and grey as the color options?
      I only just backed and so didnt have the chance to vote so figured I'd ask here.

    26. Missing avatar

      Sania Khatri
      Superbacker
      on

      Hey so will I need to add the $2 for the neon blue option as well or is it just for those who want diff combinations apart from the ones shown above?