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Jorno — the pocketable, folding, bluetooth keyboard.'s video poster
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Jorno is a unique folding bluetooth keyboard that works with iPhone/iPad and Android devices. Go mobile and get productive with Jorno. Read more

Los Angeles, CA Gadgets
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on October 17, 2012.

Jorno is a unique folding bluetooth keyboard that works with iPhone/iPad and Android devices. Go mobile and get productive with Jorno.

Los Angeles, CA Gadgets
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Jorno Now Shipping To Backers

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Overview

We are very excited to announce we are ready to ship Jorno to our backers!

We’ve been working relentlessly on improving and testing Jorno’s design—3 extended visits to Shenzhen, multiple revised prototypes, and thousands of hours of quality assurance testing—all leading up to a product that we can be very proud of.

The first production run is now complete, with product delivered to our California warehouse last week. There are details below about shipping Jorno to our backers.

Jorno’s improved, more robust design

We are pleased to unveil the final, production design! As noted in previous updates, we have been working tirelessly toward finding the very best design for Jorno—now a more modern, stronger product than previously imagined.

Jorno in Black:

Jorno in White:

There are a number of improvements that we made over the course of the last few prototype rounds:

  • Thinner. We were able to streamline the overall PCBA space requirements for a much slimmer unit.
  • Stronger. There are now more metal parts, and a much improved hinge design. 
  • Ergonomic key size. Key caps are now nearly full size, offering a more ergonomic typing experience.
  • Larger cradle (with protective case). The larger cradle better accommodates large phones and tablets. We loved the old design, but due to the high value of phones and tablets, we opted for a more pragmatic, larger design. It was too easy for a tablet to fall off the old design. The cradle also converts to a protective case by folding up to wrap around the keyboard.

Technical specifications:

Dimensions

  • Folded: 5.77 x 3.53 x 0.67 in (146.5 x 89.6 x 16.9 mm)
  • Unfolded: 9.91 x 3.53 x 0.26 in (251.7 x 89.6 x 6.6 mm)

Weight

  • 6.51 oz (184.5 g)

Case/Stand

  • Rigid protective case/stand (included) 

Battery

  • Rechargeable lithium ion
  • Uninterrupted work 85 hours (continuous typing)
  • Standby 220 days

Connections

  • Micro USB charging cable (included)
  • Bluetooth 3.0 (backward and forward compatible)
  • Operating distance 32 ft (10 m)  

Indicators

  • Power on LED (green)
  • Pairing LED (blue)
  • Low battery LED (red)

Compatibility

  • Apple iOS (iPhone 3GS and newer, all models of iPad, iPod Touch 3rd generation and newer); Android 2.1 and newer (including all Samsung Galaxy Series, Motorola Droid series, Kindle Fire HD, etc.); Windows, Mac, and Linux based tablets; PCs, laptops, and netbooks; Blackberry OS 10 and newer; Play Station 3; WebOS 2.0 and newer; Symbian 1.0 and newer; all HID (Human Interface Device) Bluetooth devices.

The following photos comparing the old prototype (shown in black) to the new design (shown in silver).

First production run complete

We are now in the early stages of mass manufacturing. We spent a lot of time at the factory testing for any potential design issues. One crucial diagnostic was a “swing test” (open and close the unit 30,000 times) to prove the reliability of the hinges—see video below that shows this hinge test.

's video poster
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Here are a couple other photos from the factory, including the production team with our advisor Andy Tung (center of photo).

Ready to ship Jorno to you

The first batch of units just arrived at our California warehouse (see above photo). We will be sending a notification from the Kickstarter site to collect your updated shipping address.

This first batch of units is QWERTY only, available in Black or White. We apologize that we could not produce any of the other colors or keyboard layouts from the original campaign, and for now we have no plans to offer those alternate colors and layouts. Unfortunately it proved too difficult an undertaking to produce a range of colors and layouts in our first production run.

If you ordered an alternate color, we can offer you your choice of either Black or White. If we ever produce these alternate colors in the future, we will send you that color unit free of charge.

If you ordered alternate key layouts, we will ship you a QWERTY keyboard. If we ever produce these alternate layouts in the future, we will send you that keyboard layout free of charge.

Thank you!

As always, thank you for your support! And thank you for going on this journey with us. We are so excited to get Jorno to you soon!

Engineering Update

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Hi everyone,

We've made some great progress in the last few months!  All the prior engineering issues have been resolved with updates to the design and tested with a new prototype.  Below you will find a handful of new issues and images/video of the new prototype.  Once these new issues are resolved and tested, we will be able to update you with a timeline for tooling and manufacturing.

NEW ISSUES

The current design is functioning well, with a very satisfying look and feel.  A couple surprises occurred with this round of prototyping:

  • Flap springs too strong -- The springs that hold the flaps flush against the main unit are so strong that they 1) prevent the unit from opening completely and laying flat on the table and 2) create a small twisting force against the main segment, as you will note in the images/video below.  So the proposed solution is to implement a total of 8 symmetrical weaker springs (instead of the current "diagonal" 4 springs), which will allow the unit to lay flat and not create any twisting force against the main unit.
  • Outer segments going past 180 degrees -- When the unit unfolds, it is possible to extend the outer segments a couple degrees past flat, which is both aesthetically unpleasing and unnatural for typing if you place the unit in your lap.  The proposed solution is to implement a slightly larger stopper in the hinge area that will prevent this behavior.
  • Hinge pins not flush -- The forces on the pins could bend them, causing them to protrude. We are proposing riveted pins instead so they are stronger and stay flush.
  • Cradle claws too tight -- The claws that connect the detachable cradle to the main unit are too tight and could snap off when detaching the cradle.  This will be resolved in tooling when we tune the fit tightness.
  • Space bar too tight -- The pressure required to depress the space bar is too high, due to multiple scissor switches.  We will need to tune the scissor switch when we prepare for manufacturing.

NEW PROTOTYPE

Please find images/video below of the new prototype:

's video poster
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's video poster
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's video poster
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NEXT STEPS

We will be working with the factory over to address the above issues both in CAD and in partial prototypes to ensure they are resolved before we start tooling.

Engineering Update

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Hi everyone,

Very excited to report that most of the engineering issues from the previous post have been resolved!  Here is a summary of the resolved issues and then a list of new, open issues that we sent over for further design modification.

We will post an updated production timeline after all design issues are resolved.  We are very close to buttoning up the issues, so we hope to have clear time horizon soon.

RESOLVED ISSUES

1. Hard to open -- this was resolved by eliminating the channel along the main section.  The hinge covers were getting caught on the channel (formerly in the red circles below).

2. Locks and hinge covers feel cheap -- this was resolved by adjusting the lock, which will now have ridges to better grip...

...and modifying the hinge cover to force 90-degree alignment at all times:

3. Hinge covers seem too large -- this was addressed by altering the hinge flap design, so that the unit's appearance now has consistent 90-degree angles:

4. Space bar hard to hit -- this was addressed by lowering the frame in the front of the unit so that the user's thumb can access the space bar (see red area below)

OPEN ISSUES

This is what we sent to the factory team last week and ask them to review following the Chinese New Year break. 

1. Issue: Gears not engaging and unit not closing consistently

This was also an issue we highlighted back in December.  Even with the above design changes to the gears there is still a major problem of the gears becoming miss aligned and damaging the keys when folding. When the unit is fully opened the outer segments are still able to go past 180 degrees (flat) this is causing a gap to open between the gears – see below.

When we fold the unit, sometimes the gear "jumps 1 tooth" (the red arrow below) causing the keys to get caught and break.

Solutions:

1. Adjust the starting angle of the gears by a few degrees. This will help to have another tooth to force engagement. See below.

2. Close the gap in the area below when unit is unfolded so it is impossible to unfold further than flat – see below.

2. Issue: Cradle interface to main unit

We are not happy with the current design for removing the cradle. The cradle broke when we tried to remove it from the keyboard. We are aware that the material during production will be more flexible than the prototype material but we think the design is wrong. It seems impossible to remove with this difficult user interface:

The original design we sent to you was much better. Please see the original prototype, where "claws" were implemented to attach/detach the cradle to the main unit

3. Issue: Space bar frame

Can you please make a small adjustment to the design so that the longer plastic pips are on the outer segments not the centre segment – see below.  The current location of the longer pips interfere with the user's thumbs.

NEXT STEPS

As soon as the factory is back on February 11 after the Chinese New Year break, we will be working with them to produce another prototype to implement and test the above changes, which is a 4-5 week process.

Reliability, Reliability, Reliability

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Golden Master Prototype

We're really excited about the golden master prototype!! Photo attached -- this is prior to printing the letters on the keycaps. Also attached is a mock-up of the packaging (without blow-molded plastic).

As noted previously, the parts in the prototype do not fit as precisely as they will with the final tooled parts, so alignment will be perfected in the production version.

We will also endeavor to type more than just gibberish when we do our next demo. :-)

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