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Get charged with JUICIES. Colorful cables made from sustainable recycled materials. Works with your iPod, iPhone and iPad. Read more

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This project was successfully funded on May 23, 2011.

Get charged with JUICIES. Colorful cables made from sustainable recycled materials. Works with your iPod, iPhone and iPad.

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Juicies - Mass production, iPhone 5 and more

Hi there,

It's been over a year now since I started this project. In the meantime Kickstarter just completely blew up. When I launched my project back in April 2011 there were a mere handful of projects on all of Kickstarter that had raised over $100k which back then was already amazing. Fast forward to June 2012 and we now have over 160 projects that raised more than $100k. On top of that the "funding goal bar" has been pushed much higher, with 9 projects raising more than $1 Million and then "the one" project that raised over $10 Million. This really testifies to the power of crowdfunding! Some people’s dreams surely came true! Now, let's get back to what's important for the Juicies project.

State of Production
All the issues and minor changes that I had mentioned in the last update have been taken care of. The manufacturer is sending me another (hopefully FINAL) set of T1 samples, one for every color. These should arrive next week. Once I have signed off on those, we can go into mass production right away.
Apparently, it is a difficult process to make small batches of custom color samples since the factory has to first mix the raw colors and plastic. Then, after making just a few housings, they have to clean out the entire injection machines and the molds so that they are ready for the next color run. This takes time away from using the machines for other tasks. Most manufacturers don't like doing this for such small projects as ours here. That being said, once in mass production, the actual manufacturing of all our cables (including assembly and packaging) should take about 2-3 weeks.

Material
Below you can see some pictures of the recycled contact ABS plastic housings for purple, pink, blue, green and orange. The loose housings on the right are the new ones. The colors pop much more and also match the cables better. It’s hard to tell on the pictures, but there is a big difference when you hold them next to each other side by side. The older ones (from the first run) look a little washed out and have no luster. The colors of the new ones (on the right) look richer and much brighter. Have a look.

Inner Shielding
This is the one thing that has been our biggest holdup for the last months. No manufacturer - other than Apple - currently has shielding inside their Dock Connectors. This is why there are no “off the shelf” parts and why there is no simple way to do it. Our manufacturer had to go by our drawings and custom make a few of these units by hand. Right now they are still saying that it is not possible to go into mass production with this type of shielding as it takes a long time to custom make each one and the failure rate could be higher due to this fact. At this point I decided to go without the 2nd layer of inner shielding altogether. Please see the attached image for details.

Packaging
I also wanted to give you a quick update on the packaging. We have decided to use a 100% recycled Kraft material with a gray color instead of the regular brown bag look. Both materials are made in the same way and cost the same. However, I do feel that the new grayish look goes much better with the colors. They just pop much more this way. We printed a few samples for each variation and came to the conclusion that especially on the lighter colors (like yellow and orange) the gray Kraft went much better than the brown one. Have a look here.

iPhone 5 & the new Dock Connector
Although I do not work in Cupertino, CA and I do not have an iPhone 5 for testing purposes, I would like to address a few matters regarding the new upcoming iPhone. Whether it will or will not have a new Dock Connector is only speculation at this point. That being said, I watched all related news very closely. Patently Apple released a post back in April 2011 that shows the layout and design for a new Dock Connector that is compatible with USB 3.0 and DisplayPort (aka now ThunderBolt). A report hinting at this type of new Dock Connector had already been released as early as April 2010. Now that the new MacBook Pro was announced at WWDC last week, it is clear that the new MacBooks and iMacs will ALL come with USB 3.0 ports and ThunderBolt. All this information together with the leaked images of the iPhone 5 (fake or not) and the potential iPad Nano (smaller iPad) seem to indicate that Apple will indeed use a new Dock Connector for future devices. The new Dock Connector will be a little bit smaller than the current one and have rounded edges, however, it will still be a 30 pin connector (not micro USB) as the 30 individual pins bring a lot of advantages. Also this new small 30 pin dock connector will be compatible with both USB 3.0 and ThunderBolt. It will let you transfer full HD movies or 3D videos very quickly from your computer to your iPhone & iPad. With quickly I mean literally 10x as fast. USB 2.0 caps out at 480 Mbps, while USB 3.0 goes up to 4.8 Gbps. Thunderbolt can go all the way up to 10 Gbps! It will also allow for FAST charging as USB 3.0 can carry 900 mA (vs. the normal 500 mA for USB 2.0).

(Picture source: Patently Apple)
Although this is all great stuff for the coming future, we should focus on finishing the first product for now. At the moment, there are over 400 million active devices that connect to the App Store. Unless I am totally mistaken, all of those charge and sync via the current Dock Connector model. And this number does not include all older iPods, the current iPod Nano and the iPod Classic.

Next steps
Of course I will keep you updated about any developments in the manufacturing process as they arrive. As the mass production date gets nearer, it is time to think about retail sales, website, distributors and so on. In my next update, I will tell you more about the upcoming Juicies online store, mass production and changing your shipping address.

As always, Aloha from Honolulu. And keep it up with the positive comments, I find them very encouraging.

Sustainably,

Laurens Laudowicz
ll@juicies.com
808.351.2891

Juicies - 360 days later

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Juicies - T1 arrival

Hi all

In my last update I was waiting for the T1 samples and the color samples to be shipped to Hawaii. I am happy to inform you that I have received both of them in good condition.

First of all let me say that I really did feel some form of relief, as the quality of the samples is now very close to what I originally had in mind. Most of the colors are now spot-on when compared to the Pantone colors that are being used for the iPad Smart Covers and the iPhone Bumpers. The colors of the cable itself, the Dock Connector housing and the Stress Relief part are also matching nicely.

All T1 samples that I got are working properly with numerous devices including ALL iPhones, ALL iPod Touches, many older iPods, the iPad and iPad 2 and of course “The New iPad”. I have tested them many times and I have also done a lot of stress testing such as plugging them in and out over a thousand times (seriously, I counted! :-). In addition, all outer measurements of the Dock Connector housing and of the male USB housing are as specified. This is very important because it means that it is possible to use Juicies in combination with the original iPhone 4 Bumper Cases. This is also good since a lot of 3rd party audio accessories require you to fit your existing Dock Connector through a very tight opening.

BUT… there are still a few details, which have to be corrected:

1. The colors of all the cables itself are perfect. However, the orange, green and yellow Dock Connector housings seem a little translucent. It’s not something you notice immediately, but when paying close attention to it you will see it. It doesn't look that good, especially when held against the light. Sounds minor, but it is a rather big deal to me since these things are all about the color. And who wants to see the PCB (printed circuit board) shining through?

2. The USB logo and the Dock Connector logo have still not been printed on the housings. I called the manufacturer immediately after having received the T1 samples. They said they would take care of it right away. Basically, there is a top side and a bottom side to the housings (see the picture below). From all the research I have done, there seems to be no official standard for what to print on which side. It seems that most USB related cables have the specifying logo (i.e. the USB logo, the Dock Connector logo or the Thunderbolt logo, etc.) on the top side of the housing, so that when holding the cable you can see which way to plug it in. Any other logos or labels should therefore be on the bottom-side. With this in mind, we have decided to place the ever so slightly recessed Juicies Drop logo on the bottom-side. The specifying logo will be on the top side.

3. The cable imprint saying “Designed by Juicies in Hawaii   Assembled in China” has to be on the cable for import reasons. However, it should only be on each cable ONCE! There is no need to continuously print it all over the cable, which is unfortunately exactly what the cable supplier did for the T1 samples. I'm glad that this issue has already been corrected and the next batch of T1s will hopefully not need any further corrections.

Have a look at the pictures below with my comments. Once the above-mentioned issues have been resolved, we should be ready to deliver the high-quality product that I have been promising to all of you from the very beginning. Sending out sub-standard, low-quality cables is just not an option after all this time.

I hope this update was helpful to you. As always, I highly welcome all comments and suggestions. I want to thank everybody again for sending me messages and leaving comments. It means a lot to me to receive your words of encouragement.

With much Aloha from Honolulu!

Laurens

info@juicies.com

808.351.2891

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Juicies - the minor things

Hey

In my last update I had stated that the T1 samples are on the way to Honolulu and the cable color samples are in progress. Here is another update, which refers to the latter.

The small corrections that I shared with you in the last update did all get taken care of. The manufacturing of the whole product actually consists of several components, most of which are being produced in the one factory we are working with. However, the cable sleeve (the colorful rubber-like material) that we usually would refer to as “the cable itself” comes from another larger factory that makes only cables, and nothing but cables. Since this part is made from a different type of material than the housing parts of the Dock Connector, the male USB and the female USB, the colors have to be perfectly matched first. Check out the pictures below, I feel that the manufacturer has done a good job regarding this matter.

Nevertheless it is still challenging to work with a manufacturer abroad. Another small thing that came up is the following: the imprint on the cable should say “Designed by Juicies in Hawaii   Assembled in China". Even though this was already called for on the spec sheet back in August 2011, they still sent me samples that say: “Designed by JUICIES in Hawaii   Assembled in china". Here you can note the improper capitalization and on the picture below you can see that there are huge gaps in between each word. Doesn't seem like to big of a deal, I guess, but then again I don't want to print another piece of paper or make a sticker and attach that to the cables because of this. Each newly manufactured item that gets imported to the US from overseas needs to be labeled with the place of origin. A proper imprint on the cable itself would take care of this requirement. These are only some of the small obstacles, which I am talking about. The communication can take a lot of effort at times

The next steps for the color samples are as follows:

  • The correction on the imprint on the cables has to be made

  • The connector housing parts have to be manufactured according to the T1 samples

  • The cables and connector housing parts have to be assembled

It would have been much easier and faster if I had opted for a non-MFI licensed cable, but then again I wanted a certain standard for the product right from the beginning. It took me about a month to produce the colorful non-MFI licensed samples back in 2011 before I launched this Kickstarter campaign. However, while those looked great, the quality was basically junk. They stopped charging intermittently and sometimes even damaged the devices I was trying them out with. The MFI program is great. Also, if there will be any updates in the future to connectors on the OEM side (i.e. Apple, etc), then it should be rather easy and much and faster for us to just update as well. (Thunderbolt to Dock Connector rumors anyone :-) Anyways, some of you have asked what MFI actually stands for, so let me describe the MFI Program very briefly:

The Made for iPod, Made for iPhone, and Made for iPad logos mean that an electronic accessory has been designed to connect specifically to iPod, iPhone, or iPad and has been certified by the developer to meet Apple performance standards.

Developers receive technical specifications describing the iPod Accessory protocol, the communication protocol used to interact with iPod, iPhone, and iPad. Developers also gain access to the hardware connectors and components that are required to manufacture iPod, iPhone, and iPad accessories.”

You can read more about it here: https://developer.apple.com/programs/mfi/

As you can see, some delays in production just can't be helped, yet I want to state once more that I take full responsibility for completing the project. It is not my intent to blame the manufacturer or any other person. The only reason I am sharing these problems and obstacles of my JUICIES product venture with you, is because I feel that you, the backers deserve more transparency and I want to show you what I am currently working on.

Thanks for all the useful comments, which I have received as a response to the last update. I hope this update was helpful too. Aloha.

Laurens

808.351.2891

…one last thing, yes JUICIES will work just fine with “The New iPad” (3rd Gen).

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Juicies - T1 samples

Hey there

First of all let me thank you for all the comments, which I have received since the last update. It really means a lot to me to receive some encouraging words in this rather difficult situation.

Let me give you a brief update regarding the current project status. The T1 (approval) samples are finally manufactured, you can see some pictures of them below. From what I can tell by looking at the pictures, the quality is now finally what I have been asking for. There are still a few small corrections that have to be made regarding the USB extension, but that shouldn't stop us from finalizing the Dock Connector cables.

Here is an overview for the next steps:

-        waiting for the white T1 sample to arrive

-        colorful versions are being manufactured in the meantime

After the color samples are received in Honolulu, I will have to sign them all off once more and express mail them back to the manufacture. I also have to adjust some of the print artwork on the packaging. Being part of the MFI program means that we have to stick to Apple’s packaging guidelines. Our packaging got approved except for one minor change, which I am working on right now.

I know that all of this may sound like a very easy procedure, but there are always small details, which seem to cause further delays and difficulties. That being said, it looks like right now things are back on track. As I had mentioned in my last update I just can’t be posting a timeline for now until I am 100% sure about it.

I hope this update was helpful and if you have any suggestions please let me know.

Aloha

Laurens

808.351.2891

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