Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
The WhiteFox is a fully programmable, compact keyboard with an aluminum frame and custom keyswitches. Designed by Matteo + Input Club.
The WhiteFox is a fully programmable, compact keyboard with an aluminum frame and custom keyswitches. Designed by Matteo + Input Club.
1,994 backers pledged $395,388 to help bring this project to life.

Update #8 – Two steps forward, One back.

Posted by Input Club (Creator)
34 likes
The last month has been spent doing a wide variety of boring administrative tasks, finally concluding with us receiving actual product samples at the end of last week! 

 

These product samples are not Type C, since we wanted to verify the big dealbreakers like keycap color matching, surface finish, and overall build quality for our new manufacturer. We could have waited another few weeks to have our initial samples be Type C, but in the interest of speeding up development we thought this was a better route.  

 

 

These samples didn’t meet all our expectations, but they were super close! The main things that weren’t done correctly were extremely small details like choice in screw selection and a mistake in the flashing process that binds a keymap to a keyboard. The biggest issue we noticed that isn’t fixed by a simple part substitution is that the red keys for the NightFox are a touch bright, but the dark grey / black keys are extremely color accurate. We will be requesting two revised reds that are a small amount darker and a bit warmer. However, we are very confident that the partner we chose can produce the entire order. After further discussion, we learned that the reason the screws weren't perfect was because they needed to be custom made, and we had requested a very fast timeline.

 

 

We also have encountered some unexpected push-back from one of our former partners, Massdrop, on the topic of the Halo switches. We (Input Club) developed and invented the Halo switches, and worked with Massdrop to finance the physical tooling that allows them to go to mass production. We assigned Massdrop the patent rights in exchange for a royalty and a “license-back” that we believe allows us to source the switches for use in keyboards. But when we tried to order switches for the WhiteFox/NightFox, Massdrop would not let us source them. They then claimed to own the “Halo” name and asked us to give up the license-back altogether, so we would essentially lose all access to our own invention. This is very confusing for us at Input Club, as we are mostly a team of engineers and are not used to dealing with people who act in this manner. Unfortunately, we don’t have any more information right now as to how the situation will unfold.

Fortunately, we work very closely with our factory and suppliers and were able to discuss the best path forward. Many words were shared, but essentially the discussion concluded with us needing to develop a brand new switch in order to meet our commitments on the WhiteFox keyboard. This process will take approximately 5 weeks to get ready for production, and within that timeline we can still plan on fulfilling in December 2017 (though it may be late December!). These switches will still be 100% Cherry MX compatible and designed by us, but will be visually different from the older switches pictured below.  

 

To summarize: Everyone in the campaign that chose Halo Switches will be getting a superior product without having to contribute more money, and while it is going to cost us quite a bit extra to produce, we’re optimistic it won’t increase the timeline.

Bryan Gurney, Eugen Pirogoff, and 32 more people like this update.

Comments

Only backers can post comments. Log In
    1. Missing avatar

      Desmond Tsang on

      So is there no longer any chance that the keyboards will have the Halo Trues?

    2. Input Club 2-time creator on

      @Nick Green - The keycaps included will mirror the WhiteFox Vera keycaps shown on the page, with white caps being substituted by grey, and blue with red.

      @Zach - We cannot discuss the force curves or tactility currently for the replacement switch options, but we are sure that they will feel very nice. We won't be able to measure them until we receive prototypes in a few weeks.

      @Mark Onsager - We had a signed contract with a license that stated we had access to the switches, and per our update here (https://input.club/official-halo-switch-statement/). Since we are fulfilling all of the Kickstarter orders directly from Input Club to our backers, we should have had no issues at all.

      Regardless, the situation is what it is, and we are resolving everything through the invention of an entirely new switch, and there is no additional cost or delays for our backers.

    3. Missing avatar

      Mark Onsager on

      At this point I've read the Kickstarter update and both Massdrop's and Input Club's PR statements. Other than being annoyed by the finger pointing, as a backer my frustration lies with Input Club. It appears now that this campaign was executed without having all the "ducks in a row". I'm glad to hear that Input Club is designing and manufacturing new switches. However, it seems like this is an issue that was brought up many weeks ago and is only now getting addressed.

      As a backer I'm annoyed at Input Clubs attempt to make this a public concern without taking responsibility. The little bit of the contract posted does show a limited license and since article C wasn't posted we, the reader, cannot make any conclusion on what the license pertains to. If I were to guess I'd say it favored Massdrop's argument and that's why we're not seeing it. Either way, I'm glad it's going to be resolved but annoyed with the way this is being dealt with.

    4. Missing avatar

      Zach S on

      Will the new switches have a similar force curve/tactility?

    5. Missing avatar

      Nick Green on

      I'm always thrown by how the colorway on dark coloured keyboards such as the nightfox and the grey fc660c look so different depending on how they're photographed. The first image with whitefox and nightfox together looks spot on then the later photo's in the series above the nightfox colouring look really light. I assume the flash was used so the photos are just really washed out?

      Any word on how many (if any) extra caps will be included? I.e. grey arrow keys for the nightfox?

    6. Benedikt on

      I:C Thank you for keeping the project -and my dream kboard- alive! Do not give in

    7. Input Club 2-time creator on

      @Benjamin Gillikin - Yes, for now.

    8. Missing avatar

      Benjamin Gillikin on

      Will the NightFox still only have the one switch option?

    9. Input Club 2-time creator on

      @Justin Olson Awesome, glad you like it! To be very specific - they are a fundamentally different switch, and we will release the details as soon as we are able to without issue.

    10. Justin Olson
      Superbacker
      on

      Thank you. I am happy with that response

    11. Input Club 2-time creator on

      @Justin Olson Switch preference is very personal, so that is a tough question. We can guarantee we will have put more engineering work into them, we can guarantee they will have better durability, and but "superior" can be very subjective. We as a team consider them a dramatic improvement however.

    12. Justin Olson
      Superbacker
      on

      @IC can you guarantee the new switches will be superior?

    13. Input Club 2-time creator on

      Here is our official statement, approved by legal counsel to the Massdrop Update - https://input.club/official-halo-switch-statement/

    14. Hauke Stange on

      When I first read your update I got very disappointed at Massdrop.

      But there are always at least two perspectives...

      After reading the statement from Massdrop (https://www.massdrop.com/talk/2342/massdrop-halo-switch-update) I'd really like to hear back from you guys in regards to this matter.

      I think both parties made their point and it's your turn now to explain their accusations.

      I appreciate your enthusiasm and work and am very eager to try the WhiteFox!

    15. Missing avatar

      Desmond Tsang on

      Would the new switches still be modelled after the Topre actuation force curve?

    16. Tri Le on

      Super ridiculous on MD's part. They've been slipping as of late and it probably has something to do with shady business practices. I will definitely stay on this kickstarter and looking very much forward to the new and improved switches.

    17. Jeffrey Smar on

      That's ridiculous by MassDrop, won't be doing any business with them in the future. Feel free to send me those samples for proper disposal :)

      Keep up the great work, looking forward to the final product!

    18. Josh Helmink on

      Appreciate the full disclosure and update.

    19. Missing avatar

      Erik Hoffmann on

      Wow massdrop sucks more every day. Won't be doing anymore business with them. Can't wait for the whitefox!

    20. Missing avatar

      Everette Scott on

      *to be quite honest.* I wish I could edit. :D

    21. Missing avatar

      Everette Scott on

      Hey guys. Just wanted to let you know I had Massdrop delete my account referencing their 'license-back' deal they failed to uphold with you. I find their actions to be despicable to be quite action. I hope you guys are able to meet your goal! Thanks for the update.

    22. Missing avatar

      Chris on

      The gray on the NightFox seems a bit lighter than what I thought. I like that the gray keycaps have a slight metallic sheen to it. I hope the red keys will too.

    23. Warren Buckles on

      MassDrop's ploy is similar to the one done by Apple on Qualcomm and by Qualcomm by Apple - they must have been reading the tech buznaz news and figured out they could pull a fast one on a few poor innocents in the boonies.

      Except you have come up with a better switch - hope you have protection on that.

      Unfortunately, patent protection can be more trouble than it's worth. Between patent trolls, cross-licencing deals that are twisted into pretzels by attorneys it sometimes doesn't seem worth it.

      I found copyright law a better defense than patent law. Back in the day when I was doing something useful I preached software copyright to my development teams. Build a mechanically simple gizmo that relies on some software, copyright the software and you are (sort-of) good for a few years. Well, until the Chinese or whoever steal your software.

      Best of luck,

      wb

    24. Missing avatar

      OshinoMeme on

      MassDrop will no longer be receiving my business. Matt3o's new keyset will be the last thing I ever buy from them.

    25. Missing avatar

      Gerald Raucamp on

      Wow, that's such a big bummer. Although I have to say that it reads kind of haphazard to hand MD the patents. Never give someone else your patent :D

      Hopefully you can find some international law/patent law savvy people on board to sort out the legal mess.

      Furhtermore, looking forward to a new switch ^_^ Maybe a flirt with zealios purple, whitefox style :D And hoping to a possibility to (pre-)order a nightfox at some stage of the campaign :D

    26. Missing avatar

      deprecatedcoder on

      Bummer to hear that you need to do a redesign, but exciting to think an updated version could be better.

      Any chance of doing something exotic like a silent version, either now or in the future? Seems like being able to manufacture from the ground up presents an opportunity to do something really next level.

      Either way, excited to see what you come up with!

    27. Missing avatar

      Desmond Tsang on

      I'm liking MD less and less. I do not want to do business with them any more.

    28. Crowta on

      Such a bummer from MD you guys have been put through. All the best, and I can't thank you more for keeping the product's well-being and our interests your top priority.

    29. Ervin S. on

      Thanks for the update!
      Although, are there any advantages to developing a completely new switch type rather than working with MassDrop to re-license the Halo True / Clear switches, or even using more common (i.e. Cherry MX Clear / Black) switches?

    30. Missing avatar

      Tory Swanson on

      That red is a lot better in the pantone. Hope your manufacturer can match that. The night fox designed reminds me of a settled volcano. The first sample the red looks like too gamer and lacks the subtle yet stand out red you are going for. Good luck with the next batch.

    31. Input Club 2-time creator on

      Thank you @Erin!

      Also - if anyone wants to cancel their order or adjust it in light of this update, please send us a message on Kickstarter.

    32. Erin on

      Just cancelled my MD transaction. They're super late and noncomunicative anyway. Keep up the good work, input club.

    33. Input Club 2-time creator on

      @Tory Swanson - You're absolutely right on the NightFox Red! We actually used this Pantone to color match - www.pantone.com/color-finder/PQ-2350C but it wasn't dark enough. Translating between on the screen and a plastic that you can touch is always fun. One thing we didn't take into account was that for the WhiteFox keycaps, the white keys help diminish the brightness of the blue keys. With the NightFox, the grey keys are much darker, and make the red really pop.

      As soon as I have new reds, I will post another update!

    34. Missing avatar

      Joseph Siu on

      Wow, this is a huge issue but I'm impressed that you still think you can meet your timeline. I just hope that the new switches are good; it isn't like you guys "held back" when you create the Halo I would think, so it sounds like the change would just be to break the patent instead of adding to the mechanism.

      Fingers crossed though and hoping for the best... hope you guys can hold the patent this time. Sucks to lose your own work.

    35. Input Club 2-time creator on

      We can't share a ton of details about the switches until we have samples in hand, as there are legal and patent implications due to the situation with Massdrop. There will be two versions of the switches we develop, one that will serve as a replacement for Halo True, and one for Halo Clear. They will look different and all their components will be newly designed.

    36. Missing avatar

      Tory Swanson on

      Sucks about the Massdrop thing, makes sense for how they operate, and how they can be profitable.

      Also the night fox's red is too bright.

      So will the new switches be like the "Massdrop exclusive" Halo switches in everything but name, color, and style? The same feel but different look?

    37. Missing avatar

      Spencer Anderson on

      This leaves a very bad taste in my mouth when it comes to massdrop and really seems like their decision was made entirely out it spite. I am excited to hear more about these switches and am personally hoping for a mx switch with the same feeling tactile bump as a topre switch while not being clicky

    38. Patrick on

      This is the straw that broke the camel's back: Sorry GMK Laser, but I'm officially boycotting MassDrop.

    39. Liza Shulyayeva on

      I wish I'd stuck to my plan of not backing the K-Type drop after getting too impatient waiting for WF to come back - Massdrop are being jerks as usual. As it is I'll just be cancelling my MD account once that drop is fulfilled and not bother dealing with them anymore. Looking forward to hearing more about the awesome alternative you guys come up with.

    40. Missing avatar

      eric on

      Hi folks, thanks for the update. Any ideas the characteristics of the new switch? Will there be options to choose from? I really enjoy tactile feedback without loud clickiness, and am curious where this new switch may land within the spectrum of options.

    41. Missing avatar

      Benjamin Gillikin on

      Massdrop somehow keeps finding more and more ways for me to dislike them... Will there still be the two different versions of this new switch (like the True and Clear)?

    42. Joshua Hurley on

      Nort surprised Massdrop is being like that. Seems like they are all about taking people's working and slapping their name on it these days.

      Glad to hear things are moving along and there are no huge setbacks. Keep up the great work.

    43. Bryan Gurney on

      I can absolutely believe Massdrop would do something like that.
      The more I use them, the more I despise them.
      I am done supporting Massdrop from here on out.

    44. TK421 on

      Really MD? I am glad you guys are working on new switches but I can empathize with you on losing what you created to someone else claiming it. Almost feels like MD idol is Cartman.