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Neptune Pine, the definitive all-in-one smartwatch. Voice calls, video chat, full keyboard, GPS & much more.
Neptune Pine, the definitive all-in-one smartwatch. Voice calls, video chat, full keyboard, GPS & much more.
Created by
2,839 backers pledged CA$ 801,224 to help bring this project to life.

Neptune dispatch May 31st.

33 likes

Several backers have asked for clarification on CDMA and NFC.

  • CDMA backers will automatically be switched to GSM (unless requesting a refund).
  • 8GB NFC backers will automatically be switched to 32GB (unless requesting a refund).

We’re still waiting for final FCC approval but have seen some movement this week. Continue reading for a detailed explanation of the obstacles we’ve been confronting and the work done to overcome them.

Here’s a brief summary of what usually happens in order to get an FCC certification:

1. An FCC-accredited lab runs all the tests as per FCC’s guidelines and produces a lab report listing test results.

2. The lab then sends the report to a Telecommunications Certification Body (TCB).

3. The TCB then reviews the test results and compares them to FCC guidelines. If all the results are compliant, then the TCB approves the device and thus the device becomes FCC certified.

This entire process usually takes no longer than 6 weeks. However, because the Pine is the first cellular-enabled smartwatch on the market; and because the Pine is easily removable from its wristband, the FCC was not prepared with an appropriate set of guidelines for this new product category. Therefore, this is what happened in our case:

1. In December 2013, Neptune hired an FCC-accredited lab in order to commence the FCC certification process.

2. After a few weeks, the lab realized that there were no set guidelines from the FCC for a device like the Pine; specifically because of the removability feature. (Usual smartwatches or other wearables are not removable from the wristband; this enables the Pine to be worn as necklace, which makes it potentially closer to vital body parts such as the heart).

3. On January 7, the lab sent a KDB inquiry to the FCC in order to inquire about testing guidelines for the Pine, specifically concerning SAR (Specific Absorption Rate).

4. On January 23, the FCC responded with a decision to have the Pine tested at 0mm (direct contact) with 1 gram of body tissue for the SAR (Specific Absorption Rate) compliance test. However, no cellular-enabled device, including the Pine or any conventional smartphone, could possibly pass these testing conditions.

5. We immediately demanded that the SAR test distance should be no different from a conventional smartphone (10mm); as when the Pine is removed from the wristband, it technically is a smartphone.

6. On February 20, the FCC demanded that in order to provide us with more specific guidance regarding SAR compliance, they would need more information from us; and would like to examine samples of the product if possible.

7. Therefore, on February 26, Simon went to Columbia, MD, where the FCC’s OET (Office of Engineering and Technology) laboratory division is located; bringing prototypes with him and trying to negotiate a larger test distance.

8. After two months of back and forth, on April 18, the FCC finally agreed to augment the SAR test distance to 2mm.

9. The lab then quickly completed all the tests as per FCC’s new guidelines and produced a lab report.

10. This lab report was recently submitted to a TCB, in order to have approval and finally receive FCC certification.

11. However, we’ve just learned that we need to go through the Permit But Ask (PBA) procedure. This procedure is intended to further extend the types of devices that are acceptable for issuance of a grant by a TCB, but allow FCC oversight for those types of devices that are not sufficiently technically “mature” for TCB approval. TCBs may approve devices on PBA procedure, but must obtain FCC guidance prior to approval.

12. The TCB is therefore currently waiting for the FCC’s reply on the PBA. We anticipate this to be done within the next few weeks.

We hope this clarifies why it has taken so long for us to receive FCC approval. It shouldn't take long from now on though, as we are really close to getting certification at last!

We’re continuing to experience issues with the waterproofing compounds we’re testing. We’re currently working to educate the manufacturer on the proper application process for NeverWet. The number of micro-connectors and tiny surface mount components, makes this procedure quite complicated but we remain hopeful. Once this procedure if finalized, we’re ready to begin final assembly and packaging. [NeverWet is known for it’s viral video showing its hydrophobic properties.]

After a short break, Brian Sieber is back to testing the Pine and posting his results. Check out his excellent work on Twitter and Facebook.

As we approach delivery, we need to have a final count of backers, so we’re shutting down our refund offer. If you would like a refund, the deadline to email your request is Monday, June 6th. After the 6th you’re either in or you’re out. We processed only about 20% of the refunds this week but hope to complete the remaining ones over the next week. (We apologize again for the delay.)

MF Calub, Ian Howell, and 31 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. NachoKingP
      Superbacker
      on June 4, 2014

      @Julius, please don't give up on the entire platform based on one experience. As my backer history shows, there are SO MANY great projects worth backing out there. You don't even need to throw a big chunk of money their way, just giving a few dollars can help make a difference when a bunch of people do it.

      @Karim, thanks! I am defintiely proud to have been a part of so many great projects, and seriously look forward to more in the future! This doesn't even include my indiegogo projects either. ;-)

      @Bingo, thanks, I didn't really think about that. It's good to hear that refunds are being processed, I didn't know that. *high five*

    2. Bingo, Bango, Bongo & Irving on June 3, 2014

      Just to make it clear... People ARE receiving refunds. Finny Winnegan and Jason O'Keefe are two examples. If you find an old post of theirs and click on their picture, you will see that their backed projects now show as '0'. Also, once you receive your refund, you are no longer a backer and are no longer able to post on here, so once their refund was processed, they can no longer tell you through this venue. Finny let us know through the Neptune Pine Chat FB page.

    3. Missing avatar

      Jens Vogler on June 3, 2014

      June 6th isn't a monday.... But I'm hope I can still get the refund.

    4. KSoFly on June 3, 2014

      @BrianRemite - you are super defo awesome, i just spotted a project you backed and it was exactly what i needed also so now am ordering..thanks to seeing it on your backed projects all of them very cool.

      thanks Brian

    5. KSoFly on June 3, 2014

      @BrianRemite, backed 92 projects WOW :) your defo awesome. salute

    6. Missing avatar

      Julius Schweich on June 2, 2014

      I'm a 79 yr old retired adv. exec. and USAF pilot; November backer; saw the inventor on FOX business. I have phones, tablets , laptops and desktops. This sounded like fun But:
      1) anyone who is a US citizen and was surprised by FCC and other FED. GOV. delays: shame on you;
      2) Neptune........shame on you, too. for the same reasons ! Montreal is close enough to the USA
      that you should have done more research prior to your promises.
      3) This is my only Kickstarter project; probably my last. I will enjoy the amazement of
      relatives, neighbors and friends (if I live long enough to receive a Neptune Pine) and
      then will give it to my 17 year old techie grandson. The comments alone have almost
      been worth the wait.

    7. NachoKingP
      Superbacker
      on June 2, 2014

      I am very aware of how Kickstarter works, and how it is not a store but an idea platform. I have backed 62 projects that succeeded, 27 that did not, and 4 active projects, so I don't need to be reminded of the workings of the system. I am also aware that Neptune doesn't have to offer refunds, and it is very generous of them to do so.

      However, all of that being said, this is the only project of all of the projects that I've encountered myself (and I know other projects have burned people) where I felt like promises were made that were not thought out properly. Neptune was backed 8x over their goal on promises that weren't realistic.

      I think part of the problem is that the original product WAS probably well fleshed out, but as their campaign became very successful, they saw the dollars pouring in and decided to start adding features as stretch goals without having really planned them out. I know that CDMA and NFC were added features and were not part of the original launch day Pine. That doesn't change the fact that I made my decisions based on promises of shipping dates and features. I honestly could have lived without shipping dates being met, but I made my decision on which Perk Level I wanted based on NFC being available. Had it not been added, I would have stuck with a 64GB Pine, which I was originally a backer of and actually messaged Neptune about before changing my pledge level to the NFC variant. Had I known NFC wasn't a "sure thing", I would have stayed with the 64GB variant (and I'd be significantly less angry right now).

      Also, if Neptune DOES eventually decide to offer refunds, then that is something they should be prepared to follow through with. It's a matter of principle and honor. Don't tell someone that you're going to be "nice" and offer a refund and then never give it to them. That's just bad business.

    8. Bingo, Bango, Bongo & Irving on June 2, 2014

      The distance selling regulations that you refer to, apply to online or distance retailers or wholesalers. Again, you are not purchasing a product on KickStarter, but backing a project and receiving a "reward" if the project reaches completion. People keep thinking of KickStarter as some sort of discount store and that is absolutely NOT what it is. Neptune has not sold you anything (unless you ordered your Pine through their website, in which case they are not charging your card until the Pine ships), therefore they are not a seller. You have made an investment in a project, the same as if a friend or family member had an invention and you gave them some money to try and make it happen. The distance regulations cover the purchase of goods and services and would not apply to the backer situation. Lawyers... that's a whole different case, as they are always willing to try to make a fast buck/euro/pound.

    9. KSoFly on June 2, 2014

      PS . NEPTUNE HAVE REPLIED TO ME ON NUMEROUS OCCASIONS BEING VERY HELPFUL WITH RESPONSES, ALISHA IN PARTICULAR IS GREAT AND DOES RESPOND. SO DUES WHERE DESERVED, SO THANK YOU NEPTUNE FOR DEALING WITH MY REFUND REQUEST. I LOOK FORWARD TO RECEIVING THIS V SOON.

    10. KSoFly on June 2, 2014

      to add your discussion.. that does not really matter at with international buyers.. distance selling regulations come into effect.. also when refund is promised and not made, if the buyer then ends up going to his/her bank for reclaim of funds... the bank can then impose fees onto the seller (neptune) for administrative costs that have occured in trying to reclaim the owed money back - same with if it went as far as getting legal service to claim the owed money back... with that being said, i do not think any start up company would wish to have to pay extra costs on top of a due refund, so it is easier and simpler to refund directly also the fact being entered into any debacle with banks/law firms will cause damaging effects to a companies reputation as this becomes aired in public.

      so please do not go by kickstarter terms as that is not factually correct. each country has its own selling and buying laws.

      uk has distance selling regulations/fines imposable.

    11. Bingo, Bango, Bongo & Irving on June 2, 2014

      Also, remember that Neptune did not HAVE TO offer refunds at this point, if ever. KickStarter States that refunds must be given if a reward is not delivered. Considering the length of time that projects have taken to come to fruition (Omate, for example), Neptune is still a long way from the point where they would have contractually been bound to offer refunds. So, try to be a bit more appreciative that they have offered your pledge money back, of their own volition.

    12. SnergleTheDwarf on June 2, 2014

      to all that ask for refund ... pls read the Kickstarter FAQ before you pledge for another project ... this is not an online-shop with guaranteed deliveries ... it's a funding platform ... that you choose to participate at your own risk ... if the risks involved are to big for you ... pls don't participate in any other project ... thx for consideration (and yes hate me, if you will, for stating the obvious facts)

    13. NachoKingP
      Superbacker
      on June 2, 2014

      @AngryTechGuy, it's not just about those failures (although as a backer of the NFC CDMA version, that's a big factor too). It's about missed deadlines, lack of communication, failure to process refunds, waiting so long that better products are coming to market now, and an overall feeling that this product is vaporware. I wouldn't care if they weren't holding hundreds of my dollars hostage. They promised refunds by a certain date and it has blown by. That is our main problem.

    14. Pine Face on June 2, 2014

      You get the "Look at me, high horse award". Angry Tech guy. Thumbs up to you.

    15. Missing avatar

      AngryTechGuy on June 2, 2014

      A forum for complaints.

      The only things they were not able to accomplish in thier first watch were NFC, CDMA and the Polar White version.

      NFC? Less than 30% retail market penetration. So you're angry because you can't pay for your McDonalds by tapping your watch at the register? Really? Jam an ice pick in your retina.

      CDMA? Only affects those Sprint, Verizon customers who want to add a second line for the watch. Which i don't understand why you would, since you can simply tether (aka share) your Sprint, Verizon, Metro PCS, Kricket, ANY CDMA phone connection with your watch! It doesn't matter what version you have! (GSM Phone + CDMA Watch = Okay) (CDMA Phone + GSM Watch = Okay) Do your research! You're a dumpster fire!

      Polar White? Apple peaked in 2012, your indoctrination should have worn off by now.

      Now of these are strong enough cancelation reasons. Let's be honest, for most who canceled (not all) you were either to impatient to wait or you need that money back! Especially those demanding weekly to get thier "money back NOW!!!" In every post they make lol

      You're not fooling anyone lol

    16. Pine Face on June 1, 2014

      So we are going to get a professional grade layer of gunk, whoopteedoo.

    17. Bingo, Bango, Bongo & Irving on June 1, 2014

      You all do know that you are posting about the consumer grade NeverWet and not the professional/commercial version, right? Or did no-one look into that fact?

      http://www.neverwet.com/applications.php

    18. idefix on June 1, 2014

      Just a quick question:
      You're seriously thinking about using this stuff
      http://gizmodo.com/neverwet-review-the-magical-water-repelling-spray-is-812797429
      to 'waterproof' the Pine?
      Can I have mine 'unwaterproofed' please? I really need it waterproof but I don't need weird white toxic gunk coming out of it all the time and it being waterproof for 5 minutes.

    19. Pine Face on June 1, 2014

      @Neptune , so how exactly are you going to waterproof something that just using it will wear out quickly ? NeverWet is coating, for which will if used internally also just much things up. Have you not seen the various tests regular people have done? It eventually becomes like gunk, NeverWet is a short term solution , and wears off. Skip the never wet, and implement some quality rubber gasket sealing instead.

    20. karthikcb on June 1, 2014

      This is heights...had enough

      JUST REFUND!!!!

    21. Tom Calisti on June 1, 2014

      REFUNDS UPDATES MAYBE? You funny folks, we still are waiting for our refunds and the week is ending tomorrow...You have been holding on our cash for way too long, could not fulfill many many many backers with the nfc / cmda f&^k ups... it is about time to give our money back, bitter is getting rotten and disgusting...

    22. Foolboy on June 1, 2014

      Thanks for the update! C'mon FCC why you take so long to decide...

      @Neptune: So, right now the obstacles left are 1) FCC Approval 2) Waterproof and 3) Wristband. Am I correct?

      Could you estimate the time it would take to complete the production process after all 3 issues had eliminated? (Suppose that there are 1,500-2,000 active backers left)

      Thank you.

    23. Missing avatar

      Joe Lee on May 31, 2014

      Just want to know is that FCC just testing the hardware part of Pine?? if yes, then how about the software part of it?

      Any updated Android OS version, google play licence etc. I think no one willing to have a product with outdated product because of the delay ......

    24. Paul R. on May 31, 2014

      http://gizmodo.com/neverwet-review-the-magical-water-repelling-spray-is-812797429 This review makes me wary of the waterproof coating. That being said I'm still super stoked about the pine! I appreciate the weekly updates and can't imagine what it would be like dealing with the FCC with a product they have no procedure for. Maybe your next Kickstarter campaign can be for a substance to regrow all the hair you will have lost? Pine five to the faithful!

    25. Neptune Creator on May 31, 2014

      Correction: the deadline to request refunds is Friday June 6th (not Monday). Refunds must be requested by emailing info@neptunepine.com.

    26. Karl Susman on May 31, 2014

      Excellent update. We're all standing by.

    27. rad sturgis on May 31, 2014

      Thanks for the transparency on the fcc process. That's the information we wanted from the start. What kills me is that even if it had the fcc certifications it still would be ready because right the water proof. I'm out. Refund please

    28. Albert Kopp on May 31, 2014

      And what ever happened with being officially supported by the Play Store?? Did that ever happen -or are we going to have to side loading everything (and hope it works)??

    29. Simon Ho
      Superbacker
      on May 31, 2014

      I am out. Pls process my refund request ASAP.

    30. Josh McNamara on May 31, 2014

      I don't want a refund at all, still amped for the Pine. I just want you know about the accessories. Since there is no white paint because of issues are we getting duplicate black ones? I have doubles of nearly all the accessories because of overpayment but I dont need so many black ones if they're getting doubled so I was going to use the credit to increase my memory size

    31. Bingo, Bango, Bongo & Irving on May 31, 2014

      Karim - the point was, if you read the update, that the fact that it CAN be removed from the watchband and used like a mini phone and worn on a necklace are the things that made it different than anything the FCC had seen before. So, no matter how many you have purchased, none of them are the same as the Pine, in that respect. I can read and respond to this post, on the Pine. Let me know how it looks on the Omate screen.

    32. N.H. on May 31, 2014

      Thank you for the update. Some of us appreciate that you have gone through some very difficult hurdles to bring this product to market and us our rewards. I'm definitely still anxious to get my Neptune Pine. I hope that things go smoothly for you guys going forward. I would love Neptune to be very successful. If there is anything I can do to help, please do not hesitate to ask.

    33. Brian Merrick on May 31, 2014

      Sounds again like government red tape. Just release it when it's ready.

    34. KSoFly on May 31, 2014

      I don't think the main selling point was the fact it can be removed from the band...?? If that's what you think was the main feature my friend you are too easily pleased.. Since the pine came out on kick starter..and during the wait.. I have ordered a omate truesmart..which turned up in four weeks.. I also just ordered a Orsto x3 watch.. Which is Quad core.8 mega pixel camera. Stainless steel. Heart rate monitor..waterproof.. .. So google it yourself and tell me if Neptune isn't missing its chance to be Elite in the smartwatch market.. Lg g watch is out soon. So is moto 360 and by summer Samsung standalone smartwatch also probably .. I was Neptune's biggest fan since inception pre ordered on kick starter immediately too like many others.. But during the journey they just made me realise they've fallen behind in the market ..

    35. Bingo, Bango, Bongo & Irving on May 31, 2014

      Karim - Please tell me what full function cell phone/smartwatch on the market is removable from the watchband and used as a mini-phone.

    36. KSoFly on May 31, 2014

      Sorry guys but I'm still out. I've sent my cancellation request some time ago now so please refund me asap. I've emailed Alisha too my details. Unfortunately your product is just too slow and outdated now too. When you sold this product to us it had all the features we would have wanted a smart watch to have. And now you have stripped away most of those wants and needs..PS Neptune pine isn't the first cellular smartwatch out there.. There are many.

      Thank you for the dream..and good luck going forward but I'm still out.

      Regards

    37. Max Sablosky on May 31, 2014

      The FCC is a huge hurdle great to hear. Are they making an exception fot the pine or writing new guidlines for this typw of product? Great update!

    38. Neptune Creator on May 31, 2014

      Philip, we can assure you that any changes to the device or strap design would delay delivery far more than FCC approval will!

    39. Albert Kopp on May 31, 2014

      No refunds after June 6th?? So what happens if FCC certification falls through??

    40. Neptune Creator on May 31, 2014

      Henry we've tested waterproofing compounds from three suppliers. NeverWet is our best bet right now and Aaron reports that the NeverWet team has been really helpful so far. In fact I believe that Apple is going to be using their product in the next iPhone.

    41. Pine Face on May 31, 2014

      Never wet!!?? Ok that's a deal breaker for me, the product is total bull crap, that's why you're having issues "water proofing". I'm sorry to say but I'm out.

    42. Missing avatar

      Philip Wall on May 31, 2014

      How about removing the option to wear it as a necklace? I personally don't want to do that. I'm sure allot of other people don't care to. If this helps speed things along.

    43. MF Calub on May 31, 2014

      Thanks for the update. Please keep a presence here and keep the communication line open. The longer the delay, the more people feel neglect and betrayal. I would suggest one or more prototypes release to lessen the deterioration of support. Send them to folks who are willing to experiment with them and post the results of those experiences like Brian did. This way, you can build excitement again. It should keep people preoccupied for another month or so. Anyways, thanks for the clear update. Delays are expected but constant and clear communication is a must.