Work work work!
We haven't been very good at updating you on the progress of the Doppler and it's development. Why?
We have been SUPER busy and have neglected these updates. Sorry about that! We have been very good at responding to comments on the Kickstarter and answering messages. So, if you ever have a question, let us know and we will get back to you ASAP.
Our next big deadline is January 9th, the start of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) we mentioned in the past. We are booth # 42757 which is upstairs at the Sands convention center behind the Venetian Hotel. Here is the map:
Now, onto the Doppler!
Speaker testing with reference mic
As David (the lead designer on the project) mentioned in the video, sound is very important to us. We spent a long time tuning the speakers in the Doppler to sound as great as possible before the campaign. Most of the testing we did was by ear, which is not the most scientific way of testing speaker quality. Recently we spent some time with some very fancy acoustic testing equipment in a simulated anechoic chamber to scientifically verify that our speakers sounded great! Through this testing, we found a few tweaks we could make to increase the sound quality and frequency response.
Our audio expert suggested we added two internal “blockers” to increase the distance the sound has to travel to the bass port, thus increasing our bass output. We mocked this up with our 3d printer and then tested again in the anechoic chamber. The difference was substantial and the Doppler sounds even better now, both to our ears and to the fancy testing equipment.
Once we have final Doppler parts using production components and injection molded parts we will do another round with the chamber so we can use the information to tune the speakers even further via an equalizer in software. This should help dial in the sound EVEN further and we are confident everyone will be happy with the sound quality of the product.
User Experience (UX) Updates
During the Kickstarter, we listened hard to what our users wanted and in the last couple weeks we have spent a lot of time in our conference room working on the UX of the product. While it seems like a very simple product at first glance, the Doppler is actually a pretty complex product with lots of nuances and use cases that aren’t apparent at first glance. On top of this, the Doppler has a screen on the front, illuminated buttons on the top and a smartphone app. All of these have to have a cohesive and intuitive user experience that works. We are now going through all of these in detail and we will constantly be tweaking these internally until we release to the Beta backers. We will take Beta backers feedback and refine the user experience even further.
Above is a graph of the latest data for the color counts for the Doppler from Backerkit. Currently only Blackout, Moon Grey, and Midnight Blue have passed the threshold for being produced, but we are hopeful that Sunset Orange and Dusk Red will cross the threshold as more orders come in before production starts. If you’d like to order more Dopplers or know someone that might make sure to direct them here: https://sandman-doppler-the-worlds-best-alarm-clock.backerkit.com/
Currently Green flash and Sunset pink look to be at risk of not getting made. We will give it some more time before calling it with these colors, but just thought we’d give you guys a colorful heads up.
Picture of all of our backers:
We wanted to share this pretty awesome map we made. Every single pin is one of our amazing backers, you guys! The Doppler is worldwide and we thank you all for your amazing support!
We are aiming for another in-depth update between Christmas and New Years on our decision to use Neopixels, DFM, tooling, and some other exciting news around Alexa. In the meantime, back to work for us!
Thanks and have a very happy holiday season!