Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Alexa enabled, 6 USB charging ports, music playing, smart alarm clock. Meet the Sandman Doppler, the best alarm clock you've ever seen! Preorder now!
Alexa enabled, 6 USB charging ports, music playing, smart alarm clock. Meet the Sandman Doppler, the best alarm clock you've ever seen! Preorder now!
1,218 backers pledged $151,796 to help bring this project to life.

App, Chip Pro updates, and tooling pictures

Posted by Palo Alto Innovation (Creator)
26 likes

Doppler supporters lend me your ears! 

We have a full update below with some pretty interesting pictures on the bottom! Read on and let us know in the comments any questions you might have. 

App update:

The latest app wireframe
The latest app wireframe

Everyone has a favorite feature of the Doppler and we were surprised pretty early in the process as to just how many different favorites there are! Some love the big display, others love the USB C upgradability, most like Alexa, but the thing most of us at PAI are most excited about is the App. Not necessarily what the App can do at launch, but some of the features we plan on adding after the Doppler launches. In order to get you some of these awesome features even sooner, we have decided to bring in the big guns and have agreed to a partnership with the Zemingo Group. 

Zemingo, like zebra and flamingo
Zemingo, like zebra and flamingo

We have been talking to the guys at Zemingo for about the last 12 months on and off and finally got to meet face to face at CES. Their expertise is really going to bring a level of polish that we couldn’t have achieved. It will also allow new and exciting features to come to the Doppler sooner than we could without their help. Currently, Zemingo is reviewing everything we have done previously in regards to the app, ripping it apart and improving it. We can’t wait to see what they come up with, it’s going to be awesome!  

Chip Pro:  

As some of our backers have noticed things aren’t looking too great over with one of our main hardware partners, Next Thing Co. (NTC) makers of the Chip Pro, the “brain” of the Doppler. Allow me to explain what’s going on, how this affects the Doppler, and what we are doing about it. 

Back when we were designing the Doppler we wanted it to have a full computer inside, this meant a tiny SBC (single board computer) embedded inside the product somehow. Most of the solutions were going to be too expensive, so when we found the Chip Pro we were thrilled. This was a $16 computer available at any quantity that was designed to be embedded directly onto our circuit board. We ordered some boards, tested them out and were happy with the solution. Since we were working with these guys so closely, we knew something serious was going on as early as December. 

Keep reading, it will be ok! We promise!
Keep reading, it will be ok! We promise!

We were told in January that things were looking up and we were in discussions about putting in our production order when things QUICKLY turned south. In the next couple days, it will be announced that the assets of Next Thing Co. will be for sale allowing someone to manufacture and sell Chip Pros to people like us. Now, this being said we have no idea if or how they will change the product and what price they will sell it for. So for the first production run of the Doppler, we need to go a different direction. 

Breathe! It will be ok!
Breathe! It will be ok!

Over here at PAI, we have been very busy evaluating multiple different options to replace the Chip Pro. We looked at any and every option we could imagine, from producing our own Chip Pro, using a Raspberry Pi, to doing everything with a microprocessor. While we haven’t settled on one yet we have narrowed the contenders down to 2 options and we are confident we can decide on one in the coming month or so. These are both SOM (system on module) solutions that run Linux allowing us to easily port our software over from the code we had built for the Chip Pro. 

:)
:)

So how does this affect the timeline? Long story short, it shouldn’t affect it at all. Both solutions we are looking at have relatively short lead times and our software can easily be integrated over to the solution we are using. We will have to do a couple new revisions of the circuit board as the footprint of the new solutions are slightly different from the Chip Pro, but this isn’t a big deal at all. Unfortunately, stuff like this happens all the time in the business and being able to adapt quickly is the name of the game. We are sorry to see NTC go, but fear not, the Doppler isn’t going anywhere! 

We told you it would be ok!
We told you it would be ok!

Tooling update:

Tooling is underway for the Doppler! The tools should be done in the next couple weeks and we will get the first parts of the tools, T1s, soon. This will allow us to put together the first injection molded Doppler and see what sort of tool modification we have to do to make everything fit juuuust right. Check out these pictures of the various Doppler tools!  

Main body
Main body
Main body slider (where the buttons go)
Main body slider (where the buttons go)
Main body cavity
Main body cavity
Speaker frame
Speaker frame
USB cover
USB cover
Window
Window

While these hunks of metal are dirty, gross and grimy now. Once they are finished they will be textured and polished up and they will create the plastic parts for your very own Doppler! How exciting is that?

Thanks again for your support and we look forward to any questions or comments you guys might have. 

-PAI Team

Matthew Lee, Danny Greene, and 24 more people like this update.

Comments

Only backers can post comments. Log In
    1. Palo Alto Innovation 3-time creator on

      @Thomas check out update #14 for the full schedule. That schedule (which is the most recent and still on track) has the Beta units going out to testers in June. Our reply to Kim, was in regards to the regular (non-beta) backers.

    2. Thomas Canty on

      So can you please clarify if the beta testers are the ones that are receiving the product in August or its the general public. I was under the impression that the testers would be receiving it in March.

    3. Palo Alto Innovation 3-time creator on

      @Kim Nothing has changed schedule-wise. We are still aiming for shipping to customers in August.

    4. Missing avatar

      Kim Wong on

      So bottom line, what is the tentative delivery date to the end user?

    5. Palo Alto Innovation 3-time creator on

      All, thanks for the support, it means a lot! @Colin you should check out the first gen Sandman :) (/shameless plug)

    6. Colin Pickup
      Superbacker
      on

      Glad you're weathering the storm, and that you're still able to put a full Linux system onboard.

      Looking forward to getting my alarm clock! The screen on my current one is too small to read while lying down on my bed, and doesn't do any of the fancy tricks that the Sandman Doppler does.

    7. Matt Hydeman on

      @talknerdytome I have backed my fair share of Kickstarter, Indiegogo and other crowdfunded projects, and I I think I have every right to have some concern. I'm not crapping on Palo Alto's transparency, I'm expressing concern that the choices they make for this initial generation of the Sandman Doppler might not be the same choices they make for the next generation and beyond that. Given our investments in this project, I think it's fair to ask if the first generation Doppler owners might be owners of the proverbial Model T while successive generations receive Ferraris. How you read discouragement in what I wrote is beyond me.

    8. TalkNerdyToMe
      Superbacker
      on

      I am stating for the official record: I love your use of the gifs! Very suspenseful! ;)

      I am also impressed with your level of communication through the campaign so far. I have backed a few campaigns with similar degrees of technical challenge and many of them have managed to either be vague about the status projects development post campaign, or they simply haven’t communicated anything at all. Your transparency is greatly appreciated and I don’t think you should be discouraged by any backers who feel concerned about this update. Honesty is always the best policy so keep up the great work!

    9. Damian Vila on

      You’re handling this difficult situation really well! I knew there were problems with NTC, and was wondering what you guys would do about it. It’s nice to hear you already have a plan, and it’s not as hard to keep going as AI though it may be. Kudos to you! I insist: you guys are awesome! Regards.

    10. Palo Alto Innovation 3-time creator on

      @Matt, I understand that feeling and it's perfectly fair. When we need to make the decisions, we will make them! I don't know how to calm your worries other than that.

      As for the first generation Doppler owners being guinea pigs... that is not our intention or our plan. We understand what the support means from Kickstarter backers like yourself and we will do everything in our power to make sure that we never leave any Doppler users in the dust. If anything does happen we will make a very easy upgrade path for those that early adopters. Thanks again for your support!

    11. Matt Hydeman on

      I'm really trying not to be dismayed here, but the multiple references to decisions being made "soon" is kind of worrying me. I really hope you all are going to make a decisive decision about these things and then completely back your own play.

      The worst thing that can happen is if you all make these first-generation Sandman dopplers and then when you find better technology for succeeding generations of the Doppler, you essentially abandon those of us who are the first generation "guinea pigs". :(

    12. Ace Edmonds
      Superbacker
      on

      I find it very amusing that you're using the NTC Chip, as both a backer of the original campaign and of their Voder campaign. (I still haven't done anything with my Chip--too many hobbies and not enough time,--but still.) Fun!

    13. Palo Alto Innovation 3-time creator on

      Just trying to lighten the mood and have some fun!

    14. Ned Norland on

      please chill a bit with the animated gifs. :(