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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.

New schedule and DSP update, plus a discounted original Sandman

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Loyal Doppler supporters, here we are with another email update.

First off, we just wanted to say thanks for sticking with us and all the support you have given us is keeping us energized and excited. The Doppler is going to be an awesome product and we can’t wait to get it into your hands!

So, when will this actually happen? When will we be able to ship you guys the darn things?! There are currently numerous factors that are creating long lead times in the entire industry. Once the circuit board design is verified and we can order the electrical components and start the clock on those lead times. Our current target is to start the initial production of the Doppler right after Chinese New Year 2019 ends at the end of February. This means that we hope to ship you your Doppler units in March.

We know it may sound repetitive, but we really are very unhappy with the numerous delays and we know you are as well. We want nothing more than to get the Doppler into your hands as soon as possible! In an attempt to apologize to you guys, we would like to offer a discount on the Original Sandman. While the Original Sandman doesn’t have all the great features the Doppler has it should be a great holdover for you while waiting for the Doppler. You can learn more about the original Sandman here: sandmanclocks.com. Please check your email in the coming weeks and we will send over a personalized discount code for everyone.

The original Sandman
The original Sandman

In the previous update, we explained the issues we had with the DSP (digital signal processor) when the supplier no longer could support us. Well for the last month and a half we have worked on ripping out the DSP, microphone, power, and amplifier parts of our boards and replacing them with new parts that are being supported by our new DSP supplier. This ended up being about 50% of the board design, so it was a pretty major change. Once we were done with the board design, we sent it out to be manufactured. When we got the board and the parts, we brought them to our local assembly shop to put the (421!) surface mount parts on the board. After we got the newly-assembled boards in-house, we started the board bring up process and crossed our fingers. As is typical with complex engineering projects, we knew better than to expect everything to just work right away because we couldn’t finish writing the necessary drivers and software without physically having the boards. But, we do have good news! As it stands, the DSP is fully functional and we have it recording and sending sound to the main Doppler computer! We are currently working on bringing up the new stereo amplifier on the boards, which is the chip responsible for actually playing the sound from the Doppler computer. We are hoping to get this working in the next week or so. Getting sound to come out of the DSP is a huge step and once the new stereo amplifier chip is up and running we will have fully functional Doppler boards!

The green areas are the changed sections of the board
The green areas are the changed sections of the board
The green areas are the changed sections of the board
The green areas are the changed sections of the board

 It might sound like we are still really far away from having a working Doppler. While I understand that feeling, let me tell you why it’s not accurate. In a previous update, we mentioned the Doppalator (the Doppler emulator). For those that need a reminder, The Doppalator is a Linux application that we created that mimics the actual Doppler hardware. This means that everything that works on the Doppalator will work on the finished hardware. The Doppalator currently has an estimated 70% of the functionality working reliably. So even though there have been hardware setbacks, we have been making progress on the software side. This is where a lot of our work has been when we haven’t been working on the boards. This is a partial list of some of the features that currently work on the Doppalator (in no particular order): Amazon Alexa, Alarms, 12/24 hour time, time set mode, color of the display, display brightness, volume buttons, mute button, timezones, BLE connection to the phone, day of the week, am/pm, time zones, and Wifi setup.

Here is a quick video demo of the Doppalator and Alexa working. This show the mute button working and the mic button working, along with some terrible dad jokes.

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

  
The next couple of things we will tackle (when we aren’t working on the boards): Dashboard, light sensor auto dimming, OTA software updating, A2DP and a couple other smaller items. These are significant pieces we have to get working but we know we can get everything done. We also want to stress that all the work we do on the Doppalator will be applied to the hardware once the boards are up and working! When we finish the remaining 30% of the development, we will be ready for a Beta test with our beta backers! These beta backers will help us make any last tweaks before we get everyone else their Dopplers! We then hope to continuously add more and more features in our quest to make the Doppler the best it can be. For those that are curious, the first major addition to the Doppler we plan on working on after Beta, Google Assistant!

  • Some other quick updates: The newest mechanical parts are looking really very good and are almost perfect! We just have a couple small tweaks to get everything juuuust right and then we can mark off the mechanical as finished. We are getting new parts in the mail the week after next, and we look forward to sharing those with you when they arrive! 
  • The packaging design has begun; it will be a similar style to our original Sandman Clock. We are very happy with how this is progressing and our graphics team are now working on the exterior graphics of the box. 
Prototype packaging. Proto-package?
Prototype packaging. Proto-package?
  • Our app partners over at Zemingo have been hard at work as well and we are working on nailing down the OOBE (out of box experience) and initial setup of the Doppler via the app. Here are some screenshots of the current build of the app (which is a work in progress): 

Wifi setup screen
Wifi setup screen
"Home" screen
"Home" screen
Settings screen
Settings screen

Alright, that brings you up to speed on where we’re at with development! Although there is still work to be done, we are determined to get the Doppler onto your nightstands as quickly as we can. Thanks again for your support and patience!  

-PAI team

Christopher Tarr, Heinz Diry, and 15 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Palo Alto Innovation 3-time creator on

      @Andy and Michael, It's really difficult for us to compete with Amazon's prime shipping rates. Could you guys send us an email to see if we can find a solution to get you a discounted Sandman? Thanks for working with us!

    2. Missing avatar

      Michael Wolfe on

      Yup, $6 cheaper shipped on Amazon.

    3. Missing avatar

      Andy Mac on

      Thanks for the gesture but it's still significantly cheaper through Amazon when delivery is factored in.

    4. Palo Alto Innovation 3-time creator on

      @Andy,

      Yes it will be cheaper than that! Stay tuned. Working on the update now actually. Hoping to publish early next week.

    5. Missing avatar

      Andy Mac on

      "We are actually not breaking even on the discounted price we are offering you guys on the original Sandman, so it certainly isn't putting more money into our pockets. "

      Is it going to be lower than the $19.99 you're selling them for on Amazon,com or should anyone interested buy there and save waiting (2 weeks and counting) further for you to generate these codes?

    6. Damian Vila on

      Thanks for the update. Looking good so far!
      You guys are awesome. Keep those updates rolling!

    7. Palo Alto Innovation 3-time creator on

      @Jonathan and Matt, we understand your sentiment. We are actually not breaking even on the discounted price we are offering you guys on the original Sandman, so it certainly isn't putting more money into our pockets. The pledge price of the Doppler was already discounted and we think it's a great price for what you'll be getting, even if it is late. We plan on doing something else extra for backers when the product ships but are still finalizing that surprise!

      Yes, it's been a while since we announced the product but we still haven't found another product that comes close to the Doppler utility. There are no other devices on the market that have Alexa, multiple charging ports, great sounding speakers, backlit buttons, and a display that won't blind you in the middle of the night. The new Alexa gadgets out on the market will end up working with the Doppler rather than replacing it.

    8. Palo Alto Innovation 3-time creator on

      @Christopher, Jamie, and Superbacker, Thanks so much guys!

      @Gotz, Music integration currently works great using Alexa. You can just say, Alexa, play music and she does :). You can use this for Alarms as well. We plan on integrating more music services directly onto the Doppler after beta.

      @Walter, yup. We currently don't support more than one unit per phone at the same time, but the plan is to have multiple units show up on multiple phones at the same time. As for sound quality, we don't have final production units yet so we can't definitively say, but we think it will be somewhere slightly below the Sonos One (the current leader in my mind, on par with the Max). Now this being said it's all very subjective and everyone hears differently. We spent quite a bit of time on the acoustics and are really happy with how the product sounds.

    9. Matt Hydeman on

      I'm kind of in the same place as Jonathan Weaver. At this point, I don't want to buy another Sandman, I want the one I pledged to purchase. You don't want to rebate a percentage of the price? Ok, for those of us who purchased the USB-C expansion or something else, refund that part. It doesn't detract from the actual product. But something. Expedite shipping?

      I'm glad you're finding a way to get this built, but the bloom is off the rose for me.

    10. D Jonathan Weaver on

      Rather than offer a discount on the sandman which only puts more money in your pockets, why not offer a partial refund on the purchase price of this? I appreciate the updates, but by the time this actually is delivered (if at all), it's going to be outdated already. That sounds harsh, but more and more products have already been put out that integrate Alexa. At this point what all makes this product stand out?

    11. Missing avatar

      Walter
      Superbacker
      on

      given the appearance of the app maybe i missed it but, does that mean there will be support for multiple Dopplers ? like in theory could we eventually buy another and place it in say an office or another bedroom and it work off the same platform? and secondly,in comparison to other products on the market ie google home max, echo dot, sonos, bose, homepod..where does the audio on this fall, i know that is something probably lower on your list at this time but i was wondering how well it plays music...if there is an update answering this can you please inform me so i can check there thank you again team!

    12. Missing avatar

      Walter
      Superbacker
      on

      Thank you for the update

    13. Missing avatar

      Götz von Berlichingen on

      Great to hear from you guys! I was just wondering, music integration isn't on your schedule right now I understand, but it will be integrated after all, right?
      Keep up the good work!

    14. Missing avatar

      Superbacker
      Superbacker
      on

      As always you have the most informative updates on Kickstarter! This is encouraging news. Sounds like this will be a great product when it’s finished. Keep up the hard work :)

    15. Jamie Belcourt on

      I agree with Christopher. Keep up the great work and continue to be honest and forthright with us about the status of the project. I'd much rather know something is delayed or behind then have radio silence for months on end.

      You guys are doing a great job with this project and I can't wait to have one next year!

    16. Christopher Tarr on

      Keep up the good work - sounds like it’s coming along nicely in spite of the curve balls!