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A beautiful Transparent Speaker with high quality audio components and materials. Sustainable design created for today's music lover.
A beautiful Transparent Speaker with high quality audio components and materials. Sustainable design created for today's music lover.
490 backers pledged $169,480 to help bring this project to life.

TRANSPARENT SPEAKER UPDATE #18

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No community manager, no video

Last week, André, our community manager, quit at short notice. This left me (Martin) and Per in a tough spot: we are fully focused on getting the product out, so we don’t have as much time as we’d like to read emails and comments. André was also responsible for producing our video updates. The short-term solution is that I will write the updates and we will skip the videos to save time. We hope to find a new team member within a couple of weeks.

Sharing progress

We take note of all the comments, emails and feedback we get. So although we have been quiet lately, our goal is to communicate more, give more behind-the-scenes updates, and post more information about this product.

45Hz - 22kHz ±5db on Axis
45Hz - 22kHz ±5db on Axis

The image of crystal clear ‘transparent sound’

A lot of you have asked for our frequency-response graph, the industry-standard way of showing sound capacity. With the mechanical design of the speaker locked down, we can finally show a graph that represents the speaker we will send you. (You can also see the effect of our bass and treble knobs.) We are very proud of the performance of our speakers.

Wall-mounting bracket included in your box

We have gone through several iterations to find a feasible, good looking way to wall-mount the 10-kilogram (22-pound) speaker. We can now announce that you will receive custom-made wall-mounting brackets with the speaker. Seeing the speaker hanging like a piece of art on the wall is, we think, really magic!

A “piece of art” on your wall
A “piece of art” on your wall
Custom made wall-mounting bracket
Custom made wall-mounting bracket

Golden sample ready = all the hardware is approved 

We have some images from Pers latest production visit. He found some small glitches, like a wobbly silicon dampener (you can see that effect on the image of the wall-mounting bracket above), and a slightly high tolerances (0.2mm) in the corner parts; these issues are now solved. We have approved all the hardware and mechanical parts from tooling, and will use our golden sample to guide the rest of the production. Exciting times!

Quality control in production
Quality control in production
Injection tooling for amp box
Injection tooling for amp box
Injection moulding in progress
Injection moulding in progress
Corner parts
Corner parts
Testing on production line
Testing on production line

Trial shipping

As a trial, we will ship a couple of units from our pilot run to our Shipwire warehouses in Los Angeles and London next week. The aim is to ensure we have all the paperwork in order before we ship the first mass-production batches. Sea freight from China to the US or EU takes roughly four weeks. We are holding the Hong Kong units until we have the CCC-certification mark needed for the Chinese market.

Packaging prototype with carry-home handle.
Packaging prototype with carry-home handle.
Shipwire warehouses process and ship orders same day and are strategically located to reach international customers within a few days
Shipwire warehouses process and ship orders same day and are strategically located to reach international customers within a few days
  

What is left to do before mass production starts?

Some small software tweaks are needed after feedback from our intensive sound-testing period. We are waiting for our final CE certification. Per is working on the user manual. (If you want to volunteer as a translator, send us a message!) We are also updating the packaging design and text.

When will you get it?

We have learned from this project and a lot of other projects on Kickstarter, like Memoto (now called Narrative and shipping), that dates are difficult to pin down when you are doing something innovative with a new team that would be ten times bigger if it was in a large corporation. Everyone is working hard on the last details for mass production. We can tell you that mass production of the first batch will take under a month, and then the shipping will be another month. Thank you for staying for the ride.

When can you hear it?

What keeps our hearts pumping after more than a year of really long days is seeing the big smiles on people’s faces when they hear the speaker for the first time! And we CAN’T WAIT to share that experience with you – the people who deserve it the most!

Check our some of the Swedish bands at SXSW!
Check our some of the Swedish bands at SXSW!

Most of our backers are outside Stockholm and London, where you can listen to the speaker right now. This week, I have been invited to speak at SXSW Interactive in Austin on 7–16 March, and Mobile World Conference in Barcelona on 24–27 August. If I go, I will of course take some pilot-run speakers with me to play for our backers and fans in those cities. Let me know if you would like to meet me there and listen to the speaker!

Stay tuned! 

Martin

The Weeze, Philip Schweizer, and 4 more people like this update.

Comments

    1. Creator andrew on March 6, 2014

      is the current timeline to still send in march?

    2. Creator andrew on March 2, 2014

      is the current timeline to still send in march?

    3. Creator James Fok on February 24, 2014

      Keep up the good work. @Richard: Love it or hate it, backing start up projects are always risky! Kickstarter will no doubt understand this and so should all Kickstarter-enablers like us.

      Yes perhaps it is a little dissapointing that it has taken so long! People People, send me/ all other supporters something amazing and we will never forget our journey in creating an incredible speaker.

      Keep up the good work! And perhaps, hurry up!

    4. Creator Ran on February 24, 2014

      If the logistics of shipping to China will be difficult, I am fine with having it shipped to the US. I will just bring it back myself.

      Anyways when I said $3 to ship, I assumed you were making these in China and therefore would be ship domestically. If you're using freight to move everything to the US and then distribute from there, then I can see the issues shipping it back.

    5. Creator Joel Bacque on February 20, 2014

      Thank you for the update! Keep on rocking guys! It's been a great ride for the past year and I'm excited the payoff is right around the corner. And, if it takes more time to get the Speaker where it needs to be so be it, it will only make it that more badass when it arrives at my doorstep. Thank you for all the hard work you have done and continue to do!

    6. Creator daniel t on February 20, 2014

      Keep up the hard work guys. Good things come to people who wait. Id love to see some of the more negative commentators bring a product like this to market in under a year. Wall mounting bracket is a really nice addition. Nice to see that even with all the hard work and set backs you guys are still really focused on aesthetics, design & quality. much respect

    7. Creator PEOPLE PEOPLE on February 20, 2014

      @ Richard Thomas
      It’s correct that we can not refund the kickstarted money since it’s already sunk in to the development and ordering of the first batch. We understand that this is frustrating, but it’s a risk involved in crowd funding projects. We also outlined these problems in our Risks and Challenges on the project page.
      Regarding CES. Good suggestion! We actually where invited to CES 2011 by Wired Gadget Lab as coolest product of the year. The prototype could not even play sound proparly but it was after that exposure we decided to go for kickstarter.
      That sound room sounds awesome. We really wanted to order the U-turn but it could not sent outside the US.

      @John Driggers
      It would be great to meet you face to face! I hope I figure out a way so I can go.

      @Jeremy
      Thanks for the encouraging words

      @Ran
      This could be a little complex. Basically we will send out a contact form as soon as we know the speakers are in shipment. If you enter Shanghai we will send it there some how, but we might have to ad a little for international shipping. Let’s reconnect on this once we are shipping.
      The plan to do a Chinese version has been aded post Kickstarter, so that is why we that version is coming a bit later.

      @Yoshimi
      Thanks for the support!

      @Tennyson Nadah
      Yes. Correct. Appart from the software that we are looking at right now.
      In terms of the silicon dampener, we found out that we needed a glue. That was hard do know before we got the silicon part out of the tool. Specifying the right tollerances is also part of the QC-process.

    8. Creator Tennyson Nadah on February 20, 2014

      Thanks for the reply.
      so are you saying that once the golden sample is perfected in theory this is the product that is mass produced and will be fine?
      So the problems you're encountering are more related to the manufacturer not quite making the product you have specified/designed OR they make the product your specified and it doesn't fit quite like you intended ?

    9. Creator Yoshimi on February 20, 2014

      While there has been lots of delays, there has also been steady updates keeping us informed and showing progress. I'm happy with that (I know I'm getting a real product).

      I also don't care that I paid for the non-DIY kit and people who paid for the DIY kit are getting the same product. The fact they're getting their product for the same price they paid for but better doesn't change the fact that I was happy to pay what I paid and I'm still getting the product I paid for, eventually :).

      Anyway thanks for the update and good luck.

    10. Creator Richard Thomas on February 19, 2014

      @ People People - I look forward to your timely reply. I would appreciate it if you would look at the situation closely.

      @ Jeremy Chien - Delivery beyond a past an anticipated delivery date that is a year past the proposed delivery is abnormal for crowd funding. People who funded the full version also expect some sort of discount so they do not to have to support the DIY people's funding. That is not hating, that is called REALITY.

      @ - People People why is it you have not taken your product to a show where there will be competitors to your Invisible Speaker such as CES in Las Vegas? There is nothing better than getting the THUMPS UP from a major International Consumer Electronics Show. Showing the product at a clothing store in Sweden or London England is not exactly a huge recommendation IMHO. Whenever I have purchased passive speakers for my home audio, I have always done a 'head to head' comparison versus similar speakers that fit my budget, size requirements and performance.
      I have a fairly small room set up with a Turntable, Pre Amp and a Speaker. I was anticipating using ALL Kickstarter Products in that room i.e. UTurn Turntable, Bugle 2 Pre Amp and one Invisible Speaker. I have since purchased a Bose Powered Speaker for that application. It is unfortunate that your delivery is so late. It would have been a very favourable recommendation of Kickstarter and all the great products available through Crowd Funding.

    11. Creator Ran on February 19, 2014

      I'm curious. I originally was suppose to have mine shipped to the US (New York to me exact); technically it can still go there. But I live in Shanghai now. Can I change the shipping address? It only cost me like $3 ship a 20 lb item, so I don't think that should be an issue. I guess I could pay for the extra $20 if needed.

    12. Creator Jeremy Chien on February 19, 2014

      Forget the haters. Delays on KS are the status quo. I'm glad I'll be getting mine versus many projects that never even come to fruition.

      This is crow funding people!!! If you want a off the shelf product, hit amazon.com

    13. Creator PEOPLE PEOPLE on February 19, 2014

      @The Weeze - Thank you so much! Please send your contacts to per@peoplepeople.se

    14. Creator John on February 19, 2014

      I wish you luck with that @Richard - see below forwhat I was told back in October when I wrote this project off.

      I think I'll make to trip to SXSW to participate in the talk at Interactive on behalf of the people who backed the product.. Let me know what message you would like to have delivered!

      "Unfortunately this is not possible at this late stage of delivery.
      Your funds for your Transparent Speaker has been used for development and your speaker is already ordered from the factory.

      We hope that you have understanding, and please let us know if we can assist you in any other way.

      Best regards,
      André Engdahl Jofré ."

    15. Creator PEOPLE PEOPLE on February 19, 2014

      @Andrew. 1. We will know more about the software in the next couple of days. 2. Certification is straight forward, TÜV only flagged that the CCC might take longer than previous schedule. I am expecting final CE confirmation within days. 3. Target date is still to start this month and send in March. As you can tell from the update, I just don't want to over promise and give dates.
      @Richard. Sorry to hear that. I will look into your request.
      @Jerry. Sorry you feel that way. We consider ourself structured, but things do take a lot more time than desirable!
      @Tennyson. I mentioned those two examples just to be transparent with the sort of things we have been working on. The quality control we put on all the components and assembly is really to the highest standards. This is actually one of the major reason for the delays: the lead time created every time you change a supplier because you are not happy with the quality.

    16. Creator The Weeze on February 19, 2014

      I would be more than happy to look over your English user manual. Technical writing is sort of my thing.

    17. Creator Tennyson Nadah on February 19, 2014

      I"m still not happy about the fact we have to pay as much as the DIY group. But i shall leave that aside for now...
      My concern now is with how long it is taking to 'perfect' everything I wonder how well the 'mass production' items will correlate with the 'golden sample'? If you're having to constantly make 0.2mm adjustments to tolerances and wobbly silicon dampeners how will it be for the massed produced items. Can they really perfectly replicate the golden sample?? And if things are not quite right what is the return mechanism? I'm not wishing for bad luck but given how things of been I am just curious....

    18. Creator Jerry Yang on February 19, 2014

      Are you saying it will take another TWO months at least to get the speaker? I agree with Richard 100%. The whole process was a disaster.

    19. Creator Richard Thomas on February 19, 2014

      I sent Andre a request for a refund on February 13. I am no longer tolerant of all these delays nor subsidizing the DIY own pledge people. I would appreciate a response and my money refunded promptly. I have reported people people to Kickstarter and they are following this project closely. It was my mistake supporting a group of people without any prior expertise designing, getting certifications (I could have told you a fabric power cable would never pass UL nor CSA) producing and shipping a product of this type.

    20. Creator andrew on February 19, 2014

      So there are two activities that must be completed before Mass Production (4 weeks) and Shipment (4 weeks):
      -Some small software tweaks are needed after feedback from our intensive sound-testing period.
      -We are waiting for our final CE certification.

      Do you have any estimates on when the software tweaks and certification will be complete? Is there a target start date for mass production?

      Thanks,

      Andrew