TRANSPARENT SPEAKER UPDATE #18
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!