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This tiny device brings Bluetooth capability to all of your audio devices. It even lets you sync headphones with a friend!
This tiny device brings Bluetooth capability to all of your audio devices. It even lets you sync headphones with a friend!
This tiny device brings Bluetooth capability to all of your audio devices. It even lets you sync headphones with a friend!
16,019 backers pledged $804,268 to help bring this project to life.

Nov 16 Update

95 likes

Dear Backers,

Thank you for remaining supportive and patient during this delay. We know it is a frustrating time for you, as much as it is a difficult time for us.

Today will be a long update, so feel free to scroll to the parts that most interest you. In this update, you will find:

  • A video of the Jack in action
  • Pictures from China from our CTO
  • A note on production

A Note on Production

First off, we want to apologize again for disappointing many of you with missing our expected shipping schedule. This last step from final prototype to mass production is the hardest step in any product development timeline, which is why expected timelines can change not once, but multiple times.

Our current situation is that of the first 500 we attempted to make, under 200 passed our strict standards. Those will be shipped out tonight. The rest are being sent to our San Francisco office to be corrected one-by-one by hand, and then also shipped out. We're not sure how long exactly this will take, but between 3 of us here to do it, it may take over a week.

Obviously this is not a sustainable path, so we are undertaking another revision to fix this assembly problem. As mentioned in the last update, we are dealing with smaller tolerances than we've ever had to deal with, but we've chosen to make them right rather than grow the size of the entire device. This way, we can fit the most battery life and features in a slimmer and lighter package than anyone else.

We've made the revisions and ordered 5.5k PCBAs, and the lead time is 4 weeks. If assembly with these boards go without a hitch, we may be able to make a few thousand before Christmas. But unfortunately we cannot guarantee we will get the assembly line space or even air freight priority with this relatively small quantity around the holidays. Getting "bumped" is what a lot of smaller brands face. 

The reality is, the majority of people will not receive Jack until next year. We're very sorry again, and we do not take this reality lightly ourselves, as we know it is a great disappointment. Beyond the free silicon case we've included with your order, we've taken the time to add additional features into the Jack, as demonstrated in the video below. We will continue to brainstorm and do what we can.

In response to some questions, we want to briefly address the economics of the campaign to give the funds raised some context:

  • Firstly, between the Kickstarter platform fee (5%), credit card processing fees (2.9%), chargebacks and dropped payments (2-4%), the funds we collect are about 10% less than the full amount you see.
  • Then, if Jack, accessories, + shipping averages to about $18 each, then this amounts to a (very low estimate) cost of $450,000. (~25k Jacks)
  • For 6 employees, office rent, employee tax, IP lawyers, and miscellaneous operational costs, 10 months equals on the low end $30k/month, or $300,000 this year
  • Factor in tooling costs ($20k+), aptX licensing ($10k+), marketing/ads (a lot), etc. and this accounts for most, if not all of it.

The point we would like to make is that we come to Kickstarter not with the mentality of "striking it rich", but to see if our creations and ideas strike a tone with backers like you. This gives us the opportunity to make an initial production run and hopefully be successful afterwards in national retail markets.

We're extremely grateful for the support you've shown us by backing us in the first place, and for continuing to be supportive despite our delay. To put an overall point to a long note: we simply want to make the best possible product that fulfills our original vision, and we are doing everything we can to deliver this to you as quickly as we can. 

Our priority is to push through these production delays, and we will keep you updated on our progress. We apologize for not being able to keep up with messages and comments 100% but we are trying, and the notes of positivity we see really help us keep pushing through these problems. We understand the pessimism many of you are experiencing, but we also understand that you don't actually want us to fail, right? 

To everyone, thank you for cheering us on, and thank you for being the very original supporters of what we hope will become a future success.

Best,

The Podo Labs Team

Pictures From China

A typical "industrial park" in China where many types of suppliers and manufacturers are gathered.
A typical "industrial park" in China where many types of suppliers and manufacturers are gathered.

 

The showroom of an assembly house of Bluetooth audio products.
The showroom of an assembly house of Bluetooth audio products.

 

An SMT (surface mount technology) line where tiny electrical components are placed onto the circuit boards.
An SMT (surface mount technology) line where tiny electrical components are placed onto the circuit boards.

 

Another view. These SMT lines get extremely packed during the holiday season.
Another view. These SMT lines get extremely packed during the holiday season.

 

Some finished Jacks!
Some finished Jacks!

 

Unfinished housing components.
Unfinished housing components.

 

More housings.
More housings.

 

The board and buttons are requiring the most revision work. For context, the arm of the button component that we have to push down is about 1.7mm wide, or about the thickness of a quarter.
The board and buttons are requiring the most revision work. For context, the arm of the button component that we have to push down is about 1.7mm wide, or about the thickness of a quarter.

 Video Demonstration

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

 

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

---Conclusion of Jack update---

Our friends from Fishball

You may not have known, but our three founders and electrical engineer met and became friends at the University of California, Berkeley. Today, we wanted to briefly share a product coming from three more of our friends and classmates: Yuriy, Sora, and Tony:

JUST LAUNCHED: Fishball: The World's First 360° Smartphone Lens

 

Fishball uses optics, not electronics, to turn your iPhone into the easiest to use 360° VR camera ever! Just clip on and capture 360° photos and videos in full 360°. No charging, no cables. It just works. Get an exclusive 64% off with this cross promotion link: Click Here!

Ben Chea, Mickey Johnson, and 93 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Leonardo Meyer Z on

      Where are my Jacks???? Almost one year waiting...

    2. Tricia A Louis on

      wondering if we will ever get this?? this is the first kickstarter that I have backed that has been SO far off it's projected timeline :-(

    3. Missing avatar

      Arifin on

      hi, when will we receive this product ?

    4. Chuck Brown on

      Are the docs located somewhere? Box was just the units - no docs.

    5. Missing avatar

      Mark Barnes on

      About time for the monthly installment of “We’re still trying but it’s going to be a while longer. And oh by the way, while you’re waiting why don’t you give money for another product we are working on.”

    6. Kim.T. on

      possible to get it before Christmas?

    7. Paul Wee on

      When exactly can we receive this product?

    8. Rong Jun Beh on

      Not impressed by the constant delay at all. When exactly are we receiving the products?

    9. Missing avatar

      David Pham on

      Appreciate the update. Do not appreciate the continued marketing for other projects.

    10. Missing avatar

      Derek Alenius on

      Good job everyone! It's not easy physically due to the hours you all must have put in, and of course mentally due to the set backs, dealing with people etc. I hope that you all keep pushing through! I do REALLY APPRECIATE THE PICTURES AND VIDEOS! I think its something that a lot of kickstarters do not include in their update that really helps me as a backer feel security in backing your project.

    11. Justin Jose Caraang on

      Do we have a new timeline for when/if the Jack will ship?

    12. Missing avatar

      Olivier B. Deland on

      Looking good, keep it up guys.

    13. Dado Szpoganicz on

      Keep Pushing... no rush.

    14. Missing avatar

      Rafael Salazar on

      CUANDO VAMOS A RECIBIR EL ARTICULO????

    15. Missing avatar

      Will Martin on

      This seems normal. People routinely underestimate delivery times for KS projects, especially if they're new to the scene.

      A six month delay is nothing. I'm still waiting on a Kickstarter I backed in 2014. When we hit the five-year mark, I may start to become annoyed.

    16. Missing avatar

      Victor on

      "We understand the pessimism many of you are experiencing, but we also understand that you don't actually want us to fail, right?"

      Of course we don't. We paid you. Why would that even be a question? This was a great idea to start off with, but I am hoping the quality of this product depicts what you intended it to be. From your other products' comments/reviews, I am apprehensive.

    17. Missing avatar

      Tom Beggs on

      While I appreciate the updates, I really want to say that I want to withdraw my pledge and interest in this product. This is really too long to wait for something, even if a "new design" concept. How can I opt out of participation now? I don't even have time to read all these updates.

    18. Ben Rosenthal
      Superbacker
      on

      Wow, what’s with the downers?! This is a design project. These things take time to get enough right and deliver so customers have a good experience.

      I’m impressed with this update and appreciate the video demo. Looking forward to more updates as you continue your journey!

    19. Errol john mayatt on

      I wonder if after all this time anyone is really supportive still. Well at least it was a cheap scam. I could do a better job of pretending it is still going to happen.

    20. Missing avatar

      Juzer Vasi on

      Will this Jack ever be made? I feel now that this updates are just another excuse .. intricacies in delivery lines and the entire design process should have been handled well when you’ll shamelessly advertised the product on Kickstarter. Guys please think twice before buying any products from Podo Labs.

    21. Missing avatar

      Bart Crijns on

      Well, I still had some hope I would have it by the end of the year, but it seems like that was a bit too optimistic. What matters more though is that I get a quality product instead of a piece of junk, so while feeling a bit disappointed, I'm also hopeful that the final product will be one that I'll enjoy.
      I've had worse delays on Kickstarter, but they also delivered what they promised.

    22. Johnson Lam
      Superbacker
      on

      Thanks for update, as a Hong Kong citizen, China is just across the border and I know their work still lacks precise, so I don't mind waiting if the product is really come out with best QC. Also I'm curious to know how many BlueTooth device can work together with "Share" mode.

    23. Luke-Sebastian Boshoff on

      Clearly the team from Podo does not really know what they are doing. Yes, bringing new products to market is difficult, but these guys are just burning money on a project they have never really had a grip on.
      My suggestion to everyone who might be considering supporting a Podo project, think twice! Jack only costs 40 bucks, loosing that money is painful for a supporter, but not the end of the world. Newer projects are asking for a lot more money....

    24. Missing avatar

      Wayne Campbell on

      Thanks for the update! It’s appreciated. The videos looks great- jack appears to have all the functions I could want. Can’t wait till they arrive! Cheers!

      Any estimate on battery runtime?

    25. Missing avatar

      Kevin James Rowe on

      Good update, keep at it guys, all the best

    26. Missing avatar

      Sergey Vereshchako on

      Very cool! I'm looking forward the device.

    27. John Burrows on

      Snoooze - this is ridiculous - by the time this finally get shipped the idea will be redundant - really a sad project, cut your losses. Watching you try to put this together is painful. It's really not that hard to do .. next time just hire someone that has done it before

    28. Missing avatar

      Konstantinos Markogiannakis on

      I have to say that the product shown in these videos looks much larger than the one originally advertised. Can you please provide information on the actual size/weight and how it compares to the prototype you were working on when the Kickstarter was released?

    29. stuart white on

      is it just me, or does the finished product you show in these demo videos look much bigger than the original promotional images made it out to be? this things looks like a brick. Was kind of expecting something a bit more discrete!

    30. Missing avatar

      Peter on

      Honesty and transparency are great. The drive to create something good is appreciated. But I've been honestly amazed by companies (like Podo Labs) who initiate crowdfunding campaigns without having a single clue about production. It seems no homework at all was done reg. this rather crucial aspect of a product before launching this campaign. That is not 'giving an opportunity to innovate', it's supporting a silly business practice. Also fascinating to receive this mail with apologies and reports on failure in combination with a cross-selling link. If the guys doing a 360 degrees camera for an iPhone are as inexperienced, then that's a project I would like to stay far away from. Sorry to sound harsh. Mistakes can be made by anyone and things do go wrong, this is not the issue. But there's also a lot of serious and well-prepared companies/ projects on Kickstarter who really deserve the opportunity to be funded in this rather cool way.

    31. Missing avatar

      Rudi De Roeck on

      Sorry to hear you're being extremely challenged. So just wanted to let you know that I appreciate the open and honest communication. I'm keeping the faith guys, don't let the setbacks put you off. I also think theJack will be worth the wait. All the best.

    32. Tom van der Spek
      Superbacker
      on

      Thanks for the clear and transparant update. And don't worry, I am not inpatient. I will see when Jack is delivered at my doorstep, which will surely happen somewhere in 2018, I presume.
      Greetings!

    33. Luise Hentschel on

      thanks for the great and transparent updates. when i backed this i was expecting to get a nice device but now we get the device AND some very interesting insights in production of small electronics, which is pretty cool! good luck for the final stretch

    34. Jonas Eriksson on

      I’m confident that you are doing you best. Keep it up and I look forward to try the Jack when it arrives. Best of luck.

    35. Missing avatar

      Vlad Andersson on

      In the next week I will be looking for alternative products and will likely to cancel my order. I have no more patience.
      Saddest thing is how much negative impact I'm going to make by naturally telling people how unsuccessful this project turned out to be. And I have no intention making things worse, I just can't maintain naive lies anymore.
      It is what it is :(

    36. Victor Sg on

      Good update. I like the new features and the strength of the grip. It doesn't look as awesome but it makes complete sense.

    37. Missing avatar

      Vlad Andersson on

      It will be an understatement to say that I'm disappointed in how this project turned out. I was refraining from negative comments like that in the past to avoid unnecessary emotional impact on you, but something must be said.
      Delay on this project is utterly ridiculous and string of continuous updates on how you didn't forsee these challenges and "smaller intolerances" is just getting boring and irritating.
      I'm not sure you realise how close you are to creating tsunami of backers backlash and lose future credibility of your ability to deliver on your promises.

    38. Missing avatar

      Gernot J. Abel
      Superbacker
      on

      Great pitch - love to support startups that work hard to get across the challenges and communicate openly. Keep your pace !

    39. Simon Murray on

      I’ve now bought the Griffin iTrip - half the price and I have it in my hand now.

      You missed the boat guys. It’s a shame as the concept is good but you’ve not got the necessary experience to bring a product to market.

    40. Herbert Neugebauer on

      Thanks for the update and the transparency. Don't get discouraged and please continue on your path, I hope the next batch will bring you to the expected quality. Good luck!

    41. Kristoffer Jägestedt
      Superbacker
      on

      Great update!

      Keep up the good work and continue to be as transparent and awesome as you are.

    42. Missing avatar

      Shaine Meister on

      Thanks for the update, what a lot of people fail to understand, is that this is what kickstarter is all about, giving someone with a dream an opportunity to create something a then share with the world. The reality is sometimes nothing goes as plan, but that’s why we’re here to provide support and encouragement.

      These guys apart of creating the Jack is legitimate and sincere therefore I have no problem with waiting.

      Hey Jack team just want to say I appreciate the amount of hard work you’ve put into the jack, look forward to the day I can get my hands on one! �

    43. Missing avatar

      Christopher Bailey on

      Whelp, there goes my sons Christmas present. Keeping a stiff upper lip here, but really hoping the promised quality is delivered on, whenever the h that ends up being.

    44. Missing avatar

      albert
      Superbacker
      on

      I don't mind waiting for a great product but hope this will be a lesson learned for setting estimated shipping date. The fact that you keep telling us it's a delicate & difficult process for designing and tooling due to the small error of margin, but giving us a estimated shipping period assuming everything would go well were disencouraging. By knowing there would be problems surfacing within the refine & manufacturing period, you should add some buffering time slots to your estimated shipping date in order to not let your backers have high hopes in one update then led down in the following update. Hope you'll be smarter in the future, good luck!

    45. Missing avatar

      Jose Munoz-Nieves on

      Honesty and transparency are key elements for any successful venture. My investment is based on expectations of receiving a superior product that exceeds the performance of what is available in the market. I really hope that you are successful in meeting your objectives and we receive the product that we were hoping to receive. My experience has been that crowd funding is a gamble, delays inevitable and losses almost guaranteed. My losses have been so many that I will no longer be a participant.

    46. Saibal Chakraburtty on

      Great update. I love the attention to detail and extra features. I’d prefer a quality device late, then a crappy alpha device.

    47. Joey Montes on

      Lesson learned - don't fund unless you're willing to wait a long time for product. Not again.

    48. Missing avatar

      Tom Parsons
      Superbacker
      on

      Well stated @ Kouroth. I would rather wait and have a high quality device rather than have a piece of crap that falls apart or breaks because quality was sacrificed so it could be shipped on time. Keep it up, you are doing a great job Podo Labs Team. Hope that things don't get delayed much more.

    49. Missing avatar

      Corey Voigt on

      yea, more spam for another project. I'm glad I bought the Noisehush dongles on Amazon, in January, Delivered in two days, they work, have the ability to skip forward and back, and outside of your "claimed" battery life have been working for the entire time you can't get your debacle off the ground. No more speculative "backing" for me.

    50. Benson Low on

      Hi guys

      I hope you will live up to your statement of "we simply want to make the best possible product that fulfills our original vision, and we are doing everything we can to deliver this to you as quickly as we can."

      At this point I don't mind when I'll get it, but you better delivery on the quality. This has increased my expectations of a quality product given the care and attention shared to date and I hope it lives up the built up expectations all these delays had produced.

      Good luck!