Behind The Scenes #4: Practical Tests, Sensor Sensitivity & Packaging
We've got some sweet stuff lined up for you in today's update. While the factories are chugging away at the initial batch of 12.000 Thermodos, we're testing sensitivity and pushing the software further. Let's dive right into it. Here's a new Behind The Scenes episode for you (it has frozen thermodos in it):
In this episode the team demonstrates a range of practical tests of the sensor to show off the sensitivity. We discuss the nature of temperature measurements, microclimates and the state of the hardware/software integration. Finally we unveil the packaging for Thermodo.
If you have missed any of our videos, we've collected them all in a cool little channel here for easier viewing and catching up.
Progress Report: Hardware
We're getting several reports per week on the status of the various manufacturing stages. Let's run through some of the current things going on. The aluminium housings are all 100% complete and the two separate processes for the regular and the Premium Thermodos have started. The painting of the regular Thermodos will go quicker than the anodizing and engraving of the Premium Thermodos (which is a painstakingly slow process).
A lot of different components have started to arrived at the factory. Here you see the jacks & the keyrings.
But not everything has been a smooth ride. We've had our SMD components stuck in Shenzen airport for a few days, due to a Chinese national holiday causing a backlog in DHL shipping. Nothing major, but it has pushed back the processes associated with those components.
Below you see the mounting tools we've build that is used to hold the PCB's and the audiojacks in place for soldering.
We're currently working on a series of test-jigs for the factory to use in the final electric test of the assembled Thermodos. Apart from the minor hiccup in shipping, everything else is on track. We're trying to get more video and pictures out of China, but it's not easy. We'll obviously keep everybody informed as the mass manufacturing progresses.
Progress Report: Software
The companion app for iOS has completely blossomed these past few weeks, and have really helped us define the look and feel of the digital side of Thermodo. We're using the additional time to enhance the experience and overcome some of the communication challenges associated with such a sensitive little piece of equipment. We've put together a few animations that show you how the current build of the Companion app is shaping up (If you're reading this from an email, you might need to visit the actual update page to see these). Here's how our menu system works right now:
A wonderfully fluid experience. And below is what it looks like when you plug in Thermodo. Notice the wavy visualization displaying activity and indicating the trend of the temperature measurement change.
A lot of thought and effort has gone into the visualization, and it makes the most sense when you're actually holding it in your hand. The idea is that we're using a suite of different visual indicators to communicate the measurements coming from Thermodo. When the line is almost still, slow and grey, the temperature measurement has stabilized, meaning that the temperature of the sensor and the temperature of the environment is the same. When there's a change in the environment you'll see this wonderful graph spring to life and the color, speed, inclination and wave-depth will help indicate how fast the change is happening. It's hard to explain, but there's something really satisfying about seeing the graph slowly wobble down and the background clearing up once it has stabalized to it's surroundings.
We're still playing around with a few other helpful tools, but we'll go more in-depth with that in the next update. For now though, the companion app is starting to become really exciting.
We're obviously still at the mercy of manufacturing, but everything is starting to come together. We're pushing China to send us a limited shipment as soon they come off the final assembly line. Once we have those we'll be able to wrap up the software integration, get approved by Apple and hand over some Thermodos to developers so they can start building their own Thermodo implementation. Until then, we'll continue to keep everyone informed as this massive project starts seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.
As always, thanks for following along!
- Your team in Copenhagen