Funded! This project was successfully funded on June 20, 2013.

Update #11

Wireless charger update and engineering details

Kickstarter enables us to build great new products together, as a community of like-minded individuals.

As part of that process, we're excited to share both progress updates and cool behind-the-scenes engineering notes.

The latest Qi wireless power technology

Since we kicked off the Kickstarter campaign in May, Texas Instruments has introduced a brand new wireless charger chip. This new chip, the bq500212A, has lots of cool new features–features like lower standby current and smart power delivery monitoring.  Along with the extra microcontroller we put in our wireless charger base, these two microchips enable us to build a premium wireless travel charger.

Among other premium features, our wireless charger has a feature called Dynamic Power Limiting. This basically means that it is smart enough to draw enough power to charge at 1 amp when plugged into a high-power USB port but will automatically reduce its power draw on standard 0.5 amp USB ports.  And when not charging a device, the charger will automatically drop into an energy-saving standby mode.

The wireless charger is designed to conform to the new Qi 1.1 standard. Among other things, that means that it can receive power measurements from the device that is charging; if the device isn't receiving power properly then our charger is designed to automatically shut off charging and subtly alert you. Smart.

Charger circuit board samples

We completed the charger's electrical design this last week and have included renderings below. Next week we'll be triple-checking all the components to make sure they meet our specifications, routing the chip circuitry, and ordering circuit boards and parts for production samples.

In a few weeks we will have assembled charger circuit boards, prototype coils, and 3D printed cases in hand. We will use those samples to tune the circuitry and verify that the charger is performing as designed. Then we will pre-test the sample in an independent FCC test lab to make sure that it meets FCC emission requirements for home use.

Once the production coils and production charger plastics arrive later this autumn, we will submit the charger for official FCC, IC (Canada), CE, and Qi testing at an independent test lab. Once those certifications are complete we'll put the chargers on the assembly line. We'll also be assembling the required CE paperwork for European customs.

Barring any unexpected delays, we anticipate having chargers ready for backers in December as planned.

And, based on your feedback from the previous update, we will be making extra chargers. More on that later as we firm up our plans and exact schedule.

Next steps

In parallel to wrapping up the wireless charger design these last few weeks, we've also been busy preparing for the second circuit board spin of the AGENT Smartwatch. And we've been working on an SDK Preview update and the Bluetooth infrastructure for the companion phone apps.

Over the next month we'll switch our update focus to sharing progress and technical details about the smartwatch itself, the SDK and app infrastructure. And of course we'll share photos when the chargers arrive :)

Thank you all for your support,

- Chris

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Comments

    1. 289ca552.small

      Creator fmotta on September 25, 2013

      Hmmm - "this weekend" probably past - I write this 7 days after your statement to provide an update "this weekend" and I write it on a Wednesday. Generally, a weekend lies between Wednesday and Wednesday (7 days).

    2. Missing_small

      Creator Paul Daly on September 25, 2013

      @Creator -- hate to be that guy; know you guys are hard at work, but your last comment mentioned there would be an update this past weekend? anxious to hear how things are going. hoping a sapphire lens was doable w/o causing significant signal degradation. looking forward to December!

    3. Kickstarter_image_wireless2.small

      Creator Secret Labs + House of Horology on September 18, 2013

      @Bernhard Eichler -- over the next few weeks we'll switch our update focus to sharing progress and technical details about the smartwatch itself, the SDK and app infrastructure.

      Next update (including smartwatch-hardware-specific items) will be posted this weekend. Thank you for your enthusiasm!

    4. Missing_small

      Creator Bernhard Eichler on September 18, 2013

      Hey Agent Team, why are you giving so much effort to develop the charger instead of speed up developing the Agent? As charger every Qi charger is working. When will we get More News about the watch??

    5. Kickstarter_image_wireless2.small

      Creator Secret Labs + House of Horology on September 18, 2013

      The wireless charger PCBs just arrived, so we took a quick photo and posted it on our Facebook page:
      https://www.facebook.com/photo.php…

    6. Kickstarter_image_wireless2.small

      Creator Secret Labs + House of Horology on September 18, 2013

      @arckal -- the Nokia DT-900 charger is a Qi wireless pad, so it will work with AGENT.

    7. 289ca552.small

      Creator fmotta on September 10, 2013

      @ATM: RFID hacking is now a science and almost a boring process for many. So, I do not recommend using it as a key to much more than the glove box.

    8. Missing_small

      Creator ATM on September 5, 2013

      I'm still excited about getting an Agent, but I think Apple is going to be a big threat in the near future.
      BTW- I'm not a Developer, but I do get plenty of ideas rushing through my head.
      The Agent is the perfect platform for keyless entry. The tech is out there. Entering your home or your car is possible via the Agent with the right chip/software installed. (RFID) Jus say'n!

    9. Missing_small

      Creator James Hobbs on September 5, 2013

      Best thing about Samsung gear it that my S3 will now get Android 4.3 before my AGENT arrives - hooray!

    10. Missing_small

      Creator Glenn Auve on September 5, 2013

      Any comment on Samsung's splashy Gear debut?

    11. Missing_small

      Creator Jonathan Nguyen on September 5, 2013

      after seeing 3 smartwatchs come out yesterday, i still love to see the day i get my Agent (was worry though).

    12. Missing_small

      Creator arckal on September 5, 2013

      Will Nokia DT-900 Wireless Charging Plate work with Agent?

    13. 289ca552.small

      Creator fmotta on September 3, 2013

      Well, that and cookoo only works with apple handhelds - only the executives that I know use iphones. The balance are able to understand the value that is lost by doing so and most have androids.

    14. 289ca552.small

      Creator fmotta on September 3, 2013

      @Secret Labs: Excellent. The concern was both personal and financial. I know of a few people that wanted a Cookoo watch and found that they had to return it because it did (does?) not work with anything bu BLE.

    15. Kickstarter_image_wireless2.small

      Creator Secret Labs + House of Horology on September 3, 2013

      @fmotta -- no worries, sorry for the confusion. Eli was asking whether AGENT could talk to a Bluetooth Low Energy device. Since AGENT supports both Classic Bluetooth ("2.1", "BD/EDR") and Bluetooth Low Energy, there's a really good chance that a developer could do that in their app.

      We wanted to make sure that the AGENT Smartwatch worked with most smartphones, so its dual-mode radio was one of our first criteria in the design.

    16. 289ca552.small

      Creator fmotta on September 3, 2013

      Wait... am I reading this correctly? I need BLE to use this watch? Since my reasonably Note II may not ever get the newest Android (Samsung needs to port and push it to Verizon and then go through the months long review and acceptance testing...) I may not ever get BLE on my state-of-the-art (at release time) phone. So, if BLE is REQUIRED to use this watch then it is not useful for MOST of the people out there and will not be useful for about 2 years (presuming they do their bi-annual upgrade as well).

    17. Missing_small

      Creator Michael Dear on September 3, 2013

      +1 to allow a change of mind and adding the charger to my watch only.

    18. Missing_small

      Creator Ovsep Ambartsumyan on September 1, 2013

      Thanks for the updates! Keep 'em coming.

    19. Missing_small

      Creator Nicolas on September 1, 2013

      Great work guys! Glad to hear of the progress and really happy to see updates even if they are a little more technical. Also applaud you guys on your presence in the comments and your timely responses to the backers!

      Keep up the good work!

      Cheers!

    20. Missing_small

      Creator Byron on September 1, 2013

      +1 here for adding on a charger

    21. Kickstarter_image_wireless2.small

      Creator Secret Labs + House of Horology on September 1, 2013

      @Eli Allen -- developers will be able to open connections to pretty much any Bluetooth Low Energy device. So they could certainly communicate through a BLE-compliant bridge device in their apps. Good find!

    22. Chinese-monkey-75x75.small

      Creator Doug Rohm on September 1, 2013

      Great update, looking forward to some SDK updates this month.

    23. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Eli Allen on September 1, 2013

      Will you support the viiiiva to be able to get all the Ant+ data over BLE? http://www.dcrainmaker.com/2013/07/viiiiva-bluetooth-bridge.html
      (i.e. the multiple simultaneous data channels)

      Most sport sensors are still Ant+

    24. Kickstarter_image_wireless2.small

      Creator Secret Labs + House of Horology on September 1, 2013

      @Tsunglung, Yang -- absolutely. With our updates, we'll be focusing mostly on the AGENT Smartwatch itself and software in September. Thank you for joining us on this journey.

      @Evan Hendra -- we have ordered extra parts for extra chargers; we are going to try to make it possible for backers to pre-order a charger later this year--and then ship that charger with your "watch-only" reward. Thank you for your enthusiasm :)

    25. Kickstarter_image_wireless2.small

      Creator Secret Labs + House of Horology on September 1, 2013

      @Eli Allen -- great question. The wireless chipset in the AGENT Smartwatch supports both Bluetooth Classic and Bluetooth Low Energy. Since Bluetooth Low Energy is quickly replacing ANT in wireless sensor devices so we felt like it was the right standard to choose.

      BTW we did look at a chip which supports both Bluetooth Low Energy and ANT, the CC2567. But it can only support one of those at a time which really compromises the user experience. We want to make sure your watch makes you smile, not grumble :)

    26. Missing_small

      Creator Roma on September 1, 2013

      @Tsunglung, it's coming: "Over the next month we'll switch our update focus to sharing progress and technical details about the smartwatch itself, SDK and app infrastructure."

      I applaud SL/HoH's attention to detail and preparedness to adopt the very best technology available. And I'm glad I pledged for the watch+charger package.

      @Evan, see Dude's post below. They will try to accommodate you.

    27. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Evan Hendra on September 1, 2013

      Really sorry for a stupid question, but your wireless charger updates really persuaded me to have the charger. Any possible way to add just the charger?(I pledged for watch only). Thanks.

    28. Missing_small

      Creator Tsunglung, Yang on September 1, 2013

      Please more update about watch!

    29. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Eli Allen on September 1, 2013

      Any chance your wireless chipset will support Ant+?

    30. Dude_clrs.small

      Creator Dude. on September 1, 2013

      Chris,
      Sounds great, I can't wait!

      For others, FYI, from the comments section:
      ========
      Creator Secret Labs + House of Horology on Aug 22
      @Hafeez Hussain -- we're going to try to make it possible for backers to pre-order a charger later this year. And then ship that charger with your "watch-only" reward.

      We just don't want to slow down the shipping or affect backers who selected the "watch + charger" rewards.

      We're going to discuss this further internally to determine the best way to handle the add-on. Right now we're going to order more extra parts. We'll update you on strategy for add-ons in an update prior to the Kickstarter survey, for sure.
      ========

    31. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator DigitalPH on September 1, 2013

      It's all looking good, Chis! Thanks for keeping us posted on the progress.

    32. Missing_small

      Creator Tae Kim on September 1, 2013

      Awesome

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