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

Update #15

November SDK update and wireless power coils

49 comments
62 likes

We believe that a smartwatch can be so much more than just a secondary display for your smartphone.

Caller ID and notifications are compelling features for a smartwatch.  But a smartwatch which can run powerful watch apps—while merely sipping battery juice—is a generational leap forward.

This month we focused on enabling fitness apps using our dual-processor architecture.  And we received samples of our custom wireless power coils, clearing another milestone on the road to certification and production.

November SDK update

Sensing motion in all three dimensions simultaneously, AGENT's accelerometer can count steps for fitness apps, enable gesture control, track movement patterns during sleep and more.

Earlier this year we refined our dual-processor architecture: our power-efficient secondary processor can process sensor data while our powerful main processor sleeps.  Now we're leveraging this refined architecture, enabling developers to build watch apps which react to motion events without dramatically decreasing battery run-time.

A week ago we published the November update to our preview SDK.  This update enables access to the smartwatch's accelerometer for all watch apps.  It even includes an accelerometer emulator so that developers can start building and testing fitness and other motion-enabled apps right away.

For those developers who have already written apps for Windows 8.1 or Windows Phone: AGENT utilizes the same Windows.Devices.Sensors.Accelerometer object model you already know.

Accelerometer sample watch app and emulator
Accelerometer sample watch app and emulator

Preparing for our upcoming AGENT hackathons, we also introduced about a hundred software developers to the updated SDK during two interactive classes at the Microsoft MVP Summit.  A few dozen of our backers were in attendance, and backer Rob Chartier showed off his cool Z-Wave home automation watch app. We ran one of the accelerometer class projects on AGENT hardware, answered a lot of great deep dive technical questions, and had a lot of fun.

Simply put: our goal with the AGENT SDK, emulator and hackathons is to provide the world's best software development experience for a smartwatch—so that developers can build the world's best smartwatch apps.

Wireless power coils

As of the last update, our custom wireless charger coils had not yet arrived as scheduled.  We have been working closely with our wireless coil supplier and I'm happy to report that the first coil samples have now arrived. 

Both of the custom wireless power coils (for charger and smartwatch) include centering magnets for easy alignment—and the charger coil's shield has integrated screw holes which help minimize the size of the charger's plastic shell.

Here is a photo of our charger circuitry which we paired with an off-the-shelf power coil for preliminary testing (left side).  On the right side is our charger's custom transmitter coil (top right) and our smartwatch's custom receiver coil (bottom right).

AGENT's companion wireless charger is both a very small and a very powerful travel charger, compatible with any Qi-enabled device.

Next steps

With custom wireless power coils in hand, we are now ready for Qi pre-certification testing for both the charger and the smartwatch internals.  We will be conducting those tests in December and sharing the results with our backers.

For the smartwatch itself, the final two milestones before certification are the custom backlight and the custom watch case.  We received a second, updated backlight last week, and our supplier is now much closer to meeting our specifications.  We expect to clear that milestone very soon.  As soon as the smartwatch's inner assembly is complete with backlight, our watch case manufacturer will double-check all measurements and we can finalize the watch case molds.

With those production watch cases in hand, we will be able to move forward with official Qi, FCC, IC and CE certifications.  Once we pass the regulatory tests, we can immediately begin production.  And once we receive official notice of FCC certification, we can start shipping out rewards.

Waiting for custom coils and backlights is not fun since they are prerequisites for certification.  We have been pushing hard to keep the production timeline close to our initial estimated schedule, and we will continue to expedite the overall process with our custom parts suppliers and certification test houses.

Together with you, we are building cutting-edge hardware; I'm confident that the end result will be a smartwatch we can be very proud of.  We are so grateful for all of our awesome backers.  And we are grateful for your patience as we clear these last few milestones together and push the AGENT Smartwatch onto the assembly line.

Thank you as always for your support,

- Chris

Steve Bulgin, Jonoire, and 60 more people like this update.

Comments

    1. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator geekahedron on January 13

      I too am a little surprised that the regular monthly updates have stopped now, when we should be definitely in line for some news!

    2. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Dara O HEidhin on January 13

      I have to a agree with Zach.
      For a project such as this, it is not uncommon for the original timeline to extend due to various delays.
      In my experience people may grumble but generally don't mind delays as long as they are regularly given updates.

    3. Missing_small

      Creator Joshua Barnes on January 12

      I'm sure I speak for many when I say an update would greatly be appreciated.

    4. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Zac Soares on January 12

      If ever an update was called for, it would be now. The original time line is no longer relevant. Please, we deserve more then a comment reply

    5. Missing_small

      Creator Roma on January 12

      Brandon H, there have been several posts by the creator in the last few weeks. This post you are reading now is in the Comments part of the Update section. If you scroll all the way to the top of the screen you'll see Home | Updates | Backers | Comments. Click on Comments and you will find more than 3,000. The creator's posts are hi-lighted in blue.

    6. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator RUBEN DARIO HERRERA URIBE on January 10

      I think it's a lack of respect, the silence that have decided to adopt the creators of this project, because if we are all investors the least we deserve is to be aware of what happens

    7. Avatarpic_sq_1_.small

      Creator Brandon H on January 9

      I see no update on 1/1 as alluded to by Roma on 1/2.

      Getting a little worried.

    8. Missing_small

      Creator Roma on January 8

      John, see the various comments in the Comments section.

    9. Missing_small

      Creator John Cross on January 8

      No word via email when this is coming? any update

    10. Missing_small

      Creator Roma on January 2

      Ben, Keith and TDK - see the other Comments section for recent information (yesterday) from Chris.

    11. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Ben Leal on January 1

      As Keith said, an update to start of the new year would be greatly appreciated.

    12. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Keith Giles on January 1

      I think we would all appreciate an update that gives us a revised timeline for delivery. We all see that you're considerably behind schedule, and I for one understand that in a project like this that's more normal than most want to admit. But an update on expected schedule might help reduce some of the negative speculation.

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      Creator TDK on December 27

      Hi, I'm a DECEMBER AGENTS outside the U.S. (France) and I would like to know when they'll be ship approximately ?
      Thank you ! :)

    14. Missing_small

      Creator David Gerding on December 17

      Hi Chris and all,
      Just a thumbs up to the effort and keep the updates coming.

      To those complaining about the delay, I think patience and forgiveness is key: this isn't Amazon. You supported a mostly speculative proposition. You didn't order an existing product.

      Good luck to the team. I have (or am waiting for) all the other smart watch designs out their, ie Omate etc... the core design choices here are still the most compelling mix. So, yes, I am eager... but only slightly impatient. :)

      Happy Holidays,
      Dave G

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      Creator Christopher Burnett on December 11

      I think they were saying that the sapphire might interfere with radio signals and the same thing with a metal case. Though there is a smartwatch already in the market with a metal case(stainless steal), crystal lense and that works just fine. Though it only has a 3ATM rating.

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      Creator Paul Tsai on December 11

      @Roma, I am having a difficult time seeing how Sapphire would affect FCC certification. I've never heard of FCC failing a product due to glass/sapphire/plastic. I can see how it affects water proofing, but then again, HoH has sapphire crystal faces that is water proof to 300M. Just pointing out the obvious.

      I would be less vocal if the campaign simply acknowledged that this product is immensely behind schedule and taken responsibility for it. This is their posted estimated timeline when we pledged for our watches.

      May-June 2013: Kickstarter campaign
      June-September 2013 - Order parts for backer rewards and watchcase molds; build production circuit boards; finish support for Bluetooth Low Energy mode
      October 2013 - FCC, CE, and Qi certification
      November 2013 - parts arrive, pilot production begins
      December 2013 - volume production begins

      Despite the previous "Final trimester" update, we're still in the June-September stages here. No production builds have started so we are at least 4 months away.

      @Andy
      Past is prologue and calling this campaign underwhelming is an understatement. I would highly doubt any water resistant specs considering their grand accomplishment since June was to settle in on a production coil for wireless charging. In their specs, they listed atm as TBD so even if they came back at 0 atm, it's still within spec technically.

      Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

    17. Missing_small

      Creator andy on December 11

      @Roma

      Hi Roma,

      As a backer, I believe it's fair for me to make a suggestion in the direction of improving the quality of the Agent.

      A customer reads the spec list and decides whether to buy a product.
      A backer on the other hand can get involved in the making of the product by means of suggestions.
      If this is not true, then a backer is just somebody who paid in advance.

      Based on the latest update there are several aspects of the watch case that are not yet finalised.
      I believe that within the current design, if the right attention is given to materials/tolerances/seals, a water resistance level that would allow to wear the Agent while swimming is within reach.
      There are plenty of examples of watches with similar design and dimensions that are rated 10 ATM or more.

      So I wouldn't assume that paying attention to the decisions regarding these aspects will increase the time to production (the time to finalise these aspects is already accounted for in the plan).
      If, on the other hand, there was going to be an impact on the time to production, in my opinion it would be definitely worth it.

      Like everybody else I'm looking forward to receiving my watch but, for me, quality is more important than the delivery date.

      The main reason why I decided to back this project is the “no compromises” / “best in class” attitude.

      Andy

    18. Missing_small

      Creator Roma on December 10

      Paul, if sapphire compromises connectivity or FCC certification, we wouldn't want that. See Chris' comment on Oct 16th: "On glass materials: we will have a final answer on that as we go into FCC certification. We are doing some RSSI testing right now, but getting into the chamber with final watchcases and fitted glass will give us much richer data. Stay tuned."

      Andy, Chris seems to prefer dancing in the rain! Swimming would be nice but I don't expect it and of course we were never promised it. I'd prefer for all the promises to be met and the watches to be delivered with the minimum of delay.

    19. Missing_small

      Creator Paul Tsai on December 10

      Sapphire is the only option if the oft quoted "no compromises" slogan holds any truth. In terms of Christmas watch faces, that's bordering on insulting since Christmas would be long passed before we receive these watches.

      On the bright side, we do now have an sdk for a watch that we have yet to receive. Just imagine all the things we can do because without imagination what would we have?

      I feel like a puppy being fake thrown a tennis ball with each update. This time, he'll throw the ball, really!

    20. Missing_small

      Creator andy on December 10

      @Creator

      Hi Chris,

      I was glad to see some details regarding the watch case coming through in the latest update.

      With regard to watch case construction (material, tolerances, seals quality), I would like to put forward a plea to push the water resistance level as high as you can.

      Although Agent is clearly not a scuba diving watch, I hope it will be “swimmer friendly”.
      It would be great not to have to worry about wearing the “wrong” watch when going swimming.
      Not to mention the possibility do develop a swimming app (laps counter/timer) leveraging the 3D accelerometer and local storage (obviously the watch would be temporarily disconnected from the phone in that scenario).

      I understand that you recommend a 10 ATM rating in order to safely use a watch for swimming and such rating seems to be achievable.
      Just to pick a reference example, the Casio GB-5600AB-1 (http://www.casio-intl.com/asia-mea/en/wat/watch_detail/GB-5600AB-1/) is 20 ATM rated and employs a back plate attached with four screws.

      Thank you,
      Andy

    21. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Robert Shopshear on December 7

      I hope it's a metal of sorts. I guess I assumed it was. Steel with a PVD coating?

    22. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator miguel masse on December 5

      Will you also add an app that you can remotely control your TV ?I once had a watch like this it is wonderful when you search for your remote all the time an that would make the agent watch way cooler then all the other competitor!

    23. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Robert Holbert on December 2

      I agree with others especially on a steel case. Glass, I'd prefer sapphire but if it will be a sacrifice to the watch capabilities it's not a dealbreaker. The steel case however would be a huge plus to this watch. Maybe even do KS Watches in steel with regular production watches in Polycarb as a way to make the backers' watches unique and extra special (but not as a sacrifice to logistics or timeline).

    24. The_dragon3.small

      Creator Jussi Myllyluoma on December 2

      Fingers crossed -- really hard -- for a steel casing with sapphire lens, then! Good as ordinary watch glass and polycarbonate may be, these materials just can't compare with steel and sapphire for feel and durability.
      Interesting that Gorilla Glass (which I assume the Corning chemically hardened material to be) is unable to meet tolerances. I wonder if Apple uses Corning's authorised cutters, or if they've set up a dedicated cutting operation...

    25. Missing_small

      Creator Dino on December 1

      @Chris - thanks for the answer. Although sapphire would be good, I'm sure any glass will be scratch resistant enough for a watch. Certainly better than plastic!

    26. Missing_small

      Creator Stephen Mitchell on December 1

      My guess is Feb-Mar delivery

    27. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Jason Luis Melendez on December 1

      when will we be selecting our watch strap color and sizes?

    28. Missing_small

      Creator Pete Taylor Jr on December 1

      Hi guys! Any idea how much extra the chargers will be for the people who have a watch only reward?

    29. Bk_ali.small

      Creator Ali Al Rahma on December 1

      Thanks a lot for the clarification. Really cannot wait to celebrate each milestone and to finally receive my watch! I'm guessing December Agents will get their watches by mid-to-end of the first quarter of 2014?

      And yes, a Google or Twitch hangout would be fantastic as we will very much would love to celebrate as well! I just hope that you keep into account backers worldwide when considering it because I'm a backer from Dubai, UAE. Chris, you really are amazing! :)

    30. Dsc03240_(copiar).small

      Creator Makuri on December 1

      With such detail of all the process involved until now, I don't mind at all if it doesn't arrive on time.The way the updates are given and the high standards are well worth the wait...Keep it that way!!!Love this project!!!Not only because of the watch, but how it's being done...If there was a standard for how Kickstarter should done, you guys are a perfect example!

    31. Img_0101_250x333_217x289_1_.small

      Creator Peter Ingemann Hansen on December 1

      "our two lens candidates are traditional watch glass and sapphire."
      Lets hope it'll be sapphire then. It would really make a different.

    32. Kickstarter_image_wireless2.small

      Creator Secret Labs + House of Horology on December 1

      @Иван Зуб -- thank you for asking. We are setting up a system so that backers who selected a watch-only reward can order a charger and have it shipped with their watch-only reward.

    33. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Иван Зуб on December 1

      Thank you, Chris. It's really nice to see that you're close to the finish line!
      BTW, is there any chances to get "authentic" QI charger with "DECEMBER AGENTS' that was ordered without charger?

    34. Fb_profil.small

      Creator Esben on December 1

      Thank you for the update, and great to see you are back Chris :)

      I also love all the pictures and details you shared on Facebook.

      Keep up the good work and keep us in the loop!

      Esben

    35. Kickstarter_image_wireless2.small

      Creator Secret Labs + House of Horology on December 1

      @Dino -- our two lens candidates are traditional watch glass and sapphire. No plastic. Fun fact: we also tested chemically-hardened glass from Corning but their authorized glass-cutters were unable to meet our precision requirements for water resistance.

      Our two material candidates for the watch case are polycarbonate and steel.

      We're doing preliminary RF testing with both lens types. And we are doing preliminary testing with prototype watch cases made out of polycarbonate-like and aluminum materials. The RF properties of the precision-cut lens combined with cases made from the production molds will be different from the prototypes, though, so the official call on materials will come right before we go into FCC, IC, and CE regulatory testing (and become official once we have passed those tests and immediately start production on a big batch of lenses and watch cases).

      Regarding scratch resistance: the case should be scratch-resistant in everyday conditions. That means that it will either be really hard to scratch (steel) or a single color throughout where deep scratches blend in (polycarbonate). No worry about silver stripes. :)

    36. Missing_small

      Creator Joshua Loke on December 1

      Chris, thanks for all the hard work you've been putting in and consistently keeping backers in the loop!

    37. Missing_small

      Creator Owen McEntee on December 1

      Appreciate the update guys and really looking forward to this when it is ready! Agree with others we would all prefer a well designed and engineered, well built with the best parts available at the time daily-wearing 'smart timepiece' not a rushed product that will be quickly forgotten in the bottom drawer. My birthday is late Feb so fingers crossed I can show it off then haha! Good luck with everything - it is certainly not an easy task and you have my full support from down under here in Australia!

    38. Missing_small

      Creator Dino on December 1

      Any news on what sort of glass you're using and how scratch resistant it will be?

      Also, how scratch resistant will the black case be? If hate to get a scratch leaving a silver stripe, but I'd prefer to not ruin the look with a skin.

    39. E5d12dd9f92563e0aedd5ab459624a6d.small

      Creator TDK on December 1

      Ohhh thanks, you're so wonderful ! :D

    40. Kickstarter_image_wireless2.small

      Creator Secret Labs + House of Horology on December 1

      @TDK -- to clarify: we are setting up a system so that backers who selected a watch-only reward can order a charger and have it shipped with their watch-only reward.

    41. Kickstarter_image_wireless2.small

      Creator Secret Labs + House of Horology on December 1

      @TDK -- we're making extra wireless chargers, and are setting up a system so backers can get one (shipped with their watch rewards).

      @Wayne Daniells--both the charger and the smartwatch were delayed waiting on wireless power coils. The coils are now here so the charger can move towards certification and production but there is still a bit of work for our backlight supplier to do before we can finalize the watch case molds and move the smartwatch into production. The good news is that there has been a ton of progress on all fronts in the last few weeks. I'm calling, e-mailing, and flying around the country as necessary, meeting with suppliers and partners to keep things moving.

    42. Kickstarter_image_wireless2.small

      Creator Secret Labs + House of Horology on December 1

      @Jack Truong, @Ricky Pang -- thank you for the kind words. If you have any cool ideas for Christmas watchfaces, drop by the AGENT developer forums at http://forums.agentwatches.com and perhaps we can put together a cool holiday watchface to show off in the emulator :)

    43. Kickstarter_image_wireless2.small

      Creator Secret Labs + House of Horology on December 1

      @Ali Al Rahma -- we're working very closely with our custom parts suppliers, and we'll keep you apprised if we run into any more unexpected schedule delays and also share the excitement as we pass each of the remaining milestones.

      On exact certification and production schedules: the coils are now here ready for pre-certification testing; the backlights are five weeks behind estimated schedule and closer to spec but not quite there yet. Certification and production track those supply delays day-for-day, but once everything is here our watch case manufacturer should be able to give us a good date for when we can enter final certification. Once we hit that point we do a battery of very expensive regulatory tests, load up the assembly line, and ship out rewards as soon as we receive official FCC clearance.

      We'd love to celebrate those first shipments with backers in an online hangout. :)

    44. Liardice%20logo%20new%20avatar.small

      Creator Wayne Daniells on December 1

      You guys also have my respect and gratitude for allowing us on the ride however there are techy backers and consumer backers and this update blinds me with science while avoiding the question of when the production watch will be ready. I understand the chargers have been delayed but where's the watch itself, casing, screen etc. We're now in December

    45. E5d12dd9f92563e0aedd5ab459624a6d.small

      Creator TDK on December 1

      Hi,
      Thanks a lot for your work ! :D

      Do you have any plan to sell the wireless charger for those who don't backed with it ? (biggest mistake ever - i know)

    46. Bk_ali.small

      Creator Ali Al Rahma on December 1

      I am in no way asking you to deliver it ASAP. I just would like to have a clear delivery month to anticipate the watch. I do not mind waiting up to March to get the watch, as long as quality isn't compromised.

    47. Hih_066.small

      Creator Ricky Pang on December 1

      Keep it up! I wish I would have it before Christmas to show it off to my family.

    48. Fb_profile_picture.small

      Creator Jack Truong on December 1

      I don't care what anyone thinks, even if they miss the deadline. Chris is awesome. He rather have a premium product we can we proud to wear instead of a getting something early, wearing it for a week and leaving it at home because it wasn't what we expected. Chris you have my respect and support

    49. Bk_ali.small

      Creator Ali Al Rahma on December 1

      Great update! But you haven't mentioned anything about estimated shipping... Do you think it'll be in January for December Agents?

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