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Hackable, real-time smart display: receive and act on notifications, tasks, workout timers, business metrics, emails, news and more!
Created by

Smart Atoms

2,215 backers pledged $370,001 to help bring this project to life.

Moulds, enclosure&package samples, estimated production schedule

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Hey Kickstarter,

We have great news on recent progress. Let’s go through them.

Injection moulds are ready

We did the most challenging and expensive part of the manufacturing. We produced injection moulds that will be used for manufacturing plastic and rubber parts. We are excited to share photos of these manufacturing masterpieces.

 LaMetric's injection moulds

 Mould for screen

Mould for shell

Mould for shell

Mould for buttons, speaker boxes

Mould for screen grid

Mould for light pipe

Enclosure samples

With the help of these bulk and heavy metal pieces, tooling factory has produced the first samples of LaMetric's enclosure. Mechanical parts look just awesome.

 Enclosure samples

Final touches on moulds

As usual the first samples have some minor issues, which team of engineers is solving right now. The process of samples improvement consists of discovering issues, matching with technical drawings, getting solutions and polishing moulds in order to get as ideal result as possible.

Discovering issues on the first samples

Comparing measurements with technical drawings data

LaMetric has unique industrial design and screen technology. It is so important to avoid mistakes with mechanical parts, this process definitely requires more heads to review samples and find best solutions to solve last issues.

Nazar arrived to Shenzhen to emphasise enclosure areas(especially the screen zone) where cosmetic issues are not acceptable. Together with Igor, they reviewed samples, organised the list of issues by priorities and discussed action plan to solve them.

Nazar and tooling factory representative has reviewed the first samples

 Foxconn team and Igor are discussing final issues

Package samples

We also got the first samples of the packaging, has defined the issues that should be solved to assure device will be shipped without risks to be damaged.

 Package template

 Package sample

 Quick start guide sample

Improved setup process

LaMetric's setup process is like first impression when you meet new people. It should be fast, smooth and work like a magic. In the last update we mentioned new WiFi module that we selected to improve setup process. Based on WiFi module possibilities, software team made deep research of every issue that could happened during setup and implemented it in the mobile apps. With such attention to setup process we want to reach positive impression when you get the product out of the box and setup it. Sounds easy but it consists of 19 screens in the mobile app and took 3 months in total to bring it to life. We’ve seen something similar only in Google Chromecast. Thanks to Lemberg's engineers for their help and expertise.

 LaMetric setup process

Planning meeting at Foxconn

In addition to engineering questions, we organised planning meeting with Foxconn team to create action plan with final steps to reach production and shipping as soon as possible.

Nazar(Smart Atoms), Ina(Foxconn), Susan(Foxconn), Igor(Smart Atoms)

The most important thing we would like to share with you is the estimated production schedule we discussed on the meeting:

  • up June 15th - final issues with moulds should be finished 
  • June15th - we should run small test batch(DVT phase, 74 devices) where enclosure's parts will be assembled with printed circle boards and production line will be tested. Based on report from this phase, we will know if we need one more small batch to polish the process or we can move directly to the production of all devices for the backers. 
  • July 31st - if everything is smooth on the DVT phase, we produce all devices 
  • August - we start shipping

We are very sorry for the delay, but as we've detailed in our frequent updates, we are determined not to rush an inferior product to market and are 100% focused on delivering the quality product our backers expect.

Thanks for your patience,

Smart Atoms Team

Happy Easter!

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We launched injection molds production

In the time of holidays we have great news on progress.

LaMetric's enclosure consists of several parts: screen cover, shell, buttons, screen grid, speaker boxes, rubber layer under the buttons, light pipe. Injection molds are needed to produce them. Injection molds are big metal pieces which are also the most expensive part of the project. First of all, we designed them.

Mold design for one part of LaMetric's enclosure

Last month we were introduced to the tooling factory to review the production process and discuss the start of molds production for LaMetric.

Smart Atoms, Foxconn and tooling factory representative

The process starts from metal rough processing, the goal of which is to get an inversed physical object in metal.

 Machine for rough processing of metal pieces

Machine for rough processing of metal pieces

Take a look how milling-machine cuts casing form in the big metal piece

Rough processed molds can be used to produce mechanical parts, but plastic parts will have a lot of flaws.

Injection molds

Potentially, you saw products with uneven plastic parts. Polishing by hand helps to make them smooth. 

Molds polishing by hand 

When parts are smooth enough, molds are mounted inside the injection molding machine which can produce the necessary amount of plastic parts. 

Injection molding machine

Plastic part production process

Each plastic part go via quality control process: 

  • plastic injection 
  • quality control for defects 
  • cutting of unused parts 
  • quality control for defects 
  • packaging and shipping

Dedicated team for plastic part production

Most of plastic parts should be painted or coated by "soft touch".

Painting process

You probably saw a lot of devices with text printed on the back or bottom of the casing. This process called silk printing.

Machine for silk printing

After these phases, plastic parts are ready and could be shipped to assembling factory.

Finished plastic parts

We started the process of injection molds production for all LaMetric parts.

Back to 5V USB adapter

We always wanted to use 5V USB adapter for LaMetric. Tests on the first PCBs validated that 5V 2A is enough for device functionality. So we get back to USB adapter!

New WiFi module to improve setup process

Potentially you had experience with IoT devices that is hard to connect to the WiFi and be informed about the issues that occurred during the process. We investigated a lot of devices and found that for better setup process should be used WiFi module that can keep connection to the smartphone and WiFi router simultaneously (thanks to Chromecast experience, it uses the same technology). So we changed WiFi module to improve the user experience during connection LaMetric to WiFi.

 New WiFi module can keep connection to the smartphone and WiFi router simultaneously

Improved PCB design

Igor implemented all corrections for the investigated issues during previous PCB run and sent finished design to the factory to prepare materials and produce new PCB samples. 

Finished design for new PCB samples 

Package design

Actual device is only part of the product. Package is one of the most important part you should care about. It is responsible for safety of the device and adds final touches to the whole product.

First of all, we designed the internal part of the package to remove risks of being damaged during the shipping.

Internal part of the package responsible for device safety

Since it is now more important than ever to be conscious about our environment, we have designed eco-friendly package that is recycled and will help reduce carbon footprint in nature.

Package artwork

Soon we will get package samples from the factory. 

Quick start guide 

The first introduction to the innovative product should be as smooth as possible. For this purpose, we create quick start guide. We translated it to the five most popular languages, so you could select which one is your native or you know better.

Quick start guide in 5 languages

From the back side, we designed the visual form of quick start guide for the people who like images more than text.

Quick start guide in visual form

We are also in the process of writing user manual, it will explain how to use every aspect of the product in more details.

Happy Easter from LaMetric team, 

Smart Atoms

Golden mockup, Android app, interaction between LaMetric and app

20 likes

Hey Kickstarter,

We are happy to share our February progress with you. 

Golden mockup

We got last mockup from the factory. Take a look at the improvements, described in the previous update.

New box for improved speakers

Improved form-factor of the light pipe for better performance of the light sensor

Top buttons on the one surface without gaps

Bigger side buttons for fingers of any size

New mechanical structure of the screen

Soft touch coating that is more stable to fingerprints 

Chinese Spring Festival

Happy New 2015 again!

From 15th of February to 2d of March Chinese people celebrate Spring Festival and New Year. Sure, It had an impact on the beginning of the molds production. But the great news is that Foxconn gets back to the work on Monday and we start this process next week. 

Team works without holidays

Firmware development

 iOS and Android apps development

 Package creation and web development

12-14 hours per day of new tasks and implementation

Let’s review what team has recently cooked.

Android and iOS backers happy at the same time

As you might know, a lot of software and hardware projects publish iOS app first, but Android app only several months later. We love all backers, no matter what type of smartphone do you have. That's why we involve the same amount of effort in iOS and Android apps. We are happy to share Android app progress with you.

 LaMetric Android application

System notifications, interaction between LaMetric and app

We tried to make system notifications simple and intuitive. We have synchronized LaMetric and smartphone app to bring excellent user experience during configuration via smartphone

 
Assembling line test plan

We have designed tests that we are going to implement during DVT phase.

Assembling line test plan

Every device should go through several quality assurance stages: 

  • Automatic tests - Software executes tests to check main PCB components. This stage filters devices that have PCB with bad components.
  • Manual tests - Operator checks buttons, screen, sound, light sensor. This stage filters devices that have assembling issues.
  • LED tests - Several samples will run LED test during the entire day. It is needed to check the quality of LED batch, because some problems with LEDs appear only when they reach operating temperature.
  • Firmware installation - To speed up the assembling, tests described above are performed on the test firmware. Then, customer firmware replaces the test one.
  • Tests with smartphone - Operator tries to connect smartphone to LaMetric via WiFi and Bluetooth.

Foxconn gets back from holidays on Monday and we move to DVT stage.

Thanks, 

Smart Atoms

First samples, CES, new estimated delivery date

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Hey Kickstarter,

In the previous update, we showed you the first printed circuit boards. We were working throughout the holidays to solve all issues, and assemble the first functional LaMetric samples. 

The first functional samples and more improvements

It's Alive 

Fortunately, we had discovered early in the process and solved hardware issues, afterwards we were able to run test firmware on the PCBs.

Several hardware issues that were discovered: 

  • audio jack wasn’t functional 
  • light sensor wasn’t functional 
  • power/reset button wasn’t functional

After some time and effort the issues have been solved, and a detailed report allowed the Foxconn team to fix produced PCBs, so they were able to run test firmware correctly.

Part of the report with PCB fixes

Before producing the first PCBs, the software team has been coding in “semi-blind” mode using development boards, but real PCB components differ from the dev board and we should have adjusted the firmware to work correctly. After several long day-nights, a couple hours to New Year, we managed to make it work.

It’s Alive - CES Facebook Fan Counter finally works several hours till 2015

Fight with the noise 

We heard noise when the device was plugged into the mains. You can listen to the noise sound. After investigation and several iterations of selecting the right capacitors, we managed to remove the noise.

Investigation of the noise

Better audio

Our next obsession is to improve LaMetric audio, provided it fits the size of LaMetric enclosure. At the moment, we are seeking the best speakers that would also fit the enclosure dimensions.

Audio speakers selection

Additionally, the mechanical engineer designed special boxes for speakers to improve the sound.

Box for audio speakers

Improved top buttons design

We weren’t happy enough with mechanics of the top buttons in the last mockup, they were designed as different parts. As a result, gaps of different width between the buttons occur. To control width of the gaps, we decided to merge buttons into one physical part.

Improved top buttons design

Bigger side buttons for all finger sizes

People have different finger sizes. Top buttons work ideally for any fingers, they are big and comfortable to operate. We decided to test how volume and power buttons work in the hands of team members. It was not comfortable enough for people with bigger fingers to push these buttons. We have increased their size, so now they should be comfortable for all backers.

Bigger buttons on the sides

Improved light pipe for auto-brightness mode

Light sensor is incredibly important for LaMetric, it is responsible for auto-brightness mode which makes the screen comfortable for the eyes in the evenings. As we mentioned before, we designed the special light pipe. The purpose of the light pipe is to bring light to the sensor, so it is able to understand when it is day or night and adjust brightness. In the last mockup, it works but not ideally, especially when the light comes from different angles. Mechanical engineer has redesigned the light pipe structure to improve it.

“Golden” mockup

We have ordered the third batch of mockups to check last mechanical improvements described above. Why did we go via so many iterations of mockups? Molds are the most expensive part and it’s impossible to remove the problems when they are produced. We should remove as many risks as possible before producing them. We stick to “measure thrice and cut once” principle because we want to bring you the best quality. We are going to receive “golden” prototype in coming days. After review, we are going to start molds production. Why the mockup is called “golden”? Because it will work as the norm with the last approved mechanical approaches.

LaMetric at CES 

After assembling of the first two samples, we headed to International CES 2015. We had a long trip to Las Vegas including flight cancelation due to weather conditions. Finally, we got to our booth at CES and exhibited LaMetric.

LaMetric booth at CES 2015 (Eureka Park for startups) 

We met a lot of our backers at CES and showcased LaMetric for them. Thank you to all of you who found the time to visit our booth.

 LaMetric backer Mateus is taking interview at CES

People love LaMetric: design, screen, functionality, feelings when you touch or hold the device. We got a lot of interest to the product starting from Samsung and ending with Brookstone.

The last day at CES

New estimated delivery date

Dear backers, the new estimated delivery date is Spring 2015.

We know many of you will be disappointed to hear this, but we hope you’ll agree it’s better to take the time to get everything right now than to risk the worst disappointment of all—a product that doesn’t fully meet all our expectations.

We know that many of you are seasoned Kickstarter backers who have lived through new product “delays” before. But for those who are new to Kickstarter we want to explain more.

When we launched our Kickstarter campaign in June, we were required to state an estimated shipping date. Frankly, picking a date several months in the future with such a complicated and innovative project is not easy. No one is able to predict with certainty how long this process will take. Based on our progress at that point, everyone on the team, along with our manufacturing consultants, agreed that January seemed like a realistic month for shipping.

The good news is that everything is currently going smoothly and we have ordered the long lead time components (some components have 14 weeks lead time) and are moving ahead toward manufacturing and delivery.

There are two approaches how to implement complex and innovative projects: 

1)Rush things and create low-quality product 

2)Get everything right and try to meet all expectations. Quality always requires more time.

From the beginning, we selected second approach: the best consultants, the best manufacturer in the world, the best software team. We think a lot of our backers implement complex projects and choose the second approach also.

We are currently finalizing details to produce the molds. This is an expensive, one-time process and we have approached it with the abundance of care that it deserves including 3 iterations of expensive mockups to remove as many risks as possible.

We also stick to all advices from Foxconn, because they know how to reach the world class quality. The next phase we are moving to called DVT, we are going to produce 70-80 LaMetric. The goal of the DVT is to perform a lot of tests - climatic tests, environmental tests, mechanical tests, electromagnetic compatibility tests, production line tests, drop tests. At this phase, we are going to go via certification process also. Produced devices will be dedicated for these purposes.

Also, we want to make completely sure that the iOS/Android mobile apps will work seamlessly with LaMetric wherever the owner may be.

If you're new to Kickstarter, you might be interested to read this Kickstarter blog post that explains some reasons why many Kickstarter projects (including the launch of Kickstarter itself) push back their estimated delivery date.

Thanks again for both your support and your patience. As a Kickstarter backer, you made LaMetric possible, we hope you understand how important it is to make LaMetric the best it can possibly be.

We will keep you posted with new exciting updates about the process and progress.

Best, 

Smart Atoms Team

Magical materialization of engineering design

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Hey Kickstarter,

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you and your families! We hope you have lovely moments.

In time of holidays, the next chapter of creator's experience is a good read. Friends, let’s review the recent milestone of our innovation journey.

First Printed Circuit Boards

In the previous update, we mentioned that we are going to produce first printed circuit boards(PCBs) soon. Such stage is called EVT in the manufacturing world. The goal is to run engineering validation tests and ensure that all functionality works as designed. Recently, Igor has visited the Foxconn to control this stage from hardware design point of view.

 Igor and Foxconn IDX team during the first PCBs production (EVT phase)

We showed you 3D models before, now they have been transformed into high-tech printed circuit boards. It’s a big event to see this long-awaited moment for any engineer. For the whole team, it was the best Christmas present. We have produced fifty PCBs.

 First LaMetric Printed Circuit Boards

The boards with LEDs were produced in white color to test whether it helps to increase screen's brightness.

You will ask, why do we need such big amount of test boards? The reality is, if you want to create high-quality consumer electronics product, you should care about lots of things.

Here is the list of several directions involved in the process at this stage and they all require first PCBs: 

Electrical tests. Electrical engineering team needs several PCBs to test if all components work correctly, their electrical characteristics, find potential issues and prepare solutions for the next stage of PCBs production.

Firmware tests. Smart Atoms software engineers need several PCB to adjust and test software that drives LaMetric.

Mechanical tests. Mechanical engineers team should test how mockup work with the real PCBs. These are several questions we are going to check: Does light sensor work correctly with the designed light pipe? How the screen looks with the new mechanical structure of enclosure? How speakers work inside the casing?

Production line preparation. Production line engineers should prepare special equipment adapted to LaMetric's PCB and enclosure. It includes screwing fixtures, PCBA router fixtures, run-in rack and others.

Production line diagnostic software preparation. Foxconn software team needs several PCBs to write diagnostic software that communicates with LaMetric components and checks if they work correctly after soldering and assembling. It is very important part, these tests will help to avoid or at least highly decrease the defect rate during production.

Our engineers are performing lots of tests and solving the first issues at this time.

First Batteries

First LaMetric batteries were produced to test how they work assembled with the mockup and first printed circuit boards.

Second batch of improved manufacturing mockups

We have also got the second batch of mockups with the following improvements: improved placements for the speakers, improved rubber foot, improved mechanical construction of the top buttons, increased endurance during the drop, solved assembling issues.

Mockup’s coating brings awesome touch feelings, you will love it. We are almost happy with the casing, so we are going to start molds production very soon.

 Improved manufacturing mockups

Mobile app progress - alarm clock, radio, weather, facebook fan counter, email checker, widget store.

App progress

LaMetric widget creator plans

We are working on the LaMetric Widget Creator so everyone is able to create widgets. We would like to start from transforming our “static” simulator into “dynamic”. In short, everyone will be able quickly to create the widget and indicate URL which LaMetric should poll for the data with some interval and then visualize these data on the screen. In the future, we also plan to implement the possibility to create return actions(your URLs) that can be triggered via LaMetric action button.

If you are developer, hacker or creators and you already have an idea what you would like to track with LaMetric, please leave your contacts and ideas. For us, it's very important to know your thoughts during development and hear your feedback when it is ready.

Happy New Year! 

Smart Atoms