Use this space to cheer the creator along, and talk to your fellow backers.
Have a question?
I'm going to put software and features aside for a minute, since those are much easier to refine and update over time and don't involve external costs. I still have concerns about the BoM and pricing feasibility. Since you haven't posted a detailed BoM, let's do a quick cost analysis for the base version:
Freescale iMX.6Q - $25
8GB eMMC - $4
4GB DDR3 - $20
802.11ac router BoM (w/ BT 4.0??) - $20
Insteon BoM - $5
Z-Wave BoM - $5
Zigbee BoM - $5
RFID/NFC BoM - $5
Misc BoM - $5
PCB - $5
Assembly - $10
Enclosure - $5
Power Supply - $2
Packaging & Freight - $2
Distribution - $8
EMC Testing - $5
TOTAL - $131
That is fairly optimistic in my opinion. Now let's take the cheapest quad core android tv stick ($60) and the cheapest 802.11ac router ($60) and slap them together and then take 50% off that cost. So we're already at $60 and that's without the extra 3GB RAM, with a much cheaper quad core chip, without any of the extra radios, without the emc testing. Adding those things back in brings us back up to $115, so the previous estimate seems reasonable.
Now, adding the touchscreen isn't going to cost $100 so let's say $161 BoM for the touch version. Even if the majority of people purchase the touch version, 100% of the funding (after fees) goes toward hardware costs, and there are no unexpected expenses (unlikely), there may not be enough funds to pull this off.
What has been posted so far does not give me the confidence that the project creator(s) can achieve this feat.
Alex, we are starting some outside marketing that hopefully start to kick in today, and the idea is a great idea on the android forums. You are welcome to share our link as well : )
Are you guys doing any marketing at all outside of Kickstarter? Seems as though your product has the potential of gaining many more backers if you just get the word out there. Primarily, I think a lot of the Android blogs would find this of great interest.
Since I'm also a backer of "Ring" by Logbar here in kickstarter I would love to see the Ring app integrated with Soap! Since both devices are in development it might be something that both groups could work on together.
Thanks soap, and openwrt will be available as an option for those who want to flash it even without the full functionality of the router implemented?
@Soap - I'm still in favor of native x10 support within Soap as well if you're still finalizing which technologies might be of value to put in. There are so many devices out there that are x10 compliant that are very inexpensive and great for home automation and security.
@Soap - Will there be native IR functionality already built into Soap? If not, this would fantastic if it could and such a convenience for home automation with the potential to trigger Z-Wave or other things right from my TV remote without having to dangle a IR USB device off the side. You've mentioned before Soap being able to be used as a Media device, this would come in very handy for that as well.
@Soap - fantastic. Thank you.
Will put videos up this weekend
Soap, I hope you will add the videos as well?
Kevin Scott, We do plan on doing an update tonight clarifying all the mistakes, also we will be explaining the stretch goals in more detail, and adding a developer pledge level. We will be trying to get to every question as quickly as we can, and to answer all the question that have been asked.
Andrew, the firmware will be open source.
Daniel, we have addressed financials and we have access to funding outside of KickStarter if and when we need it.
Alan Quah, you will get to choose the frequency you need.
Paul, thanks for the comment. Please everyone no bashing of others hard work. Lets keep it technical.
@ZzMadzZ can you point out where the critiquing happend? So far whenever soap was asked by people here (not on their own afaik) to compare both they said they didn't have access to an almond+ so they are only stating technical differences.
Other then that I agree people should focus on soap here and almond+ in the almond+ comments.
Hi, i would like to ask, since it has different zwave frequency, do i get to choose the zwave frequency?
Okay, I think you guys should stop comparing this router with almond+ in fact I'm not too happy that Soap is actually critising the Almond+. These 2 projects are separate matters and I love both projects and am a backer for both. Firstly, almond+ did not say anything negative about Soap when people asked for a comparison but instead said that this router will be revolutionary if it really suffice.
So to be honest we should stop discussing about other products and focus on the merits of Soap.
Will the firmware be opensource? One thing I really don't like is to rely in a black box for all my connectivity
@SOAP, thank you for all the responses and clarifications to the questions I asked. Hopefully other backers were able to have some of their own initial thoughts addressed with the broad spectrum of them as well. I have no doubt some of the answers will spur on potentially other questions from people, as some of the answers did for me. For now I just have few observations that might help at this point.
1) There seem to be several "mistakes" within the project description text that you've pointed out. Maybe a status update just detailing any and all "mistypes" after a complete review on your end (like the bubbles not being included with touch, the September/October deliverable dates, and something about a rewards level I seem to recall) would be helpful and ensure we're all on the same page.
2) Maybe every few days or so, possibly spend some time and reread this comment section and produce something similar as what you did tonight for all the new questions asked from everyone. Your responses in this form were, at least for me, extremely more clarifying than what "we've" been seeing/experiencing over the last week.
3) I'd still really like to see some answers to questions that many of the other backers have asked along the way too.
You have an excited audience for your project here on KS - obviously. Let's keep the dialog constructively going for your project so that we can all benefit ultimately from it.
I'm still looking forward to learning more...
It's alright for Soap to hide a few things from their backers if it's in regard to their competition. What really concerns me is if they will have enough money to buy all the parts necessary for the project. If there will be any money left for hiring and training staff to deal with support, to establish their business office (if they haven't yet), etc. This all also cost money.
@Asterix, It's not right to be making false allegations. Almond+ is within a month (more or less) of shipping. There is no way they will just scrap everything to add additional features. Also, Almond/Almond+ is/was first to bring many of these features (e.g. display, zwave, zigbee, router functionality, etc). Can you name any other router with some of these features? Didn't think so. It seems to me, Soap is adding what Almond+ lacks for an unbelievable price.
One thing is realized is there is some merit in @Soap creators being paranoid about their idea being stolen.
It's not by some people. It's by almond+. They are ready to produce and can quickly add any functionality in h/w and software.
Also they are right in the clone/copy capital of the world.
The soap bubbles in the main ad was a type error. In the ad we meant a soap wifi extender. The real soap bubbles the one we spoke about in a our update will be available for developer package we will soon announce. We are very sorry for any confusion we caused.
Nice update. I liked it very much :)
Guys please give soap sometime it is a lot questions. I think they work so hard and there best to answer you all. Some kick starter I ask them over week they answer or not even answer. I saw soap answer you guy so fast. So please be nice.
So happy project getting close to meet the goal.
Hey Kevin, the questions you poised will be posted within the hour with answers. Sorry for the delay and we appreciate your patence.
OK I asked this this as a private email before I was a backer and got no response. Let me try it again in public.
1) Were you planning on having some type of developer level backing and if so when?
2) Would I be able to sideload custom Android apps onto the Soap or would they have to come from the Google Play Store.
3) As a developer I would want to integrate the Soap into my existing home automation system. However the key is to have an interface exposed that allows status updates and control of the devices connected to it. Is this possible, and if so how (socket connection, RESTful web services, etc)?
Finally - just my .02 on the back and forth as to the viability of this project. While you do have grand plans that are obviously drawing quite a bit of interest, it sounds like you are in danger of being crushed under the weight of your own expectations. It almost reminds me of a single man business who gets some massive order for his product, which in turn he commits to, can't fulfill and goes out of business.
You know your competition with the Almond+ and backers of that project can tell you how that has gone. As others mentioned they already had a great product in the market before trying to launch another. Your product is more ambitious and they are struggling against the headwinds.
If you are going to promise a trip to the moon and the stars, you have to be able to answer almost every question with such clarity and confidence that people won't be afraid it will be a one way trip. While you may successfully meet your funding goal, the mess you'll create for yourself afterwards with unfulfilled expectations from the people who believed in you will not be pleasant for anyone involved.
Perhaps you weren't prepared for what to expect here. That's OK. I agree that it does give some pause as to how you are going to manage the project as it moves along if you are struggling in the beginning just handling the KS part of it. Take a moment to drop back and regroup with a solid plan of action on how to move forward. Be active, be honest, and answer as many questions as completely as you can.
We all want this to succeed.
Firstly, I just want to say up front that I completely understand and accept the risks involved when I back a project here on KS, especially one involving technology. I won’t go into detail about my personal experiences other than to say that I’ve been a professional software developer for nearly 30 years now, so I know intimately the trials and tribulations that come into play when it comes to technology.
I want to, and still do to some quickly diminishing extent, believe in this project not just because of its attractive price point, but like many of you IF it will work like what SOAP has been promoting it will hopefully and potentially reduce some of the networking clutter many of us have come to expect in our “dream solution” for our digitally connected homes. This project is ambitious and I want to believe in it, that’s why I’m still backing it for now. This device isn’t something I “need” (like almost everyone here I’d suspect) and most of what it’s purposing upfront to do I’m already doing in one way or another already. This device is simply something I want to want and nothing more.
Foremost the following isn’t meant to be or intending to be a personal attack on the one spokesman (I’m assuming one) that we’ve been dealing with here. For me, my personal growing frustration with SOAP is attributed mostly to this one (I’m assuming still) single individual handling the campaigns “message” and their responses (or lack thereof) since the first few hours after this campaign was launched. From the off the hip responses littered with too often obviously careless and numerous typos all the way to questions being completely overlooked and skipped over, it’s troublesome to me because if they cannot handle simple attention to detail NOW with mundane legitimate questions which are apparently “frustrating” (their word) for them to handle, then how on earth will they be able to pull together such an ambitious undertaking like what they are purposing with this project and with a JULY deliverable date no less for what I’ve pledged for. Again, I want to believe and feel I’ve been fairly patient in my personal growing concerns and I’m eagerly awaiting their promised “follow up.” It’s a bit bewildering to me right now seeing the obviously U-Turn and derailment this project has taken for them to want to regroup for so long in presenting whatever it is they’re planning on. The longer they seemingly procrastinate in responding, the greater my expectations are becoming for what I’m going to need to continue to believe in SOAP.
My singular advice to the SOAP Team from my outside perspective on everything thus far, assign someone else who might be more technically experienced with your solution whom can more carefully and in a more timely fashion articulate your purposed device to be your “voice.” Hopefully with someone else out front, you’ll regain some of the momentum lost already. Either that or don’t seemingly try and rush this project right now to gain possibly short term and most likely diminished funding compared to what it realistically could be. Put the project on funding pause and reboot it in a few weeks or month if you need more time to articulate the presentation better.
:End of my SOAP Box speach/advice.
Finally, I’ll just outline and sum up my personal experience thus far over the course of the last week this project has been around:
Six days ago I asked some questions and the SOAP teams responses I got back came with one completely misunderstood response to a question I didn’t ask, some things I asked completely skipped over, and a couple things answered that I was somewhat satisfied with
Will this product also work as an WAN firewall? Can each of the individual Gigabit LAN connections be individually controlled (on their own network) or are they grouped together like a standard switch? Will the WIFI have removable antenna(s) allowing for extended range inside or hookup to outdoor antenna? What about the other RF signals, will there be any way to extend those as well? One thing I've struggled with in the past in my house is with WIFI routers not having a good enough range out of the box and I've had to rely on powered WIFI antenna boosters to increase performance.
Can you also elaborate on the stretch goals and detail what value/enhancement each of them has to add value to the project?
In your description about the design process, you discussed the speed and heat hurdles you've overcome along the way to get the project where it's at. Can you elaborate on the speed of the final design and are there still any foreseen limitations with it? Do you have an estimate on what the constant power consumption of the device will be when powered on, since this will be running 24-7. Will the display go into a sleep mode to conserve power?
Ok, that ended up being a lot more questions than I had originally planned when I began typing. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing/learning more about the project as the next month goes by.
Hey Kevin! Great Questions....The device will be able to support large external drives and will actually allow for WIFI external hard drives too. We actually have a esata connection available we were toying with adding to the device if you are looking for speed increases above the usb 3.0 We have been averaging around 87 MB/S through USB 3.0 depending on the external drive used these are real world speeds too. There are two mpcie open expansion spots that you can add whatever you'd like there. We do have a extender connection for the WiFi and will come standard with a extra cord to run wherever you need to. The device is designed to amplify signal to areas you are having device connectivity issues and will also notify you if certain signals/channels are too busy.
The main stretch goal I feel would help you is the soap with no rope connection which would be a 1 to 1 wifi death star blast connection meaning- 1000 Mg per second wireless from modem to router so you plug in the adapter to the modem and then you would turn this on on the soap device which would make the wan port look for this WiFi connection instead of the wire and would give you a super powerful connection allowing you to move the soap device wherever you want and only have to worry about the power. Add the strech goal of a battery and imagine how well that can do for testing signal and even regulating your network. I know how big houses can cause signal problem and severe frustration. Living in Colorado where Nikola Tesla got his wireless energy tested makes me feel like he damaged the ion sphere. We also will be releasing soap bubbles which will be WiFi bridges that just add access points in bad signal areas these are still being made but we are looking at giving everyone one of these with there soap touch. The device has a sleep mode and has eco mode too which will hibernate when not in use. When active with the display at full and on high performance mode you will see about the power usage at max 14 W. Let me ask you to specify would you like to know about the WiFi speeds or the CPU speeds?
Four days ago I asked and got no response:
As to your project specifically as its designed right now, I'd like to learn more about the current WAN connection capabilities. Can each of the LAN ports be individually assigned allowing for a DUAL WAN or multi network Firewall setups? Could software firewalls like pfsense for Linux be installed?
Two days ago I asked and got no response:
Is the external antenna replaceable with a stronger one? Will SOAP have multiple external antenna connections?
Twenty four hours ago, as many of you will obviously recall, I took the time to put forth many of the other questions I had been putting off trying to ask up to this point and still have gotten no response to them from the SOAP team. The questions I put forth I purposely chose thinking that SOAP would be able to quickly dispel and confirm that their purposed device has a few of the rudimentary Router functions within it that I’ve come to expect in any modern day Router – like ones I already own. Other questions I felt should be answerable fairly quickly if they had a handle on their own specifications already. I also tried to be as respectful as I could in my questions and attempted to only ask questions that should not have required “Earth shattering” design secrets revealed in order to answer.
In a project integrity is a huge issue... If you guys are dishonest it will reduce confidence. Plus it's always ok to have an additional account to answer questions, many projects does that too when they have specific people answering questions. But now you are claiming that that account is not yours when initially you declared it was?... I'm getting confused
Wait... That comment that was replied to me by that supposedly Andrew Stevenson, wasn't that user name Soap team when he replied to me? When did he change his name to Andrew?! And furthermore you reposted that reply saying that account soap team was you. Now you are saying you ain't related to Andrew Stevenson/ Soap team? Isn't this a lie?.... Please confirm.......
We have 4 LAN ports and 1 WAN port as of now. So it would be 5.
Some of the pictures show 5 Ethernet ports but your specs say 4. Does it have 4 plus a dedicated WAN port to make 5?
if you are so concerned about theft of your design, wouldn't you be worried to sell this product at all? What stops somebody from making a similar device after you go retail? Does not sound good.
I agree with Andrew as well. It's great that a project creator is willing to answer questions and look for feedback to improve the product, especially to the wants/needs of the target audience. This worked out very well for light harmonic with their two geek campaigns, the second of which added all kinds of upgrades to an already impressive design based on user requests. They made great use of forums with polls to vote on features that backers wanted.
Keep in mind that transparency is of utmost importance, now and WHEN something delays your fulfillment estimates. Look at the project from an outside skeptics point of view and provide enough specific information to satisfy most backers without giving out trade secrets or the names of partners unnecessarily where they can be stolen or harassed by backers.
Please remember that this is not a store. We have the power to voice our opinions about what we want or don't want in this product. We do this with our pledge. I have backed out of quite a few projects that gave that "not quite right" vibe, and may from this one as well if necessary, but the project has only been live for a few days. Sate your position and give the creators a chance to answer questions and provide additional information in their time. It looks to me like they've made a good attempt to answer each question before the barrage today. If your not satisfied, pull your pledge and see if it pans out, then pay a few more dollars to get it at retail. It doesn't need to be an interrogation and it's not life or death. Let's respectfully help the creator to understand we're looking for. A few days for questions to be answered or additional updates is nothing compared to estimated October ship dates anyway!
Thumbs up for Andrew.
I think this discussion has gotten out of hand, let the creators breath please
So I googled sage electronics. Found this http://www.se-eng.com
Called them and someone there said they are working on the soap device.
I didn't ask for details. Just asked them if they are aware of a device called soap and whether they are the engineering support.
The guy who I spoke said yes he knows soap device.
Whoa! I think everyone needs to take a deep breath here...
Backers - The campaign is on for another 23 days. That is more than enough time for the creators to update us with additional details regarding the router and the credibility of the project. If people are unhappy at that point, everybody is free to drop out before funding. Most questions being asked are very legitimate, but that doesn't mean the creators have to immediately answer them - whether for "competitive" reasons or because they just don't know the answers yet. This is after all, a Kickstarter project, something still in development without 100% of the wrinkles ironed out. Given anticipated delivery dates, there is presumably still a couple of months work necessary to get the device to the fully baked stage. If people are trying to buy a completed, fully-working and tested router, they shouldn't be trying to do it on Kickstarter. Go for the Almond+ instead, they should be shipping soon, and they are highly credible with an established track record. People should continue to ask the probing questions, but not be too quick to denounce the project completely if their queries are not immediately responded to to their satisfaction.
Creators - You should understand where everybody is coming from. Anybody who has backed more than a handful of Kickstarter projects over the past couple of years has probably experienced at least one that has turned out to be significantly delayed, significantly less impressive that it was originally portrayed to be, or practically a complete scam. So people are understandably more demanding and inquisitive than maybe you have encountered a year or two ago. It is completely up to you regarding whether you answer ever question or not, but just be aware to more satisfaction you can give people to more successful your fundraising campaign will be. And the Andrew Stevenson post situation was a little odd, you have to admit.
So apparently Andrew Stevenson joined Kickstarter to support your product alone and goes out of his way to defend you. Then as soon as he is called out, his account is deleted. This just seems really shady, and it's hard to believe it wasn't you or possibly one of your friends or family investors trying to get in a say, which would be fine if they stuck around, but this is weird.
@Soap, I really want to believe in this project as it will give me the exact product that I require - that's why I backed it in the first place. However, just because I desire something does not mean I have to suspend my critical faculties. I lecture in Computer Science, specifically Network Security, Mobile And Wireless Technology, and Distributed Systems. So when I see the post from Andrew Stevenson (account recently deleted, but trail and past comment from 5 days ago still visible for all who wish to scroll down to it) and then the one from yourselves immediately following it, I can't accept at all that it is in the slightest tenable that you are not (or aware of) 'Andrew Stevenson'. I can see the temptation to bat back meddlesome questions in this manner - even for non dodgy reasons. However, once called out over it - best to stop peddling and come clean.
What are you "not sure" about with regard to Andrew Stevenson? It's very odd (to say the least) that he would answer a question, implying to be part of your team, and then YOU would repost his EXACT message, with a disclaimer about needing another account to help answer questions. Why would you do that if he wasn't connected to Soap? How did he have all of that information?
Sorry if one of us acted offended and sorry if one of us came off offensive.
We have had a lot money backed from family and friend investors which has allowed us to get further a long then most in a garage or basement in our case. We have a lot of blood sweat a tears in the project and its hard to accept feedback especially that which is different then what you want to hear and feel. We are going to be posting the image and video update we are meeting all together us three and our engineering firm we hired to go over all of the complaints and to brain storm the best way to present answers to all the concerns without giving away techniques that would allow for open season of theft off our project.
Its a hard one to figure out and we are asking for any suggestions on this.
What would satisfy your concerns and wouldn't cause our full design to be placed online for sale to t the highest bidder...because soap is special and has things that will be sought after by other businesses and already has.
Our ideas so far is to show more of the working prototype with as much of the board as possible through images/videos.
Sorry if I offended you. But this attitude is not helping. It's ok to start in a garage. If you are going to scale up and rent spaces, have you accounted for that in the money you are asking. $80K seems awfully small.
It also tells me you have a lot more work to do than what I thought initially and that means a lot more roadblocks which has the potential to derail.
Look at it from my point of view. Look at all the time being wasted here which would be spent on discussing ideas and stretch goals.
Welcome to all the new backers and we appreciate you support so far..
Jason we really are not sure and really are frustrated because he is no longer backing our project at all and we can not even message him to find out.
Asterix and others we are quite wary of this too as it is causing extreme frustration for us as it can cause derailment for the project that is real and good. We are still working on a full update with images/video for you as we need all our people together to do this so be patient and if at the end of the video and corresponding update you dont want to be a part of a project you can feel free to jumpship and to buy the product after final production later this year.
We are a start up and are currently looking at offices to rent? Is that ok? Do you want our home address?
I am wary of any project that as new mysterious users who only pledge for soap supporting them.
If you aren't connected to Andrew Stevenson, why would he reply to a question in a way that implies he's part of your team (use of "we") and then why would you immediately repost that same text, prefaced with "Soap team is us also we needed another account to help answer questions"?