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Send text messages, voice recordings, images, and GPS locations on your phone without cellular coverage, satellite, or Internet access.
Send text messages, voice recordings, images, and GPS locations on your phone without cellular coverage, satellite, or Internet access.
Send text messages, voice recordings, images, and GPS locations on your phone without cellular coverage, satellite, or Internet access.
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1,708 backers pledged $226,324 to help bring this project to life.

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Post-Campaign Update #7

17 likes

Hi Backers!

We hope things are going well! It has been a productive (but very jet lagged) week here at Sonnet, and we want to share with you some of our updates. Let's get started!

Software Development Update

In the past week, we spent quite a bit of time examining our current codebase and coming up with a plan to reorganize it. The prototypes were developed in a somewhat disorganized way because we wanted to implement the features as quickly as possible, sacrificing the maintainability of the codebase. However, this kind of development style isn't scalable. As more features get developed, it becomes harder to navigate the codebase and to make additional improvements. As a result, we will spend the next week or so refactoring the current codebase, which essentially means rewriting parts of the software in an more maintainable way and reducing redundant codes so that future development efforts can be more efficient.

In addition, we also came up with a rough software feature roadmap that outlines all the features Sonnet will have, when these features will be available, and the current status of these features.

Software Feature List

Features that will be available when Sonnet starts shipping

  • 1-to-1 messages (complete)
  • group messages (complete)
  • sending image (complete)
  • GPS location sharing (complete)
  • SOS mode (complete)
  • contact list (complete)
  • sending voice recording (complete, unstable)
  • adding new friends (complete, unstable)
  • mesh networking (complete, unstable)
  • message encryption (in development)
  • LED notification (in development)
  • decentralized account system (in development)
  • offline maps (in development)
  • firmware upgrade (in development)
  • iOS native app (in development)
  • Android native app (in development)
  • search nearby users (to be developed)
  • internal/external antenna switch (to be developed)
  • push notifications (to be developed)
  • message confirmation (to be developed)
  • battery level indicator (to be developed)'
  • auto frequency/power output adjustment (to be developed)

Features that will be available later as firmware upgrade

  • Internet sharing (Q1 2018)
  • realtime location streaming (Q1 2018)
  • saved RF configuration (Q1 2018)
  • advanced configuration - frequency & power output override (Q1 2018)
  • topographical map (Q2 2018)
  • nautical map (Q2 2018)
  • SDK (Q2 2018)
  • signal strength indicator (Q2 2018)
  • connection/disconnection alarm (Q2 2018)
  • FSK modulation (Q2 2018)
  • SDK wrappers - python & javascript (Q3 2018)
  • variable bitrate mesh networking (Q3 2018)

 

That's it for now. Thanks everyone!

Team Sonnet

FOMO | The World's First $39 1080P HD Personalized Stick&Shot Badge Camera

FOMO is the first personalized badge-camera in the world. Stick and shot, make you capture the treasured moments anytime anywhere! Compact badge shape, FOMO camera captures amazing new perspectives! Just $39 to capture life in a new way! Also, you’ll get a free STICKER for FOMO because you are a backer of Sonnet. CLICK HERE.

A universal alternative to built-in vehicle head-up displays

Our friends at HUDWAY are now on Kickstarter with their HUDWAY Cast device — a portable vehicle device that sits on the dash and wirelessly streams your smartphone screen to its head-up display in your line of sight.

HUDWAY Cast takes Waze or Google maps directions in front of your eyes, whereas with HUDWAY Cast app you can see HUDWAY navigation on the HUD and at the same time manage calls, texts and music on your smartphone in a less-distracting way.

Full-pack sets are available for as low as $199.

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Post-Campaign Update #6

19 likes

Hi everyone!

We hope everything is going well! It has been a very hectic week. Let's dive into some updates!

Returning to Toronto

This week, most members of our product team have returned to Toronto from Shenzhen, China. This trip has been very helpful in allowing us to meet with our manufacturing partners face-to-face so that major decisions in product design can be made quickly and without communication barriers. We have now finalized on most of the design decisions as well as manufacturing/testing procedures. 

Over the next few weeks, our manufacturing partners will be working on the production prototypes for each component of the Sonnet. Production prototypes are prototypes that will be manufactured in exactly the same way as the final production unit. This will help our manufacturing partners to gain practical insight into the manufacturing process for the specific components such as defect rate. This allows them to make optimizations to both the design of the components as well as the manufacturing process before the final production. Once the production prototypes for each component has been produced and tested, we will assemble them into a full-functional production prototype of the Sonnet, again using this experience to optimize the final Sonnet design and assembly procedures.

Once we recover from the jet lag, we will be shifting our focus to finishing the software portion of the Sonnet.

Manufacturing Update - Plastic Enclosure

Today, the first 3D print of our enclosure design came back. This 3D print includes all of the DFMA adjustments we made to the original design.

And this is what it looks like when they are put together:

This 3D print only contains the hard plastic components. Our manufacturing partner will be making the rubber components (the port plugs and the rubber gasket) by hand, before putting it on this 3D print and testing for water resistance.

Radio Frequency/Power Output Adjustment from Sonnet App

A few backers have amateur radio licenses, and have been asking for a way to manually adjust the frequency/power output of the Sonnet without going through the SDK (which would require programming). We tried to come up with a way to allow ham radio operators to identify themselves to unlock an "advanced" configuration panel that lets you manually adjust RF output parameters. Unfortunately, we are not able to come up with an automated method to do this because each country has its own callsign lookup database, and creating a unified API to accomplish the task would be quite time-consuming. As a result, for the time being, we are going to do it manually.

Here's what we are planning to do: once the Sonnet starts shipping, we will build a very simple page on our website where you can input your ham license information. As soon as we verify the information, we will send you an email containing a unique code to unlock the "advanced" features on the Sonnet app.

Please let us know what you think! Feedbacks and suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Thanks everyone!

Team Sonnet

 

Post-Campaign Update #5

14 likes

Hi Everyone!

We hope all of you had a fantastic week! It's that time of the week again! Let's get started!

Manufacturing Update - Electronics

Last week, we realized that our primary manufacturing partner for our electronic components does not have the equipment necessary to test sub-1GHz devices. We are happy to report that we have found a suitable manufacturing partner to handle the production of our mesh module. Throughout the week, we met with five manufacturers with experiences making sub-1GHz RF devices. Three of the factories we visited are walkie-talkie/two-way radio OEMs; one of them makes a special 433MHz feature phone (exported to a few African countries); and one of them makes sub-1GHz modules for IoT applications.

After careful consideration, we decided to work with the manufacturer that specializes in sub-1GHz modules for IoT. This factory has over 10 years of experience designing and manufacturing sub-1GHz modules that are used across many industries, including home security, oil & gas, mining, and agriculture. For us, what stood out in particular is that they are experienced with mesh networking technologies. We will work with them to come up with the manufacturing and testing procedure for our mesh module over the next few weeks.

Manufacturing Update - Plastic Enclosure

The Design For Manufacturing and Assembly (DFMA) process for Sonnet's plastic enclosure has gotten off to a good start. Under the guidance of our manufacturing partner, we redesigned parts of the gasket system (that keeps Sonnet water-resistant) to increase the compression force applied on the rubber gasket. 

We have also determined the QA procedure to test if Sonnet is water-resistant. To do this, our manufacturing partner will be building a test rig that will look something like this:

Water-resistance test rig (for another product)
Water-resistance test rig (for another product)

This rig is a pneumatic testing system. After a Sonnet has been assembled, it will be mounted on top of this rig, which will then inject pressurized air into the Sonnet through its USB port. After a certain internal air pressure is reached, the pump stops, and a barometer built into the rig will determine the rate at which pressure inside the Sonnet decreases. If the pressure decrease is slower than a threshold rate (as determined by testing Sonnets that are known to be water-resistant, through a water jet test), then the device passes the test, otherwise it fails and will be re-inspected by an assembly line worker.

SDK Discussion

As many of you know, Sonnet will come with a SDK that allows developers to come up with innovative applications for the device. In a few weeks, we will start to design the high level architecture of the SDK, and we would love some input from all you backers so that we can get a better understanding of what our community wants to do with the Sonnet. So, for all you developers out there, please tell us which features of Sonnet you would like API access to, and what kind of use cases do you have in mind that make use of these APIs?

Thanks everyone!

Team Sonnet

Title: AQUA+ | World's Most Powerful Wireless Headphone Amplifier

 

Hear the difference with 32 bits! Redefining wireless for you with the maximum audio performance and a tangle-free listening experience. AQUA+ is your ultimate music companion, perfectly designed with nothing to sacrifice and more to expect!

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Shonin Streamcam Wearable Camera

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Post-Campaign Update #4

23 likes

Hi Everyone!

We hope you all had a fantastic week. It has been a busy week for us here at Sonnet, and we have a few updates to share with you. Let's dive in!

Survey

We sent out the surveys last Friday, and more than 85% of you have already completed the survey (Thank you)! For those of you who haven't, please be aware that the surveys will collect your shipping information so that we can accurately ship out the rewards to all you awesome backers. Kickstarter should have sent you instructions on how to fill out the survey via an email. If you didn't receive the email, you can also complete the survey by simply logging into your Kickstarter account.

Manufacturing Update - Electronics

We ran into a problem this week with the contract manufacturer that we chose to manufacture the electronics portion of the Sonnet. During a meeting with them to discuss the testing procedures for the long-range radio module, we realized only now that our manufacturing partner has never manufactured products that feature sub-1GHz radio. As a result, they don't have the equipment and the processes in place to test the long-range RF on the Sonnet.

We made this mistake because we made assumptions that we did not make sure to verify first. The manufacturing partner has years of experience making wireless products featuring Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and 802.15.4 protocols, and we wrongly assumed that they would have no problem manufacturing a product in the 433/868/915MHz spectrum as well. We will be more meticulous and detail-oriented in terms of vetting our manufacturers' credentials, and avoid overgeneralizing their area of expertise in the future.

To solve the problem, we got in touch with the other manufacturers we were in contact with (but decided not to use), and one of them agreed to put us in touch with another contract manufacturer that is experienced in making sub-1GHz devices. We will arrange for a factory visit as soon as we get in touch with them. In addition to this, we will also be asking around in our own networks to find a few other contract manufacturers who has experience in building sub-1GHz devices. We expect this issue to be resolved by next week’s update.

Manufacturing Update - Plastic Enclosure

We have completely finalized the internal layout of the Sonnet, and we have largely finalized the external look and feel of the device. We will work with our manufacturing partner to begin the next step, which is to make a series of small adjustments to the current design to make them easier to injection mold and assemble. This step is called Design For Manufacturing and Assembly, often abbreviated to DFMA.

Most of the DFMA tweaks will be done on the inside of the enclosure so they should't affect the appearance of the Sonnet. These include adding ribs to the enclosure walls to add strength to the structure, making sure the thickness of the enclosure is consistent through out to prevent deformation during the cooling process, tightening the compression seal to make the rubber gasket is more effective at water-resistance, etc. There are also a couple of tweaks that will affect the external appearance of Sonnet, such as adding a slight draft to the enclosure to ensure the enclosure will properly separate from the mold.

During the DFMA process we will also be trying out different finishes and patterns on the surface of the device. We will be 3D printing a few prototypes of the enclosure and share them with you next week! :)

Camera Mounting Screw & Other Design Improvements

One of the backers gave us a great suggestion of adding a 1/4-20 UNC screw hole that is commonly present on cameras for mounting on tripods. We thought this was an excellent idea and we have decided to implement this suggestion. Due to the popularity of DSLR cameras, there are a plethora of accessories and straps out there that can potentially be used with Sonnet to make it useful in various scenarios. Here's what it would look like below:

 

And below is an exploded view showing the internal components so that you can see where the mounting plug is positioned relative to the USB and antenna ports:

 

As you can see from this view, the mounting screw is directly opposite to the SMA connector (as well as other ports) so that if you decide to mount the Sonnet on a tripod and use the SMA connector at the same time, you can have the external antenna pointing up for better signal propagation. 

Another thing we decided to change was to separate the water-resistant plugs for each port separately. Now you can use any one of the connectors without having to expose another connector! Check out how they're positioned: we put the micro USB, the one you're most often likely to use, in the middle, while the SMA and USB connectors are on the top and bottom respectively (the above picture as seen from the back). 

Thanks everyone!

Team Sonnet

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MiniS Magnetic Speakers, Stick and Play 360° Sound Anytime

 

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Post-Campaign Update #3

31 likes

Hello Backers!

How are things going? It has been a productive week for us here at Sonnet. Here are the updates!

Kickstarter Surveys

We just sent out the Kickstarter surveys. You should have received an email from Kickstarter asking you to fill out the survey. If you didn't receive the email, no problem, you can log into your Kickstarter account to fill it out. The surveys will collect your shipping information so that we can accurately ship out the rewards to all you awesome backers. The survey also contains a few questions to help us understand your use cases in order to prioritize development efforts.

Industrial Design Improvements

Since we announced our new industrial design last Thursday, we have received a flood of comments (mostly negative, unfortunately...) about the design, and a whole lot of feedback on how we can improve on the design. We had a discussion about every suggestion that was given to us via Kickstarter comments or messages, and here are some of the changes we decided to implement: 

  • Reinstate the original dark gray + orange color scheme
  • Change the surface finish to add some texture to increase the grip
  • Increased the radius of the fillets
  • Moved the SMA connector from the back of the device to the side of the device
  • Re-designed the port cover/plug so that they are attached to the device to prevent them from getting lost

This is what the updated industrial design look like:

 

This is the same design looking from the other side, showing the rubber plug that covers the ports:

  

This is how the rubber plugs would work:

 

In addition to the outer industrial design, we have also been designing the internal layout of all the components. Here's an expanded view of the Sonnet, showing the internal components:

  • Purple is the Wi-Fi module
  • Green is the long-range radio module
  • Yellow block is the lithium polymer battery
  • The two cylindrical components are the antennas (short one is for 868/915MHz, and long one is for 433MHz).

Here is the same design viewed from the top:

 

New Design vs Hex Design

Some of you have been asking for a side by side comparison of the new industrial design with the old hex design to make it easier to compare the size differences of the two designs, here they are:

As you can see, the new design is comparable in size to the hex design.

Thanks everyone!

Team Sonnet