Funded! This project was successfully funded on January 3, 2012.

Update #34

Update 1.3.0, Improved SMSs, and Calls

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Twine’s got a few new tricks up its sleeve, and no, this isn’t an early April Fools joke!

Twine 1.3

Spring brings a new update for your Twine. Here’s what’s included:

- Twitter support. Now your Twine can tweet to your friends that the basement is flooding (or just @you that the laundry is done).
- Support for Cloud Shield ( http://supermechanical.com/cloudshield/ ). Get your Arduino project on the Internet and trolling forums in a few minutes.
- HTTP action improvements: We've been listening - you can now use POST, any port, and looooong URLs.
- Sensor values in all notifications! Previously, you could only include values in HTTP requests. Now your Twine can email you its temperature when triggered.

As always, to get the update, clear the cache on your browser, reload the site and resave the rules on your Twine.

Universal SMS and voice calls
That's not all we've been working on. We've always focused on making Twine simple — our original promise was "Connect your things to the Internet without a nerd degree." But you might have had an experience with sending text messages that didn't meet this promise. We relied on carriers to support their email gateways to send free SMS, but the fact that it's worked inconsistently for some people hasn't been acceptable.

So we've invested time into rewriting this, and now Twine can send text messages to virtually any number, regardless of carrier or country. Unfortunately, each message costs us money, so we're making this a paid option for Twine to cover these costs. But this allows us to add some new features, too: all texts and calls will come from one number so you can save your Twine as a contact; and your Twine can optionally call you and speak notifications with the new phone call action.

We're not taking away anything — the Twine account you have now will always be free, and as you read at the top of this email, continues to get new features. If the previous email-based SMS works for you, you can continue to use it through the email action.

Learn more about the SMS/voice call upgrade — it's pay-as-you-go and you can cancel anytime. Try it, and if you aren't happy with it, we'll refund the cost of the account — just let us know within the first month.

Please email us at help@supermechanical.com if you have any questions or feedback!

-Christina


Update #33

Twine + Arduino = <3

Hello Backers–

As spring approaches (at least in the northern hemisphere), we hope your Twine is bringing reports of warmer temperatures! We’ve got an exciting new external sensor ready, and some some details about Twine’s battery life for you.

Announcing the Twine Cloud Shield 

Stack Cloud Shield on your Arduino, connect it to Twine, and get email, texting, calling, and more in a jiffy. With Cloud Shield, you can add the ability to trigger any Twine output from your Arduino sketch with three lines of code, so you can focus on your idea and not debugging networking code. Want to see how easy it is? Want to see how many bananas (spoiler alert!) we can fit in a minute long video? Check out the video.
What could make this even better? For a limited time only, if you get a Twine + Cloud Shield kit now, you’ll get $10 off! Already have a Twine, but want the Cloud Shield? Free shipping for you (domestic only)!

In the video, you get a special sneak preview of a soon-to-be released notification method, phone calls! Your Twine will call you with the text you type in the action. It will be available as a paid option.

Battery life update

First of all, don't worry! We're not done reducing power consumption and are continuing to invest development resources into improving Twine battery life. The Twine 1.2 release not only added new features like vibration support, but also reduced the power used by the accelerometer and external port. Here's the situation at the moment:

1. In fixed installations, you can use virtually any micro-USB power supply to run your Twine. Here's one on Amazon with free shipping. Twine will automatically fall back to batteries if external power is lost.

2. This pie chart below shows how much power each Twine component uses.

As you can see, the WiFi radio accounts for about 76% of Twine's power consumption. That's a big, but unfortunately very necessary chunk! To further improve battery life, we have started a major rework of the way that the radio subsystem works. This effort will take some time to complete, but should make very significant reductions in the amount of power that the radio uses. We'll keep you updated as we get closer to release.

We've gotten to meet some of you at SXSW, and we're happy that we have all of you as backers — of Twine and of our passion for making our world smaller and friendlier through connected objects. Our team continues to work on making Twine better. As always, please email us directly at help@supermechanical.com if you're having any sort of trouble or haven't yet gotten your Twine reward, and we'll help figure it out.

- The Supermechanics


Update #32

Good Vibrations, and other excitations.

5 comments

Hello Backers,

We have good news and more good news for you.

Shipping Update:

The whole team worked hard (because we love our Kickstarter backers so much) to ship out all the Twines we had the information for in December, but we still have some lonely Twines to mail. If you haven’t gotten your Twine yet, we probably need you to confirm your shipping information or pay for international shipping. Check your account at https://spool.supermechanical.com or email us at transactions@supermechanical.com for the fastest response (we love Kickstarter comments, but we don’t want everyone to see your personal information).

Twine Update:
It’s been a great week for Twine! It's been reading self-improvement books and now it's got some new features to show you. Here’s what’s included in the Twine 1.2 update:

1. Vibration sensor functionality.
2. Several small reductions in power consumption.
3. Celsius temperature readings, for all our international friends.
4. UI improvements, including Wi-Fi signal and battery life bars and an improved fast mode switch.

To get the update, resave the rules on your Twine. For more information on what's new, check out our blog: Update 1.2

If you’re looking to expand your Twine’s repertoire, you can get 10’ cables and additional sensors in our store.

Looking for ideas on how to use your Twine? Check out our how-tos, and mingle with the Twine community (Where all the cool kids are hanging out these days — you should be there too.)

-Christina and the Supermechanics


Update #31

Breakout board guide and shipping update.

Hello backers,

New Breakout Guide

Time for a quick update.  First of all, we've put together a guide on how to use the breakout board to connect all sorts of things to Twine.  Check it out here:

Using the Twine Breakout Board

If you don't have a breakout yet, you're missing out---grab one at the link below:

Get your Twine breakout board!

International Shipping

We also been making some good progress on the international shipping front.  First, we fired our previous international shipping company, and moved all international shipping in house to keep a closer eye on it.  As of today all international Twine only packages have been shipped.  We have also shipped 80% of international Twine + magnetic switch packages, and the remaining 20% should be out tomorrow.  We are currently processing 150-200 international packages per day and are chewing through our ~600 package backlog rapidly.  Thank you for your patience as we plow through our remaining shipments.  

Have a problem?

If you think that your Twine should have arrived, but it hasn't---drop us a note.  Chances are that there was a problem with your shipping address, or some other small issue.  We'll try to get you fixed up right away.

Take care,

David, John, and the Twine team.


Update #30

A very Twine Thanksgiving

8 comments

— Giving thanks for the last year; Kickstarter status; a bright new hardware partner; Black Friday sale

Greetings, supporters and friends —

A year ago today, we (David and John) launched the Kickstarter campaign for Twine. As it took off in the first days, the two of us were excitedly texting back and forth, in the midst of (barely) helping with household Thanksgiving preparations. Our expectations for the campaign were blown out of the water because of all of you, and for this, we're thankful.

However, our expectations for Twine have always been high. Those of you who have gotten your Twine now understand the standard we hold our work to, and know that we aren't resting any time soon. Your Twine is an infant, and we're expanding its capabilities.

Closing out the Kickstarter

The Kickstarter is not quite over yet. We still have a couple hundred Twines to ship out to backers. We've begun shipping to international backers, and we expect to have everyone's Kickstarter Twines in the mail in the next two weeks. You don't have to email us asking for your status yet — you'll get an email when your Twine ships. (Thank you for being patient just a little longer.) 

And Twine continues to get smarter. We're finding and fixing the inevitable early bugs with your help. And we're building up support, documentation and how-tos for the community. Christina, our new customer support chief, aims to smooth out any bumps in your Twine experience, and has a bagful of Twine ideas to share. When you get your Twine, visit the forums and share your own ideas and how-tos.

Listen to your world, control your lights with Twine+Spark

We're all about bringing the future nearer. You may remember that we're partnering with the Pebble smartwatch so that you can get notifications from Twine on your wrist. We've now added another Kickstarter hardware partner: the Spark Socket.

Spark is a Wi-Fi light socket that goes in standard light fixtures and works with any dimmable bulb. You'll be able to create Twine rules to turn lights on or off, set a brightness level, and more. Spark sockets can of course also be controlled by your smartphone or other means.

The only catch is that you need to back Spark on Kickstarter — the campaign is in progress, and this won't become reality without backers. We want to create awesome Twine+Spark applications, so show them some of the same generosity you've shown us.

Black Friday sale

We're proud that we were able to completely design and manufacture Twine in the USA, and as an American company, we of course have to participate in the grand tradition of Black Friday. This Friday, November 23rd only, you'll be able to buy any Twine kit from our online store for $10 off. And now that our shipping crunch is easing, we promise to have your order delivered by Christmas if you're in the US. (We'll also do our best to do the same for other countries, but no promises.)

Thank you

It's been an eventful year. Like any parents, the two of us have experienced the extremes of elation and stress. We've learned much about building Twine as a product, and Supermechanical as a business that can keep building products. Your understanding of the insane amount of work that we've had to do as a tiny hardware/software startup has been great — and as we now start to grow, we'll be able to do even more, at a sustainable pace. We've had several valuable contributors, but the greatest has been our first full-time employee, David Clift-Reaves, aka the production chief and shipmaster. As shipping settles down, he'll be able to turn his engineering talents to product development, as will we. We have lots in store!

Our thoughts from a year ago came back to us when one of you sent us the photo at the top, of his Twine monitoring the temperature of a turkey thawing in the garage. This is awesome — you are awesome! We're working to make sure you continue to play a big part — Twine's community is a strength, and for this, we're thankful.

— John and David, for the Supermechanical team


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