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A crucial upcoming month

Hello guys, We got the earbuds’ plastic parts just in time for this update, so we prepared a short video showing them off to you. Enjoy! Of course, this was just a snapshot of the whole month, dig down below for a more complete picture. DEVELOPMENT STATUS We’ll try to be more focused on videos in these next updates, so you can get a better feeling of what’s going on behind the scenes. So let’s see what we have in store for you: Earbuds and charger mold results About 3 weeks ago, the “first shot” of the earbuds’ mold was built. It was good, but not good enough for us to use as an ‘almost final’ prototype. A few days ago, we received the “2nd shot”, which are new plastic parts from the improved molds. They are super good. It’s not yet final, but it’s getting pretty close. Concerning the charging case, the “first shot” is on its way. The...Read More >

The calm before the storm?

Hola Backers, So we’re in the middle of the molding process with the charger and earbuds. That doesn’t mean we’ve been taking it slow, hell no! We used that time to make a few tweaks and a light drop test. Molds are scheduled to be ready at the end of May (most likely) or beginning of June. Once that happens, we’ll smash the pre-production start button, BAM!   DEVELOPMENT STATUS Okay, so let’s make this update with more pictures and fewer words. The charger mold is being built since the beginning of the month. It usually takes 6-12 weeks to finish. For the earbuds’ molds, we were supposed to make only slight modifications to our earlier molds. But in collaboration with our mold maker, we realized there was a slight chance these minor edits could cause defects during the plastic injection process. Therefore, we decided to make brand new molds. That means the earbuds & charger are scheduled to be...Read More >

Gearing up for pre-production

  Hello backers, There was a lot of back & forth with our contract manufacturer in the last month. We’ve been able to secure the deal we had already initiated for mass manufacturing a while ago and get the ball rolling for pre-production. Check out below for the details.   DEVELOPMENT STATUS The last update was mainly about getting the connectivity replicated. This time, we’re gearing up for production. Gearing up for pre-production is a crucial phase. It’s the time to anticipate all the problems that could arise during production and fix them. Let me point out some of them: For the earbuds The molds need to be adjusted so they can handle the plastic battery ring we modified. In red is the interference with the battery ring needing to be fixed. We used spring-loaded pins in the earbuds so they charge with the case. We figured out there was a better way to make the earbuds more reliable in its...Read More >

Connectivity replicated

Hey backers, We’ve been able to get our PCBs in time, just before the Chinese New Year. We assembled them with all the components we need and… we nailed connectivity again 🙂 Check out below what’s next, because there’s a lot of relevant stuff going on.   DEVELOPMENT STATUS Alright, so during the last month, we redesigned our PCBs to enhance battery performance and requested a batch from our manufacturer. We received them just before the Chinese holidays. They performed magnificently once again. We assembled them locally, tweaked them a bit and have been able to get solid results. Also, the battery management fixes we engineered are successful. The current earbuds’ shells are made of a somewhat flimsy plastic for prototyping purposes. We’re ready to upgrade this with the real deal: top-notch polycarbonate, which is the material we’ll use for the finished product. We’re also in the process of making improvements to the shells’ molds to better protect the electronics...Read More >

The hardware cycle

  Dear backers, We’re actively pursuing the journey with fresh PCBs incoming soon. We’re expecting these new boards to be the ones we could basically start pre-production with. Check out below for more details.   DEVELOPMENT STATUS Alright, so we fine-tuned the PCBs as hell this early January to make sure they would work out great. Doing this process made us realize that the battery management has been put aside because we were almost exclusively focused on getting the connectivity right. One of the prototypes we assembled in January. While learning valuable lessons during this specific process, we figured out that firmware adjustments were needed for the battery to perform at the desired level. With this kind of project complexity, when you play with the firmware, you need to adjust the electronic design as well. Therefore, a new electronic design (release V7) needed to be done so we could have a new batch of PCBs that will manage battery life...Read More >

Nitty-gritty integration

  Hey backers, Hope you’re having great holidays so far. The development of the earbuds is going strong and about to be completed so check out below what happened in the last weeks.   DEVELOPMENT STATUS The technical staff got back from China 3 weeks ago. They made the awaited working prototype in China and then send it back to our lab in Canada. In Order to refresh your memory: this working prototype worked really well on small AND long distance. In the last update, we stated we needed three points to be confirmed before we move into pre-production, let me comment on those: Is the working pair effective on everyone and in different environments? Before the working pair needed repair, a handful of people tested them and they worked without a hitch. We will, for sure, test them on more people and in other environments but given the feedback from people who actually tried them was great, we won’t...Read More >

Smashing an important milestone

  Hey backers, We spent the last month in China working hand in hand with our new suppliers. I am happy to announce that it was time well spent as it has yielded the results that we all have long waited for. Let me tell you about the progress below.   DEVELOPMENT STATUS Alright, the back & forth with the suppliers we explained in the last update took longer than expected, mainly because the base material we requested for our PCB is quite uncommon. The suppliers came up with creative ways to address this challenge. We also checked their source files frequently during the interactions so they would build the PCBs just as we requested. We curated three suppliers. One shipped boards that did not work, the second has not shipped and the third shipped outstanding PCBs. We will quickly test the second one when they arrive for comparison to the third great ones. On the great PCBs we got,...Read More >

Going All In

  Dear backers, As you are well aware, we keep pushing our PCB manufacturers in North America to the limits of what they can do. It seems that their limit was reached 2 weeks ago. We anticipated this limit and figured out a strong plan to get to production ASAP in China. This update is longer than usual so you can get a better grasp on what’s happening behind the scenes. Check out the plan below.   DEVELOPMENT STATUS Before I share the plan with you, let me quickly explain our development challenges concerning the printed circuit boards (PCBs): You can see what standard PCBs look like below. They are the backbone of all electronic devices. If the PCB fails, the device has basically no chance to work. Those are standard PCBs (not the ones we use). We can’t share images of our own to protect the Intellectual Property of the earbuds. We originally tried many manufacturers, hoping one would...Read More >

Mini update

  Dear backers, Today’s update will be a shorter one since we received the updated PCBs yesterday, which means we couldn’t assemble them in time for the update.   DEVELOPMENT STATUS We made a few adjustments to the PCB (aka the green wafer) to improve the antenna’s performance. We had to adjust the internal mechanical structure of the earbuds and modify the electronic circuit so the RF would perform better in this kind of environment. It’s hard for us to provide more details without disclosing what could be the secret sauce to our antenna’s performance. Our senior engineer’s (Sylvain) sense is that we could possibly start pre-production with those new PCBs. However, as we all experienced in the past, it is not guaranteed that they will be the final R&D PCBs. For you to better understand what the inherent difficulty is, here are the two hardest things about getting the connectivity right:   Antenna location (most important) In an ideal...Read More >

RF is a b*tch

  Backers, Mastering the RF (Radio Frequency aka Bluetooth connectivity for us) is incredibly hard. While we are extremely close, I have to admit there are hurdles getting to the finish line.   DEVELOPMENT STATUS Let’s see what happened in the last 2 weeks on the tech side. The good news: We have been successful in achieving a good connection at a range of 90 feet (30 meters), outside, with no obstacles.  The connection was stable for a couple of minutes then broke off. We have also been able to have a solid connection within 30 feet inside a house, with multiple walls interfering the signal. This being said, the connection was successfully tested by one of our team members, in one location, not by a whole bunch of people in different settings. The improvements needed: The few others that tested the connectivity did not experience a good enough connectivity. Sylvain, our head of engineering, made some adjustments to the...Read More >

Bluetooth distance doubled

Dear backers, We’re proud to announce that we achieved a significant improvement to the earbuds. We doubled the Bluetooth distance between the smartphone and the earbuds. Check out the details below.   DEVELOPMENT STATUS In the last update, we mentioned that we were able to get a perfect Bluetooth connectivity for a distance of 10 feet. That is quite convenient for most of the tasks performed. However, we all want as much freedom as possible, so we’re still improving this. Our goal is to make it work to the Bluetooth specifications limit, that is 30 feet in a standard everyday environment. The theoretical limit could be up to 100 feet, which would be performed in an open space, such as a park or a football field. About 2 weeks ago, we sent a slightly modified antenna redesign to our local PCB manufacturer. Once again, the PCBs we received were not exactly following the design we had provided. After a deep...Read More >

One step closer

Dear backers, Building a startup with groundbreaking tech is no small feat. There are highs and lows, as you experienced firsthand. Today, I’m glad to announce that we’ve achieved another primordial milestone: perfect connectivity between the 2 earbuds (inside the shells)! Check out the details below. DEVELOPMENT STATUS Yes, finally, we made it work. In the last update, we told you guys the fine-tuning was completed. We’ve put the electronics in the earbuds’ plastic shells. Because there was too much manipulation on the circuit, the right earbud failed. We needed to assemble more circuits to test the whole thing thoroughly (electronics + mechanics). When manually assembling the circuits, things are extremely small (remember the grain of salt picture) so it can easily go south. After a couple of trials and just in time for the update, we finally achieved a full pair of earbuds working very nicely. Be reassured, during production, everything is going to be fully automated. All these...Read More >

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