There is one issue to polish off before having all the manufacturing processes in line. We were expected to have it finished a few weeks ago however suffered a loss in the ability to run the tests and manufacturing using certain equipment. We’re getting these processes back up and running at the moment and will keep you in a more frequent loop for the delivery of the product. There have been many tests and additions complete in the new features section of this post :).
A message to all our supporters: Responding to your concerns.
Yuma, Catherine and I apologise collectively for the frequency of these updates. It’s taken a lot longer to deliver this product than we’ve previously estimated and I’m genuinely sorry for the inconvenience and pain caused. I am incredibly thankful for the faith you’ve put in us so far. I'm happy to talk to anyone who has concerns and I’ll leave my number down the bottom. The team and I have casual work and university commitments and will try to respond as soon as possible.
For those who haven’t pre-ordered a product from a startup before, there’s a few websites and companies registering on places like https://www.indiegogo.com/ and https://www.kickstarter.com/ that take pre-orders for products. They’re generally really early stage companies or ‘start-ups’, usually a team of 2-5 people that have finished 80-90% of the product’s development before going out to try to sell the product and see if there is a need for it, the reason they run a crowdfunding campaign or a pre-sale before finishing the last 10% is to try to get funds to make that 10% of the development move faster and finalise the product sooner, to help jump over those few last hurdles.
When we opened the preorders 9 months ago, we had developed the product for 2 and a half years, making prototypes in house and had developed most of the software and the fundamental pieces of the hardware working. The only remaining thing was to manufacture it in larger quantities than 1-3 units.
We underestimated the time it would take to fully complete the product. We had the option to send a subpar version of the product out, or put the funds that had been raised to the side and spend time to finish that last 10% so that we could deliver the product we envisioned. We’ve seen a lot of crowdfunding companies take money from people, use it all on development and then not deliver a product or have the option to return the funds, which is why we kept your payment to the side. In putting our heads down and working as hard as possible to get the macaron out to you, we had lost focus of one of the most important things - You. We have an amazing community of supporters and we promise to provide you with more frequent updates, At the moment, the current schedule is to start the first orders at the end of this Month and ramp up production from there. This is subject on the ability to access machines and we will send another update in a few weeks.
We want to be a company that changes the way accessible products are seen, to design products in such a way that both blind and sighted enjoy using them. At the moment, about 50% of sales have been to VIP and 50% to sighted audiences, bringing this product through to completion will mean we’ll start to have a more connected world, where one won’t be limited to the quality of the tools at their disposable, and will have the option to use the same equipment as their colleagues and friends.
We’ll be sending weekly to fortnightly updates to some people who are interested to help us figure out how much information we should be sending out on technical and development updates.
New Features and Moving Forward
We’ll be making videos to describe all of the features available before you receive the device, I’ll also start to talk about it here in text.
One of the cool features about the Macaron is the level of customizability. You will be able to transmit a measurement pattern to your phone. We created this filing cabinet system on the device earlier in the year but to replace the information on the device, it would take an hour to a day of constant Bluetooth connection. There are limits to how fast Bluetooth can transmit, but we’ve taken to 9-15 minutes.
We’ve had requests to add a new angle mode. So using the above architecture you’ll be able to get the ratio of the objects you’re measuring. I.e. a wheelchair angle has to have at least a 1:12 slope, so we represent the information in this form instead of degrees.
To change through the modes you’ll swipe your finger or thumb across the outside of the casing.
The battery life has been changed from a week to about 6 months when not in use.
We have also made some small adjustments to the shape and feel of the device and look forward to getting your reaction as we ship. Before we ship we’ll be getting in personal contact and making sure addresses are updated
There is a sleek black and a white version of this device, if you’d like to change color, please let us know.
We have also made some mechanical revisions to the device to make sure the part that pops out for you to use to measure will be stowed properly.
As we ship these,We’ll be asking you to choose the standard templates you’d like to have preloaded on your device.
There is an amount to learn whenever you start something you have never done before, and there will always be unforeseen objects to blindly step into. Eventually you teach yourself the rules of your environment, and I want to thank each and everyone of your for being there with us when we stepped into ours.