We have mixed news, plus some well-deserved compensation for your patience—which we know is being stretched very thin.
Let's go directly to the bad news first: the delivery date will be pushed into the new year. Despite our best efforts and hopes, It has taken much longer than anticipated to bring up and qualify our manufacturing to produce the high-quality product that you are expecting and deserve. We recognize that this news will prompt considerable frustration and disappointment, and we sincerely apologize for our second project delay.
The good news is we're just about there. The left pic shows you the guts of a popSLATE, including the custom ePaper screen, our PCBA, lithium polymer battery and molded case pieces. The middle pic shows you an assembled popSLATE from the side. The right pic lets you see the case and phone side-by-side.
To see everything in action, click the link below:
As noted in the last update, our current design fits iPhone 5 and 5S equally well, so those of you who recently upgraded have nothing to worry about from a popSLATE compatibility standpoint.
Finally, we’d like to try to compensate you in a meaningful way for your long wait. Our good friends at SOL REPUBLIC (http://www.solrepublic.com/) have generously donated a 50%-off coupon for each of you towards any purchase of their premium-sound headphones and speakers to radically boost your iPhone audio experience. Over the next few days, we will mail a special code to the email address you used for your original contribution to the campaign, so please be on the lookout.
Thank you for sticking with us through thick and thin. Despite the wait, we hope that you will be very pleased with the end result.
What's pop'in? A key partnership!
We are excited to announce a strategic partnership with Plastic Logic, which gives us exclusive access to 4" displays specifically designed for popSLATE for iPhone 5 and 5S. The partnership also provides more resource and support to launch the initial product for the iPhone 5 and provides a co-development roadmap to address future handsets, from Apple and others, with perfectly tailored screens.
We selected Plastic Logic as our partner to develop and supply our custom-made popSLATE displays because of the innovative 'plastic electronics' backplane in their screens. They are also great to work with, as we learned during our multi-month co-development effort.
"What does this mean for me?" you may ask. It means that your popSLATE will embody the thinnest, most lightweight, shatterproof displays in the world, in a size that offers a full, iPhone-sized user experience.
This is all part of our effort to deliver the best possible product to you. We know this has taken far longer than any of us ever wanted, and we hope you will find the product worth the wait. Thank you for your patience and support.
Check out the press release here:
pop'in since 2012
What’s Poppin’? Software!
We are pleased to announce that hardware and firmware development is entering the final stages. Since our prior updates have focused exclusively on hardware, we thought we would change it up to give you a software progress report and ask for your feedback. Our designers and software developers are busily creating the app feature set. Here are some screenshots :
We have designed the look & feel to complement the B&W aesthetics of our epaper second screen, in order to craft a unified front-side/back-side experience. We also wanted the app to look distinctive and fresh, yet consistent with the flatter, simpler motif of iOS 7. We’d love to hear what you think of our direction thus far.
We have also been working with artists & designers to set up unique content channels for popSLATE. You probably have some favorites whom we should add to this growing community. Whose work would you love to see on the back of your phone? If you have suggestions (including yourself!), please post names and examples on our Facebook timeline (http://www.facebook.com/popslate).
On a final note, some of you have asked how we will address anticipated new versions of the iPhone . We know that some of you will be standing in line at midnight—probably right next to us—to get one of the first new models. Fortunately, collective wisdom says that the 5S will have an identical form factor to the 5, so our current design should fit that model with no changes. Our architectural change several months back to a wireless interface between case and phone will allow us to adapt quickly to new mechanical specs if future models differ substantially. We’ll keep you posted on how we’ll accommodate these transitions as we learn more about Apple’s plans.
Thanks a lot for your support to date.
poppin’ since 2012
What’s poppin’? Lots of progress!
Our development on the new wireless architecture is moving ahead at a good pace and we have added two new team members to further accelerate things. We have completed the hardware and finished up the core firmware modules for wireless image transfer, image storage and rendering on the E-paper screen. In the image below you can see our developers hard at work optimizing the ‘pop’ functionality on our development boards. The test image shown in the picture was used to assess rendering of grey levels.
We have also been doing lots of look & feel user testing—in fact, we have a run through a multitude of industrial designs. The new architecture allowed us to free up the connectors on the phone and also enabled us to create a thinner and shorter overall design. We have been in rapid prototyping mode to facilitate this testing. Check out the link to see one of the designs being printed. (http://youtu.be/WOrJcMQfuZc). The completed cases shown below depict the design that tested the highest with users. Let us know what you think, we would love to hear from you.
We are busy working to hit our October delivery date and will be showing more and more pics in the coming weeks. We also have a special announcement to make next week regarding a strategic partnership that will really accelerate development.
pop’in since 2012
Pop’in in Taiwan
14 hours on a plane and thousands of miles later, I was on the ground in Taipei, Taiwan. On the packed 2-day agenda was checking in on the development of our custom ePaper screens and visiting the plastic injection mold facility. The purpose of the short trip was to accelerate development and manufacturing of popSLATEs.
Our screens are looking great and you can see some details in the pictures below. We were testing the refresh times and contrast ratios and everything was in-line with the specifications. Since we are changing the hardware and reducing the overall size of the case (specifically, we no longer need the extra length to support the Lightning connector), the plastic injection molds needed to be redesigned. I met with our team in Taiwan and walked through the design details. We reviewed timelines and compressed what we could without affecting the overall quality of the product.
I was soon on a long return flight to San Francisco and back working with the great team here. More updates to come soon.
Pop’in since 2012
Pop’in in Taiwan