We’ve spent the last week on deck with the assembly and injection molding teams overseas, and we’re back with the latest info on your perks and how close they are to being complete. As many familiar with the industry know, wearables are extremely difficult to manufacture.. Amiigo is a 2 piece system, further magnifying the challenges of manufacturing, but also enhancing the capabilities and enabling a truly complete tracking experience. We know we’ve projected completion ‘in the next several weeks’ before. We realize how much patience has been required to pave this new road in wearable technology, and we are truly thankful for how supportive everyone has been.
Now, the low down on the manufacturing process, and the cause for the recent hold up. The shoe pods are dialed in. The chargers are ready to ship. The bottleneck is in the wristband overmolding. Here’s the skinny on what tweaks are being made and why they’re necessary:
The first of two small changes needed was a reinforced electronics housing box. The electronics housing, in many cases, could not withstand the pressure and heat of the injection. This was severely damaging the electronics in many of the units. However, in the last week, we found a viable solution that also equates to impressive durability. Now, the housing is much stronger and can withstand both the heat and pressure of the injection.. See the attached photo of an Amiigo underneath the tire of a car.. - it still works Challenge one of two has been overcome.
The second issue that was damaging many units was also a result of the injection pressure.. The pressure caused the electronics housing to shift slightly during the overmold. This caused the injected materials to distribute unevenly, resulting in aesthetic and structural failures. Attached is a photo of what happens when the housing ‘shifts’. The good news is all that is needed is a small feature that locks the housing in place while in the tool. We know what needs to happen and will make the change as quickly as possible. As many are aware, it is the beginning of Chinese New Year, and virtually no factories in China are operational until after the first week of February. Upon return from their Holiday, the tooling team will make the two modifications and we’ll start running the tools again.
Thanks again for all of your support. We’ll continue to post weekly updates. The next update will include more info on the mobile apps and how Amiigo tracks pulse. For those that have any specific questions, contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(note that the photos are of manufacturing test units and the color and textures are for testing purposes only)
1 Device Down and 1 to Go:
As you can see in the attached photo, we’ve got production shoe pods in hand! We’ve finally buttoned down the manufacturing and assembly processes! PCB and PCBA are well underway. We have begun shipping batches of electronics overseas for final assembly, as discussed in the previous updates, and will continue to do so for the next several weeks. As you know, Amiigo’s complete tracking experience and unique capabilities are possible because the wristband and the shoe pod work together, 5 sensors across 2 devices. We are still making some tweaks to the manufacturing process for the wristband(as we anticipated), more specifically, the sensor carriage. With one or two more minor alterations, we will be ready to assemble the wristbands and complete the process. In the next few days, we will post more info on how these two devices work together and how uploading your own exercise works. We will also post another video on how we track pulse. Thanks again for your support and feel free to email us directly with any questions. Stay tuned!
Attached is a photo of Amiigos off of the tools. The next week or two will involve minor tweaks to the texture and finish of the wristbands. In this photo, the Amiigos appear to be smooth and shiny. The shine will go away as we complete the texturing and color testing processes. In the last update, we noted the scarcity of a couple core components. As mentioned in the comment stream, we have found the needed parts to complete this run. Those parts are coming in tranches and we will deliver the Amiigos accordingly. We’re starting the PCB/PCBA next week in the states and shipping the boards overseas for final assembly, where we’ll be spending the final leg of this development road. We still anticipate the first Amiigos to be fully manufactured next month. Thanks again for all of your support and as always, feel free to drop us a line at email@example.com
Hey Indiegogo Backers:
In case any of you missed it, we sent out an email a couple weeks ago allowing you to update your address, select your size and color choice for your perks. As you may recall, the charcoal devices will be delivered first. This is because the vast majority of you selected the black option in the initial campaign. As a reminder, the other colors will ship a few weeks after the charcoal, as outlined in the last update. If you selected a color option and missed the part about those colors shipping later, here is the last chance to switch to charcoal.
This update will address many production/delivery/next-batch related questions. In a week or so we’ll send out another update introducing you to the mobile apps and UX and post a video showcasing the product.
As usual, lets start off by answering a few common questions about the feature set. The most commonly asked questions pertain to the tracking capabilities. Amiigo is designed to be with you 24hrs/day. Amiigo tracks activity level, sleep quality, calories burned, workouts/specific exercises and even pulse rate and changes in body temperature.
Amiigo tracks your pulse rate as you go about your day. Many of you are aware of the issues commonly found with wrist-worn pulse monitors and their vulnerability to movement and ambient light. With Amiigo, you’ll only get the accurate data you want, and our system will toss out any data that looks questionable. That way, the pulse rate readings are reliable and accurate. The system will correlate your pulse rate with as many activities as possible including walking, sleeping, sitting, driving and in some instances, even during exercise.
Another aspect of the amiigo system often asked about is the pedometer/step counting feature. As many of you know, you will have the option of using the wristband OR shoe clip to track steps, overall activity level and calories burned throughout the day.
If you’d like to track specific activities such as jumping jacks, jogging, cycling or lunges, both devices must be worn. Having multiple devices is what enables us to track the details of each activity. The only instance for which this isn’t the case is swimming. If you plan to use the device for swimming, you will only need the wristband to ‘start a workout’. In ‘workout’ mode, the devices perk up as needed for activity recognition and tracking other useful details like form, speed and rep count.
Amiigo is packed with sensors. In fact, we’re transmitting raw data from 5 sensors which enables us to give you the most detailed feedback on how to improve and achieve your goals. A portion of the wristband is comprised of a thermally conductive compound so that even your body temperature can be captured. Temperature data, pulse rate and the activities you perform are used to accurately calculate the amount of calories you burn throughout the day.
Now, to shed more light on how the data is sent from the device and processed: Amiigo is creating the most personalized tracking experience and equips you with the tools necessary to track just about any activity you choose. However, this powerful activity recognition tool is only possible because of the amount of data we’re capturing and processing. We recommend syncing often to avoid lengthy sync times. We’ve recently built and implemented an ‘auto sync’ feature which automatically syncs your data behind the scenes. Turning this ‘auto sync’ setting ON will prevent you from experiencing long sync times. In fact, you won’t even notice the syncing at all… it’s that seamless :) If you choose not to use this feature, sync times will range anywhere from 30 seconds to 3 minutes on iOS and about 15 to 90 seconds on Android. Regarding Android support - the phones/tablets we’re testing and seeing the most optimistic results on are: Nexus 5, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S3, Note III, Note II, Galaxy Note 10.1 (tablet), HTC One, HTC DNA, Moto-X many other Motorola Droid phones. We’re continuing to see more support from the handset manufacturers, and will continue to provide insight on what phones will be compatible. We’re committed to supporting Android, and recognize that the list of compatible and supported phones will continue to evolve up until you receive your perks.
Updated Schedule for our Backers:
As you know, we’ve finish the design and engineering and we’ve handed the puck off to our manufacturing team. We are working hard to complete the tooling and get your perks assembled. As mentioned in previous updates we are seeing long lead times for a couple of critical parts which have set us back a bit. We’re working with the suppliers to get these parts sooner and are only able to get a handful at a time. As a result of this, most of the units will ship in the first or second week of January. We were hit by an unexpected and further delay in a small portion of the components. Amiigo devices rely on many new technologies that aren’t commonly used in other electronics quite yet and as a result, some of the parts needed are rare and are difficult to obtain. This is, of course, disappointing but we’re doing all that we can. We will send your perks in the order which you backed the campaign on indiegogo. We apologize for having to send them out in bursts like this.. It’s certainly not ideal but it’s a sign of our commitment to get your perks out ASAP. For those who are anxious to get in on this run and fill any empty spots we have, send us your email online in the ‘reserve your spot in line’ section here, and we’ll get you in as soon as possible. On that note, and to address the overwhelming number of requests to fill the spots of original backers, we’re proud to say that over 99% of indiegogo backers have stuck with us and we’re extremely grateful for all of their patience and support. And for those of you who have emailed us in the last couple weeks and are interested in pre-ordering for the next batch of Amiigos, we will send out invites in the order we received your request.
Stay tuned, as we’ll announce retail pricing and push out an update on the second batch availability and schedule. We’ll also post a video of the product in action a couple weeks from now. If you have any specific questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org . We’re happy to chat with you. Thank you for your support.
Our site is now ready to take your color and size preferences. For those of you who were part of the initial Indiegogo campaign, you will receive an email with a private link within the next 24 hours. The private link will take you to your order and allow you to select your size(and color for those who selected a color option). For those of you who forgot to add shipping during the initial campaign, we’ll let you know how in the next update.
As you’ll see on the site, the first color option available will be the black/gray. The other color options will ship after the black/gray. This is due to the lead time associated with the specific resins needed to create those color appearances. As many of you know, custom colors and unique color combinations can require significant lead time.
If you’re between sizes, we recommend sizing down. For example, if your wrist circumference lands directly between the R and L sizes, select the R size, it will likely provide a more comfortable fit than the L.
If you missed the campaign…
We know many of you are waiting to order your Amiigos. Fortunately there is room for a small group of you to fill in for a few of our original backers who have decided they do not want to wait for their perks. For those wanting to reserve an Amiigo in time for the Holidays, we will be taking pre-orders in about 3 weeks. We know many of you found out about us after our initial campaign, but would still like to get in early. Be sure to subscribe on our site to save your spot in line. You’ll be notified when we open up for pre-orders.
SDK & Software Progress
Many of you have inquired about the Amiigo SDK.. it’s coming together nicely. The same SDK we use for our iOS and Android connectivity, we will eventually open up to any of you who request access. Note that this SDK will also enable Amiigo connectivity with OSX and Linux based operating systems on desktops/laptops. This is our own low-level BLE stack that will help all of your imaginative applications come to life. We hope to have this ready for release shortly after the initial units ship.
The most challenging part of the process is behind us. We’ve made it to the final stretch and are ready to carry out the production of the first batch. While hardware manufacturing remains a focal point, behind the scenes is the software powerhouse that creates the unique experience. We’ve made great strides towards our first app release on iOS and Android and will continue to layer on additional features until your units ship.
Amiigo is the first wearables system processing an unprecendented amount of raw sensor data. Building a system that tracks activity type, reps, sets, speed, form, pulse, calories, sleep, and steps, requires a very powerful backend. In preperation for launch, we’ve moved over to new, wicked-fast servers that will support our cloud based technologies. We have been meaning to put together a video showcasing the wristband, shoe clip and mobile apps. We hope to have this done in the next couple weeks.
As mentioned in the last update, we’re still aiming to ship your Amiigos before Thanksgiving. We’re committed to making sure the units fit, function and look great. We know it’s hard to wait so long and even harder to get whiplashed when we’re forced to push back the delivery date. Our entire team is working around-the-clock to expedite the timeline. We’ve had a lot of supportive emails from many of you despite the delays. We appreciate that support and hope it continues. For those of you who are ‘losing faith’, (we’ve seen those emails too) please stick with us! Those of you who cannot wait any longer, send us an email and we’ll address them one by one.
Thanks for continuing to stand behind Amiigo. We appreciate all of your support. As always, feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com. We anticipate only a couple more updates before you’ll have your perks in hand.
The last three weeks have been action packed. We’ve got a lot to be excited about. To start, we have some devices in hand that look and feel awesome. Check out the photos below. We’re doing some fit testing and are pleased with the results so far.
This update will consist of both hardware and UI/UX progress. Accompanying the recent hardware improvements are a handful of software improvements.
As you all know, the mobile app drives the Amiigo experience. The Amiigo system enables users to track a variety of different things including steps, calories, sleep and even specific activities. Additionally, the app will sport a fancy wireless firmware update feature to prevent you from needing to PLUG anything IN. Since many of you will be tracking a wide array of activities, we’re opening up the Amiigo activity classification system and enabling you to train (teach the system) any activity of your choice. The caveat, the activity must be “repetitious”. To give you an idea: running, cycling, golf swings, bicep curls, jumping jacks, push ups and swimming are all considered “repetitious”.
Anytime you want to introduce a new/custom activity to the system you would:
A) perform the activity for a minimum of 15 seconds
B) name your activity (e.g. “Jim’s Crazy Corkscrews”)
Since many of you adhere to some sort of exercise routine, you will have the option to organize your activities into smaller groups (“Workouts”) to help you better manage your performance.
Back to your Amiigo devices and production… Our hardware is coming along nicely, as seen in the photos above. With the recent design change came a few other necessary changes to the way the devices are manufactured. Creating a wireless, wearable and waterproof (Alliteration.. BOOM!) device has been and continues to be challenging. In order to withstand loads of water (swimming laps each day) both devices need a hermetic seal to keep water and condensation away from the electronics (although you will only need the wristband for swim tracking as most of us don’t wear shoes in the pool :D). Ordinarily this can easily be done but it’s difficult when you’re working with tiny wearable devices that have very thin walls. We’re moving as quickly as possible and are working with a group of awesome manufacturing engineers. Additionally, as a preventative measure, we’re coating the electronics with bonded molecules that will seal the internal components and protect them from any water or humidity. Due to the design changes we’ve had to slightly modify the dimensions of the inductive charging coils and lithium polymer batteries that power the devices. We’ve recently heard from our suppliers that due to the custom dimensions of both parts there is lead time of approximately 30 days. Unfortunately this was not anticipated in the timeline we outlined in the last update. This puts us a few weeks behind schedule. Once we have all components in hand we’ll need another couple of weeks for testing and final assembly and installation before we can get them sent to you. We realize this isn’t exactly the best news but now that we have our hands on some of these new units, we can honestly say that these are absolutely worth the wait.
We’ve landed on 3 unisex sizes, as many of you already know: Small, Regular and Large. We’re updating our site to represent the new product design and also activating the necessary features that will allow you to select your sizes and colors. We’ve modified colors as many of you have indicated you wanted something a bit more subtle. As a result, there are more color options to choose from. As a teaser, check out some of these color concepts we’re exploring.
We’re extremely pleased with the new and improved devices and are incredibly grateful for all of you who have helped make it a reality. Thank you! And thanks for your patience and understanding as we go about the manufacturing process. We will try to update as frequently as possible… We should have the new site done soon and will notify you as soon as it’s ready to take your color and size preferences. This has always been and will continue to be an exclusive production run. You will have the very first look at our awesome product. We can’t wait to share it with you :)
Thank you for all of your help. Email us with questions. We’ll respond to inbound mail as quickly as possible!
New Home // Design Face-Lift // Production Schedule
We’re now on-site in Milpitas working closely with our manufacturer, Flextronics.
Flextronics is the 2nd largest EMS company in the world and has extensive experience manufacturing wearable devices. We’ve been assigned an incredibly talented manufacturing team to help us tackle production in the most efficient and fastest way possible. Our workspace is only a few steps from the SMT lines where the production of your Amiigos will take place.
In our last update we mentioned we’d be taking one last look at the design in an attempt to make the device smaller and more elegant. We’ve been fortunate to work with some amazing designers at IDEO who have given our wristband and shoe clip a bit of a face lift. You can see the final production design below. The wristband and shoe clip are smaller, more lightweight, easier to wear and still maintain the signature look - we’re proud of the new design.
We are finally honing in on a reliable schedule and delivery date. Summer is flying by and we know many of you are anxious to receive your Amiigos. We’re aiming to ship your Amiigos mid-October. We understand if that is frustrating for some of you to hear. It’s painful for us as well. Please know we’re doing everything in our power to move things along while not compromising quality. There are many things over the course of the last 6 months that have forced us to push back the delivery. Much of the delay has been a result of our decision to part ways with our initial manufacturer in May. What we thought would be a smooth transition, was much more complex and time consuming than we had anticipated. We also didn’t anticipate all the opportunity to improve the product design and performance. In the end, Flextronics enabled us to make an all around better product. What we thought would be trivially minor design changes turned into a major overhaul. That being said, we’ve now plowed through the major issues and we’re off to the races… we’re so close!
The major milestones that will take place over the next 6 weeks: pcb assembly, injection molding of plastic parts, wristband/shoe clip assembly, reliability tests, certifications and packaging. With the help of our manufacturing team, we’re able to tackle many of these milestones simultaneously.
What we set out to do was and continues to be challenging. We’re excited to say we have nearly accomplished everything we hoped for. Some of those things include: BLE connectivity and parallel syncing of multiple devices, support for both iOS & Android platforms, completely waterproof devices able to withstand swimming laps, inductive charging, heart rate monitoring and arguably the world’s smallest wrist-worn pulse oximeter, and finally a software platform and data classification system that we believe will raise the bar for health and exercise tracking.
Thank you for standing behind us in this ambitious effort. Thank you for your patience, support and help in making Amiigo a reality! As always, feel free to contact us with questions or comments.
Seriously guys, THANK YOU. We just wanted to extend another THANK YOU to everyone for not only backing us, but sticking with us. Our entire team is working tirelessly to ship your Amiigos as soon as possible. We’re very sorry for the shipping delays thus far and we sincerely appreciate all of you sticking with us. We are iterating towards production quality and the development took longer than anticipated. We’re working as fast and hard as we possibly can. We’re committed to creating the best product possible and will do whatever it takes.
We’re working hard to freeze design in order to begin the production of your Amiigos. Lets not forget about our little shoe clip :) As you know, Amiigo includes both a bracelet and shoe clip, enabling the most complete and accurate fitness tracking experience. Although there is an exciting synergistic effect that comes from wearing 2 devices, there are also additional complexities. One of the greatest challenges has been connecting and syncing data simultaneously with multiple devices. Our mobile guys have been killing it and we’re successfully connecting to multiple devices simultaneously on both iOS AND Android. Due to the release of Android 4.3 we’re making some relatively intense changes to our Android connectivity. Although overall, 4.3 has made our Android connectivity more slick and seamless!
Ok, back to the shoe clip. We received a handful of shoe clips back from our manufacturer this past week. We were pleased with their function but we’re working to reduce the form factor. We’re going to make one more pass at the DFM in an attempt to reduce their overall size. As they stand now, they will accommodate both shoe laces and straps (and even some belts for those of you who have asked). We hope to have our next batch back from the manufacturer in the next two weeks. We’ll post pictures as soon as we get them.
Next up, the bracelet. The new bracelet form factor is awesome and we’ve taken-in a lot of great feedback from many of you. Thanks! Our final step with the bracelet design is the latch mechanism review. To ensure an accurate heart rate reading and exercise recognition accuracy, the bracelet needs to fit each of your wrists extremely well. As you might expect, this is a relatively difficult task. To make sure we haven’t overlooked anything, we’re making one last concerted effort to review the latch with one of the most talented design firms in the world. We hope to have incorporated their feedback and made any recommended changes in the next two weeks as well. We’ll let you know as soon as they complete their review.
Now for the TIMELINE. As a result of our commitment to a quality product and efficient delivery, beginning next week we will be in San Jose, with the manufacturer. We will be on-site, each day, throughout the entire process, and will update you every step of the way. We anticipate that the production of your Amiigos will begin towards the end of August, and at that point we will have hard dates for delivery. Having team members on-site each day will enable us to update more frequently and thoroughly to help keep you in the loop.
We couldn’t be more excited about our product and the future of wearable devices. We want to deliver a product that greatly exceeds your expectations and the expectations of future Amiigo supporters. We’re in unchartered territory and we’re raising the bar for wearable health and fitness devices. We are very anxious to get your devices out the door but are committed to building the best product possible. Your support has enabled us to build an even better product than we had imagined. Your support has opened up a number of doors for us and enabled us to work with some of the most talented individuals in the world. Thank you for supporting us. We will update you on our progress over the next couple of weeks. If you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to email me directly firstname.lastname@example.org - I’d love to hear from you. We’ll be back soon :)
CONFERENCE + 30% SMALLER!
As we mentioned last night, we’re a contributor at the conference next week. We will be speaking on July 22nd - 23rd at the Wearables Technology Conference in San Francisco. We will be discussing the future of wearable technology. We’ll be speaking along side of companies like Texas Instruments, Qualcomm, HP, etc. If you want to follow the conference check out the link here: http://bit.ly/19LFxBa
Also as promised, here are some pictures of our new Amiigo units! These devices are ~30% smaller than our previous bands. We’re super excited about this new form factor, but we’re still going to be putting some polish on the final design. Check out the old form factor in comparison to our newest models!
On the next update we will be including a new-video demo of our devices.
Stay tuned for more and hope to see you are the conference!
SMALLER DEVICE + TIMELINE
We’ve been hard at work and have some updates for you!
Here’s the skinny on manufacturing … We’ve recently switched manufacturers and the new partnership comes with exciting news; we’ve found a way to make the bracelet approximately 30% smaller :)
This is done by reducing the size of our inductive charging coils. By exploring alternative methods for assembly with our new manufacturer, we were able to dramatically reduce the form factor. Size reductions for the shoe pod are still TBD, we will update you as soon as we get word back from our coil supplier and are able to test the new coils. Current charging time is roughly 90 minutes from dead to full battery.
This partnership is exciting for multiple reasons: 1) Amiigo will be much smaller than the Alpha units pictured below. 2) Amiigo looks, fits and feels better! 3) We’ll now be able to build a better, more durable product in high volume.
While the size reductions and new manufacturing partnership bring mostly positive news, the enhancements and changes will unfortunately delay production a little longer. June was a good estimate, but it looks like we’ll have to push until late Summer. Our new units will have to go through another round of testing. Once these units are tested, we will move forward with the production of all of your perks.
We’ve noticed that many of you have not been getting the Indiegogo updates. We assume this is because the Indiegogo emails aren’t being delivered to everyone, or they’re being sent to your spam folder.
Because of this.. we will no longer be updating on Indiegogo. We’ve created a new blog and will be updating on http://updates.amiigo.co and http://facebook.com/GoAmiigo
Thank you so much for understanding and being part of this process. We can’t wait to show you more of our progress.
Abe, Dave & Team Amiigo