Hello from Oakland, California!
It’s been two weeks since the Kickstarter campaign ended and things are slowly getting back to what passes for ‘normal’ in the life of a fledgling hardware startup.
We’ve started on the electrical design for the production version of the Model 01. The big differences (so far) from the prototypes we had on the road are that we are switching to APA102C LEDs (recommended by Steve Pomeroy) and putting the LEDs on the same circuit board as the switches, eliminating two large PCBs from each keyboard and making everything just a bit easier to put together. The new LEDs are a bit brighter, a bit easier to program, and can update quicker, which means there should be less of the flickering that sometimes afflicts LEDs.
(above: work-in-progress schematic in KiCAD)
Last week, we were at OSCON, an open-source conference in Portland, Oregon. We’ve been going to OSCON for many years, and this was Keyboardio’s second year in the Open Hardware Showcase. We got to show off our stuff alongside cool projects like theCHIP, Librem open laptops and the Paparazzi autopilot for drones.
We ended up spending the better part of three days doing nothing but talking to folks who were excited about trying out the Model 01, including a few folks who told us their only reason for coming to OSCON was to put their hands on our keyboards.
(above: you at OSCON, us at OSCON, and us talking to Linux Action Show at OSCON)
More than a few people told us that they hadn’t pledged during the Kickstarter campaign because they wanted to see the Model 01 in person first. (This is the part where we’re supposed to work in the fact that you can still preorder the Model 01 at http://shop.keyboard.io, but we couldn’t figure out a way to do it subtly. So yeah, you and your friends can still preorder a Model 01 at http://shop.keyboard.io. If you preorder now, your keyboard will be built as part of the same production run as Kickstarter backers’ keyboards.)
Jesse’s headed to Taipei, Beijing, and Shenzhen to meet potential manufacturing partners as part of the HWTrek 'Asia Tour’ next month. (We’re also looking at options in the US and elsewhere, but don’t have anything to report on that front yet.) If you have a manufacturing partner in that part of the world you think we should talk to, please let us know.