Organized deadline chaos

Chinese New Year ended a week ago and we have exciting news. The manufacturing for the Wooting one happens on the 16th of March. It will take about a week to complete the entire production. Then we’re bringing it over by airplane for distribution. Once it’s sent out to you we will share a tracking number with you. Depending on your country, backer level and the local delivery guy (he might like one for himself), expect it at your doorstep anywhere in April.

We’re already in the middle of the storm. The storm of execution, last minute arrangements, doubts, keyboard kissing, checking, final touches and praying to the keyboard gods. Everything we’ve all worked towards will become a reality. But, yeah but, there’s still some work to do.

There’s still enough to do before the manufacturing date. Including:

  • Components check
  • The Wootility
  • Logistics (next update)

Components check

Lack of other words, I call it for what it is. There are a couple of components that need final approval before they’re manufactured. Including, the most exciting, the mass production switches.

Calder is now in China and going by the different manufacturers to check…

Keycaps

We went through a couple of keycap versions and one thing noticed was the slight offset on some prints. At the time, I thought it was a mistake and a temporary issue. But, part of manufacturing/China 101, never makes assumptions or expectations. So I pointed it out and not too long ago I was measuring every keycap print.

That’s when I learned from our contact person how the manufacturer aligns it. A person goes over the keycaps and aligns it by the eye. Forget about fancy measuring devices. I was in total shock and disbelief.

Now I’m going there to check the precision and quality before giving it a go-ahead. I’ll see if it’s true or not but one thing is for sure… it’s going to perfect.

Top plate

The top plate still has to go through a final phase, anodization. This is the coloring process for the aluminum. The thing is, it’s near impossible to always get exactly the same color. Even with the same manufacturer, every batch can be different. It’s a small difference but it’s there.

The original color we signed for was made by a different factory. Now they’re having a hard time replicating our color. I have to see what the results are and sign off on what is good.

Switches Switches Switches

This is a continues theme. It’s one of the most important keyboard parts that determines the keyboard experience. We use the Flaretech switches because they have an optical mechanic. This allows us to read an analog signal. Shortly after the Kickstarter, we’ve pushed the manufacturer to improve the analog range.

As you might know, they improved the range but it came with new technical challenges (see older posts). The last couple of months they worked on overcoming these challenges. All we could do was give feedback on the results.

Now, we’ve reached a final version of the switch for mass production. Or well, they’re still fiddling around with it here and there, but that’s coming to an end during the trip.

blog1-min

The New Wootility

Have we ever shared the name Wootility outside the livestream? It’s the configuration software for changing settings on the keyboard. We made a major overhaul.

When we started, it was only for Windows because we used something called WPF. Don’t bother googling it, it was terrible. It wasn’t until beginning this year that we decided to throw it overboard and start from scratch again.

Now we’re building the Wootility on a framework called Electron. Google it, feel cool and hipster, come back here, let me explain. Basically, it means it’s built with website languages such as HTML, CSS, and JS. Though that’s cool and fun for Erik and Jeroen; the real cool part is that it’s cross-platform.

This means that the new Wootility will work on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Woop-woop! But that doesn’t mean you can start playing analog on Mac and Linux as well. You’ll the 360 controller (or Xinput) driver to make it compatible, a missing feature in both Linux and Mac. There are open source Xinput drivers out there but it doesn’t guarantee to work 100%.

Erik and Jeroen worked hard on building the core of Wootility. Now that the beta testers started using the Alpha version it will go through some rapid improvements. More coming…

wootility

TL: DR

Manufacturing date est. on 16th of March, delivery estimated in April. Calder is now in China approving components. The config software is called Wootility and it’s now cross-platform (works on Windows, Mac, and Linux).

And as always, we’re all open to your feedback and questions:

Calder Limmen Written by:

Founder of Wooting. Entrepreneur, gamer and any(thing)thusiast living in Taiwan.

4 Comments

  1. A.H. den Hollander
    February 23, 2017
    Reply

    I mag hopen jullie te mogen feliciteren met het bereiken van een vaststellen van een productiedatum voor het toetsenbord de Wooting One! Ik ben geen techneut, noch zakenman, maar heb erg veel bewondering voor de transparantie: Jullie hebben ons als het ware geleid door het proces van de ontwikkeling van de Wooting One. En wat een tegenslagen waren er te overwinnen!! Hulde voor dat doorzettingsvermogen….: “Men hoeft niet te hopen om te ondernemen noch te volslagen om te volharden”, zoiets dus. Ik ben zeer benieuwd naar het resultaat. Ik hoop dat het eindresultaat ook jullie tevreden zal stellen; een bekroning voor al die energie die jullie er in hebben gestoken om dit project tot een succes te maken. En ik hoop dat dit succes zich ruim te gelde laat maken…

    • February 27, 2017
      Reply

      Thanks! I really appreciate this message. Though we’re young and learning everything along the way, we try to involve the people invested/interested in us as much as possible with honesty, transparency, and an open mind. It’s good to hear a voice of positive feedback.

  2. George Musch
    February 23, 2017
    Reply

    Ik werk in een Computerwinkel als verkoper en Reparateur, maar sluit me aan bij de reactie van A.H. Den Hollander.

  3. Thomas De Vos
    March 14, 2017
    Reply

    Can we get a “W00t W00t” for the wooting team?

    Laatste loodjes! I completely agree with A.H. Den Hollander.
    A lot of effort has been made, the road was bumpy, but you guys never lost the wheel.
    Thx for going the extra mile to deliver a solid keyboard.. ( and not the one that’s glued with chewing gum and still in beta )

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