Project update 8 of 8
First things first: thanks to everyone who supported our Pocket Reform campaign on Crowd Supply! It was a great success (477% funded!) and production is already underway.
Six weeks after the campaign ended, we received the funds and immediately bought 720 processor modules from Laird (formerly Boundary Devices) who recently featured us in their case studies. The modules have a lead time of 24 weeks, so this was the most critical part for us. This also means that the delivery of Pocket Reform will be delayed by about two months. Currently, we expect to ship the first units in early 2024. Supporter packs will be shipped in September 2023.
Our partners at Crowd Supply held an unforgettable conference in Portland in late June, and Pocket Reform was there for all to see! We’d like to thank everyone who came by the table to try the MNT Reform family of devices, and we especially appreciate anyone who backed the campaign after seeing Pocket Reform in person.
Last week, Greta and Lukas were at the legendary Chaos Communication Camp near Berlin, Germany.
They spent three days presenting Pocket Reform prototypes to anyone who was interested.
Lukas and Greta also met some backers there. They were very enthusiastic about the devices and were glad that they had made a good decision to back the campaign. This gave us a lot of motivation and we are thankful to everyone who attended!
Originally, we intended Pocket Reform to be usable as a music player and to make (voice) calls. We wanted to embrace wireless technologies and chose to focus on support for Bluetooth headphones and headsets. During testing, we found ourselves in a position of wanting to connect Pocket Reform to audio receivers such as existing high quality headphones or speakers, and using a USB audio card through a USB-C adapter felt too complicated. As the audio chip on the motherboard also includes a headphone amp, we decided it was time to include an actual headphone jack on the device after all.
Optimizing the weight of Pocket Reform was also a task we took on. While the first version of the aluminum case does a good job of protecting all of Pocket Reform’s components and holding them in place, we found it to be heavier than it should be. We reduced overly thick walls and refined the structure, while keeping it as robust as possible, especially in the corners that will be strained the most by the forces of the hinges.
Top part before (180 g) vs top part after (124 g):
Bottom part before (280 g) vs bottom part after (152 g):
We’re also finalizing the motherboard: The changes are pretty minimal, mostly fixing some bugs (the prototypes are running with the very first revision of the motherboard) while keeping an eye on power usage.
Last, but not least, we are preparing to buy additional parts that are nailed down already, like displays, screws, magnets, trackball balls.
We are already looking forward to letting you know when PCB production is underway. Until then, find us (almost daily) on the fediverse!