Project update 4 of 76
Breaking news, everyone: We’ve just passed \$100K in funding and steadily moving towards our \$200,000 goal! This is very encouraging given that so far only 14 days have passed of our 60 day long campaign.
We’d like to thank every one of you who has made this possible. Now we need less than $100K more, and at this pace we’re gonna hit it. Let’s keep the momentum going!
Why is the goal $200K?
$200K is higher than the goal of most hardware projects - which may beg the question of how we came up with it, so let us explain.
The vast majority of keyboards on the market cheap out on parts and make major design compromises. When designing the UHK, we weren’t willing to follow the pack. We truly want to build an exceptional keyboard that makes you super productive, increases your comfort, provides you loads of features and lasts for ages, possibly for decades.
An even bigger reason is tooling costs. Creating the tools for the injection molding on the plastic parts requires a huge upfront investment. The UHK design is also much more complex (starting with the split design), and therefore more expensive to manufacture, than a standard keyboard. These costs are so high, that if we meet our funding goal without exceeding it, we’ll basically end up with zero margin for the first batch.
What will the UHK give to society?
Most manufacturers are extremely protective of their intellectual property. Given that we put more than 10,000 hours of our time and a fair bit of money into this project, we could choose to feel the same, but we think differently. By breaking the design open, we’ll empower you, the user, to infinitely customize, mod, and repair the UHK.
Right after closing a successful campaign, we’ll release the firmware, the electronics, and Agent, the host-side configurator application on GitHub under the GNU General Public Licence v3. We’ve already published the bootloaders there.
Gateron clears vs Cherry clears
Originally, we planned to use Gateron clear switches rather than Cherry clear switches, which are a lot harder to source (especially long-term). Most Gateron and Cherry styles are super similar - in both feel and quality. But as it turns out, Gateron clears are linear, whereas Cherry clears are tactile. This has caused quite a bit of headache for us, and we finally decided to simply provide you Cherry-brand clears.
It looks like there’s enough available stock of Cherry clears, and even though this will add to our costs, we won’t make this any more expensive to you. Consider it a token of appreciation for backing us. How can you help?
We know you are an influencer!
If you bring in one more supporter, and so will do all the other backers, we will be at 100%.
Here is how you can help:
As a way to say big THANK YOU to all of you, all the names or nicknames (as you wish) of our backers will be included into a dedicated file within our Git repos. So act now, be a part of something great today!
Here are some of the wonderful order comments from our backers that we have received so far:
"omg,omg,omg this is so awesome, it splits in half so my wrists won’t hurt! You’re my hero!!"
"It was great seeing you at Twitch, and I’m really looking forward to my new keyboard!"
"Can’t wait to use this! I’ve been wanting an awesome mechanical keyboard yet nothing has come close to this. I script a lot at vice and this will save me from the laptop keyboard.."
"Was great to meet you at the NYC getgeeked event! Keyboard is really, really great."
"I really want a programmable keyboard to use it in Dvorak key arrangement."
"Looks like an awesome product. I would love something like this for traveling. I’m especially interested in the palm rest add-on. Hope you guys make it to that funding level!"
"This is awesome. You’re awesome. (When I tap that) I’m going to be awesome as well. GG. PS: By that I meant, the keys"
Once again, thank you so much for your continuous support! Keep the feedback coming.
Wow, this has been a long update - if you’ve made it so far you are truly one of the brave few!
If you haven’t pledged yet, we still have some UHKs available at the Early Bird price - so now’s the time to order your keyboard!
If you have any questions, please ask us!
We will keep you posted about twice a week with demos, tear-downs, statistics, and other interesting material, so stay tuned!
Laci, lead developer of the Ultimate Hacking Keyboard