First a schedule update: Kickstarter units are now slated to ship in late-April. We regret the delay this represents from our last update, but hope you appreciate our progress and some of the improvements listed below.
The tooling process is well underway (the majority of the C.24 plastic injection molds are now complete), but our China manufacturing partners have been shut down for the past two weeks for the Chinese New Year celebration. (Happy year of the horse!) Now that China is coming back online, we look forward to wrapping up the tooling process and qualifying the design. Next week we will commence FCC and other regulatory testing. Overall, we are working hard to ensure that we have a product that can be smoothly transitioned to full scale mass-production shortly after the final assembly of the first ~1200 Kickstarter C.24 keyboards in our San Francisco offices.
The shipping version of the C.24 will instantiate many improvements over earlier prototypes, including:
The mechanism to “expand” a keyboard from flat to playing mode was changed from a mechanical to a magnetic latch.
Magnets were added to the C.24 hardware expansion module (HEM) receptacle to hold a HEM in place. Magnets were added on the sides of the keyboard to connect multiple C.24s.
Magnets were added to the front under the housing to allow two C.24 keyboards to latch to one another when in closed case-mode.
A new optical sensor was added to the C.24 that allows a user to switch octaves with a finger gesture (swipe) along the left of the keyboard housing.
A variety of improvements were made to the electronics and software to improve optical key detection and further reduce MIDI over BLE latency which is currently down to around 20ms.
Additional molded rubber components were added to improve the feel of the keyboard.
Significantly increased the size of the C.24 battery to extend battery life (preliminary testing estimates battery life of up to 20 hours).
A host of less noticeable improvements were made based on feedback from our manufacturing partners, alpha testers and our in-house reliability/test engineers.
In addition to the C.24 we have made great progress on our first hardware expansion module (HEM), which we showed for the first time at NAMM. The first HEM, called the T.10, will feature eight buttons and two capacitive strips. We are please to announce one will be shipped to every keyboard backer (pledge levels: $99, $149 & $500). We also decided to make all HEMs autonomous devices with their own battery and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) radio; with this architecture, you can use any HEM on its own or paired with a C.24.
Thanks to everyone for being so understanding and supportive as we work our way from early prototype days to mass production. We are excited to ship you a great bundle (C.24 + T.10) that embodies world class design, engineering and manufacturing.
– The Miselu team