First, our apologies for keeping you waiting for the update. We have had 10 extreme days at CES, to bring our product to the customers for testing. At the same time, the Christmas and New Year holidays have caused some latency in our communication with the other partners. But now we are back!
In this update, we’ll inform you of the progress that we have made during the past few weeks, how items mentioned in the previous update have been fixed. We also brought you good news from CES with positive feedback from our backers and visitors who have tested the product. Finally, production and delivery milestones are updated.
How things have progressed
As mentioned in the previous update, Magnet Lock, Microphone Gasket, and Microphone Holes have been fixed. There are two items left to improve for a complete product.
Mode switching button
There was an unnecessarily big gap between the button and the actual switch component on PCB. This made the button feel stiff. The gap between some components and the elastomer was also too small.
The gap between button and switch was reduced and elastomer was adjusted in the tooling. While waiting for new plastics, we assembled some earplugs with the earlier plastics with an additional piece of plastic reducing the gap. They worked OK. We are waiting for the new plastics to come by Friday this week.
In order to understand the technical challenge, we’re encountering with the speaker gasket, we introduce to you this complicated molding machine which is used to make the earplug’s plastic body.
This is the cross-section picture of the tooling machine that’s used to make QuietOn Sleep earplugs. The picture on the right is the magnified image to show the position of the earplug’s plastics in the tool.
In this second picture, there was some flash (little plastic had leaked in the seam between the mold parts) on this area in the plastic part we received in late December. This caused air leakage. That’s why the split line between moving mold parts (shown in brown and pink) was moved toward right so that border is not on critical area anymore.
The red mark is the flash in the plastics we got. Photo was taken with the real plastic under a microscope.
Solution and fixing time:
This is a critical area (Air pressure channel for Speaker) which needs to be sealed. It needs to be flat because the speaker is attached with a double-sided adhesive to the plastic surface. Bumps could cause gaps between the adhesive and plastic which could form additional air leakage paths. The only allowed path for air to flow is the narrow groove made in plastic.
The tool maker has been fixing this problem for 3 weeks and is now conducting the testing. The result will be sent to us for more feedback today and it’s targeted to be done within this week.
Feedback from CES
Below are some conversations we have had with the visitors at CES. Some of them are backers for the Sleep earplugs on Indiegogo from the very first days. (Our introduction of the earplugs is skipped in these conversations since you all have been so used to it).
“oh well, it does really work. I have to tell my wife about this. I hope these can really “save my marriage 😊”
“I didn’t expect it to shut down the whole world around me like this.”
“What have you said?” (Because he couldn’t hear us clearly after putting on the earplugs).
“You can actually press the buttons on the earplugs to have conversations with me. No need to take them out. The right earplug’s button is a bit stiff, but you can see the difference between two modes once you press it hard”.
“Oh wow, I didn’t think CES this noisy.:) Thank you. I’ll definitely think of having one pair for myself”.
“Can you try to snore next to my ears?” 😊
“Did you? Oh well, they do really work. Now the most difficult part is to persuade my wife to wear these”. The two gentlemen laughed out loud after testing the earplugs.
We have met some backers from London to US and they are very happy after testing this (if any of you got the update, you can give us some comments 😉, and some obviously are a bit anxious to get them right away.
We even got the chance to talk with our previous backers who were wearing the Q1 and walking around CES Eureka Park. And they happen to be the backers for the second model as well.
One backer of the two QuietOn products.
Stevenson Sylvester, a former NFL American football player, loves the product and said that these will be very valuable for professional athletes to achieve quality sleep and rest while travelling as well.
QuietOn Sleep was invited to the Indiegogo pitching competition among the best products. And it’s even more exciting that our Janne won the competition for the QuietOn’s innovation and its business potential.
Estimated timeline of milestones
Once the last two items mentioned above are fixed, we target to have the builds in February and the mass production starts after that. The delivery is planned to begin in March – April time.
P.s: As we have been using the earplugs for our daily lives, most lately on our flights and during the stay at hotels, we do understand how anxious some of you are to get the earplugs right away. Also, the support and positive feedback we’ve got from people we met at CES have given us immense energy. During this long and challenging process of product development, we are truly grateful and happy to hear these and surely, we are determined to get this product to you soon!