In this section we publish once a month the most important updates for our pre-orderers and interested parties. You can find weekly updates on our Instagram and Facebook pages.
UPDATE FROM JUNE
We are moving towards certification and preparing for the first production, which will take place in Berlin. The alpha went successfully and now the necessary changes are being made to go into beta. There are many processes taking place in parallel, both internally and business-wise - for example, packaging, logistics, marketing.... Many of these processes are very time-consuming. As soon as concrete results are available, they will of course be communicated.
1. From alpha to certification
This is what our circuit boards still look like, you already know that. But in all of June, we were almost exclusively busy with the new design, which we can't introduce yet because it's still in production. During the alpha, we noticed things that we directly improved and the feedback from our employees while using it went directly into the new design. Then in July, we'll have new, highly optimized boards that we'll use to aim for certification, which should happen in August if all goes according to plan.
2. Testing and optimizing wands
Perhaps the most important part of a Heatle is the magic wand. Our European producer made a small batch of 100 units so we could test the quality, magnetic strength, polish, and more before going into the thousands. While we are pleased, we continue to optimize. The current discs will still be used for the beta and of course we will use them extensively beyond that.
3. Optimization of white heatles
During the Alpha, we were not entirely happy with the LED display under the white glass. After consulting with many experts, we are now exploring possibilities of a small black window positioned above the display for optimal readability. In fact, it is extremely difficult and costly to get sharp light through white printed surfaces. In July, we will receive different samples from our producer and then let the pre-orderers of white devices decide which window they like better.
4. The warehouse is filling up
Soon we want to start the first pre-production runs - in Berlin, of course. Until June, we only had a small office, and it was filled to the ceiling with boxes of components and parts. New deliveries arrive every day - displays, LEDs, circuit boards.... Now we've got ourselves a big container to free up the work space and sort in all the components for production.
5. New showroom and workspace
The faster we move towards production, the faster the team grows and the tighter our space gets. That's why we're moving into an additional large space that until now has been used by a scooter startup. It doesn't look spectacular yet, because we're not allowed to start working on it before July 01. But in July, several modern workstations and a nice showroom should be created there, from which we will report regularly from. Depending on the Corona situation, organized visits by customers are also under consideration.
6. Heatle - integrated version
Many of you keep asking for the built-in version because you are moving or planning a new kitchen. Even though the integrated version is only planned for the 2nd half of 2022 and will be distributed indirectly, i.e. via installers and kitchen companies, we are continuously working on it. And yes, our partners will also be able to integrate it into already installed kitchens, even if it is more cumbersome and therefore possibly more expensive. For now, you still have to turn on this Heatle via a button in the back, but there will be special control units later, depending on the kitchen.
UPDATE FROM MAY
In May we saw some administrative challenges, especially the hiring of new colleagues (developers) and the move to new facilities. In parallel, we worked diligently on the assembly of the 20 alpha prototypes. This will allow us to start the alpha phase in June and prepare for the beta in late summer.
1. Alpha device assembly is complete
We are gradually preparing for mass production. To do this, we have built 20 prototypes, 10 in black and 10 in white, to test them extensively. This is done internally (employees, colleagues and families). There will be no test units for external testers until the beta phase in late summer.
The prototypes have the latest version of the software - they work faster and have better performance. We filmed the process for you to show that our new design is not only production-ready and handsome, but also works beautifully.
The display (text, font, icons, etc.) is constantly being optimized. The unit in the video runs at a whopping 2 kilowatts with the middle disc (which you receive by default).
2. Continuous development of software and functions
Our developers work tirelessly to optimize the devices. Here you can see how the so-called user interface is being developed and programmed - that is, the screen display and sound. After the alpha and beta, we have enough feedback to finalize the final version for our customers. There are no speakers, but a small beeper whose frequencies we can control. But you can also turn off the sound completely later if it bothers you.
3. The app is slowly taking shape
Sustainability in the office: when our personal phones crack but still work, we use them as test devices for our app. It will still take some time before the app is ready, because it is comparatively easy to develop and is not the focus at the moment. But we're on that too and continue to experiment. During the open beta, you'll be asked to give us your suggestions for the interface and features.
The summer will be hot - at least for us - because we want to have the device certified before the fall. To do this, we've brought on board two of the nation's top experts from the leading research institute in the field of power electronics, with whose help we're moving incredibly quickly and successfully. A lot of problems have already been ironed out.
5. Other topics
We are working in parallel on many important topics including packaging, accessories or logistics. As soon as there are concrete results, we will inform you immediately. Regarding accessories, there will be another survey for you so that we can better understand your needs. Feel free to follow us on Facebook and Instagram, so you don't miss out on smaller updates in between!
UPDATE FROM APRIL
In April, in addition to development, we had a lot of organizational and business issues such as team development, marketing and funding. We won't be able to release more information on this until May at the earliest, so feel free to follow us on Facebook and/or Instagram where we'll post regular updates so you don't have to wait until the end of the month for a big update.
1. All electronic components for prototypes finally together
Corona has made global supply chains for electronic components very unreliable. Fortunately, the electronics for our 20 prototypes were completed without major delays and we are beginning to manufacture 20 units. These should be fully operational by mid-May and the alpha testing phase will begin. Immediately after that, we'll start producing 100 devices for the beta phase, which some pre-orderers will also be able to participate in. More on that later.
2. BlueTooth successfully installed and tested in the magic wand
As you know, our wand transmits temperature wirelessly to the base to control it. Our new wands run on induction without batteries and use the latest BLE technology, for which there is not enough documentation yet, so there is a lot of experimentation to be done. In April, we were able to successfully test the code and chips. Thus, we can finalize the wand as a separate product in May and then only worry about calibrating the temperature sensor and processing the data in the base.
3. 20 vacuum-molded housings completed and tested
In the first picture you can see our well-known prototypes that we have been using since Christmas. They are handmade and not suitable for production. Therefore, the edge is quite rough and the glass is inserted there. The 20 new prototypes consist of several cast parts, as they are also used in mass production. From the outside, you hardly notice any difference, except that the surface is smooth (matte) and the glass is placed flush at the top without a rim. All the parts fit together nicely and the electronics fit in perfectly.
4. Accessories are being actively developed
Our new design colleague really went all out to come up with the optimal solution for disc storage as well as a drip tray. The white material pictured above just happens to be white because we had it in stock.
We received a lot of requests regarding this accessory. Overall, the request was for the most space-saving option possible, one that could be used universally and placed either lying down or against the wall. A large tray was the least requested, but we're still trying some things out there. With the trays made of real wood we noticed some difficulties - for example they are color hard controllable and thus for customers not plannable. We are not ruling out wood entirely for now, but are already working with alternative materials.
At the moment we are testing with CDF, a sustainable material from Switzerland, which looks and works great. It is only available in black, but such an accessory in white is also counterproductive because it would not stay white for long (heat, moisture, mechanical abrasion). Next to a white heatle, it also looks very good. This accessory consists of two parts:
The separate support for the (hot / wet) wand is compact, heat and moisture resistant and optimally suited for customers who have only one wand with a disc (standard). You can clean the pad normally with a sponge under tap water (e.g. after milk). It is not suitable for dishwashers.
The separate holder for our 3 sizes of discs can be placed horizontally or on the wall (drilling is not necessary). The wand can be stored very elegantly in it. You can attach the tray vertically or horizontally.
5. Alternative knob designs
Many of you have asked about alternatives to the wooden knob and we've tried a few - stainless steel, brass and aluminium. We filmed how these look on the black Heatle and posted them on Instagram (Accessories Highlights). It doesn't come out as well in photos. We're continuing to test with sandblasted (matte) versions and other materials. Details on possible additional costs and options will follow soon..
A lot has happened since the pre-sale, and we're working constantly on our plan to ship the first units by the end of the year. Here are the key events.
1. DFM completed, 20 prototypes in production
As you may have seen on Instagram, we have completed the DFM (design for manufacturing) with our Berlin partner, the traditional company FASTPART, and are producing 20 prototypes based on this new development, which will be ready in April. The electronics for these will also be produced in Berlin. If the 20 prototypes meet our expectations, we can aim for the production of 100 prototypes in the 2nd quarter. These will then also be lent as an open beta (test phase) to some end users.
2. GALILEO CONTRIBUTION
The popular TV show Galileo (ProSieben) visited us and aired the result on German television. If you want to see it, click here:
3. WOODEN TRAYS AND ACCESSORIES
We have produced and tested new designs for real wood trays with our EU partner. There are still some changes and improvements to come, but we've already asked you on Instagram for feedback and ideas. Would you guys like to use trays like this? Rather in big or small? What would you like to store in it? Let us know: email@example.com
4. MADE IN GERMANY
As things stand, we decided to manufacture the critical components such as all the electronics for the first 10,000 devices in Germany, more precisely in Berlin. We will publish further details on this in the course of the coming weeks and months. With this decision, we not only ensure the highest quality "made in Germany", but also support regional jobs, have short development paths and keep the most important know-how within the trusted circle of our local partners.
5. DELIVERY TIMES
You are, just like us, very curious, impatient and can hardly wait for your Heatles. That's how we feel, too, of course. As things stand, nothing has changed in our plan and we are still planning to ship the first devices by the end of the year. If anything changes, we will inform you immediately.
The first big Heatle presale ended on February 8. Almost 6.000 units were pre-purchased from all over Europe and we had been busy with answering thousands of emails, comments and questions. We would like to express our gratitude for this breathtaking support which enables the realisation of our technology!
Now we would like to share our first follow-up and answer a couple of questions frequently asked after the presale.
1. WHAT'S NEXT?
Once a month, we will share one big update with everyone who preordered or signed up to the waitlist. It will include our snapshot in development and production or other important announcements (no ads), e.g. when the open beta stats or when we need your feedback on some designs or accessories. Now we go at full speed and do our best to deliver the first units by the end of the year, as announced.
2. MISSED THE PRESALE?
We realised that many people on the waitlist missed the presale or had issues completing their purchase. In case you were on the waitlist and haven't managed to preorder yet, please let us know before February 28 (e.g. by replying to this email).
From February 9 on, the price will increase gradually up to the RRP of €249 in 2022.
3. CHANGES REQUIRED?
You can change the color of your preordered device anytime before production or preorder new devices in your preferred colors. We will announce when colors will be locked for production. A new/changed delivery address can be shared with us anytime. Please note that plug types are based on destination country. If you wish to use UK plugs, please make sure the delivery will go to the UK, otherwise please drop us a note.
In case you haven't received an order confirmation, please let us know. Some people had typos in their email address.
Your Heatle comes with one magic wand and one 45mm heating disc. Additional options such as other disc sizes, trays, cleaning tabs, alternative designs for the knob etc. will be shared in the next months and can be ordered later on.
5. SOMETHING ELSE?
We are here for you and we want to bring this innovation to life together with you. If you have any questions, feedback or ideas, please ping us anytime. It's most convenient to do so on Facebook or Instagram. We post updates and videos there regularly. Or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.