Kickstarter: Progress Update #2
Shipment will start in December
The Spreebox is in production now. We just got the first pieces from the pre-production run. The case is simply looking awesome. The color and quality of the hard-anodized Aluminum surface looks and feels even better than the surface of an iMac or MacBook Pro. We are going to ship 50pcs to our early backers in December. About 60pcs will be first-order-comes-first delivered to our backers in January and 40pcs. to customers. We expect to have fully ramp-up the production line for the Spreedbox in February taking standard orders for the Spreedbox.
To keep a long story short
There were myriads of difficulties to overcome for volume production of the case and its packaging. Just to name few of them: major issues with the CAD drawing, availability of special Aluminum alloys with the required size, significant cost impacts, wrong CAD drawings for packaging. For instance materials. We do not use the AlSi1 alloy as it was warmly recommended by our first supplier. The packaging of the Spreedbox we got two weeks ago was by accident upside down and the height of the outer packaging was too long. All redone!
The Spreedbox case is produced by precision instrumentation suppliers. Below are photos from my visit at Zeiss Oberkochen. Your Spreedbox is milled from the big block in the photo which weights more than 6kg (13.2lb). The final weight of the Spreedbox including electronics is 1.3kg (2.86lb).
The Spreedbox will come with the newest Nextcloud software and the hardware key generator with re-configurable Lattice ICE40HX1K-VQ100 FPGA.
The Spreed.ME app for iOS was just released hours ago from Apple review. Currently, US app store only because of crypto export. France and world to follow. See https://itunes.apple.com/app/spreed.me/id1058498417?mt=8
The Spreedbox will ship with Nextcloud.
Does it fit?
Spreedboxes in the box
Odroid C1+ fitting
Diamond milled precision after hard anodizing
Progress Update #1
in the past 6 weeks we have been astonishing busy with the production planning and design. We changed and improved the aluminum body for the Odroid C1+ released in September, we developed packaging, worked on HWRNG add-ons and planned the volume test and production.
Ordering of main components
The components have been ordered and arrived in our Stuttgart/Germany office in September. Have a look. To the right you see the EW-7811UN Wireless USB Adapters, 150 Mbit/s, IEEE802.11b/g/n. You will get the WLAN adapter with your Spreedbox. The MicroSD cards will be ordered just before shipment as we want to ship your Spreedbox with the fastest MicroSD and highest capacity available on the market at the time of shipment.
The Odroid C1+ now comes with a standard HDMI port (no mini HDMI cable required any more), micro USB OTG port (can be powered) and optimized locations for DC input and heat sink. We made all changes required for the C1+. We also made an important improvement for the light diffusor. The light diffusor now simply clips into the aluminum case. Opening the case just requires 2 precision screws to be unscrewed. No worries, we use standard screws. The Spreedbox will also come with an integrated backup battery for the realtime-clock (will last 5 years minimum).
Volume production journey
We produced another sample of the Spreedbox to verify that everything fits perfectly after the improvements we have made. During this step we have not been fully satisfied with the aluminum surface, namely the hard-anodizing and other surface treatments. Our supplier was not able to deliver an even and smooth aluminum (III) oxide surface, also known as sapphire or corundum (AL2O3). After weeks of iterations the surface was still too rough and did not approximately meet the quality we were looking for. All together the supplier took more than 6 weeks to make one sample for volume production plus 2 more weeks for anodized aluminum specimens. Finally, the time consuming experience ended up in choosing a different supplier for the Spreedbox aluminum body. Vanessa and I decided to contract a new supplier to meet our quality understanding. To start the volume production, we are going to produce another Spreedbox body with stand and diffusor. These prototypes are time-consuming and expensive to make (roughly about 2500 US$ for a single piece). Nonetheless, we do not expect a significant delay for the planned shipment date in November.
These are the anodized aluminum probe bodies we got from our first supplier. As you can see the probe surfaces were uneven and rough.
Hardware Random Number and Key Generator
Naturally, we invested the time our supplier soaked for aluminum body sample production and used the time for engineering. We plan to ship the Spreedbox with a versatile and reconfigurable hardware for cryptography and ultra high-performance HWRNG. Circuit diagrams are expected to be available soon. Stay tuned.
The Spreed software team did a gargantuan job in releasing a bunch of software packages: the Spreed WebRTC server, WebRTC iOS app, Iridium Secure WebRTC Browser and the released open source H.265/HEVC codec libde265. See GitHub and https://spreed.me sites for further info.
We made it! Your Spreedbox will come with Nextcloud installed. Nextcloud is one of the most useful and easiest to use software I know. I really, really love Nextcloud. With the Spreedbox, I synced my mobile with thousands of addresses within minutes. This would take forever with the Cupertino service. Not to forget, the Spreedbox is very economical with just 2.5 Watt power consumption from the AC plug (90-250V). I connected a 1.75TB 2.5” Seagate hard-drive and the power consumption just went up to 3.8 Watt AC in always-on standby. File sharing, calendar, address book, photos and videos. All data securely stored in your own hands. Think about backup? Yes, we have plans for cloudless backup.
The weight of the Spreedbox is the result of pure metal. An appropriate packaging for worldwide shipment and display is out of question. Again, our friends from Schweizer Design Consulting did a phenomenal job in designing a gorgeous transport and shipping box for the Spreedbox. Drafts were made and finally the put-over cardboard box covered by an eleven degree shaped outer box with a deep black foam inlay for accessories made it. The design drafts may give you an impression of this simply stunning design.
Color choices we were thinking of (design B was chosen)
The actual Spreedbox package
Thanks again for your trust and patience. We promise to keep you excited with frequent updates in the next few weeks.
With kind regards,
Niels and the Spreedbox Team