Anything new to share? I think it’s safe to say there’s a lot of us who are itching to be able to give you money I personally don’t have a preference for Kickstarter vs pre-sale (largely because I don’t have any awards points) but I am in the process of building a new house with nearly 100 switches just begging to be smartened. I’d love to be able to get both switching and motion detection in one discrete (and indeed discreet) package. Please keep us posted!
Yes, thanks for asking actually – I’ve been meaning to give an update.
Ok, so after a ton of consideration, we’ve decided to go the crowdfunding route (hold the tomatoes for those opposed, let me explain the rationale).
Before we go down the rationale route, let’s talk about the break-even math (ie: the amount of units that we need to sell just to break even on all the costs):
- The math has this switch costing around $100-120k just to develop this switch (engineering, certifications, etc) – all in.
- If we can muster up $25/profit per switch, that puts us in the 4-5k unit range (I say, “if” because I don’t have updated pricing as we had to make some modifications based on the prior beta units – I should have this later this week)
- Let’s also say that we have a deal with the manufacturer that says we pay 50% down and 50% upon completion for product and 100% down on fees (it’s not that bad, but just to be conservative) – this just means a lot of money up front that needs to be paid before any project can “officially” kick off (luckily these guys have seen the success with the Blue 2-1, Blue Fan and Red 2-1, so they are a little more motivated to work on this)
- However, at the end of the day, “cash is king” and what ultimately motivates them to move at a reasonable speed and we can hold them accountable for milestones missed (as best as we can)
Now that you have the math, here’s the rationale:
TLDR: Crowdfunding offers a public window in for the manufacturer to see how successful this project is and take things more serious when it comes to milestones. It allows us to reach a bigger audience than our community who already trusts us. Finally, it holds us accountable in a very public fashion.
- Crowdfunding offers up a public window into how this project is going and where we are in terms of having enough funds for this project to the manufacturer whereas our website does not.
- Crowdfunding is a public platform where you can see, in real-time, what’s been raised and where we are in the process – our website is private. The point here is that since we haven’t paid them up front and they are more working on this as a side project, now they will be able to see and go, “oh crap, look at them, they weren’t joking when they said this is going to be one of the biggest innovations this year”
- Crowdfunding allows us to reach a bigger audience than our website allowing us to hit this goal faster and potentially raise way more than anticipated
- Our community is amazing – we love you guys and we love the excitement that goes into every product launch. And while we could probably hit the unit numbers needed to pull this off with just the community and save 5-8% in platform fees, we’re willing to sacrifice a little in order to reach new people to accelerate this project. We know there are likely other companies working on something similar as many have been eerily quiet, so we know this needs to start now and move quickly.
- In addition, this has some outside support (Linus) who I think would feel much better promoting this if there was some sort of guarantee that his audience won’t get ripped off (more on this below) – now granted, he could ruin us with one video like he did our competitor if we don’t deliver, but that’s not the point lol. Point is his audience has never heard of us and would possibly be leery of putting money down for a product from a company they’ve never heard of.
- Crowdfunding allows us to publicly be held accountable. Now, I know this is also true with our community as I’m held accountable all the time, but to be on a bigger platform makes me feel so much better as people can see, in real time, what milestones we’re at, and if the project will be successful or not.
More on the being held accountable from a refund point of view. All of you guys should know that we’ve never once not given back a refund to those who haven’t asked. Yes, we’ve taken a long time on some projects (please don’t remind me of the 5-Button – this will be another crowdfund shortly) but at the end of the day, we do deliver.
This project, I’d like to set the minimum goal of $150k to ensure this project is successful. If it’s not successful, money will be distributed back to everyone and I will make that clear in the description.
Hopefully that answers most of the questions and gives some rationale as to why we chose this route?
As soon as I have pricing, I plan to launch the Indiegogo (yes, using Indiegogo as they’re a little more flexible about using a concept vs using a working prototype). I’m hoping it is this week and I have the page built, I’m just ready to hit publish.
So the question outstanding is: What about my rewards points? I want to use them for this product.
I haven’t thought of a good solution here, but I’m open to suggestions. I at first thought we could just refund you a portion of prior orders that equates to the amount you’d receive, but that seems messy and there’s no way for us to track whether or not those point equivalents were actually used for product. Then I thought that you could purchase the crowdfunding and we could then reimburse the point equivalent.
Or we could do something like if you order, you can get the point equivalent x2 or some sort of deal for when the product comes to our site (or any other product on our site).
Idk, I do want to figure it out for you guys bc you’ve earned these points and the whole purpose of them is to have a way to spend them on product.
I’m down to crowdfund these, but my first questions will be all about the timeframe. Crowdfunding something 1+ years out is always really risky, and lots of us need solutions ASAP for our houses.
I’d be much more willing to put real money on the line (not one or two to try it out, but 10-50 of them) if it were a less than 6 month timeline. Also, offering special backer tiers to get into beta program to get an early copy to confirm these will work for those putting lots of them in their house would be valuable to anyone getting many of them.
A great thing that would make me feel safe would be an option to convert from Linus to standard 2-1s if they don’t end up matching what we were hoping at the beginning. Then, you’d still get my money, and I’d still get some smart switches.
And last, everyone doing crowd funding expects a discount for the risk and time their money is held. If, for example, the crowdfunding is $60, and the final price is $65, a rational actor would just wait to buy them when they ship. Only those truly committed to inovelli and getting these shipped would preorder at a small discount.
Hi, it’s me, I’m the problem, it’s me.
(Translation: even without a possible discount, I’d love to back this to make sure it becomes an actual product)
Yeah this is what’s got me wanting to move on this. If anything a public crowdfund should make things go faster as there’s public pressure now.
Before we would just point the community and say, “see, they’re getting restless” but the manufacturer wouldn’t really do much about it.
Knowing and seeing money is on the line and the payoff along with all the comments should offer an incentive to get this done.
Not only that, but I think that we can raise funds quicker than if we did it through our website simply bc of the higher volume of ppl viewing.
But, yes, this is new innovation that hasn’t been done before via a switch, so there will be a learning curve.
On the flip side, if we can use most of the same firmware as the 2-1 (most likely the fan as it’s MG24), that should cut off some time.
Either way, I hope the manufacturer gives us a timeline right away so we’re not guessing.
The 6mo timeline may be a stretch, but I’ll push for it. It’s not out of the question if we use the same manufacturer. Let’s just hope their pricing isn’t out of control.
That’s an excellent idea.
Another great idea, we can certainly do this.
Yeah for sure. I plan on offering bigger discounts via an Early Bird and normal discounts past that.
Completely understand and agree with you.
Thanks for taking the time to comment!
We can certainly use more problems like you
Can we add the Zwave 800 version to the Kickstarter?
That’s a great question and I’m surprised it took this long for someone to ask!
At this time, we’re going to focus on Zigbee/Matter to help support this project. My fear is that if we diverted and ran both at the same time, it would split the proceeds and we may not be able to raise enough.
So, my hope is that by leading with a more mass market protocol, we can fund this project which would then lead to an 800 Series version as there wouldn’t be as many engineering/tooling costs (since they’d share the same everything except radio).
Alright all – looking for some early feedback. I’m still waiting on pricing, which I’m being told should be tomorrow, so I don’t have a price up yet.
Feedback I’m looking for is the following:
- Not knowing anything about mmWave, does this give enough information to get the general idea?
- Are there any outstanding questions you have?**
I’m trying to create some sort of a more technical diagram that shows how mmWave works, but I’m struggling a bit to create something that’s semi appealing to the eye.
** As this is a concept and we don’t have a tangible sample, I can’t speak too in specifics until everything is verified. That’s why this is also sort of vague. I’ve put what we put in the PRD that was sent over to the manufacturer.
hype vid needs to show mmwave much sooner than 40sec. It feels like the title and lede need to explain mmwave more than being frontloaded with it.
I do think the content is good for “who is inovelli” and “what are your smart switches all about”.
Hopefully you can get a vid from Linus?
I know what one could do with a smart mmWave switch, but if you don’t, you really don’t spell it out. You mostly talk about the cool features of the 2-1. You should talk about the ability to use it as a signal for anything else in your smart house. Or have it be used combined with rules. Like “When I turn on switch, turn on to 100%, but if I sense movement, turn on to 10% as a safety light”.
Maybe spell out PIR
Where can I learn more about mmWave Technology? link should be a hyperlink
Yeah, agree. It’s hard bc I’m basically taking the Hype vid for the 2-1 switch and I swapped a part out. I can try to revisit some options.
Trying to get the most mileage out of it bc it was like a $15k video lol.
I’m going to shoot him another email now that we have a gameplan. He reached out a couple weeks ago and said he’d be down to give a shout-out to speed things along.
Excellent idea, thank you.
Let me see if I can do that – it’s a FAQ section that I don’t think I have the ability to use HTML, but if that’s the case, I can add it at the end of the listing which does support HTML.
Appreciate the quick feedback! I’ll get to work.
“Instead of simply detecting motion, this switch will detect presence by using millimeter wave (radar) technology.”
Needs a little more detail - something like:
“Where a typical Passive InfraRed (PIR) motion sensor detects a heat signature moving across its field of view, mmWave uses 24 GHz radar and onboard processing to monitor the presence of people in a space. While a PIR sensor can’t detect a person once they stop moving, a mmWave sensor recognizes that a person has entered the space and will continue to identify that they are there until it identifies them leaving the area.” (Is this all accurate? I’m not sure.)
Tiny thing that I personally bump on is “1,000’s” vs “thousands”.
" Another popular example is to have the LED Bar turn green when your alarm system is armed and red when it is unarmed." unarmed should be disarmed, unless the terminology has been updated while I wasn’t paying attention.
“We’re equally as passionate about home automation and love working alongside” → equally passionate
“Here’s how the switch should show up in SmartThings (and how our Blue Series 2-1 witch currently does):” witch → switch
@usualwater – I gave it my best After Effects shot and made it more about mmWave. Curious what you think and/or what could be changed from a features standpoint.
Edit: Just want to lay down some limitations I have with the video. I only have the end product (not the raw file) so I’m limited to the cadence of the video (can’t slow down / speed up anything). I can really only change the text out.
it’s getting better!
around 27sec, do you mean “discreet” sensor? either word works for different reasons.
around 40sec, “fully customizable radar sensor”, maybe add another line like “human presence detection”. just something to indicate what it does.
@marktr322 is after my own heart. thanks for going into the details!
I know the launch product will be Zigbee, but do you want to include any mention of Matter support in the video? I’m excited that these will be upgradeable to Matter so you it would be nice to add the matter logo or at least mention the compatibility if others are like me.
New video is really good! Focus is on the mmWave, while giving an idea of how great a switch it will be!
It is also really nice that unlike traditional PIR switches, this one has a full size paddle plus the LED bar. Really nice!
I think that the presence detection needs to be hyped up more. My understanding is mmwave can be used to monitor vital signs, fall detection, blood pressure monitoring, heartbeats, breathing, and subtle movements, can detect gestures, sleep monitoring, fast occupancy sensing to .5 second, surveillance capabilities without identification, can operate under bright lights, dazzling lights, or no lights, etc. just thoughts! @Eric_Inovelli
Final iteration based on feedback (shortened up phrases, added in some better selling points, etc). Thanks all!
Yes lol good catch. The funny thing is I had to look it up and swore it said discrete meant unobtrusive (hidden). I definitely switched the two:
Yeah I tried to fit this in at the end where the Zigbee logo flashed for a second, but it started to become too much to read. Especially since I had to put a disclaimer stating, “Upgradeable to Matter in the Future”.
Hopefully the video will entice people enough to scroll down the listing and see where we call it out.
Excellent points – this is where it gets tricky for me haha. Idk what all can be done with the 24GHz sensor. I know mmWave has the ability to do all of that, but I think that’s the 60GHz version which seems to be much more expensive right now.
What we’re shooting for is something that will detect presence accurately – now this may include breathing, subtle movements, etc – but I’m not sure about heartbeats, blood pressure, etc. When we first were discussing this with the manufacturer, we were definitely interested in the heartbeat monitoring as I think it would help put new parents at ease around SIDS with their newborn.
Hopefully once we’re more clear on the capabilities of the 24GHz, I can start adding in some of those features!
Made all the changes, thank you!
Ok, made an entire section at the end. Do you think that clears mmWave up enough?
Yeah, adding a those examples is great. Much better sense of what you could do. As a social element, you could do some promotion in one of your project updates asking for folks to share their ideas and promote the best.