In last week’s update, we did not cover the development status of iMac model as we were gathering information from our suppliers. Different from iPad model, the iMac model is compatible with most applications in Mac OS and Windows. We see less challenges in the iMac model’s software integration, but much difficulties in the hardware design.
First, the iMac receiver requires flexible battery similar to the incoming iWatch’s battery. We are now working with battery manufacturer to customize the iMac receiver battery. Second, the receiver works like wireless speaker, which can only be turn on with speaker's soft key once it goes to sleep mode. That being said, if we program the receiver into sleep mode in order to save the battery power, we will have to physically touch the receiver to wake it up. Too bad we can't activate the receiver by just clicking the pen tip :-( To extend the battery life, we are working on more user-friendly method for power management. If you have any brilliant ideas, please let us know.
Lastly, as we mentioned earlier, the new iMac does not have magnets attached internally on its screen corner. In addition to accommodate new iMac design, we have to ensure that the receiver can be attached and detached easily without damaging the beautiful screen. After testing with several bonding materials, we decide to use suction cups so the receiver can attach to iMac more securely and safely. Once again, we would love your feedback to create this well designed and practical tool.
Due to the delay of stylus tooling, the iMac model delivery date will also fall into this September. We want to use these few more months wisely to deal with the challenges above. We are a small and hard-working team. As we make iPen 2 a reality with your support, we need helping hands to accelerate our growth. Please help us to spread the words so we can attract more talents.
Have a wonderful day,
We consider our early adopters like you as part of the founding team. Our mutual goal is to create the best stylus for creation and productivity on our devices. That’s why we are taking every step toward mass production very cautiously because small mistakes can lead to a bad user experience. The following is our recent development update. And to keep our backers up to date on our progress, we plan to issue a weekly update in the backer’s section and also on our website. Again, thank you for your patience.
The design of the iPad case
For the past 2 months, we have tried various designs for an iPad receiver as shown below. We hoped these designs would be more versatile in fitting different third party iPad case or even the anticipated iPad 5. After testing some prototypes, we found that it’s impossible for users to plug such a receiver in the exactly same place on the iPad. Even with a 0.1 mm different placement, users would need to calibrate iPen every time they plug in the receiver. This alternative design does have several advantages, but the need to calibrate every time is just too large of an inconvenience, so we have decided to switch back to the original concept of the iPad case.
iPad integration and SDK
We released our integration SDK this Monday. This initial SDK is available for public download at Github. Different from the iPen 1 SDK, the new SDK uses ‘plug and play’ codes that any existing handwriting featured app developers can integrate iPen within a few hours. We anticipate that with this easy to use SDK, we can minimize the integration efforts and bring more app partners to work with us.
Our initial integration result shows minor inking lag on the iPad, and we plan to work with our existing app developers to resolve this issue. For other potential app partners such as Adobe, Procreate and Sketchbook, we want to show them the best of iPen, so we will not send them samples until we fix the lag.
Where we are now?
As we mentioned in the previous update, we have modified the stylus design as shown below. First, we switched to a solid anodized aluminum barrel to increase its durability. Second, we made the side button flush with the anodized aluminum body so we can hold the pen more ergonomically and also to avoid mistaken touch. Third, we removed the LCD light located in the pen cap to increase the battery life. The LCD was supposed to display us the battery status, but it’s better to display that information within the calibration app.
The iPen 2 product plan was approved by Apple in May, and we will send the testing samples to Apple once we finish the hardware and software integration. Due to the delay of iPad case design, we will start the hardware tooling in July, and our software development will work in parallel to optimize the inking performance.
Our backers may feel frustrated about the delay. We understand we should meet the delivery deadline with the best product we can. Unfortunately, we will need to postpone the delivery date until this August to September due to the delay of our development. We really appreciate your understanding as we strive to deliver the best stylus we can. Your pledges and our efforts are being invested into creating a wonderful product that will last you many years of use. Once again, we ask for your patience as we take the extra time to create a product we can all be proud of..
Founder of Cregle