Hello backers,

Spring is in the air and we’re here to share our new progress. We are very excited to begin shipping the 5Q Early Handbuilt Units to the Exclusive Innovators and the Swag rewards next week.

In this March update, we’ll be going over the following:

  • Early Handbuilt Units for Exclusive Innovators Ready to Ship
  • Swag Rewards Ready to Ship
  • 5Q Hardware Progress
  • Q Software Progress 5Q
  • The Making of the 5Q Promo Video
  • When do I get my keyboard and why is it late?

 

5Q Early Handbuilt Units for Exclusive Innovators Ready to Ship

We’re excited to share that our 5Q Early Handbuilt Units (US) are now ready. The German Handbuilt Unit is on its way and will be available in about another week. We will start shipping next week.

Of course, these Early Handbuilt Units are not production ready. We are still improving some aspects of the keyboard.

The Early Handbuilt Unit is a fully functional keyboard that will be tweaked in order to pass certification, improved with a few CMF (color, material & finish) aspects, and that will need a firmware upgrade before being ready for production.

This is the 5Q Early Handbuilt Unit. It is not the final production model.

This is the 5Q Early Handbuilt Unit. It is not the final production model.

 

Swag Rewards Ready to Ship

We have been working on creating some really awesome items for our swag backers. Our original promise included 4 stickers and a nice pen, but we’re delivering 6 brand new stickers, a Japanese-style notebook, and our special space pen that works underwater as well. Each backer will receive the swag and a handwritten note from our team.

Backers can expect these swag packages to be shipped next week. Check it out below:

The space pen, one of our 6 stickers, and a Japanese-style notebook.

The space pen, one of our 6 stickers, and a Japanese-style notebook.

 

5Q Hardware Progress

Fit and finish is the focus as we head toward our final validation build prior to pilot production. We are still fine tuning the number of small mechanical issues that require minor tool adjustments. Here’s a look at the side LED pipe that has improved significantly since we last shared it. The light distribution is much better, but some work still needs to be done:

Before

Before

 

After

After

 

We are also updating the PCB with test points for production testing. Regulatory testing and debug is in process and we’re waiting on the the final retail box to inspect and approve. And of course at this stage there is a lot of testing occurring across all aspects of the product. We know we are running late, but we need to keep a disciplined focus on producing a robust and reliable product.

Q Software Progress

The Das Keyboard software team is battling with the many moving parts of the 5Q software. The next milestone is to make the firmware and desktop Q app understand each other in a seamless way. We we are making great progress.

The Q cloud, which centralizes signals coming from other services like Twitter and Gmail, is undertaking a major refactoring in order to support numerous keyboard layouts such as US, German, UK, Russian, etc. To give you an idea of the time it takes for a signal to go from the Q cloud to the keyboard is… take a guess… less than 200ms… We are very excited about the result so far.

As a reminder, the Q desktop application will be released first on Windows, then Linux and finally on macOs.

 

We are not able to provide exact release dates as we simply don’t know when the software will be ready. The thing we know is that we are days away from the beta 2 release on Windows which will be shipped to all the Early Access backers. From there we intend to have a two-week release cycle.

The Making of the 5Q Promo Video

In preparation for our 5Q launch, we have begun to create a 5Q promo video that’s much shorter and concise than our Kickstarter video. We’re excited to share some behind the scenes with you all without spoiling the surprise.

 

 

 

 

When do I get my keyboard and why is it late?

The Early Handbuilt Units will be shipping next week to our Exclusive Innovators.

All the backers will be receiving a production grade 5Q keyboard for which we do not have a defined date yet.

Before the factory confirms production dates, we need to solve some technical issues and pass the regulatory certifications. We know the ballpark duration of tasks like these and we also know that it varies based on complexity and findings of the third party regulatory bodies, hence, the lack of a firm ETA. However, we are targeting a delivery in the summertime.

Until next time,

Julie + Das Keyboard Team