Hello Backers,

February has been treating us fairly well. In this February update, we will be going over the following:

  • 5Q Hardware Progress
  • Q Software Progress
  • 5Q Accessories
  • New Side Inscriptions on 5Q Function Keys
  • Updating Your Shipping Address
  • Das Keyboard Team News

5Q Hardware Progress

On the HW product side we’re in the calm before the storm… That means production processes are being tested and verified with little tweaks being implemented to make sure volume production (the storm) is as smooth as possible.

We’re adjusting things like the size and shape of the LED pcb mounting pads, validating the operation of the onboard production test SW, and completing production fixtures for things like keycap seating (with a defined and even pressure). A couple other adjustments are being made on the level of doping (mold compound additive) in the keycap inscription plastic to insure maximum light transmission while still producing a good non-backlit inscription on the keycap surface. And we’re beginning the formal regulatory certification testing.

All in all we’re pretty much on track for this “pre-production” phase of product development.

 

Q Software Progress

The software team is working hard to complete the firmware and the desktop software whose job is to configure the 5Q keyboard. Plenty of code that works and plenty that is still in flux.

Here are the moving parts:

  • Q cloud
  • Q desktop + service
  • Q firmware
  • Q Android

Besides implementing features such as RGB effects and macros, one of the key functionality we are working on is a continuous release system. For example, we want to be able to release Q cloud several times a day if needed. Of course, we will have longer cycles for the desktop apps. So far, the release system for Q cloud and Q Android are working very well. Our focus now is to complete it for Q desktop, its service, and the Q firmware.

Another big piece we are working on is the interface of the Q desktop app with the physical keyboard via the software service. A working demo was used to do our demos at CES in Las Vegas. Now we are heads down, writing its final implementation. We’ll release some betas as soon as we are ready.

March will be the month when we put all the moving parts together. An exciting time is ahead.

In other news, we also sent out another reminder invitation this month to our Early Access Q Software backers about joining our private beta. The email contains details about how to enter our early software, connect with Zapier and IFTTT services, and join our Q forum community.

If you have any questions regarding access or have not received an email, please let us know via our help desk: https://daskeyboard.mojohelpdesk.com/mytickets/create.

Snapshot of our early access Q software email.
Snapshot of our early access Q software email.

 

5Q Accessories – Gamma Zulu Keycap Set Box

Many backers are also receiving an extra set of keycaps. We’ve previously shared images of the black translucent keycap set. Since then, we have been working on the keycap set box. Here are some pictures of the inside layout:

Each key will be held snuggly place in this foam template. The foam template is able to hold both 104 and 105 key layouts. It also includes a nice little keycap puller.
Each key will be held snuggly place in this foam template. The foam template is able to hold both 104 and 105 key layouts. It also includes a nice little keycap puller.

 

An upclose view of the keycap foam template with a few keys fitting smoothly within each hole.
An upclose view of the keycap foam template with a few keys fitting smoothly within each hole.

 

5Q Accessories – WASD Keycaps

Early in our campaign, we promised a set of WASD keycaps with every 5Q keyboard. Check out these early models below. These are not 100% ready, but we’re getting pretty close.

The WASD keys feature textured tops and 2 tone colors.
The WASD keys feature textured tops and 2 tone colors.

 

WASD keycaps have their very own packaging that also fits well in a deep set foam template with a keycap puller.
WASD keycaps have their very own packaging that also fits well in a deep set foam template with a keycap puller.

 

5Q Accessories – Translucent Black Keycaps

The translucent black keycaps are a hit and we’ve been busy ensuring that several different variations are being created. We’re creating translucent black keycaps with inscriptions in 9 different languages as well as ones without any inscriptions. They are filled with light when the backlighting is on and look as normal black keycaps when the backlighting is off.  

Translucent black keycaps with inscriptions are featured above. The keyboard is NOT the 5Q.
Translucent black keycaps with inscriptions are featured above. The keyboard is NOT the 5Q.

 

New Side Inscriptions on 5Q Function Keys

We’ve added side inscriptions to some of the function keys for quick access to some of the controls like sleep mode, brightness, windows key disable, and media. Enable these quick access functions with Fn + Function Key.

Need to Update Your Shipping Address?

Our CrowdOx surveys have closed and orders can no longer be altered, but addresses can still be updated until March 10th. After that time, any change requests will delay your order and you will not receive your package at the same time as all the other backers. If you wish to request an address change, please contact our help desk as soon as possible at https://daskeyboard.mojohelpdesk.com/mytickets/create.

 

Other Updates: Das Keyboard Team News

The Das Keyboard team is evolving and we’re excited to share the news. We have new members joining the team and two who are leaving us.

The Going Away Party

Last Friday, we threw our two interns, Baptiste and Vincent, a going away party as their 6-month internship has ended. We wish them all the best!

Baptiste - our Q software intern who played critical part in the development of our Q app.
Baptiste – our Q software intern who played critical part in the development of our Q app.

 

Vincent - our intern focused on programming our internal project management tool
Vincent – our intern focused on programming our internal project management tool

 

A party is incomplete without wine!
A party is incomplete without wine!

 

Cookie patiently watching us while we eat.
Cookie patiently watching us while we eat.

  

Intern Safety Training

Two new interns recently joined our team. Welcome, Roxanne & Loic! To teach these interns for the dangers of the job, we proposed an Intern Safety Training session.

This is NSFW. Hardhats and gear required.
This is NSFW. Hardhats and gear required.

 

 project video thumbnail

Fire Escape Simulation – In case of a fire, interns must be in physical shape to rescue keyboards from fire.

 project video thumbnail

Lifting Training – The proper way to carry boxes of keyboards is to lift with your legs not your back.

Keyboard Repair Training - Keycap replacement is a meticulous process. They're learning how to replacing keys for the very first time!
Keyboard Repair Training – Keycap replacement is a meticulous process. They’re learning how to replacing keys for the very first time!

 

The Safety Training was a smashing success with 0 casualties.
The Safety Training was a smashing success with 0 casualties.

 

New Q Software Team Members

In order to improve our Q software progress, we are adding a few more team members to focus on its development. Say hello to:

Ivaylo - programmer at Metadot for 10+ years
Ivaylo – programmer at Metadot for 10+ years

 

Ahmed & Thibaut - our French interns armed & ready to program
Ahmed & Thibaut – our French interns armed & ready to program

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Until next time,

Julie + Das Keyboard Team