SHIPPING UPDATE – and your new Kano Case

The final Kano Kit is here.
It’s taken ten trips to China and thousands of sleepless, dream-filled nights… Two years later, Kano’s first form and function is finished. Your computer kit is *in production. *

Getting to this point has taken longer than we predicted last November. We’re updating you now with firm ship dates, more background, and most important, gratitude. 

When?

We will start shipping to Early Birds* third week of August.*

General release kits will start shipping first week of September.

Your case call We had a tough design call to make on the Kano Case and Speaker, the first of their kind for the Raspberry Pi. So we asked you guys, the only people that matter. A whopping 887 of you voted, and even created a new option in the comments – fully transparent. In the end, it was your idea that won the day. *Fully transparent. *Feast them eyes…

 

 

How to make a computer…

People have a lot of stereotypes about China. Making Kano in the southern industrial region has defied them. We’ve seen tip-top professionalism and a commitment to quality. Almost all of our 21 components are ready and waiting. 

But in the last two weeks, we’ve had to make two changes, ironically, to some of the simplest bits – the HDMI cable, and the keyboard battery. These have hit us with the delay.

The details

First, we realized that the HDMI cables provided by a subsidiary of our manufacturer were not up to standard:

The HDMI cable on the left is standard compliant. The one on the right is the HDMI cable we received. It looked good, but felt a bit weird, so we cut it open. 

A good HDMI cable should have 19 shielded cables, connected to pins and enclosed by a metal hood (eg, far left) – it turned out that the cable we had received was missing four wires, was incorrectly connected to the pins, and lacked the appropriate shielding. Lame! We ditched those guys, and our new supplier is fully HDMI compliant – they manufacture the Apple iPhone 5 charging cables, which gives us great joy.

The keyboard battery: This one was hidden away inside our keyboard, but we decided to check the sub-supplier’s factory, just to make sure. After auditing, we realized their conditions were neither safe nor up to our environmental standards. The battery worked fine – but we want to be a business that makes everything, even our very first product, in accordance with our values, and yours. Our new supplier has impeccable international safety certifications – they’re even a supplier to Tesco. Kano’s mission has always been social, to forge better, simpler, fairer access to technology – building the kit will be no different.

Shenzhen Styles

We’re not gilding the lily here, and we know that we were too optimistic in our project description on shipping times. Still, the adventures in Shenzhen, factory-hopping and machine-building, have been a breakneck delight over the past few weeks. We wanted to give you a look inside – at the machines, people, and processes that are bringing your kit to life at this very moment.

A massive skating rink, ice all year, inside a Shenzhen shopping mall. This is a big place, the new Detroit, and big things happen here...A massive skating rink, ice all year, inside a Shenzhen shopping mall. This is a big place, the new Detroit, and big things happen here…
 

The injection mold for the Kano KeyboardThe injection mold for the Kano Keyboard
 

Checking the circuit boards for the DIY SpeakerChecking the circuit boards for the DIY Speaker
 

First, the PCBs are printed with a special dye – that marks where the circuits will goFirst, the PCBs are printed with a special dye – that marks where the circuits will go
 

Then, the boards are dipped in hydrochloric acid! It burns around the ink and etches the connections. (It would melt you in 30 minutes, so the legend goes!)Then, the boards are dipped in hydrochloric acid! It burns around the ink and etches the connections. (It would melt you in 30 minutes, so the legend goes!)
 

Factory cleanliness standards are impeccable – here's Yonatan rocking the hairnet.Factory cleanliness standards are impeccable – here’s Yonatan rocking the hairnet.
 

At dozens of factories, the owner would show off their wares – here, our packaging manufacturer's laboratory, where packages are shaken, dropped, spun, crushed, soaked, and dried to simulate shipping conditions. (Kano passed with flying colors.)At dozens of factories, the owner would show off their wares – here, our packaging manufacturer’s laboratory, where packages are shaken, dropped, spun, crushed, soaked, and dried to simulate shipping conditions. (Kano passed with flying colors.)
 

*Thank you… *

For backing us on this insane journey – we know it’s taken longer than we thought, and yet, in emails, on Twitter, in person, you’ve filled us with confidence, while holding our feet fairly to the fire. This Kickstarter campaign culminated a dream for us. Making that dream real, for you, has been the great privilege of our lives. The next chapter is ours to write… backers, makers, Team Kano, creators worldwide, young and old.

You’ve stayed with us, inspired us. Your commitment redoubles our own – to create a new kind of computer, one that anyone can make, for all ages, all over the world – but most of all, for you. And a new kind of company, one whose spirit owes everything to the backers that believed in us, when we were just a few misfits with some cardboard kits.

Thank you. Your kit is coming.