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TextBlade Update: An Inside Look at Production Troubles and New Info on Shipping Estimates [iOS Blog]

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TextBlade Update: An Inside Look at Production Troubles and New Info on Shipping Estimates [iOS Blog] TextBlade Update: An Inside Look at Production Troubles and New Info on Shipping Estimates [iOS Blog]

TextBlade Update: An Inside Look at Production Troubles and New Info on Shipping Estimates [iOS Blog]




In January, WayTools announced the TextBlade, a compact, collapsible keyboard for iOS devices and Macs that's quite unlike anything else that's available on the market. It replaces a full keyboard with eight large smart keys that take advantage of multilayering, giving users access to a complete set of keys and commands on a keyboard that fits into a pocket. WayTools began accepting pre-orders for the TextBlade at that time, garnering a huge amount of interest from people who were excited about the promise of a better mobile keyboard. The company initially planned to ship in February, but as customers who pre-ordered know, the TextBlade has yet to ship, having faced unforeseen production problems that led to a series of design tweaks. I visited WayTools in Santa Monica in March and was able to be one of the first people to see the TextBlade in person, give it a try, and watch it in action. The post that I shared of my experience garnered a huge amount of interest from MacRumors readers and other people curious about the TextBlade, and since then, I've been asked by readers on multiple occasions to share an update about what's going on behind the scenes at WayTools to cause the shipment delays. As of today, I'm able to provide an update, following multiple conversations with WayTools' CEO Mark Knighton, where we walked through the delays and went over some of the new features that have been added to the TextBlade since January. WayTools will be publishing an in-depth blog post that goes into even more detail on the problems the company faced with production, and I'll update this post to add a direct link as soon as it's live. Production Issues Before launching pre-orders, WayTools did production runs and quality tests on the TextBlade and the parts ready to go, but transitioning from testing runs to mass production can expose unforeseen issues. With mass production, a product that might have been assembled by a small team is now put together in parts by a huge number of workers and if the production process isn't streamlined to the minutest detail, you're not always going to get a consistent product. "In large volume, you expose all the subtleties," said Knighton. "You test like crazy, but actually doing large volume shows all the flaws." When production picked up on the original TextBlade after pre-orders began, WayTools noticed some variation in the butterfly mechanism of the finished keys. The butterfly is an integral part to each TextBlade key because it's ultimately responsible for the feel of the keyboard. The way the keys feel under the fingers is arguably the most important aspect of any keyboard, so this was important to get right. WayTools built a better, stronger butterfly out of liquid crystal polymer (LCP). Those of you who read my original hands-on with the TextBlade might remember that I was able to feel both the old TextBlade and the newer model with the revamped butterfly. There was nothing ...


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Fuente de la noticia: mac rumors
Fecha de publicación: 04-07-2015 18:58
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