Kokoon May Update
Welcome to another Kokoon update!
In this update, we’re going to talk about some improvements we’ve made to our EEG sensors, developments in the ear cup design and look at the latest electronics progress. We’ll also share what we’ve learned from our recent user testing and bring you up to date on app progress.
Since our last update, the mechanics team have been out in China adding details to the design for manufacture.
Through extensive testing we are thrilled to say we have now progressed our EEG sensors to their final design. We have improved the manufacturability of the sensors and we have reduced part count by increasing the size of our PCB – this means we do not need to use any extra shielding, enabling easier wiring. This final design incorporates a number of other improvements:
a) improved design to allow for full range of motion of sensors during side sleeping + ensure contact with new acoustic chamber and seal design
b) improved interface to sensors to facilitate assembly
c) simplified design to facilitate tooling and improve yield (no undercuts, which would cause a problem with MM of very low shore hardness parts (low yield during removal from tool))
d) Varying height of sensors to follow ear shape to improve comfort for all users 3D model of new design
3D model of new design
The new design and PCB (please excuse the rough audio seal you can see in the photo!)
Comfort development and testing:
The team have been comfort testing one of our latest prototypes:
Having made some changes to the acoustic seal of the ear-cup, we are re-doing some of our in-house comfort verification testing and executing any fine tuning of the design based on the feedback that we have received. Here are some pictures of the latest prototype, which we have been testing (ES3.5):
Manon testing the new prototype
We also completed the first phase of external customer testing with some of our UK based backers. It was great to meet a number of you, and also to hear the comments and experience of Kokoon’s comfort prototype. Our backers took the prototype of the headphones to sleep in for a night to really get a feel for the experience and provided us with some detailed feedback.
We received some really positive feedback from our testers, which was great to hear, but they also found room for improvement in certain aspects of the headphone design. Fortunately, our testers all reported on areas and issues we were already aware of and had already been working to resolve, with no new issues coming to light during the course of testing. We can’t wait to start our next round of testing, with our latest design, which we’ll be setting up soon.
Recently, we have been testing the best way of gluing our silicon parts together. After looking at several options, we have decided to use silicone sealant as this is strong whilst also remaining flexible. To improve durability of the headphones, we’ve also improved the design to maximise surface area and minimise ‘peeling’ force to ensure longevity in the parts.
3D model showing the silicon improvements
The sealant takes several hours to set, so for efficiency we are getting our silicone supplier to complete some of the gluing steps before shipping the partially glued parts to our main factory.
The latest ‘ES4’ version of the Flex PCBA
The ES4 electronics (render above) are now being manufactured. These new electronics feature the charging improvements mentioned in the previous updates.
The new ES4 Development board
We have experienced troubles in the past working with the Flexible PCBs for the purposes of developing the firmware. It can be hard to probe multiple signals and tricky to solder onto the test points without damaging the pads. It proves especially tricky when debugging electronics issues.
To speed firmware bring-up with the new ES4 electronics we are manufacturing the above development board in parallel. The white boarder you can see in the middle shows the ‘ES4’ FlexPCB outline. The firmware team are looking forward to getting their hands on these as it should make their life somewhat easier!
In the last update we promised release versions of the iOS and Android Beta release last month.
The good news is that the Android app has been released. Unfortunately, we had to offline it as we have had an intermediate SSL certification error with our backend system, which we are sorting out. We expect the issue to be resolved and Android Beta to be back live on 23 May 2017.
The iOS app ran into build issues. This was due to a language update (swift 3.1) that wasn’t supported by one of our 3rd party Bluetooth libraries. We are sorry for the delay here. We expect to send our App for approval to Apple this week.
That’s all for now. We hope you enjoyed reading about our latest progress and developments.
We just want to thank our backers again for your patience and support with our development. As always, we love hearing from you either though email or through our social media channels Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
The Kokoon Team