Welcome to another Kokoon update.
In our last update, we looked at our second pre-production run and how we were progressing towards our first mass manufactured run (MP1).
This time we’ll update on the schedule, look at progress with testing and MP1, and we’re also going to talk about the status of the mobile app and algorithms.
We’re happy to confirm we’re still very close to schedule. We’ve confirmed with the factory that our first MP run will be due to complete towards the end of this week. We’ve got a very busy period ahead of us, and there is still a good amount of risk with this being our first run at scale. However, as things stand, we are still intending to get the very first units shipped at the end of the month.
We’ll be preparing an update on this as soon as practically possible, with more pictures and info from the factory, final product images etc. and we’ll release that in August. This is a huge moment for the project and we’d like to thank you all again for your patience and help in getting us to this point! As we’ve mentioned before, when your individual unit is ready to ship, we will be in contact via email to confirm your details with you.
Testing and manufacturing
In the last update, we identified some issues that we’d found with PP2. We’ve fixed them by adjusting our production methods and adding in test production steps to ensure no sub-assemblies with issues make it into final units.
Extended user testing has been ongoing, with over 50 units out for testing as we speak. We are very grateful to our customers for taking the time to test the headphones and provide detailed feedback, what we’ve received so far has been invaluable in improving our content and making the app a more intuitive, seamless experience.
Mobile app testing and improvements
The ongoing testing of PP1, PP2, and the test units that came before, both by our customers and internally, has provided valuable feedback on the mobile app experience, and how our customers want to use Kokoon. We’ve been making a number of improvements to the app in response.
Usability – We’ve simplified the user interface to make the app more intuitive. During testing, we found that navigating between screens and menus did not flow as well as it could, impacting the experience with the app. This has now been improved with the new, simpler displays. We’ve included some screenshots from the updated app below, apologies for the poor resolution in places – Kickstarter somehow manages to make all the images look low quality!
A view of the Kokoon Library
In App Guidance – You can do a lot with the Kokoon headphones and app, and to make sure you get the best possible experience we’ve been creating content to help. We are putting the finishing touches to an introductory video which shows you how to use your headphones, as well as the “Kokoon Basics Programme.” The Basics programme is a 5 part audio programme introducing you to Kokoon, some of the features of the app and headphone as well as some audio techniques.
Sleep sessions – We found in testing that our sleep session stop/start mechanism using an in-app button wasn’t the most usable for our customers. We’ve therefore been hard at work implementing an automated session tracking design, where the headphone and app will automatically detect where sessions stop and start. We’re testing the effectiveness of this new UX (user experience) design and we are looking forward to getting feedback from our customers.
Data views – We’ve learnt from you that one of the most important things you want from Kokoon is help to switch off and relax. We have therefore redesigned our data view to bring more emphasis to “Sleep Onset.” If you use a piece of audio to fall asleep, you’ll find a clear sleep onset score which shows how effective it was at actually helping relax you and get you to sleep. We have also been working on simplifying the rest of our data view to make the results from each session clearer, and easier to understand.
Our Sleep Summary screen
Scored audio tracks
The Beta release for the mobile app and our algorithms
The Kokoon mobile app and software platform are not fixed and will be constantly evolving. A lot of the power of our system comes as our algorithms gather data from a large group of our customers, which we use to refine them. The more data they are fed with, the more accurate and effective they become.
We have been testing a “Beta” version of the app for some time now, and when we start shipping our first headphones out the app will remain in Beta. When we start shipping, this will be the first time we’re able to collect data at scale. The customers using these units and listening to our audio library will be providing valuable data just by using the device and this data will be used by our development team to refine our algorithm, test that it’s functioning properly on a large scale and improve its performance.
We expect the performance of our algorithm and mobile app to improve week by week, so we recommend our customers receiving the first units to keep an eye on the updates.
In other good news on the app, we are greatly expanding the library. In addition to soundscapes and music to aid relaxation, we have been working with sleep scientists to develop programmes, using well established Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques.
CBT is one of the most recommended sleep therapies, but typically only chronic insomniacs have access to CBT, despite a large portion of the population struggling with sleep. Kokoon will be bringing techniques used in CBT to our customers as part of the app experience specifically designed to help you relax, switch off, and fall asleep.
These programmes will also include educational content, to help our users in a wide range of aspects relating to sleep and relaxation, including sleep hygiene and how your evening routine affects your quality of sleep. We will also be releasing single sessions designed around particular areas to focus on, such as managing your breathing and tension, and how to manage your mind from becoming distracted, and managing racing thoughts.
A key component of CBT is helping you create a “buffer zone” between your day and sleep. In response to customer feedback, where 75% of our testers said they need help switching off and relaxing, we have been focussing on this area of CBT, to improve sleep by guiding our users in winding down from the day and relaxing before going to bed.
That’s all for this update, we hope you enjoyed reading. We’ll post an update from the engineering team as soon as possible, with news from the factory.
The Kokoon Team