Hello, dear backers! Good news and bad news this time.
It's Victor again with our Fjorden update for October! We've made good progress and implemented improvements both on the hardware and software front, but unfortunately - we're very sorry to say - this has also led to a delay. Here's the summary:
- We've implemented magnetic latches and added extra waterproofing, but this - plus the one-month factory shutdown during Chinese New Year in February '22 - has pushed delivery to May/June '22. We're sorry! As a small token of apology, we'll send you a 20% discount code which you can use on all future orders & accessories.
- We could potentially save 3-4 weeks if we skipped the extra waterproofing. We've set up a poll on this in our new Fjorden Community at https://community.fjorden.co.
- Your iOS beta testing feedback has already led to many app & design improvements - thank you! We have also received our very own “Fjorden Typeface”, which will create a more beautiful and coherent user experience between hardware & software. Screenshots are further below.
We've made two major improvements to the Fjorden Grip (more on those below), but unfortunately, these have delayed the start of tooling. As a result, the start of shipping has slipped from February to May/June '22. We can only imagine how annoyed and disappointed you are, especially since it looked like we were still on track as of last month. We feel disappointed, too - not to mention embarrassed - and we're very sorry. Please accept our sincere apologies.
It's a small consolation, but we truly believe these improvements are worth making to ensure that you receive will be the best iPhone camera grip on the planet! Additionally, as a small token of apology, we'll soon send you a 20% discount code on all future orders from the Fjorden store - which you can use the next time you'll upgrade your Fjorden iPhone MagSafe case, add new Fjorden accessories, or buy another Fjorden Grip for friends & family. We know this doesn't fix our current delay, but I hope it lessens the sting a bit.
So, how did it happen?
1. PHYSICAL FOLD-DOWN LATCH → MAGNETIC LATCH
As described in the last update, we replaced the Fjorden Grip's physical “fold-down latch” with a magnetic latch for a better, more satisfying user experience. This change required a new round of CAD revisions, 3D-printed prototypes, and testing to establish the right magnet placement and strength:
This has delayed the start of tooling, i.e. the creation of the steel moulds from which the Fjorden parts are manufactured. Steel moulds are the biggest expense in manufacturing - ours will cost tens of thousands of dollars - and they can't be modified once you've made them, so you pretty much have to get them right the first time.
Unfortunately, our schedule was tight (and perhaps too optimistic, since we didn't account for revisions like these) to begin with, and this change pushed the start of production/assembly until after the Chinese New Year (CNY). Factories typically close down about a week before the CNY celebrations begin (February 1st, 2022) to give their workers time to travel home, and then re-open about 3-4 weeks later. A lot of workers change jobs during CNY, so in addition to the one-month shutdown, a good portion of factory staff have to be retrained.
2. ADDITIONAL WATERPROOFING
Earlier this October, our manufacturing team ran waterproofing tests of the Fjorden Grip:
The Grip passed the test - all controls worked perfectly after 10 minutes in the test chamber:
When we disassembled the Grip after the test, we found a small amount of moisture inside the housing. Since we're applying a waterproof nano-coating to the PCB, this didn't affect the functioning of the electronics and allowed the Grip to officially pass the test.
However, we were concerned that - in conditions where the moisture didn't have a chance to evaporate and remained in the housing for longer - it could affect the battery life, or worse, cause damage after a while.
That's why we decided to add additional waterproofing diaphragms, gaskets, and o-rings to the housing:
Unfortunately, these changes add another 3-4 weeks onto the schedule. If you feel strongly that we should skip this additional waterproofing step and deliver earlier instead - or if you feel that we should be adding the extra waterproofing - we've set up a poll in our new Fjorden Community (more details below).
New Fjorden Community
In addition to the Kickstarter updates and comments section (which of course we'll continue to reply to), we've been looking for a way to share smaller & more frequent behind-the-scenes updates, chat with our backers & beta testers, and run new ideas by you.
Enter our new Fjorden community! Please join us at https://community.fjorden.co:
I and other members of our team will be in there pretty much every day to answer your questions. You can also use it to yell at us.
Software & Design Updates
Over 260 of you have joined our Fjorden Camera iOS beta test - thank you so much! We've already been implementing some of your suggestions, e.g. being able to change the colour of the focus peaking.
Our next big update will focus on making the app faster & more intuitive to use, easier to control with one hand, and implementing the customizable UI:
If you also want to join the iOS beta test, please enter your name and email at https://fjorden.co/testflight. Ideally, use the same email address you used when backing us on Kickstarter/Indiegogo or pre-ordering at our shop. We will be in touch shortly with an invite from Apple TestFlight. In the meantime, you can prepare by installing TestFlight from the App Store (https://apps.apple.com/us/app/testflight/id899247664) if you don't have it already.
Custom Fjorden Typeface
Fjorden now has its very own custom typeface, designed by Atipo Foundry in Gijón, Spain! “Fjorden” is a clean, technical font with a vintage feel:
The Fjorden Typeface is already live on our website and will also appear in our iOS app shortly.
That's all for now.
Again, we can't stress enough how sorry we are for the manufacturing delay. We'll be working hard to catch up on the schedule wherever we can. We'll also post more frequent updates here on Kickstarter.