It’s been over a month since I’ve posted any news updates specifically to the Keyglove project website, though I have been busy working on the project as well as posting updates to a few other places, including the @keyglove Twitter account, the Facebook page, and Kickstarter project updates.
For quick reference, here is a list of all of the Kickstarter updates as of May 17th, 2011:
- Update #1, Mar. 28: Just made it to $100! (or $210, actually)
- Update #2, Mar. 31: New project video and lots of prototype progress
- Update #3, Mar. 31: What exactly is the Keyglove good for?
- Update #4, Apr. 7: Over 50% funded, plus a new Keyglove demo
- Update #5, Apr. 9: Keyglove reward structure update: $200 pre-order
- Update #6, Apr. 18: Wireless, mechanical, and circuit design updates
- Update #7, Apr. 26: Success! We made it to $10k with time to spare!
- Update #8, Apr. 27: Keyglove funding is officially a success!
- Update #9, May 12: Manufactured PCB and Media Events
My goal was to keep the Kickstarter updates more high-level and simple, while saving the detailed stuff for this site. There will be (and already has been) a little overlap, but hopefully not enough to be annoying. Sadly, I haven’t been able to keep up with all of the writing I’d like to be doing. Hopefully that will change soon.
Anyway, enough stuff has been going on over the last month that I will be splitting the update into multiple posts to avoid information overload. This one will focus on what’s been happening on the business side of things, the growth of the project, and some upcoming events.
First of all, many of you probably know that the Keyglove Kickstarter campaign was successful as of April 27, 2011 at 5:36 PM EDT. I had to reach the minimum funding goal of $10,000 by that time, and so many people made a significant final push at the end that I actually received in $12,484.80 by the time the deadline arrived. This is a fantastic success for me, since I now feel free to spend what is necessary to quickly develop prototypes and research physicsl glove construction options. That process is already well underway, and I hope to have something concrete to show off on by the end of June. As part of the backer rewards, I’ve created a new Supporters page that lists everyone who backed the project (and who chose to be listed there).
History Channel Invention Show
The next major thing that’s happened with the Keyglove is that I’ve been selected to participate in a History Channel show called Invention USA. It’s a series about new inventions by entrepreneurs all over the country in many different fields. The show is hosted by two inventors who may, at their discretion, actually offer funding opportunities to some of the inventions they profile on the show. This is a great opportunity for me and the Keyglove project to generate a lot of publicity and potentially get some funding! Filming will take place sometime between the end of May or middle of June, and then the episode with the Keyglove should air sometime in August. I will certainly post updates on all Keyglove-related accounts as the details unfold.
Next Generation Science Fair
The Keyglove project has also been invited to the NextGen Science Fair that will take place in San Francisco on June 19th. After some deliberation, I’ve decided to accept their invitation. The reason I hesitated was not because of the event—I’m sure it will be an excellent opportunity for vendors and attendees alike—but instead because I want to make sure I have something worthwhile to show. I’ve never been an exhibitor at any kind of fair or convention before, so it will be a very new experience for me. But I concluded that having a deadline for exhibit-ready progress will encourage me to push forward on the project, which is a good thing. If you happen to be in San Francisco around June 19th, stop by and say hello! You can find specific details on the site linked above. If all goes well, I’ll try to make the NYC Maker Faire in September, too! This event and the History Channel show are described on the new Media page up on the website.
Collaboration from New Zealand
A motivated New Zealander named Mike Cochrane has made tremendous headway over the last month building his own prototype Keyglove using the information on this website and a lot of his own ingenuity. His prototype is nearly as functional as mine is (and even more so, in some ways), and he’s even been able to use some hardware that I haven’t thought of, including cannibalizing a Logitech wireless keyboard controller in lieu of the regular Bluetooth approach I have taken. He’s also made a lot of his own additions to the Keyglove controller source code to finish some features I haven’t been able to get to and add full support for the original Arduino board (I haven’t revisited that part of the code since I transitioned to the Teensy board).
As part of this collaboration, he encouraged me to move the source code over to Github, which I have done. It’s still up on Google Code, and for the moment the two repositories are exactly the same (though Mike’s fork includes new changes which I have yet to pull into mine). If anyone else is interested it using or developing the code, I highly recommend forking the Github project and going nuts. I may not pull all the changes you make, but I will likely use some of them!
A Clear To-Do List
Although I probably should have done this some time ago, I’ve finally started using a project management system to keep track of all of the development I am doing or need to do. This should allow me to avoid forgetting little things or spending all of my time working on one part of the design when another one needs some time-sensitive action. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens in the next month, and especially sharing it with you all. Watch for some more posts in the next couple of days about design improvements, PCB development, and controller code changes!