Kevin is born, now the upbringing begins
We launched. It is very exciting to have the product, that we have been working on for so long, come to life. Especially because our burglary prevention device Kevin actually serves an important purpose out in the real world. Not only does it actually simulate your presence better than any before seen gadget, to deter burglars. It also simply helps you feel that your home is safe, when you’re not there. Not having to worry about your home is such a fantastic feeling, which we would like to share with you.
Priorities before the launch
There were three main goals to achieve before launching Kevin.
1.Make your home safer as soon as possible
It was our primary goal to get the 700+ pre-ordered Kevin out to you, the backers and long time fans, within the timeframe, that we set for ourselves. Through hard work and dedication, we wanted to get the product ready for the market a lot faster than startups normally take to be ready… and we made it! We are particularly proud of that, because we are a group of people of which not even one has produced any hardware before. So understandably it is not normal for us to just make a hardware product from scratch, and deliver it within the given timeframe. But the thing with Kevin as a non-modular hardware device is, that once delivered you cannot change it anymore. So we put a strong focus on getting the hardware done, reliable and running, since software can always and will be updated through the mitipi app, that you can implement it via your phone, or by Kevin itself if setup and connected to the internet. So soon you will be able to tap into Kevins full potential. We are on it.
2. Actually produce a product, that we would buy ourselves
The thing with products, that have never been seen before, is that you need to find a common ground within the team on how exactly it should work and what the vision is. So with all this in mind, the question arises whether the finished product is one, that we can proudly present and distribute with a good gut feeling. Obviously simulating presence with audio, lights and shadow effects is the main selling point. But the bluetooth and wifi connections need to work, the design has to look nice and all the software behind it should hold up. Before we launched we needed to answer ourselves: “Would we buy it?” And only because this question could be answered with a firm “YES” we confidently decided to start launching.
3. Live up to current standards
It is probably a lot easier, if you decide to develop a product, that already exists in some way shape or form. Does the use of this IoT tech gadget spark joy when using it? Does it actually work, when connecting to so many different phones, each one having a different combination of hard- and software? We depend on your feedback [link to support page], so before we even launched, there’s only so much testing we can do, to simulate real usage of Kevin. In consumer electronics it is always possible, that a few of the gadgets will have some kind of technical flaw. These kinds of flaws oftentimes cannot be foreseen before starting mass production and excessive use of every device produced. And even in the case if everything works as it is supposed to, does it live up to your expectations once you have it? For you as consumers it is difficult to judge because a product like Kevin has never been seen before so what do you compare it with? We found out: Setting reasonable standards is the way to go.
Testing is an ongoing process
As developers we have to stay patient, and only release an app update, when we know it works in many different scenarios. If a release has been rushed, you as consumers will feel the difference to a proven and tested system. It would be arrogant of us to assume, we could do this without you. Your feedback is extremely valuable to us, so don’t hesitate to contact us via our support page.
Even though much of what Kevin is, is formed by your expectations and needs, of course we couldn’t go public without having tested the processes and Kevin extensively ourselves. Two things were to consider here:
hardware: Not only does hardware require certification, but it’s also important, that it is user friendly and intuitive in its handling.
software: The program needs to run smoothly on every device and the communication between Kevin and the user has to have a natural feel to it.
Once this has been established, the following checklist is the next step to take for the launch:
We can assure that the available functions are working.
The functions that have been promised are more or less done and being reviewed sufficiently before release.
Having a good support structure within our team, so the incoming feedback can be processed with the highest possible competence. This requires the team member to answer, who specializes in the topic of the inquiry at hand. Additionally this has to happen within an at least acceptable timeframe.
Collect the feedback information and organize it, so we can learn from our mistakes, to at least not make them again.
Establish all the options, to actually change something, that is being criticised.
Communication within our team has to work. Information, gathered in the customer feedback is edited sufficiently, so that we can troubleshoot in future interactions.
What are the next steps?
As some of you might imagine we have been super busy in the last weeks before the launch. We had great plans but at some points reliability and stability were more important than every last feature.
For now we are focussing on bug fixes, because despite best testing methods, reality will always have one or the other surprise ready.
Also we had great feedback from the users, which we are currently reviewing. Together with the features that did not make the cut (or our quality) before, we are now in the development of brand new features. Some of which cover requests in your feedback. This simply takes a bit of time as it also requires some redesign, but we're on it.
Here we present to you the three main functions, that headline our list of priorities. We are putting a lot of effort into them at the moment to give you the next bigger update as soon as possible:
Geofencing: So far you need to turn on and off Kevin with the switch on the app, or on the device itself if you use it in offline mode. In the future, kevin will activate itself when you and your smartphone leave the house.
Customization of the simulation: So far, you can personalize room type and environment. More different options are going to be added. The more personalization we create, the more content we need and we’re always working on building the data base of household sounds up.
Scheduling: The way we intended Kevin to work was so that you don’t need to create a schedule for Kevin, but he will do a daily routine on his own. You have requested in the feedbacks, that you can decide when Kevin is going to turn on and off. Once turned on, Kevin will still play the fitting simulation according to the time of day and switch between different activities on his own. But you will then be able to decide when he starts and stops doing just that.
As stated above, first priority had to be to get the hardware done. Software can always be updated once you have your Kevin at home.
We had some things nearly done, but the additional feedback meant one or two steps back on certain areas, which we're happy to do and busy working on. Just a few little touch-ups and we can go into a testing. We are confident though - to the point where we are getting excited to release it - that we might be able to complete a bigger app update very soon.
The first two parts of it (geofencing and customization) have always been on the top of this list, but despite best efforts we couldn’t complete all the tests we wanted to be comfortable to actually throw them out there just yet. An additional part of this upcoming big update, which will round out your Kevin will be the option to schedule the simulation on your Kevin. This was requested by you guys and we want to fulfill you this wish <3.
Your Feedback is crucial to the success of our startup. We will emphasize again: please feel free to contact us with even the smallest recommendation or question about your Kevin. We want to create the best product possible, to keep your home safe. You should be able to enjoy the world out there without having to worry about your belongings.
disclaimer: The title picture of an open Kevin is not an accurate depiction of Kevins insides.