NJneering

A Note on the Design Change

117 posts in this topic

 

Hello All,

 

Nick here from engineering. I'd like to address some factors that went into the design change as well as what to expect in the future.

 

First things first, we do intend to build and deliver our original design. A screen spanning the whole shoe IS possible and IS on the horizon. We have experimented with dozens of display technologies and many of them are suitable for constructing a product that looks and acts like the original concept. The limiting factor is that it can not yet perform like a shoe - display technology has come a long way, but can not yet withstand the repeated creasing that occurs in the front of a sneaker. That being said, we are pursuing methods that will allow for this degree of bending that we can incorporate into the final product. For this version, we had two options: reduce the screen size to cover a less volatile area or harden the entire shoe. We tried both and, with much deliberation, decided to press on with the more functional, affordable, and durable of the two designs.  As technology improves, our design will upgrade and evolve towards the original concept.

 

It’s important to remember that we’re trying to push technology forward. Others have done this before; Apple started the digital revolution by creating the first commercially available personal computer, the Macintosh. Most overlook their first product, the Apple I, which was made out of wood. The iPhone was not a standalone product; its origins were in the black-and-white screened iPod of 2001. The first shoes Nike sold were made on a waffle iron. Now they have shoes that lace themselves. The pattern is clear - in order to create something exceptional, progress needs to start somewhere.

 

By all means, we do intend to deliver on the dream that brought you all to ShiftWear. We want it just as much as you do. We’re working day and night and inching closer and closer with each technological breakthrough and creative solution. In the meantime, we will build the most beautiful and functional product that we can.

 

We realize our lack of communication is a point of major frustration. Our supporters deserve to know what to expect and what changes have been made to the product that they’ve so eagerly (and patiently) awaited. This is why we’re implementing two new lines of communication:

 

  1. Scheduled updates from the ShiftWear team. These will give you insight into our activity, what changes have been made, video demonstrations, live interview sessions and more. We want to provide you with as much content as possible so that you may provide us insight into what you like and don't like. This leads us to:

  2. Community polls. Every decision we make is loved by some and hated by others. Rather than awaiting reaction, we’d like to involve the community in all of our major decisions going forward. What should we name this shoe? What colors would you like for these sections? We ultimately want to deliver the product that YOU want.

 

The important things to take away from this are:

 

  • The original design IS possible and WILL be built and delivered as ShiftWear grows and moves onward. Until then we will develop the closest product possible.

  • We are continually updating our design using cutting edge technology from all over the world.

  • We realize that our communication has been lackluster - we will be providing scheduled updates and feedback channels going forward to keep our supporters in the loop.

 

Thank you all for your continued patience and support. Please keep writing your feedback, suggestions, criticisms, and requests in the forums. We are making it a priority to keep you in the loop and give you what you want.

 

Best,

 

Nick Johnson

Head of Engineering

 

PS:

 

I’d like to leave you with an analogy: I’m opening a pizza shop that will deliver you the best pepperoni pizza you’ve ever tasted. The cheese is complex, hearty, unique. The pepperonis have a kick! They’re the perfect texture, thickness, and have substance. So before I make my first slice, do I now master the process of making cheese - experimenting with different bacteria cultures, creams and aging to create that perfect cheese I envisioned? Should I become a master of charcuterie - arriving at the perfect ratios of salt, meat, spices, bacteria, and time through countless iterations of trial and error to get those delectable, juicy pepperonis? Unless I also invented the iPhone, I think I’d run out of money somewhere along the way. Instead, I choose to scour the earth and find the best ingredients the world has to offer. Pepperonis from the elusive, subterranean Perroni tribe of southern Italy and cheese from a street vendor/monastery in rural China. We want to deliver the best product we can create - we don’t have the means to make exactly what we envisioned, but we will start off with something amazing and will keep improving until we’ve achieved it. Cheesy analogy over.

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The original design IS possible and WILL be built and delivered as ShiftWear grows and moves onward. Until then we will develop the closest product possible.

I dont understand this, when is the delivery of a shoe with the original design supposed to happen? Maybe 5 years when the displays are flexible enough or will you deliver a product in the near future that looks like the current prototype which was just revealed

Edited by Tenergy
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So basically we're not getting the shoe that was shown in the original kickstarter.  Feeling ripped off & wanting a refund.  I don't want anything delivered unless it's the product I saw & paid for. 

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I appreciate your update but I am left with questions.

1. What will you deliver the original deaign or you really have no idea since your team is not in the business of developing flexible screens?  

2. You stated that you would have to make a decision but which was it?  Will your backers get anything soon or we are subjected to waiting, and waiting, and waiting?

I get more and more convinced that your project was overly ambitious and you have been unable to deliver anything close to the original design.  This is quite disappointing since in your original offer your project offered a date; since the collection of monies we have not really received any new date of delivery.   

Please give the backers the answers we are asking and not some response prepared by your marketing team.

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The new design and technology is a work in progress based on our current R&D. As we get closer to final release, we will have a variety of sneaker designs that the community can vote for (including the original design). The most important thing is that we showcase some of the tech we are working with and that the concept works.

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I am not happy. 

That's not right, I am disappointed.

We will not be getting the shoe we were advertised back in the beginning of 2016 and Shiftwear will get away with this design change because we were promised a shoe with a screen in the fine print, nothing else.

I understand you guys are limited by today's technology, but this underhanded bait-and-switch technique didn't have to go down like this. All we needed was some communication.

I expect my underdeveloped shoes very soon nick...

 

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Great work so far. I think it's a good decision to do regular updates and votings. This is good for the community. I personally think a lot of people do not realize this is an early prototype you are showing and (hopefully) the shoe will be improved coming months until you've found an acceptable MVP. I'm also interested in when you will release the app for testing and putting on designs. Can you tell us something about your roadmap for coming months?

Keep up the good work!! 

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7 minutes ago, Dave-SW said:

The new design and technology is a work in progress based on our current R&D. As we get closer to final release, we will have a variety of sneaker designs that the community can vote for (including the original design). The most important thing is that we showcase some of the tech we are working with and that the concept works.

I think all backers vote for the original design !

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I never even expected the front of the shoes to show images, just the approximate 75-85% on the side as originally shown.  I do, however, still want to know if the intention is to be able to play video clips or just still images.  Would be be able to play or display our own images or just stock?

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2 minutes ago, Old Drifter said:

I am not happy. 

That's not right, I am disappointed.

We will not be getting the shoe we were advertised back in the beginning of 2016 and Shiftwear will get away with this design change because we were promised a shoe with a screen in the fine print, nothing else.

I understand you guys are limited by today's technology, but this underhanded bait-and-switch technique didn't have to go down like this. All we needed was some communication.

I expect my underdeveloped shoes very soon nick...

 

@Old Drifter again, what we are releasing is a prototype we were working on. The final design will improve upon this. For now if you could provide us with some constructive criticism as to which parts are lacking we would appreciate it. For example: the height of the display is there but it is the length that is not adequate enough.

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This is the first time you guys answered quite fast which is a step in the good direction. Keep interacting with your community! I understand that the original design is quit hard to achieve, but the backers should have known this a lot earlier. 

I truly hope you guys got the message know, the backers need to be informed as they made this project happen! 

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May I remind you that I have MS... I would like to be still able to walk when I will get those damn expensive shoes (my income is quite small)!

That aside, as I backed you, and despite needing every cent I can get my hands on, i'm in till what I backed you for is delivered (as long I can walk).

You tell us that you have looked far and wide for bendable screen tech resisting repeat action whatever the ext. temp is... I live in a temperate country do it has to work between -20°c and +40°c... I hope you also have contacted the Belgian companies working in that field. From what was shown in the news, they maybe have research that could help.

Now get to work and come back with a progress report every two weeks. 

Am I clear? The clock is ticking for me and for you

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Sorry but just gave us a very compelling excuse that doesn't support o shows any evidence based on facts that you will deliver the product all the backers have faithfully bought.

We hear a lot of apologies about the lack of communication, but actual line of communications will not answer the majority of backers concerns.

I have some points that illustrate my own concerns and are making me really upset. They may or not expose true facts or just be personal opinions:

1. Such drastic change on design. Scaling down screen and functionalities not only decrease product value its a complete mismatch on what we've paid for.

2. It seems the new website, app, and designs we all see in the presentations are pointing to a product that now you're able to deliver. Its sad that you're opening another round of pre-orders to be able to fund your company while struggling with technology.

3. It would be much more honest and transparent to announce to all backers you're launching a second, feasible versión of the shoe while developing original proposal. There's no communication or any guarantee that you'll deliver the original version. There's no trace or any announce of the original versión in your app, website and product demos. 

4. You should ask between backers if they want to stick to the first Indiegogo versión or opt for the second feasible versión. In that case, if we opt for the new one we all should receive proportional refund compared to the screen surface and functionalities that was trimmed off.

5. All the backers that don't like the new versión should be entitled right now to a full refund. Its your obligation to fund your project by other means that keep using our money to keep developing something that is too much delayed, overpromised and gives no clue if its feasible or not. 

 

I personally am done with this and want my refund.

Thanks to understand and honest cooperate to all that want a refund be able to get it.

Edited by Alessandro
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@INAMAGURA We are working very hard to get us to that 75% that was originally shown. The display will wrap around the back and onto the other side for now. Its just the area near the front we have the protect for now as we do our R&D. We want to allow users to display videos and images. You can display any image that is on your smartphone, not just stock. I have to say having motion on the shoe put a smile on my face and trying out new designs gets addicting.

@jolly67 If all our supporters vote for the original design, then that's the one we will go with. I just want to be able to explore and provide all options.

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Happy to see a prototype but obviously the screen isn't what we all were led to believe would be on the final product so there's definitely some concern there. So if all backers pick the original - what is the proposed course of action? Do you have a plan for this?

Also cheers to Nick for the hilarious IT history lesson (Apple 1 wasn't sold in a wooden case, nor was the Mac the first commercially available personal computer).

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So disappointed.

So, if unable to deliver your original commitment, and already way off schedule, will it be possible for backers to get their money back (along with interest on the investment for the length of time you've held it)?

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@DiggeR Nick was trying to convey how things evolve from the lab to a product and then the future iterations we now use. You have to start somewhere. What we have now is a prototype and we are updating our website and community to reflect the work we have done. It isn't the best looking prototype by any means but its just an early stage prototype. The final product will be very polished and we are working hard to develop the tech needed to bring in those extra few inches in the front.

We will have multiple options available for the sneaker design itself. This way everyone will vote and decide how the shoe will look.

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A little note to everyone saying "I'm disappointed, this isn't what I paid for, I hate this, etc.", remember this: they're a growing company trying to do something new. Mistakes will be made. Everyone should be happy that they're at least looking for some constructive criticism and are looking to work with some of our ideas to try and find a happy medium where we're happy as customers, they're happy as a company, and the product is functional. So with that being said, here's what I think.

The images/videos showcased under the 'Media' tab are underwhelming, which I am going to blame only on the fact that it is one of the first functioning prototypes, so no issue there. I think the new design showcased on the front of the main site is nice, but needs a few tweaks before I would consider it ideal.

1) The wrap around display: I noticed one of the SW team said it will happen, but just making it known that that is relatively important in my eyes.

2) Two-sided full displays: Although I believe only one side of the shoe was ever shown in the original teaser video, I think we all assumed the shoe has a screen on both sides, and I am still hoping for such a thing. Just seems right.

3) Longer screen: As stated in an example by another one of the SW team, the screen does need to be longer (extended more towards the front). I am comfortable with the height, however it really could be a tad bit higher. To me, more screen real estate = better, as long as its still durable/looks good.

Personally, I do not care if we get the original design. The new design of the shoe itself is pleasing in my eyes. But when it comes down to it, we all backed because of the implementation of the screen. As long as the shoe has a good design and the screen is a good size and well implemented, I think most of us will be happy. People were only disappointed because they saw a screen 1/2 the size of the original and instantly drew conclusions without realizing (1) it was a prototype and (2) you are still working on improving the design.

Anyhow, there will be people that disagree and agree with be but, either way, keep working hard Shiftwear team. Love what you guys are doing so far. Please be more active with us though, as stated!

Edited by DrewsGFX
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45 minutes ago, MSfighter said:

May I remind you that I have MS... I would like to be still able to walk when I will get those damn expensive shoes (my income is quite small)!

That aside, as I backed you, and despite needing every cent I can get my hands on, i'm in till what I backed you for is delivered (as long I can walk).

You tell us that you have looked far and wide for bendable screen tech resisting repeat action whatever the ext. temp is... I live in a temperate country do it has to work between -20°c and +40°c... I hope you also have contacted the Belgian companies working in that field. From what was shown in the news, they maybe have research that could help.

Now get to work and come back with a progress report every two weeks. 

Am I clear? The clock is ticking for me and for you

Absolutely clear.

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I am in the same boat as all the above backers. We paid HUNDREDS of dollars for a shoe with a full side screen. 

You had monetary goals listed and once each monetary goal was reached you promised to add another feature. You reached well over 1 million dollars, but can't provide us with the original design? 

Will we end up having to pay more for a full screen design??? Because I will not pay any more money for a shoe I have waited over a year for! 

**also about the font creasing, why don't you add a hard shell top around the toe to reduce creasing, and just have the screen on the outer part of the show like in the original video. I would be content with just a side screen, but DEFINITELY not as small as the one you just posted earlier today with a very small screen. That just looks SILLY if u ask me, it doesn't look good, and makes the sneaker look cheap! 

Also, when I was asked for my sizing and color choices, I was told all white was not available. But in the prototypes they are all white. Is this a new option, or are the black n white blue n white red n white like we were originally told? 

 

Do do you have any estimated timeframe on how much longer we will be waiting for our products?? 

Lastly....WHY and HOW are you opening up your sales platform to get more backers to purchase more sneakers, if you can't even deliver the product to the first time backers??? Seems like your out of money and need more to continue trying to make this product. If that's the case I don't support this and want my money back. Enough is enough. 

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17 minutes ago, DrewsGFX said:

A little note to everyone saying "I'm disappointed, this isn't what I paid for, I hate this, etc.", remember this: they're a growing company trying to do something new. Mistakes will be made. Everyone should be happy that they're at least looking for some constructive criticism and are looking to work with some of our ideas to try and find a happy medium where we're happy as customers, they're happy as a company, and the product is functional. So with that being said, here's what I think.

The images/videos showcased under the 'Media' tab are underwhelming, which I am going to blame only on the fact that it is one of the first functioning prototypes, so no issue there. I think the new design showcased on the front of the main site is nice, but needs a few tweaks before I would consider it ideal.

1) The wrap around display: I noticed one of the SW team said it will happen, but just making it known that that is relatively important in my eyes.

2) Two-sided full displays: Although I believe only one side of the shoe was ever shown in the original teaser video, I think we all assumed the shoe has a screen on both sides, and I am still hoping for such a thing. Just seems right.

3) Longer screen: As stated in an example by another one of the SW team, the screen does need to be longer (extended more towards the front). I am comfortable with the height, however it really could be a tad bit higher. To me, more screen real estate = better, as long as its still durable/looks good.

Personally, I do not care if we get the original design. The new design of the shoe itself is pleasing in my eyes. But when it comes down to it, we all backed because of the implementation of the screen. As long as the shoe has a good design and the screen is a good size and well implemented, I think most of us will be happy. People were only disappointed because they saw a screen 1/2 the size of the original and instantly drew conclusions without realizing (1) it was a prototype and (2) you are still working on improving the design.

Anyhow, there will be people that disagree and agree with be but, either way, keep working hard Shiftwear team. Love what you guys are doing so far. Please be more active with us though, as stated!

Design wise, there will be tons of tweaks made to find that happy medium. Everything you have said is on point.

The wrap around display is possible.

Two-sided displays is also doable and we can use leather at the back to help bridge them to make it look more seamless.

The idea behind this update was to showcase the tech and how the concept can work. It is by no means a polished product at all. It is just a prototype. The materials used will be of very high quality and the shoe will look sharper and more defined.

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The iPhone was not a standalone product; its origins were in the black-and-white screened iPod of 2001.

True, but Apple didn't promise an iPod with a colour screen and then release one that was black and white.

Quote

The limiting factor is that it can not yet perform like a shoe - display technology has come a long way, but can not yet withstand the repeated creasing that occurs in the front of a sneaker.

I gather from this that you're saying that those who said that the shoe, as described on Indiegogo, was impossible using current technology were correct.

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I am excited for what's been shown so far.. and personally prefer the prototype to the original design in terms of design and style of the shoe.

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