Karma's VP of Product, Sjoerd Smit, just spent the last week in Shenzhen, China, checking up on our manufacturers there. We're close to starting mass production on Karma Go, and Sjoerd went to lend his critical eye to make sure every little detail is right. The last hurdle will be final certification of device, which means it is fully compliant with the LTE network and safe to be switched on.
Shenzhen is perhaps most famous for being the location of Foxconn's largest factory, where many of Apple's products are built. But Shenzhen is also full of thousands of smaller manufacturers that can make almost anything — everything from the Karma Go's electronics, to its plastic form, to the felt pouch it comes with, is made there.
Throughout his trip, Sjoerd shared candid shots of his experience with the rest of the Karma team, so we thought we'd pass them on to you!
Sjoerd discusses samples with the Chinese manufacturing team
Checking out the LED operation of a naked Karma Go (left)
Driving toward the factory
Injection molding machines on the factory floor
Clean room garb for the in-mould labelling process
Sjoerd's handy Pantone swatch for the canonical Karma orange
A whiteboard discussion of LED assembly
A cleverly titled Shenzhen bar, which Sjoerd sadly didn't enter
Sjoerd's kit for a meeting to discuss packaging samples
The aftermath of a packaging meeting
The end result
Being this close to manufacturing, we weren't looking to make any huge changes, but Sjoerd is happy about a couple of small tweaks made during the visit. The plastic of the device is now slightly less glossy, the pouch's felt is different and bears a smaller logo. Tweaks were also made to the LED portion of the device to make mass production at a high quality easier. If it sounds like we're obsessed with details, that's because we are. It's one thing to design a beautiful and functional device, but it's a whole other thing to actually build that device.
Sjoerd in Google Hangout
Today, during Karma's weekly all-hands meeting, Sjoerd held up the final Karma Go shell up to his webcam (he's in the Netherlands for the holidays, recovering from jet lag). Now we're one step closer to shipping, and it feels good.
Of course, we haven't forgotten the end goal: getting Karma Go into your hands. It's on our minds 24/7. We hear you. We will have a firmer ship date soon, and we'll update you as soon as we know it.