Januar 2022 Update

January 2022 Update

Deliveries so far and some customer feedback

White Heatle, unboxing photo from a customer in Cologne, Germany.

Happy to receive their order, some customers have already started to share their feedback, suggestions, photos and videos. There was no shortage of good ideas for the user experience and accessories. Some customers were willing to share their photos in this update.

Isometric drawing from the user manual.

White Heatle in action, photo from a customer in Cologne, Germany.
Nearly 30% of customers ordered their Heatle in white, by the way

Black Heatle, customer photos from Berlin.

This black unit is now at home with a true tea and coffee lover who appreciates knowing the exact temperature of the liquid he is drinking - not just the temperature in the kettle.

White Heatle, customer photos Berlin.

Here is another white unit in a family kitchen in Berlin. An interesting observation from this customer was to immerse the tea bag into the cup whilst heating. She noticed the vibrations from the rod really helped to infuse the tea. We will speak to tea specialists to ask their opinion on this. If it looks feasible, we might develop a suitable accessory to aid this process, especially for loose tea.

Showroom and new directions

We have hosted dozens of Heatle customers in our showroom who gave us lots of helpful suggestions, but using the Heatle at home opens up a different perspective and we continue to optimise and improve our technology and usability based on user feedback.

Interestingly, some coffee experts have shown an interest in Heatle for the temperature control and broad versatility of use. One of them visited us and experimented in the Heatle showroom with his Alessi coffee equipment. Another, in Holland, is trying some exciting new brewing methods with his new heating companion.

Coffee and Heatle, experimentation in our workplace, Berlin.

Supply chain delays continue in to 2022

With our focus on preparations for mass production, we are still producing the Heatles in small batches in our own premises, as we receive the ordered components in dribs and drabs. Once the bulk deliveries arrive, we will be ready to scale production up with our EMS partner to manufacture the next larger batches.

Time-consuming manual assembly due to supply chain delays.

Kindly note that we are still unable to share accurate delivery dates for individual orders as we still don’t have reliable information on inbound deliveries of components and parts. It’s a dire situation, unfortunately we are in the same boat as all other tech companies right now.

Situation on the electricity market

As you may have noticed, there has been a dramatic rise in electricity prices recently. News agencies report:

  • Europe’s Never Paid So Much for Power as 2021 Breaks Record.
  • Short-term power prices averaged record levels this year.
  • There’s little sign that 2022 will offer any relief.

The average cost of power for delivery in the short-term soared to record levels this year, rising over 200% in Germany, France, Spain and the U.K. In the Nordic region -- where vast supplies of hydro power tend to cap prices -- costs surged 470% from a year earlier.

Now more than ever, wasteful household appliances such as kettles are being exposed for their high costs as well as environmental burdens.

Expanding our storage space

Deliveries of delayed components are starting to arrive at long last. We have purchased a new storage container which is dry and warm, climate controlled to preserve the components at their required storage conditions. It may not sound like a big deal, but even shipping containers are hard to come by these days.

While waiting for these core components to arrive, we continue to prepare for mass production, optimising the design in order to make production as quick and efficient as possible, whilst maintaining premium quality.

Bringing the LED screens to perfection

Last year, we noticed some issues with the display on our white units with the leds appearing blurry. We considered some major design change ideas, but in the end they were not necessary. Today, after many iterations, the white display is absolutely sharp and beautiful with a custom light guide. We are extremely pleased with the clarity pon the white and black glass versions.

Before and after.

After numerous mould-tool modifications, we managed to level out the differences and produce the same level of sharpness and quality for both displays which now satisfy our high standards.

Triple Tray mold tooling complete

The large, non-trivial tray mold caused problems during injection molding.

The manufacturing of the triple trays made of food-grade Tritan material turned out to be more complicated than we expected due to the design as well as the hard material properties when injected into the metal tools. Eventually, working with our manufacturer, we managed to find a way to inject the material so that the outer surface remained smooth and clean, without injector pin or separation marks.

We are only making a limited amount of these accessories and they will be sent out together with the Heatle.

Transparency is key

Ever since we have started our company and especially our pre-sale, we have doubled down on transparency. We invest a lot of time and effort into our monthly updates because we believe we owe it to our thousands of supporters. There are many things we are learning along the way, but the things we do know we share as transparently as possible.

To show off the unique technology inside the Heatle, we made 5 limited edition transparent units, which expose the internal components, including the clear rod handle and energy harvesting temperature measurement. You can see the device in action further down in the updates. We cannot yet say if and when this version will be available.

As always, you are welcome to come to our showroom to try out the Heatle and give us your feedback and ideas. You can book an appointment on our website.

iOS and Android app

Heatle offers you an extended digital experience with many new possibilities in the months to come. While you are free to use the device completely offline and without our app for iOS and Android, you have the option to get access to advanced features, remote controls, custom heating profiles, custom Heatle behavior, newest software updates, troubleshooting and of course upgrades for our upcoming accessories. The app allows the Heatle to connect to our ever growing ecosystem and grow together with it so you can continue to get extended value out of the device.

In this video you can see one of the recent versions. Still in development, but the core functionality is already implemented, like for example the remote control and customisation panel.

Knobs getting knobtimised

After finding some flaws in the quality of the previous batch, we found a new supplier of sustainable, European oak wood and are currently testing the different options, such as the surface treatment. We will share the detailed results in February and make a survey.

We also optimised the design of the inner parts which connect the wooden knob to the Heatle. This ensures a stronger connection between the wood and inner holder, as well as a smoother rotation. And on top of that, our new design allows the knob to be exchanged in case it gets damaged - or for when we release new optional designs in the near future made of different wood types or materials in general.

By the way, we are considering making the 3D data of our mount and knobs available to the public, so there is no limit to your creativity when it comes to personalization.

Packaging finalised and ordered

The first units had to be sent in our previous packaging design which was square and a bit bulky. We also wanted to use white cardboard because it’s more available than brown and we wouldn’t have to wait months to get our packaging. In the end, we decided to return back to brown and use white ink to maximise the recyclability of the packaging. Even if we have to wait longer for packaging in the beginning due to the huge shortage of paper, we believe that we are doing the right thing in the long run.

This is our new and final design. It’s optimised for shipping, security and aesthetics. It’s fully recyclable. Your Heatle will safely arrive in this product/shipment box. We hope you will like it too.

In other news...

David celebrates his birthday in January. We have prepared a surprise for him that will make the heart of every hardware engineer beat faster...

...the first transparent Heatle was put into operation for the first time! An absolute attraction, not only for the birthday man.

Hai is working on the temperature calibration so that the Heatle measures as precisely as possible and switches off in time.

Even when it gets late and cold, things heat up over here - the latest software has been uploaded and tested in the showroom.