We’ve faced some real technical and time challenges during March so apologies for the delay in releasing this update. Sit back, grab your Easter egg leftovers and prepare yourself for the Cocoon March update!
It’s been a month of mixed news in the development team.
WiFi antenna performance was not to a standard we were happy with. We’ve had to change the antenna supplier and work with the WiFi module supplier to rectify the issue. WiFi antennas must be in a specific orientation with respect to Cocoon’s body and be separated from any metal (including the brushed aluminium ring around Cocoon and any other electronic component). Unfortunately, we’ve had to completely restart the layout of the main PCB to accommodate the new antenna correctly.
Fitting all the technology into a product as compact and elegant as Cocoon makes PCB layout a real challenge. Our layout engineer at Bytesnap Design says it’s still “tighter than a nat’s handbag” but the F-shaped antenna (in green below) just fits in the new layout.
The setback has led to a one-month delay in our project plan but since there is no change to the circuit schematic we’re optimistic that we’ll pull back the time to ship on schedule. We’ve also engaged a radio frequency specialist to validate the new design.
And now for the good news! We have our sensor PCB (printed circuit board) fully functional, including the SUBSOUND™ and motion sensors.
The quality of Cocoon is really important to us and you so we’ve been tuning the camera functionality to provide the best experience possible. We have lens shading correction work left to do but benchmarks against the competition are promising!
Getting ready for manufacture
We’ve produced and tested another prototype Cocoon with the sensor board functionality contained within it. We’re now working to refine the cable entry area to produce a design that can be injection molded at scale.
Dan and Nick are currently testing specialist material constructions for the front cover. The front cover holds behind it the camera and a host of other sensors so it requires special optical qualities. In other words, it needs to let the right light in and look great. It’s a detailed piece of work that we need to get right.
We’re working with contract electronic manufacturers (CEMs) on the production and test plan for the product. One of the ADCs (analog-digital converter) we are using has a long lead time so we’re considering switching to an alternative in order to make the process of manufacture more efficient.
Cocoon picked up it’s first formal business award in March at a gala dinner for UK startups in the North of England, hosted by corporate finance boutique GP Bullhound.
Sanjay was at the event to receive the award. Whilst we’re pleased to be recognised by our industry, we know that our customers are the real judges. We are very grateful to all our backers and supporters that are helping us to achieve our dream of giving millions of people peace of mind about their homes and loved ones.
Cocoon at the Palace
Dan and Colin visited St James’s Palace in London as part of the Duke of York’s [email protected] network. The event was fantastic, with Cocoon one of the ten UK startups presenting to a room of over 350 people, the likes of which included royalty, Amazon, Mashable, Wired, and the BBC. We want to thank everyone who supported us on Facebook, Twitter and on the day at the Palace. We’d like to also thank HRH The Duke of York and his incredible team for an amazing two days of pitching.
Cocoon in The Times
The Digital Economy Report compiled for The Times by Raconteur listed Cocoon as #3 in the Top 10 UK startups. Alex Wood, the former editor of Tech City News and now editor in chief at The Memo, compiled the report which also includes fellow attendees at the Pitch10 event in February, Hassle and Bizzby.
Remember, if you have questions please get in touch via Facebook or Twitter.
– Team Cocoon