I Got Inspired at Revitalize 2015

I recently returned from a gathering of  about 150 exceptional practitioners, teachers, and influencers in mind/body health and performance. These are not just people thinking, talking, and studying mind/body health: they are on the front lines.

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3 Things We Discovered While Making the Spire Apple Watch App

For the past few months we’ve been working on an App for Apple Watch. As a “wearable” that focused on tracking the 85% of your day when you are not moving and isn’t worn on the wrist, Spire is a perfect complement to the Apple Watch’s functionality.

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Welcome to Spire

Welcome to Spire

Congratulations on receiving your Spire. A few more tips to get you started:


Download the Spire app

You can find the Spire app at spire.io/app or in the App Store.


Charge your Spire

Spire features wireless charging to make charging your Spire as easy as placing it on the chargpad. To get started with charging, here’s a short video how-to:
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5CBK5sIyix8]


Use and Understand your Spire!

You’re all set. To get up to speed on how to use the Spire application, check out this short walkthrough.
For more on the notifications Spire can deliver in realtime to guide you through your day, check out this deep dive:
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKO7nCwH13Y]

If you have anymore questions — please reach out! Email us at hello@spire.io.

Spire is Shipping – How to know when yours will arrive

Dear Pre-Order Customers –
Spire devices are flowing out of our warehouse! The first devices started arriving yesterday and many, many more will arrive (and be shipped over the coming week). Many of you have received an email from us asking for your shipping date. Some have not. Please hold tight – we will be able to ship all orders within 2 weeks.

If you’d like to know exactly when your device will ship, please email us at hello@spire.io.

If you’ve received your Spire we’d love to see pictures (selfies?) of how you are wearing the it. Send us a tweet or facebook message.

Finally, our entire team is waiting to hear you feedback on how we can continue to make Spire better. Again, don’t hesitate to drop us line at hello@spire.io.

Thanks again for your patience as we’ve overcome the delays in bringing Spire to life. We hope when Spire arrives you’ll agree it was worth it!

All the best –
The Spire Team

Spire Shipping — More Updates

Dear Spire Customers and Supporters,

We know the shipping delays have been frustrating so we wanted to provide you with another update.

Almost all of the parts for production of our pre-order Spires are now ready for assembly. Of course, as each part is made we carefully check that it is manufactured to our high standards and requirements.  Unfortunately, one key part was not – the vendor made a mistake and used the wrong material!  We’ve had to send it back to be remade.

This mistake unfortunately sets us back a few more weeks. Final assembly will take place towards the end of October. This means that, after being shipped across the ocean and passing through customs, we expect your Spire to arrive in late November before Thanksgiving.

We are completely dedicated to delivering an amazing product to our customers. This is why we could not simply overlook the material error and had to delay to ensure the best product possible.

We are truly sorry. We know the delays are frustrating and we share your frustration. However, we remain excited to bring you a truly great product.

Our team is working night and day to make it happen.

P.S. We have some great photos of the Spire parts waiting to be assembled! Here are some photos as the parts were being made over the last few months:

Here are some of the Spire stones, waiting to have their clips attached:

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Clip cutting! Before the clips go through a treatment to harden the metal, the metal is soft, making it easier to cut:

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The clips go through five different treatments after being cut. Here, the clips are hanging to dry after one of the treatments:

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And finally, a preview of the whole product as it comes together. This sample is a great representation of what you can expect to receive in the mail:

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Spire Shipping Update

Dear friends and Spire supporters,

Thanks to your overwhelming demand, we have far exceeded our initial estimates for Spire manufacturing. It’s been fantastic.

We know you’re wondering when Spire trackers will start shipping and we wanted to give you an update. Although originally scheduled for September, Spires will be shipping in mid-October, arriving on your doorstep towards the end of October. We know delays are frustrating and we completely understand.

The reason I’m writing this post is because I want to be upfront with you, our earliest supporters, about this and explain why.

Because of the incredible demand, our manufacturing partners in China have been working double-time to make the 160 individual parts that go into building a single Spire device, not to mention its accompanying charging pad.

Each of these 160 parts has to be individually inspected and approved by a complex customs process, ensuring that they precisely match pre-listed specifications. This is a time-consuming process, as you can imagine. Unfortunately, this is being coupled with a week-long national holiday in China starting October 1st, compounding our delay to a few weeks.

The good news is we’ve completed all our pre-production builds and are ready to enter mass production. The only reasons we aren’t in mass production right now are because: 1) we can’t import from Hong Kong yet, as it’s taking twice as long as normal to get customs paperwork, and 2) factories are about to close for 7 days for a national holiday in China. We will start mass production the week immediately following the holiday.

Our team – spread across two continents and multiple cities/factories – is literally at work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to get your Spire tracker to you as soon as we can. Thank you so much for your patience. We are so grateful for all the support and enthusiasm. It’s been really fun to see the Spire community continue to grow.

Spire Suppliers Part 2: Cork Manufacturing

One of our goals in building Spire was to find processes and materials that matched our nature-inspired design aesthetic. Cork is one of those materials.

Cork is a renewable material made from the bark of the cork oak tree. Here’s how our cork factory turns the bark of cork into the finish we use on the Spire charging pad:

Step 1: Dry the cork out.

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Step 2: Cut the cork into squares and assemble it into disks.

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Step 3: Stack the disks together and then use a special compression machine with adhesive to turn the stack into a solid cork cylinder.

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Step 4:  Shave off a cork “fabric” from the compressed cylinder.

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Step 5: Cut out the Spire shape and attach it to the charging pad.

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Note: Depending upon what you do in Steps 2 and 3 you can get all kind of different looks and finishes.

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Note: Due to legal reasons of confidentiality we cannot release the names of our suppliers. Our cork factory partner is the largest cork factory in China. Cork based products originating from this factory are found in major brands around the world.

Cork is not a material traditionally found in consumer electronic products and we would like to thank the owners and management of this factory for working tirelessly with us through countless iterations to figure out how to make our charging pad work.

Spire Suppliers Part 1: An Introduction and Our CM

Spire has over a 100 parts, each of which must be carefully sourced to exacting standards.  Many of these parts are custom parts, designed by us. This means we go through many iterations with the factories who build them to make sure everything is working together and to our specification.

Over the past number of months we’ve been hard at work getting all of this to come together.  Now that its come together and we are doing “test production” builds, we wanted to share a bit with you.

Over the next few blog posts we are going to introduce you to some of the factories involved in making Spire and show you pictures of the device coming together.

Meet Our CM (Contract Manufacturer):

The best place to start this blog series is at the top of the chain — our contract manufacturer (commonly referred to as “CM”).  This is the factory where all of the parts go for final assembly and testing.

There are four basic steps that happen at the CM:

1. All the electrical components are assembled onto our PCB (the circuit board).  This is done using an automated machine called a “pick and place machine.” It literally picks up each tiny electrical component using a small suction cup and then places it on the correct place on the PCB.  This “placed” PCB, which has been pre-coated with solder, is then run through a special oven. This oven essentially melts everything in place.

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Check out this cool gif of the pick and place machine in action:

2. The Assembled PCB (called PCBA) is then run through a suite of tests.  Our engineering team built these tests to automatically go through every functionality of the device, carefully testing that each electrical component is working as it should.

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3. Now we actually put the device together.  An assembly line of about 10 stations is set up.  Each station – and the operator on the station – performs a specific task using tools and “rigs” designed to make their job faster and reduce errors.   Assembly stations include soldering on the battery, the wireless charging coil and vibration motor, screwing the PCB to the stone shell and screwing our clip to the stone.

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4. Finally, we test the assembled device again to make sure nothing was damaged during assembly. Then, Spire is packages up and ready to be shipped.

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Check back in for more posts featuring our manufacturers and updates on the Spire building process!

Note: Due to legal reasons of confidentiality we cannot release the name of our suppliers.  Our CM partner is a global, multi-billion dollar manufacturer that works with top tier brands (such as Samsung, LG, etc.) and follows the highest international environmental, labor, and quality standards.

 

Meet Jackie: Spire’s Graphic Designer

Hi I’m Jackie.

I’m from Melbourne. I studied at Swinburne University of Technology (Melbourne) in addition to completing a 7-month program at Elisava – Barcelona School of Design. Melbourne managed to instill in me a mild degree of coffee fussiness and, an undeniable craving for poached egg brunches.

My time spent studying in Barcelona allowed me to connect with an extraordinary city and, simultaneously, talented designers from all over the world. My exposure to such a diverse group of creatives helped to mould the direction that my design career has taken and initiated a desire to closely get to know another influential city in the design community.

Spire approached me a few months ago to join their team as a Graphic and Interaction Designer. I was already planning on moving to San Francisco to check out the incredibly innovative design scene, so everything synced up perfectly.

I’ve really enjoyed working with Spire and providing input and direction into the visual design of the app, website, and brand. It’s been an incredibly thrilling task, and I can’t wait to see more people interact with the product and benefit from it.

Meet Spire’s Data Guy: Francesco!

Hello all,

I’m Francesco, and I’m Spire’s Chief Data Officer, which basically means anything data related. I’m responsible for algorithms, data pipeline, api design and in general making sure that we reliably collect data and deliver interesting information to our users.

I’m originally from Italy, but I lived in may countries including France, UK, Brazil, and Switzerland. My first encounter with the Bay Area was through Singularity University but I moved to San Francisco to work with Spire. I’ve been with Spire since the early days, when it was pretty much just Jonathan, Neema and I here in SF and a couple of guys in Beijing.

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It’s been a great ride! Seeing the evolution of our data pipeline, building the algorithms that extract meaningful information from raw sensor signals, bringing people in our office to test the devices and help us acquire more data.

One thing I’m very proud of is the Spire Data Acquisition Happy Hours. We organized a bunch of these gatherings, where we invited people to our offices, put Spires on them and kindly invited them to perform various activities while we recorded their data. Obviously it was also a great occasion to meet new people, learn insights on why they were interested in Spire and have some fun together 🙂

The data gathered during our happy hours has been extremely important in the development of our algorithms and maybe in a next post I’ll tell you more about it.

Have a great day,

F