Qi Aerista Smart Tea Brewer Update #23

To all our wonderful supporters of Qi Aerista!

Here is our bi-weekly project update. We apologize for the slight delay. 

In the past 2 weeks we saw:

- Tooling near completion

- Integration testing between app and PCBA  

- Alpha testing of our app for both Android and iOS versions

- Preparation for the soft launch of Qi Aerista artisan tea subscription box  

Manufacturing Update

Brewer Hardware

The tooling for making the structural parts has been completed. We have tested the tooling for making a number of sample parts and the results are satisfactory.

Tooling pieces for making structural parts.
Tooling pieces for making structural parts.

These off-tool pieces contrast those that have been made via rapid prototyping in our earlier prototypes, which are much more expensive to make per piece. We have placed both sets side-by-side for a comparison below. Note that these initial off-tool pieces are made with their natural material colors. They do not resemble the final color appearance or surface finishing yet.

Partially complete off-tool sample (L) vs pre-production version prototoype (R).
Partially complete off-tool sample (L) vs pre-production version prototoype (R).

In addition to our glass and structural parts, we expect to receive off-tool samples for our silicone rubber and metallic parts as well as other actuator components over the week or so. Once we have all the sample parts ready, we will assemble and test our first set of production-version units by the end of the month. 

PCBA

We are finishing up the PCBA and app integration testing to verify the network setup procedures and various app-device controls. We expect to start brewer-level integration testing in the next few days, where we will install our new PCBA to our new prototype and control it using our new app. 

PCBA testing with touch-sensitive buttons (L) and app (R).
PCBA testing with touch-sensitive buttons (L) and app (R).

App Testing

We are currently actively testing both Android and iOS versions of our app across different aspects including PCBA integration, UI & UE, backend integration, network configuration, etc. We are also preparing for beta testing with our eager backer community, including setting up download links and installation through app store. If everything goes well, beta testing could start as early as next week.

Alpha testing of Android & iOS app
Alpha testing of Android & iOS app

Artisan Teas by Qi Aerista - Volunteer Tea Tasters

We have prepared and sent out tea packages to our 5 volunteer tea tasters spanning 3 continents. Each of them will receive 3 mystery tea types, hand-picked by our tea experts and sourced directly from experienced tea craftsman in China. Some of the packages have already arrived safely and we look forward to our tea tasters' review of their experience.

Preparing tea packages for our volunteer tea tasters.
Preparing tea packages for our volunteer tea tasters.

Soft Launch of Qi Aerista Artisan Tea on Nov 20th 

Save the date! We would like to invite everyone to join us on Monday, November 20th for the soft launch of our Qi Aerista Artisan Chinese Tea Subscription Service! Here is what we will offer: 

- Surprise yourself every month with 3 new types of exclusive artisan whole leaf teas, each sourced directly from tea plantations across China

- Learn in-depth knowledge about each tea and follow the brewing guide right on your Qi Aerista app 

- Each tea package will be shipped out straight to you from China, the home of tea, within 48 hours after order placement

Brewing Great Tea, the Qi Aerista Way
Brewing Great Tea, the Qi Aerista Way

Launch Party Live Casts

We will also host Launch Party live casts on Monday, November 20th (China time), available through Kickstarter and our Facebook Backers Group at the times below. 

We are planning 2 30-minute sessions at the following times:

  • 10am China time (Sunday, November 19 at 9pm EDT/6pm PDT for US/Canada) 
  • 4pm China time (11am CET for Europe)

Come join us to celebrate the soft launch of our Qi Aerista artisan Chinese tea subscription service!

Coming Up Next

Over the next 2 weeks we will see  

- Completion of tooling, integration testing between app and PCBA, and alpha testing of our app for both Android and iOS versions   

- Preparation for first assembly of off-tool production-version prototypes

- Start of beta testing for our app

- Soft launch of Qi Aerista artisan Chinese tea subscription service

Together we are making Qi Aerista a reality!  

____________________  

Cheers,  

Rick @ Qi Aerista

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