Well, it took awhile, but I finally got a response to my questions about the Hemingwrite.
Sorry about the delay! I have held off writing you because 1. This is a very long email and 2. It's a very long email.
We appreciate your concerns and feedback! To start, this was meant to be a niche device, not everything to everybody. Also, no need to bombard us multiple times on facebook, email, etc. We are only a two man team and are doing our best! (we are also trying to build this product in our free time)
I will address that one here, as this is my proverbial front step. Not everyone knows the hemingwrite exists, and I figure exposure is exposure is exposure. Plus I have had issue in the past of less than stellar follow through when it comes to getting word back. For this I am sorry.
As for it being a niche product this is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand you can afford to cater to a specialized audience without much care for what anyone else feels, since they're not who you're aiming at anyway. On the other hand if that audience doesn't like what's being offered you have to hope it's close enough to another specialized market and even if they like the product there is enough to make a workable business off of.
I do appreciate the care taken by Adam here in responding since I do get on the wordy side and he has. Business to pull up out of nothing. For now though I'm just going to go through the reply and jot down my thoughts as I scroll. I'm sure latter points will address concerns with earlier points, or at least I hope so because the first one is a biggie.
Yes, we will sync everything to the cloud. Wait and see how this works when we release a demo.
See, that right there worries me. Reliance on the cloud, frankly, is stupid if you're trying to make a device that will last ten or twenty years. Twenty years ago my school was on windows 3.11, I was primarily using Word Perfect 6 in DOS, and filenames had that annoying eight character limit. Twenty years from now? Who knows! Won't matter how sturdy the device is if the 'cloud' doesn't exist to convert stuff into something you can use.
>E Ink fragility
Not much we can do about this. If it's good enough for the kindle, it is good enough for us. E Ink is constantly upgrading their panels which we will benefit from as well.
Here's hoping. I can take a bit of display lag and ghosting if it means a stupidly long battery life. I'm more worried about durability and replaceability. However with concerns voiced I have to hope that will be addressed in production since that's in their best interests.
>reliance on google
There will be multiple backup methods.
Good! Backups are important. Losing work sucks.
You can turn it off if you want to save battery power or if you just don’t want it on.
Also good. WiFi drains batteries.
Well here's to hoping. I mean I can understand if they don't since that's extra to have to do. It's just that seems like something that would tie both into the heirloom concept, and having several backup methods. Still, I can live with 'just' cloud backups, on device storage, and being able to pull it from device onto another via cabling.
Yes, you can change the font size as rendered on the screen. Output is straight text.
A twofer here. Being able to bump text size up is a serious positive for me, and plain text means basically any device since ever can read the output if you can get at the file.
>everything keyboard controlled
Yes except for the three switches (on/off, folders, and wifi.)
Yes, there will be onboard storage. In document formatting like bold and italics will be accomplished via basic markdown.
As I said before. I like this.
The only real flexibility on price we have is determined through what features we include or exclude. The great majority of the price is in the screen and keyboard which are the critical features of the device. If people want a budget device, a used alphasmart would probably be a better option. For professionals that don't want a budget device, the Hemingwrite will be very affordable.
On the one hand annoying there is no give going on since they're effectively steering potential customers away with this statement. On the other it's two guys in a garage, so focus on what they can rather than try working every single angle.
Sorry that you hate our design :( Not much we can do about that. You might change your mind when you see it in person.
Always a chance seeing actual units will make me improve my score there. Sure the demo unit looks more like a toy than real product, but it's a bloody prototype. Chances are high design cues might end up different between now and later even if it's still 'retro typewriter.'
Thanks again for your feedback. If you have more, please feel free to email us!
Well that was thorough. Glad they took time to respond to me, and I hope they have the best of luck since it is a device type I want if there's any chance I can buy it.
posted from Bloggeroid