Before picture-perfect prototypes or a shop-ready website, a lot of research, planning and deliberation goes into producing fashionable, functional wearables. Tinkering with Tinsel, our new monthly blog series, will dive into the details and decisions behind producing the Dipper and Tinsel products to come. Look out for a deeper dive into The Dipper via TwT in the next few weeks but, for now, here are the basics of our Dipper journey so far:
Hardware is hard. From 3D renderings to cosmetic prototyping to the first functioning Dipper prototype, growing this product has been a long journey with plenty of snags – both figurative and literal – along the way. Luckily, we’ve learned that every tiny tweak is actually a pretty huge step closer to production-readiness.
There are a few key things we want the Dipper to do and be without fail. We want it to be easy to wear, we want it to impress your pants off in audio quality, and we really want it to look fantastic. Meeting these three needs isn’t as easy as you might think…
The Snag Sitch
A big priority for us is making the experience switching from necklace to earbuds and back as seamless as possible. In mid-August we got a new prototype from our production friends in Shenzhen that looked great, but had a gnarly user problem: the necklace chains were snagging on certain fabrics. This meant a complete redesign of the Dipper’s chain construction was at hand – a redesign that took six anxious weeks!
Audiophilia at Work
When we listen to music or talk on a phone, we like to imagine we’re right there in the action – whether rolling in the deep with Adele, rolling up the partition for Beyonce, or “rolling up to the restaurant in just a minute, hon” with our SOs. That’s why we’re hell-bent on top notch audio quality in our headphones. For the Dipper, getting great sound without compromising on aesthetics was all about the size and shape of the earbuds. We’ve spent time improving the earbud piece and sound quality in each prototype.
…And Looking Good Doing It
We’ve kept our ears open to friends, the press, and supporters for feedback on aesthetic improvements. Fashion is an ever-changing beast, so being sure the product looks good and is a versatile accessory has been a big piece of the Dipper puzzle.
What seem like the smallest tweaks in the product are making big differences in convenience and usability so, at the end of the day, we feel really good about where we are. What’s most exciting is that we’ll be unveiling a brand new prototype in the next few weeks that levels up both the experience and beauty of the Dipper!
More in-depth production details in Tinkering with Tinsel, coming soon!