#40 CES 2017 Wrap-up, Production Update and More!

We’re back from CES 2017!

Hi everyone,

Our debut at CES was a huge success! The four-day show was even busier and more fruitful of an adventure as we had hoped. While CES was equal parts exhausting and exhilarating, like anyone would expect, it was definitely an eye-opening experience for us. We got to meet a lot of distributors, build connections with the media and talk with key experts in the field. But the most memorable thing at the show was getting to meet a few of you, our awesome backers. 

To the backers who dropped by, thank you so much for visiting the booth and giving us your thoughts on Arist. It was such a pleasure meeting you guys. Also, we want to thank everyone for being so cooperative and supportive in our comment sections.

As promised, here are some videos we took from CES, including a video showing how Arist can brew your perfect cup:

After reviewing the feedback we received at CES, we’re looking to work on the following aspects to make Arist an even better coffee brewer before final mass production:

  • Explore the option of providing water to the machine by connecting it to a direct water source;

  • Explore a new design of the water tank make changing the water filter easier;

  • Make adjustments to the milk frother self-cleaning mechanism; and

  • Explore the possibility of integrating Arist to a Smart Home System 

App Update

We have received a lot of valuable feedback at CES which pointed us to a new direction on how to improve the user experience in the coming software updates. Meanwhile, the Arist app for Android phones is also ready! It will be published on google play in February. We will be sending out surveys to confirm your email addresses so we could add the Arist Koins into the correct Kickstarter backer accounts before your first Log-in. After we do that, backers can start to claim your Arist Koins for bean purchases in the Arist App. 

Shipment Update & new survey

We know a lot of you can’t wait to level up your morning routine by brewing coffee with Arist and we received massive inquiries from backers regarding how to update their mailing address, make changes on their order placement and asking for the expected shipment date. So let us summarize the answers right here: We will send out a new survey to confirm your mailing addresses and order details before shipping. The expected delivery date will vary in accordance to your color choice, reward quantity and shipment destination. Therefore, we can’t provide a precise shipment date for each backer. However, backers can find out the estimated delivery dates for each color and edition in the new survey and the first batch of Arist is expected to be shipped in Q2 this year. Backers will receive a confirmation email from us enclosed with tracking numbers for your reference. All colors and editions we mentioned in the campaign page and previous updates are still available for selection. 

A Message to backers seeking refunds

We apologize for the frustration and aggravation we’ve caused from the delayed delivery of the Arist. We've had struggles, to be sure, but we have never given up on getting the machine into your hands. As a pioneer of smart coffee brewers, we have achieved exactly what we set out to do. All of our booth visitors at CES 2017 agreed the coffee brewed by Arist is amazing.

We are eager to get this machine into your hands because we want to share the happiness and excitement with you, our earliest supporters. Also, the Kickstarter early bird offer is a very desirable deal, as the pledge amount is just enough to cover the production cost and the retail price is much more than the previous pledge amount.

While we hope that the delicious coffee will make all this worth the wait, if you still insist on a refund at this point in time, when we are almost ready to ship the Arist, we will honor your request. For a refund, please send us a PM via Kickstarter or send us an email with your backer number to info@aristbrew.com. We will issue a refund value of your Kickstarter pledge minus the 8% Kickstarter and payment service charge. This refund offer will end on February 7, 2017, 11:59pm EST. Requests received after this time will not be considered. 

Production Update

The mass production process is scheduled to commence in mid-February. Everything is on schedule and we are busy incorporating all the feedback to help improve the final product during the Chinese New Year break. 

Like we said before, CES is an amazing platform where we collected data of Arist performance after brewing hundreds of coffee consecutively in just a few days and gathered valuable advices from our supporters, the leading experts in the industry and media from all over the world. As we reviewed Arist’s performance and analysed the data we harvested during the show, we see the need to improve Arist in two specific areas. One, is to upgrade the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) in Arist, to give it more processing power so Smart Home integration can be done with a firmware update in the near future. Two, is to gain access to the better production line at the manufacturer. Using a better production line simply translates to better quality of the parts produced and a better assembled machine. But for those who want to learn about the full range of benefits, we’ve listed them here:

1. More computational power will be spent to carry out Mold Flow analysis for more mechanical parts prior to the production of mold cutting to make sure the parts being produced by the injection molding machines are as designed. The analysis will help us to gain better control on the mechanical tolerances (i.e. physical dimensions) for critical parts such as the brew group and the milk frother.

2. More comprehensive test stations will be distributed along each main and auxiliary assembly lines. Reduce number of faulty products. Increase yield. Better quality control especially for the grinder which requires an accurate and consistent measurement for the gap size between the burrs, which directly influence the grind size.

3. Higher tonnage injection molding machines will be allocated for the project. This provides the design freedom for larger and more complex parts. The interior of the machine, such as the machine frame assembly, can therefore be produced in as few parts as possible. The influence of human error will be minimized; the overall size will be slightly smaller because we can take away unnecessary assembly features.

4. Some of the machines covers will be manufactured in a Class 100000 cleanroom to minimize the possibility of defects on the cover.

Upgrading in these two areas, truly guarantees a superior product in the end. However, to incorporate either one or both of these upgrades requires a Minimum Order Quantity (MOQ) of 50,000 units. Currently we have 30,000 units ordered from Kickstarter backers and previous pre-orders, and we gained an additional 13,000 units ordered from CES. That means we are still short 7,000 units to meet the MOQ of 50,000 units. Since producing an extra 7,000 units and keeping them in stock is not a financially viable option, the only way to meet the MOQ by Q2 is by making some quick sales. And we have thought of the perfect solution. 

Launching new Arist Kickstarter campaign

We’ve thought of a few options, but launching a second Kickstarter campaign in order to meet the MOQ is the best solution. If we could duplicate the success of our first campaign and gain about 3,000 backers, that would reduce the order shortage to 4,000. And we will be actively looking for more distributors during this time, so we would definitely meet the MOQ.

However, as we have said it many times before, we value backers’ opinions the most. We understand that a second Kickstarter campaign might give rise to many questions and concern from the backers, our earliest supporters. Therefore, we are here to ensure that you are the first one to know all about this and we would like to clear your confusion, if any, before moving on to the next step. In addition, we will ensure all our first time backers will enjoy the most benefits from supporting us in our first campaign.

We need your support and we want to hear from you!

Having said all these, we are asking for your support on the new campaign. We can’t thank you enough for your support and trust all these years, that’s why your opinions matter a lot to us. Let us know what you think in the comment section below. Give us ideas, give us suggestions, and just share with us your thoughts! We couldn't have done it without you, and we still can't do it without you. As we’re planning to launch the new campaign soon, please help us spread the word to your friends and family. With more people backing the new campaign, we could produce a more advanced and sophisticated Arist for everyone.

For our latest news and updates, don’t forget to follow us on our social media channels:

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

Vincent and the Arist Team