In this log, we want to share our experience of bringing our FunKey Project from its early-prototype stage to a “Ready For Manufacturing” / “Community-Ready” state necessary to launch a successful crowdfunding campaign that in turn should provide us with the lever required to launch a product in mass production.
Where Do We Come From
People following the Funkey Project certainly remember that the original motivation came from @Sprite_tm‘s 2016 Hackaday superconference project of a pocket retro gaming console, that lead @c.Invent to develop the #Keymu – open source keychain-sized gaming console as a Proof-of-Concept that entered the 2017 Hackaday Prize. The corresponding Youtube video is now peaking at 4.8M views and #6 in Youtube’s Popular Videos – Game Consoles & Mobile Phones category!
Unfortunately, the tiny (and expensive) Intel Edison CPU module at the heart of the console was abruptly discontinued, which forced him to find a replacement module. Given the tiny dimensions, this prove to be very difficult, but @Squonk42 joined him to develop a new board around the LicheePi Zero module. Eventually, a new #Funkey Zero console which was used to validate the new CPU choice took part in the 2018 Hackaday Prize:
At this point, it became clear that the main feature of the #Keymu – open source keychain-sized gaming console was its foldable design, providing a maximum size for both the screen and keypads in the smallest form factor. It also became clear that such a hinged design required the help of a professional mechanical designer, and this challenge motivated @David.Larbi who joined the team at the beginning of this year. Read More