Meet Earl... The Next Gen GPS?

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by btao, Aug 12, 2013.

  1. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    Hmm, not powered on :thumbdown:
  2. DRTBYK

    DRTBYK All Things GPS Supporter

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    Given where they appear to be in dev, I wouldn't expect to see a System functional unit at this point.

    On another note, if I were doing the Earl Interface design I would provide "launcher options" to make the Home Screen(s) App Icon's much larger than the standard OS allows.
  3. btao

    btao RIP Lilolita

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    It's powered on in the picture, not the movie... The movie seems to have one that's tak-a-part-able. Hopefully they will have something live soon in a video.
  4. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    They're prolly testing in some kick ass remote location with beautiful girls, flowing rum, and white sand everywhere


    But a 14.4k connection, so uploading updates of progress(forget videos) takes weeks at a time.



    (I should have my hat salted and ready to eat any minute)
  5. btao

    btao RIP Lilolita

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    Yea, sometimes I feel like Ruprecht ....

    <object width="640" height="480"><param name="movie" value="//www.youtube.com/v/nqMc9B7uDV8?hl=en_US&amp;version=3&amp;rel=0"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="//www.youtube.com/v/nqMc9B7uDV8?hl=en_US&amp;version=3&amp;rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="640" height="480" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>
  6. btao

    btao RIP Lilolita

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    An update!

    http://www.meetearl.com/updates/

    July 1st, 2014
    One year in. Is Earl ready yet?It’s been a grueling month for Team Earl. The last few weeks has been frustrating to say the least. After a brief trip back to the states to renew my Chinese visa and spend time with the real Earl. I arrived back in Shenzhen expecting to move right into certification, as I should have guessed by now, there is always something that’s not quite ready. While the final iteration of Earl’s walkie talkie was set to be completed back in February, the team contracted to develop and manufacturer the module has been less than satisfactory. Though we’ve tested a few iterations since the last module we received at the end of May, the walkie talkie still had further changes required to interface with Earl. We were promised the final module would be ready upon my return from my trip to the States around the 15th of June. No dice. I arrived back on the 18th and was assured of its completion by the 5th of July. Yesterday I was made aware of yet another delay that has now pushed it's delivery until the 11th of July. This is the last major piece we need to proceed with certification. During my trip to the states our Shenzhen team spent a good deal of time testing and reworking the placement of antennas and RF shields on our pcb. We also received our new walkie talkie antenna that allows for horizontal and vertical positioning. We’ve had samples in the past, but this is the first time I’ve used it fully functioning and attached to Earl! My job back home was to run a few additional tests as a last verification of the AM/FM/SW/LW and most importantly Weather Band, a system that is not available in much of the world, including China. We had verified our design with the chipset manufacturer however real world verification is not available in Asia and something that was on my list of to-dos for the States. The end is near. It pains me to tell our backers of each delay. While some are of our own mismanagement, other delays are the outcome of issues with communication with our team. Our Chinese partners are keen to estimate delivery times on the short side. By this point, I and my team must sound like a broken record. We’ve been reluctant to post official updates until we are satisfied with progress along with suitable solutions to the problems we have been facing. I recently sat down with each of our team leaders including the CEO of the firm we've partnered with for Earl’s development and expressed our concerns of meeting future deadlines and communications with our team. Though a few last minute tweaks to components like our walkie talkie module are underway, the last major step is certification. We’ve been working with a couple testing facilities in Shenzhen during development. We’re tackling multiple certifications at the same time. FCC for the USA, IC for Canada, CE for Europe and C-Tick for Australia/New Zealand. With all components completed and in-hand we can start the certification process. We’ve been running in-house testing this whole time, but before going to the main event we need to have our testing facility run preliminary tests to make sure Earl is within certification limits. The team has a proven track record with existing devices on the market however they anticipate a few tweaks to be changed to the current design before starting officially testing. The current schedule, which leaves room for tweaks sets certification at the end of July. While there is an express certification for the FCC, other standards are not as lucky. Only a handful of testing facilities are approved for going the express route and normally this is a choice for larger, more experienced firms. I’m pushing for this method and will know after our preliminary tests if this is an option for Earl. Just how long? Express, 2 weeks. Standard, 8 weeks. Estimated completion, end of September. Manufacturing and fulfillment would potentially take place in October. But we won’t know until we get the green light from our certification facility. Obtaining certification isn’t the only hurdle Earl faces in the coming months, production comes with it’s own timeline. We had a very interesting call with PVI (Eink’s parent company) this week. It seems that PVI has been having issues with manufacturing flexible plastic screens. Earl is actually the first device to use their flexible 6” screen in production and we are paying a significant premium above the cost of their glass counterparts. They’ve made great strides in accommodating Earl in their portfolio and designed a flexible screen exclusively for Earl. Our representative tried to sway us to use the existing glass screens as they would lower cost and allow us to piggyback on currently production runs. The argument of durability was briefly discussed and lasted approximately three screens. Glass screens are no match to even the slightest bump without multiple protective layers on top. Our initial order of 5,000 units barely meets the minimums for a production run, but after our discussion PVI seemed very excited to move forward with Earl! The time between this update and our last one even surprises me. I expected to update everyone sooner, but without any confirmed progress I was reluctant to post anything official. Around the time of our last update I began to make regular appearances on our forum, to those that tried to sign up months ago, we’ve fixed the login issues. Come over and join us for discussions about Earl’s progress! forum.meetearl.com Happy “Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Establishment Day”, the anniversary of the handover of Hong Kong from the UK to China. It was very special to spend the day with over half a million marchers in support of the movement towards a democratic Hong Kong. Hong Kongers like Seattlites aren't afraid of a little rain!
  7. Wanted

    Wanted Been here awhile

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    Any help?

    I start a long distance trip in January and still have no GPS. I have kept an eye on earl since late last year just waiting to see what was going to happen with it. The earl looks like it would be an awesome GPS to mount to the dash almost to take the place of a rally roadbook, is it worth purchasing one now and hoping for the best before January? Or just buy something lame like the Montana.
  8. 9Dave

    9Dave Bazinga!

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    Any help with what?

    Earl looks like it is closer to production, though they've missed every deadline and milestone they've set.

    The Montana is available and works.

    If you want a GPS now, Earl is not a choice.
  9. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    Even lamer, buy a three year old android for $50, run locus / osmand / whatever and laugh when people say "I carry this laptop on all my trips abroad, to run basecamp, with my garmin"
  10. Wanted

    Wanted Been here awhile

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    Damn man, that locus app actually looks pretty boss. On a scale of 1-rookie how amateur am I for never seeing that before?
  11. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    Not lame at all, we haven't seen the earl yet either, and I bet it will rock similarly if it's ever released.
  12. btao

    btao RIP Lilolita

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    It's certainly hard to pick a favorite app/unit still now because IMO, nobody does everything well.

    I've come to like a combination of things, using the strengths of a few apps to make a quality route of your choosing, and then following it exactly.

    I haven't used Locus in a while, but OSMand has received an update that makes it mildly easier to use.

    Here's some instructions on how to get started and create a route I posted recently:

    http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=904523&page=3

    Google maps has the ability to trump all if it only added in a few things that it used to have. My Places, and multiple destinations on the Android version so you can navigate routes you create in Maps Engine. You can save maps for offline now easily, and they have an awesome routing tool in their browser version, but seem focused on content not features at the moment.

    At least I'm confident now that there's enough tools to be superior as an overall choice to the much more expensive garmins.
  13. Wanted

    Wanted Been here awhile

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    Dude, haven't actually read up much on Earl in ages but do you know what the deal is with the exterior shell? When I first saw it to crowd fund it was a nice looking black/white or grey design as found on the main page of http://www.meetearl.com/ Now on the updates page it looks like a crayola green kid-safe tablet? Is that just a prototype or?
  14. ohgood

    ohgood Just givver tha berries !!!

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    check out their forum. there are some infrequent questions, and even more infrequent responses there.

    one of the guys is hawking 'gotennae' there now. $150 for two gotennaes that can only communicate with each other, and need a cellphone to do it.

    its looking more like a suckerboard every time I peek in. delays, promises, rinse and repeat. good luck.
  15. Cataract2

    Cataract2 Where to?

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    Pretty certain this is now fully vaporware.

    [​IMG]
  16. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    :rofl
  17. Albie

    Albie Kool Aid poisoner

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    Sorta.
  18. dgjackson40

    dgjackson40 Been here awhile

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    Thinking your probably right and I was so looking forward to something like Fred!!
  19. btao

    btao RIP Lilolita

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    As frustrating as it is to wait, they have a finished product minus one last change to the walkie talkie module. That's it. Then certification and production. They are making the change based on the pre-cert testing so they know they will pass. The Earl is up and functional, and they are working on the API and software as they go. He's optimistically hoping for October if there are no more delays from the contract manufacturer that has been delaying that module for over a month. Fortunately, there's not much else in the way of potential delays. It's obvious it's way off schedule, but it's not like it's a corporate developer with unlimited resources doing the design, testing and manufacturing of this thing. It was a guy like us with a cool idea.

    As far as color. They will have a black, white and _____ option for the initial launch. There's a thread where backers get to vote for their favorite third color. More will be offered later, but that's the launch plan.

    Jon/Earl Team is even more frustrated than us, because it's his life that's on hold and his finances that are bootstrapped to the endeavor and a whole ton of money he has been a year delayed in making. We just supported his idea, but he's the one doing all the work to make us happy, and then people whine when things don't go according to plan.
  20. btao

    btao RIP Lilolita

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    Now if they would only carry the S5 Active for Verizon I'd have a married android couple.

    S5 :feelgood Earl