Should Eve open their design sources?


#1

Hi everyone. I’d like to share with you some questions after reading this interesting thread: VESA ergonomic arm docking mount for Eve V? and paying attention to one specific aspect of the discussion.

I that thread @dockguy and others were discussing the possibility of designing a docking mount for the V, and one of the questions was whether the community could have access to the original design files from Eve. This was also commented in a previous thread about the case, and probably in some other occasions I’m missing.

I thought this could be a very interesting topic to discuss beyond those particular cases. Could Eve share some of their source files for the community to develop new solutions around the V? Even more: Could Eve publish those source files in the open, for everyone to view and use?

I see many positive outcomes:

For the community, this would eliminate the need for reverse-engineering the dimensions of the V in order to develop custom/DIY solutions. And I think many people here would just LOVE to open actual 3D files, play around with them and even create (for example) fan art out of them… or just get a closer look on how the V was created and learn something from it.

For accessory manufacturers, it would provide more direct access to specifications. As @fanoftech4life wrote in the other thread, even Apple shares dimensions and guidelines as a PDF… but, what would be the problem of sharing editable files in common formats along with the PDF?

For competing device manufacturers, it would make them a bit easier to study the V’s design. Right. But if big manufacturers are interested in studying the V, there’s almost no way of stopping them. They will be able to reverse-engineer the heck out of it if they want. So not sharing the source files isn’t a real solution against this.

And finally, for the Eve team, this would be another great opportunity to disrupt the tech industry by approaching a more open development model, showing an innovative, inclusive and fearless attitude towards design and manufacturing. It would also help creating a healthy partner ecosystem around the V, and empower the community by making projects (like the ergonomic mount, 3D printed accessories, cases and bags, etc.) easier to develop. As copyright and industrial design rights could still be controlled by Eve, it would mean no conflict with their current business model. Or would it?

So these questions are both for the community and for the Eve team: Would you find it feasible, interesting and positive for any parts involved? What would be the drawbacks? Can you imagine other benefits?


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#2

Thanks for starting the thread!

I assume Eve is using SolidWorks or SolidEdge for the industrial design work. Editable files aren’t really needed for accessory design. Mesh files like STL IGES, etc are sufficient. Just four clicks to export those formats from any of the design suites.

The Eve team will have to carefully consider if they have the bandwidth to spin up a “Designed for Eve” program that is restrictive with license agreements like Microsoft/Apple, or share design files and have a truly open environment where community members can support each other. Accessories typically command margins double or triple that of base products, so from a business perspective it would be silly for Eve to relinquish all control here. However Eve is still in startup/growth mode, so kick-starting that with 3rd-party accessories is crucial towards success at this phase IMHO.

I fully expect an answer from the Eve folks, but not before Eve V launch. Its too confusing to announce too many things like that all at once. Eve has already proven they’ve learned many things from past ventures so are unlikely to repeat past mistakes.


#3

There are benefits to keeping our designs close to our chest. Such as strict quality control – we are trying to build a brand after all, and a good reputation is easily tarnished.

There are also benefits to sharing our designs. A wider availability of accessories or the ability for users to create their own, would for instance add to the appeal of the V.

Free sharing of information is a great ideal, but in the end Eve is also a company and as such needs to consider the business-side of things as well. In the end, of course, we’ll look to provide the best possible experience for users of the V. And I think you guys know the team well enough by now to know that they’ll come to the right decision!

At the moment the focus lies on getting the V shipped, and after that there will be more focus on first-party accessories. I think that that will also be the perfect time to look into ways of facilitating third-party accessories.

So now might not be the right time to dive into this. But we hear you. We always do.
Have you seen @Konstantinos’ ears? :wink:


#4

100% in agreement with you on the file requirements, it would be a step up from my initial suggestion of just the dimensions !

If you look at the apple model they have guidelines/dimensions that are public but they also have the apple certification process …they exist largely in harmony, partner products are examined and approved by apple and often get details in advance so they have products ready for shipping when the product hits the market.

I personally have about 50/50 when it comes to “brand” vs “generic” accessories.

I would think that a “made for” program would have to be launched as early as possible to give companies a head start on making products but I would set some initial restrictions ie you cant just sign up but have to submit proof that you have done this kind of thing before …(ex: credit card companies used to send disposable cameras to merchants to prove they actually had inventory) …this could take the form of providing a website or portfolio of some sorts that shows production level products

Edit: and then once the product has been launched and the"dust" settled then it could open up a bit to allow other companies that might need more help /guidance


#5

[quote=“Helios, post:3, topic:6580”]
Free sharing of information is a great ideal, but in the end Eve is also a company and as such needs to consider the business-side of things as well.[/quote]

Of course. And free sharing of information doesn’t go against business per se. It’s just that different business models work better with different levels of openness and control. That’s the balance to be found by Eve and the community around it.

Totally get that! There is no need for a rash answer here, on the contrary! :relieved:

I agree with @Laa2004 that there may be a way of combining both strict control and freedom. Eve could use different ways of validating or guaranteeing certain levels of quality in “made for” certified accessories, while also keeping a more open “community hacks” space. The latter could even become a “lab” stage for the former, so community-driven solutions could get further developed and achieve a validated status, or just inspire high quality products.

Edit: And in that scenario, having guidelines/dimensions/files published wouldn’t be a problem, as far as I can see.


#6

I think this would be a great idea if it were to be done around the time of the web store opening! I think it would be cool to have a “designed for eve” label, similar to the “designed for Lumia” one.

Only caveat I see is how many specialized accessories can you really have for a tablet PC? By its nature of being a PC, it’s compatible with most things on the market.


#7

I am against editable files. That could have critic information that should be kept secret by the company. If you really use solid works there is a command named defeature. That makes it a “dumb” model. A step or iges of this would do the trick. That way we could create all the stuff we need like a workside protection that I saw at the community meeting that eve couldn’t provide because the market is to small. And you could provide a Plattform where we could upload such sls parts for manufacturing.


#8

What kind of critic information are you thinking of, and why should it be kept secret?

Yes, that’s a clear case for enabling community projects: those niche cases that have not enough market potential to attract a company, but help solving issues or improving user experience.


#9

Mostly internals. Sure the software is the key too, but the internals like the heatspreader and things that make the cases stable would be part of the data. That are things the community don’t need. Sure, you could reverse engineer that things, but you don’t have to make it to easy for the competition :wink: