What's Next? Survey results are in!

Dear Eve family,

We are excited to publish the survey results for the Most Wanted Products of 2019! This was our first step to decide what projects we will take on next!

The most wanted products of 2019

First of all we would really like to thank everyone for taking part of the survey as well as participating in in-depth discussion for each product category. We have shared our survey with the community, the press and through our newsletter, and we have received over 2000 responses from the three sources combined. Surprisingly, despite the fact that the survey was shared to different audiences we have received very similar responses.

743 community members took part in the survey, and in our opinion they provided us with the highest quality input. For that reason, we will use quotes from the community as well as survey responses as we go through our key findings from the survey.

What is missing in the tech world today?

To us it feels that generally, most people are looking for either:

  • a better value product with fewer “extra” features.
  • a product to match a particular use case, that is not yet on the market.

Here are some of the quotes that show what people are looking for:

Privacy oriented products

Technology that is built to last, we need to stop planned obsolescence. Not just for the environment but to bring value back to the actual tech you are buying.

Products that look at the needs of people rather than at what the competition is doing: who cares about .1 mm thinner stuff or 50 g lighter stuff, it feels more like a race than innovation. I think a polished device that fully develops established technologies would be great, so something modular, with good battery life, a good screen, a a vast array of functionalities would me my choice (a bit vague I know, but that’s kind of what I want in the device, something that allows me the maximum freedom regarding what I can do with it)

There are too few truly great ultrabooks. Dell revolutionized the field with the XPS 13, but they haven’t really kept the ball rolling since, the Surface Book/Laptop are priced insanely high, …

What product categories you are most excited about and see the most room for improvement?

As you can see a lot of people went for a laptop or tablet as top products for us to work on next. Initially we thought that it might be the bias of our community since it originally gathered around the V, but to our surprise we have seen a similar distribution from the press surveys. Now let’s have a closer look at some of these categories…

Laptops / Tablets

In case of laptops, people were looking for a laptop with flagship specs at a reasonable price point with either emphasis on casual gaming or professional work.

As for tablets, people picking this category seemed to want a better Surface GO. There was also quite a lot of interest in Snapdragon-powered tablets.

After going though the results, it also seems that many respondents picked both categories because they were looking for a way to express ‘2-in-1’, which wasn’t available as a separate category. We do know a thing or two about 2-in-1s, so don’t be surprised if they make another appearance on our project list eventually!

Smartphones

We were a bit surprised to see the smartphones category rate so highly but we found a curious pattern here: Respondents were often especially excited about some smaller category like headphones or monitors, but since they could pick three many picked it as a third option ‘because they could’.

That said, there was still a lot of interest in a non-mainstream smartphone with a focus on durability and upgradability/separability instead of state of the art tech and super-thin design.

Generally I would say this post summarizes people’s rationale for choosing smartphones as an interesting option pretty well:

And @Smyler316’s general take on the same question:

Docking stations

It was extremely surprising to see docks come out as the fourth most poplar category. The conclusion here is that you might have different devices and computing styles. Some use a V, some use a MacBook, but all of us need more ports to get more from our devices and a good dock provides the needed flexibility.

All-in-ones

I think @mirv has put it really well: Adherance to existing modular standards is the key here!

Smartwatches

In general the main pain points seem to be:

  • a lack of Android alternatives to the Apple Watch.
  • too short of a battery life.
  • lack of cross-OS compatibility.

These quotes below from the survey summarize the overall sentiment well:

A true android alternative to Apple watch - premium but at a price point that reflects redundancy after 2/3yrs

A smart watch with one week battery life

Smartwatch- Low profile, 3-4 day battery life, IP68, LTE, works with all phone OS’s. Smartphone

Mini-PCs

Mini-PC was also a surprisingly highly rated category. People feel that Mini-PCs should be designed with modularity in mind, as well as compatibility with with docks and monitors.

Headphones

Based on the survey, headphones have a lot of potential in terms of the bang for the buck. While headphones haven’t been in the top of the chart it seems people have very specific pain points, and ti is clear that they see much room for improvement there.

  • A good pair of ANC cans will cost you around 400, though people feel 200 is a much fairer price point.
  • People seem to have a lot of issues using their headphones to make good quality phone calls.
  • Device support (Windows PC, iOS devices, etc.) is lacking.

Some of the golden nuggets from the community and survey:

Wireless headphones that could connect to multiple devices (PCs, phones, …), and switch between them seamlessly (really seamlessly, not like current ones do),

Headphones: ANC headphones with actually good active noise cancelling (not Beats/Surface Headphones), actually good interface (not Bose, Sennheiser), actually good aesthetic (not Bose, Sennheiser). Basically, somone needs to build a set of cans with good noise cancelling that LOOK blingy,

Noise cancelling headphones with excellent blue tooth connectivity that does not sacrifice sound quality and comes at a reasonable price ($225 or less)

Smart home appliances

It’s a very interesting category but it is hard to make a concrete conclusion here as there are all kinds of ideas in this section. Starting from creating our own OS all the way to making a smart lock. At a later date, we will discuss this category further in community to get better insights.The reason we need more discussion is because we got replies like these which are good but don’t quite point towards a single, clear product:

Easy to use, good integration with existing Systems

The V being the centre of my home and all home peripherals controlled by it and through it.

High modular, compliant with existing open source projects, secure connectivity

Monitors

This is especially interesting category as it was mentioned on its own as well as part of people picking AIO and Mini-PC categories. People want simplicity in terms of features. In general, people are looking for a 27-32 inch panel at a fair price, but some people also desire very specific features:

Other

Oh :slight_smile: Here we’ve seen kinds of ideas. A few noteworthy responses:

Brain/mind/eye interfaces are coming along nicely in some circles. Hands free/ heads up displays built into eyewear with brain wave pickups are being used/wanted for use in a number of fields.

A smart City solution

Server Hardware

Something for vr/ar/mr perhaps?

Power glasses

Smart secure storage (NAS)

eGPUs

Technically, every computing device ever…

Personal Cloud Service

As for the other categories we won’t go into detail as they didn’t get that much traction but if you are interested to find out more about any category let us know!

What has the highest priority for you when buying a product? Sort these from most important to least important

Happy to see the results here and that people go not for the “cheapest” product but for the best value!

question6

Does your “perfect” product already exist, and if yes, what prevented you from buying it?

No comments here :slight_smile: Happy to see that there is room for improvement!

Now, what’s next?

What project will we take on with you next? First off, we’re happy to announce that as of today Project: Donald Dock is back in action, and you can participate here. It’s already progressed quite a bit, and now that we’ve wiped off the dust we’re looking forward to making this product a reality!

That’s not all, though. Alongside our docking station project we’ll also be tackling new projects, specifically…

To be announced! Stay tuned for more information about the upcoming crowd development projects from Eve over the course of next week!

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Glad to see Eve back in action! And interesting results. Are you planning on opening up the results for everyone? (maybe not with the notes, but only the votes).

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Me too! Extremely excited about this. We used survey monkey this time to have more filtering options as there were many questions. But from now on we will continue discussion openly on community. @TristanSchaaf we have basically shared all of the main data we had in this post or is there anything missing?

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4% of participants found us through social media, 9% through a press article, and 5% were ‘just looking around’. …or is that not the kind of results you’re looking for? :slight_smile:

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Aargh I kept meaning to fill in the survey but life got in the way! That said, I like the results, and they are pretty much what I would have expected.
Thanks for all the hard work getting us to this point!

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It’s exciting to see crowd development again at Eve. Looking forward for the new projects that will come. For now I’m glad to see the Donald Dock back :smile:

I already pointed it out in the other thread but for smartwatches I highly suggest looking into AsteroidOS. It’s Linux and fully open source as well as having a decent amount of documentation. As it’s open-source it could allow Eve to implement all the required features themselves, instead of depending on 3rd party manufacturers.

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Yay, great to see the results!
They look somehow as I would have anticipated, which is not a bad thing :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I’m excited about the development finally starting again, let’s work on it! :slight_smile:

In light of these results I think the obvious thing here is a ⛛2, don’t you think? :blush:

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On the topic of phones: I’m disappointed the modular Phonebloks project was cancelled - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phonebloks. From what I’ve read the originator, Dave Hakkens, regretted taking a back seat supporting role (he didn’t feel, at the time, he had the chops to lead the project). I bet if Eve reached out to him there are things that could be leveraged from that trial run to reboot into something successful.

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Rebooting a failed project shouldn’t be done without prior risk analysis.

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Just consider how many parts of your desktop has to be upgraded if you want to swap the CPU across several generations, you’d need to also swap the mainboard and RAM, at least. Or consider upgrading a laptop’s MXM GPU, you’d need to make sure that the BIOS and VBIOS support each other. At the end, you are swapping all the components anyway, except maybe the display and battery.

Also consider that Windows has an extremely modular and user-friendly driver system, which made the above scenario even possible to begin with. Its something that would require a significant effort to replicate on Android (unless you want to use Windows 10 non-Mobile on it).

Finally, there is the waterproofing and physical space issue. Phone makers are already sacrificing removable battery for those reasons. Now imagine that, but multiplied by 10 or however many components there are. At the end, you’d end up with a phone that’s twice as thick and heavy as an equivalent non-modular phone.

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Still wish Eve would do eGPU

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In the spirit of conversation and we can move to a new thread as needed…do you think eve could do an egpu better (and cheaper) than what’s out there? What’s lacking in what’s available now?

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I’d say the ports situation. The problem with most eGPU today is they share one cable for the GPU and all the other ports, so if you happen to use network and/or USB transfer at the same time, the GPU performance could take a hit. The solution to this IMO is to have two cables, one for the GPU, and one for “everything else”.

In the worst case, if the device only supports one TB3 port, the second “everything else” port cable could use USB 3.0 protocol, which would facilitate the bandwidth for simultaneous use of Gigabit ethernet and SATA2 HDD (both saturated), which I’d say is sufficient for most people. In the best case, if the device supports two TB3 ports (e.g MacBook Pro), we could dedicate one for the eGPU, and the other TB3 port could still handle 10 Gbps ethernet and multiple SSDs at the same time. Hot stuff.

This kind of setup, however, would require two cables and therefore best suited for devices that have two USB-C ports next to each other like the V, MacBook Pro, 2018+ XPS 13, etc. and not so suitable for devices with only one USB-C on one side like Huawei X Pro, Surface Book 2, or older XPS 13. Just found out that most laptops with two USB-C ports on one side share the same bandwidth anyway. You have to use a different port from a different side, something that Asus already did

And finally, most eGPU boxes are HUGE. Seriously, for the size of an eGPU, you could have an entire PC with the exact same GPU in it. It’s simply a poor use of space. I would personally use a 1U power supply like the one in the EVGA Hadron computer case to save space.

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Agreed. The reason for it being that they usually also house the PSU, additional fans because the case fully encloses the GPU, as well as space for additional storage like the HP Omen Acclerator.
Another issue is that GPUs too, became rather big (though 90% of the hardware size is just cooling).

To reduce the size of the eGPU case (I’m saying case because I wouldn’t want to buy an "eGPU device’ with the GPU integrated as that allows for now upgradeability) it could only consist of a simple Thunderbolt-PCIe adapter with no additional case, so just a simple plate with a PCI socket for the GPU.
This however makes transporting a bit finicky as it guarantees no proper stability meaning that if you transport the adapter with the GPU attached, it could break off the PCI port or at least bend it.

Another idea would be an adjustable case that one change in length to adjust for the GPU size (see GTX 1050 vs GTX 2080ti). The back of the case could slide further out depending on what GPU size you would want to install.

The PSU however will still be a problem, especially with the more demanding cards.

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It would be interesting though to revisit the project in a few years when we got a few more toys like USB4 to play with.

As for drivers you’d definitely need the OS to support a lot of devices by default (cough cough Linux).
The interconnects could be made up of USB for slower non-essential hardware (camera, AUX connector, buttons) and PCI for crucial hardware (GPU, storage) or maybe make everything USB4 depending on how the standard turns out.
You would need a way to physical lock at least the crucial hardware to the main plate while the device is powered to prevent any sort of software/hardware corruption.
Also replacing the CPU will become a really interesting issue.
Water proofing is probably an unsolvable issue.

Ultimately it will still be difficult to get it to main market.

What about putting it in a case that is really small for transport but that can open up/fold out/pop up to provide alirflow for cooling when in use?

Regarding Headphones: My one major gripe is the non-durability of the cords. One accidental drop and the cord yanks and a few wires inside break and soon that side or both are toast. I’ve tried the round, flat, and supposed “tough” cords and it seems they can break quickly just from winding them up to fit into their small case. Not sure if there is a way to fix that, but darn its irritating.

I feel the same about USB-A cords as well as the male end where the small tangs bend flat into itself and then the connection is bad or unusable.

For my V, I use the LG retractable earplug system with the Harman Karden speakers and they usually last about 1-2 years. I do have the old style plug in ear plugs with the worthless cords I mentioned above for when I forget to charge my LG’s.

I would like a nice set of wireless headphones to work with my TV which I bought before they had Bluetooth in them. I am thinking of buying another newer TV with Bluetooth and giving my older one to my mother-in-law. She has wired headphones which is okay cause she has to sit closer to see the screen!

Also, is anyone making USB-C type charging batteries (am I calling them the correct name?). Honestly, I haven’t been to Best Buy, but Staples does carry one where I live and I’d like to get a few for my V and my son’s Motorola smartphone (they use the C instead of A USB connection).

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Consider posting in this thread instead

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