…That’s the title under which several emails were sent during the past week. Here’s the story: Christian and Nick went to Seattle to present the Wine Shelf at Shop.org in the Washington State Convention Center.
The Wine Shelf, shipped from Chicago, was already there when they arrived at the venue, waiting to be switched on. But this time round things weren’t that easy. The Shelf didn’t flash! The connection was fine, the requests via the app and the responses worked, but none of the LEDs lit up. Time to call the Emergency Hotline in Germany. 9 hours time difference… of course Sven was ever so happy to be kept from his dinner… A thorough checkup of the software didn’t lead to the source of the problem.
Next on the list was the wiring. Suddenly, a single LED in one of the rings had gone on. A bit strange… we carried on looking… and then we had an idea: Christmas lights. No, not using them instead of the LED rings, that’s just silly! The principle. If one breaks, the others don’t work. Connection in series. And the wine shelf works similarly to that. If one ring is broken, the following ones don’t work. In our case No. 1 was broken, No. 5 too, and also No. 8, 9 & 13. After we found that out we put the platforms with defective LED rings to the end of the row, and were actually quite happy to have a working, though slightly crippled, Wine Shelf. Then we closed everything and tried it again. Only the top row lit up this time… To keep it short, 9 out of 16 were dead. Not so good. But that’s why we call it a prototype. The only thing we could do was to rearrange the platforms to make it look as if everything was fine, and cheat a bit while doing the demo. Nobody noticed. At this point we would like to apologise to everybody whom we led to believe they saw a fully functional Smart Wine Shelf. We’re sorry and know it’s not right to fib. But it really was only a problem with LEDs and it does usually work. A big THANK YOU to Andy for helping us with the repairs.
Apart from all that trouble, Shop.org went really well for us. We made some nice contacts, got cool ideas for new prototypes, and also some suggestions on how to improve some of our current ones (like the Wine Shelf). That’s why we go to these events.
Oh, and regarding the emails mentioned above… Sven is just on his way to Montreal to present the Wine Shelf. Good luck, mate!