We just returned from the TDK Dev Conference in Silicon Valley (Sensor Technologies… yes, the same TDK that made audio tapes). It turns out that several TDK executive members, including CEO Jon Nelson, are also musicians. Apparently, there’s a TDK band, and they all loved SoulPedal®. In fact, it was Jon who introduced me to several TDK Directors and insisted I meet Rich Fry, Director ICT Sales who is now eager to engage as a SoulPedal® Beta Tester.
Over the years, first impression to this technology have always been with amazement and awe – 100% of the time. Whether that translates to a sale or acceptance in the industry is only just starting to come into focus. It can’t be just cool or another wireless product; it’s got to add value. That’s exactly why SoulPedal® is being shared in a personal and custom way in our Beta Program.
Playing devil’s advocate, there is obvious excitement among TDK staff because their technology is being applied in a brand new way to something they love to do for fun. So I asked Rich “Are you excited because it’s using TDK’s motion technology, or do you believe SoulPedal® is something you’d buy, and why?” His answer was both candid and encouraging. “Yes (to the TDK), but often in our band we are pointed to without warning when it’s our turn to solo. That’s hard to do if you’re not quite ready and right in front of your pedals.” He went on to say that “…given the fast change-over times between band line-ups, it would be great to have a faster setup.” So Change-over Time may not be just a Manufacturing indicator, and not having to run cables round “trip” from the amp to the pedals and back does add value (pun intended). The photo isn’t my actual setup, it’s just a teaser to get people thinking simplicity and ease of use. But I wouldn’t put it past someone duct-taping SoulPedal® to their rig to just throw on stage in a hurry. Initial, we’re not replacing your sacred pedal board, it’s an enhancement and a new feel for now, but that Wah pedal may have a finite life. I really can’t wait to see what people think of the variable taper for starters.
Aside from the TDK Band buzz, the meeting with motion experts yielded some great tips that will directly translate to a better product. In fact, positional accuracy (in a multi-pedal configuration) could maintain around 3 mm accuracy over a 1 foot distance using our existing Beta design (which is actually using older technology). They already do this in the medical industry, he explained, where positional tracking is critical. Overall, Gyro and sensor accuracy is rapidly improving. So lucky us, motion sensor improvements are a given and the costs are dropping further.
Another valuable part of this visit was getting feedback on our high-level software approach. Good news is that we’re on the right path and only minor changes are needed to dial this in. I’d love to share more, but this is getting a bit too exciting to just give away all the goodies. It is likely competitors are watching so I’m told, including Nike.
If you are interested in becoming a Beta Tester in the Phoenix area, contact John@SoulPedal.com to begin the conversation. And as always, stay tuned!