The roundness of Wheel and the absence of buttons and other visual clues confused some of our testers. Minimalism shouldn’t get in the way of functionality, so we’re simplifying the interface to make it more straightforward. After all, Wheel’s purpose isn’t just to look great, it’s purpose is to play records well. Without a learning curve. We decided that if we wanted to update the firmware to improve the user experience, we should do it now.
The golden rule of product design: no new functions during development! We know, but here’s one we couldn’t resist. A few months ago we added a closed loop system to the plateau drive. This opened up the opportunity to simply add an exiting new feature we call Swing: you just give Wheel's plateau a swing it will start to play like magic! A true ‘why didn’t we think of this before’ feature, and a natural and fun addition to Wheel’s user interface.
So our final mission is to make Wheel work as smooth as it looks. Apart from our new swing feature, retiming actions and behaviour make Wheel much more intuitive.
Not so smart in hindsight: we constructed Wheel in a way that it has to be opened to update the firmware. We’ll certainly find a way around this in the future, but for now it means we can’t close Wheels until the new firmware is ready.
Some of you will receive your Wheel in December. Two years and two months past our original target. The 41 updates before this one give a glimpse of what we did to get where we are now. Yes it seems to take forever, and like you we have our moments of utter frustration, but belief and sheer joy is what drives the Wheel project. We’re getting there!
Thank you for your support
Peter and the Wheel team