Would you like your next tablet to have an extra screen on the other side of the keyboard? It could show your agenda for the day or weather even when the lid is closed. Or do you think the tablet should have a larger battery? Does it need a USB?
Most of these decisions are always done by technology gurus of device makers who at best follow market research on what people might like.
Niche Finnish consumer electronics firm Eve Tech has taken completely different strategy for its second tablet. Until the end of March users can have their say on battery, ports, keyboard, memory and other features.
“We develop the product directly with end-user from day one. The users are in control of what specs the product will have,” co-founder Konstantinos Karatsevidis told ArcticStartup in an interview.
Karatsevidis brushed aside my worries over lowest common denominator simplifying the product, and said the community has so far been almost surprisingly unanimous in making decisions with one option always getting a clear majority.
“So far nobody wants to have a really bad screen on their device,” he said.
Eve Tech was born to fight high device prices. The key for that is fully online sales, which cuts half of the price. “That’s the kind of markup you have when you have a long retail channel,” Karatsevidis said.
Eve launched its first tablet T1 in December 2014 offering at 159 euros features seen on 300 euro tablet. It sold out in a few days. Eve produced a couple of more batches before it discontinued the model and the team focused on the new project code-named “Pyramid Flipper”.
For T1 all decisions were made internally. Most feedback was positive, but many started to pick on particular details. To tackle this Eve launched first a WhatsApp group to discuss details with the loyal fans and then took it one step beyond, opening the community page on its homepage.
End-March is deadline for many details, but Karatsevidis assures there is still plenty of opportunities to participate – refining designs, making the final decision on the screen. But they will all come soon – Pyramid Flipper is due to go on sale already in the summer.