Workshop 12

Blog

Since the beginning our goals at  Workshop 12 have never changed.  To bring some really cool electronics combined with a fantastic software experience to car enthusiasts.  We never had the goal of getting rich, but instead a goal of being able to continue to work on making our vision a reality.  Of course, the catch 22 of trying to bring our vision to life was looking for funding to try and make manufacturing at scale happen.

We’ve been pretty quiet for the last couple months and you may be wondering why.  Well, we’ve been hard at work pounding the pavement talking to potential investors to try and raise enough capital to manufacture Brainiac as a packaged product.  The road of talking with investors is a long and tiresome one, and time after time we’ve received the feedback that we are not “investable”.  Read More

Earlier we posted a blog article outlining our design intentions on our lower pocket for the FR-S/BRZ/GT86 snap-in kits.  This relocation is necessary to free up the space needed to fit our 10.1″ display while still retaining a physical hazard button.  To be clear, this new trim is an included part of the FR-S/BRZ snap-in kit, we simply didn’t have pictures ready in time for the photo found on the preorder page.

We’re now ready to share with you the first test prints of the plastic that will be used to snap-in the new hazard switch into your existing lower pocket trim.  It doesn’t matter if you have the push-to-start option or the standard pocket, both have the same AUX-in port that we utilize for securing this new trim.  Since we have lots of axillary inputs available, we polled the community to see if this location would be acceptable, and we received a resounding YES! Read More

Back in November our 3D printer lead us on an adventure to get the FR-S pieces ready. First problem is our bed size – it’s large – but not large enough to print the upper section in a single piece. Using software to cut it in half is easy – but joining the pieces back together takes some effort and precision. Large gentle curves with lots of support material can make it easy for separation during print. We saw a few failures, a few spaghetti incidents and even a case where the printer’s extension cord was “borrowed” 19 hours in to a job…

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We had a good time at the OGRA (Ontario Good Roads Association) conference at the Fairmont Royal York hotel yesterday where we presented an industry point of view for self driving vehicles and the driver’s in-cabin experience expectations.

Two other presenters joined us, one from the WATCar program from the University of Waterloo presenting self driving technology research, as well as the head of the ITS division of the Ministry of Transportation Ontario (MTO) representing a regulation point of view.

The room was packed with mayors and counsellors from villages, towns and cities from all across Ontairo. It was standing room only with attendees also lining the outer walls to hear the talk. Our Brainiac kiosks and our promotional video were on display at the back of the room beside the self driving vehicle demonstration track.

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As we continue to make our way towards preparing Brainiac orders to ship, we’re now starting to build relationships with distributors and dealers who wish to carry the Brainiac product line.  Our goal is to have a great network of dealers ready to go as soon as we have units leaving the manufacturing plant 🙂

While the installation of Brainiac is similar to a standard car stereo installation, and many people have a DIY spirit, it’s always good to have fantastic local product support, inventory availability and installation services for any trouble shooting or help you may need.

We’re now ready to formally talk with dealers and regional distributors about our programs and invite those who are interested to reach out to us for more details on how to get started!

One of the great things about Brainiac is that it can provide an integration backbone for your vehicle.  What we mean by that is that you’re able to use Brainiac as a means to automate other electronic accessories installed in your car.

One such accessory is the 86Nanny from Beastronix Racing.  The 86 Platform (FR-S/BRZ/GT86) is built with the ability to disable Traction Control/Vehicle Stability Control (VSC). As most motorsport enthusiasts know, the system has limitations in place on this function for safety purposes and won’t completely disable traction control/VSC.

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We’ve been absolutely floored by the amount of support and feedback that we’ve been receiving from the community for Brainiac and what we’re trying to accomplish at Workshop 12.  The level of engagement and honest feedback means so much to us!  To build the best possible product, we need to know exactly what you like about Brainiac and also what you hope for it to become!

This invaluable feedback means so much to us that we wanted to find a way to give something back to those who follow us.  We ran a promotion for our very early supporters who received a 10% discount on their first order by signing up for our newsletter before October 31st, 2015.  Since then the news of Brainiac has spread and we’ve gained a lot of new followers who are also providing great feedback and insight, so we sat down and thought of how we could say thank-you to our ever growing list of supporters.

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We’re now into January and well into our initial preorder campaign.  It’s extremely exciting to see the support we’re getting for Brainiac shown both in the number of preorders as well as support from the car community!  Brainiac units on preorder will be the first to be delivered to customers, so we encourage everyone to place their preorder to ensure their spot in line.

Our primary focus is on delivering preorder units with quality and as quickly as possible.  As we hit July and our focus turns to shipping preordered units to customers, we’ll be working on some contingencies to not have this initial volume delay orders that come in after the end of June.

So if you’re excited about getting your Brainiac unit as soon as possible, we encourage you to sign up for the preorder to be one of the first units shipped.  We’ve setup what we believe to be a no-risk system that does not charge your credit card until your Brainiac unit ships to you.  You’re also able to cancel your order at any time up until your Brainiac unit ships.

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We’ve received a tremendous amount of early feedback from our preorder campaign!  What we’ve heard loud and clear from most of our supporters is that our approach of using Kickstarter does not meet your needs for preorder services.

There have been a variety of very valid points raised and we want to let you know that we’ve been listening.  Since receiving this overwhelming amount of feedback we’ve been working around the clock to provide a more suitable solution for our customers.  We’ve now integrated preorder capability right into our website.

This new capability will allow you to place preorders for both Brainiac and its accessories; and your credit card will not be charged until your order ships!  This allows you to manage or modify your order(s) all the way up until your products are heading out the door to you. Read More

***************** UPDATE *****************
We have changed our preorder system.  Details can be found here
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We are extremely excited to announce that preorders for Brainiac and its automation accessories are now open!  It’s been about a year from when we first started experimenting with the thoughts of taking what we learned from automating the BatBerry and applying the technology in a more general fashion.  We want everyone to experience what it’s like to have a connected car.

It has been a lot of hard work to transform Brainiac from an idea into a great product that has a variety of installation options to meet the needs of the many different makes, models and generations of vehicles on the road today.  The fun part is that we’re just getting started and have plans to bring our 10.1″ large screen experience to many more vehicles.  I mean let’s face it, that big screen looks really cool when installed in your dashboard!  Read More