Hello, Piglets! As we get closer to product launch, lots of threads in Pigzbe’s development — hardware, software, electronics — are starting to come together! It is a very busy and exciting time and we wanted to take a few moments to give you a comprehensive update on our progress so far.

Among lots of other exciting things, we just returned from a 20,000 km roundtrip to China to see our first Pigzbe units roll off the production line. Meanwhile, back in London, our fully crewed up team of developers have hit warp-speed building a working version of the beautiful Pigzbe App (and it is looking amazing). That’s just the beginning.

Hardware latest

We’re closing in on full retail production of the final Pigzbe units and we’re working hard to bring our design through a number of crucial development stages. Every Pigzbe is made up of more than 256 different electrical components, sourced from 36 different suppliers and we needed to be 100% confident that they all work together perfectly and deliver the amazing user experience we demand. While we were out in China Pigzbe passed this crucial EVT stage and we were there to see it. Proud parents!

We were super impressed with the work happening in China, and the skill and commitment of the team bringing our Pigzbe devices to life. Once we get up to speed the team will be producing 5,000 complete Pigzbe devices a week! These little piggies went…everywhere.

Watching Paint Dry

We won’t bore you with the details, but to give you an idea of the level of obsessive detail we’re demanding of these units, we spent quite some time in China testing different thicknesses of paint (and watching paint dry).

The casing for each Pigzbe is made from the highest quality ABS plastic, the same stuff used to make Lego bricks. Every Pigzbe is made using a tiny 26g of ABS — the same amount used in a single use 500ml drinks bottle. Keeping our sustainability footprint as small as possible throughout the manufacturing process has been a big concern for us and frankly, we still think our Pigzbe’s look more refreshing than a fizzy drink and twice as delicious.

Speaking of little details, in the past few weeks we spent a lot of time thinking about the Pigzbe lanyard, the handle attached to every Pigzbe. For other companies, this might not seem like a big issue, but at Pigzbe we sweat the details because we know that details make the difference.

Our lanyard will be made from Paracord, lightweight nylon originally used for the suspension lines of parachutes. We chose it because the high number of strands used in its construction makes it very smooth to the touch and slightly elastic. It is also available in a fairly wide range of colours which gave us the opportunity to match the colours of the devices.

Parents App latest:

Our visual style has continued to evolve as we’ve worked on Pigzbe. You might have seen that a few weeks ago we gave our parents App a beautiful makeover and refined some of the functionality. Overall we made things simpler and cleaner, with a focus on the important stuff — balances, notifications and goals, with a few little secrets along the way.

With more than 2,000 active app downloads and extensive testing with dozens of families to see how they use Pigzbe, we’re building a better understanding of our users.

Listen and Learn

Based on their feedback, we significantly simplified the sign-in process, reducing the number of steps required and made the whole experience more intuitive, and added some gamified elements to help parents get their kids engaged with Pigzbe from the first moment.

We listened to parents who told us that they felt the current multiple rewards structure was too confusing. You said that you wanted your children to really focus on the one big thing they want to save for. So we’ve removed multiple goals, so they can reach a single savings target more quickly, before moving onto the next one.

Kids’ App latest:

We’re really delighted that the designs for the Kids App have been getting a lot of love from our community.

It’s super exciting to see our expert development team turning our concept mock-up’s into a working experience and adding in little extras along the way. Did anyone Say DISCOSHARK?

These guys are software superheroes, the best in the business with collectively, more than 50 years’ experience creating some of the world’s best-loved digital products for children.

It’s important to stress test every new bit of functionality in the App, to make sure that when kids get their hands on it, everything is ‘just-so’ and works just right. This week we have been running some stress-testing on the Money Tree to make sure an enthusiastic kid won’t be able to break it.

We’re a kid-centric company and we work hard to put the needs of kids at the heart of everything we do. Here’s one example. We spent a lot of time thinking about how to make the login and password process clear and easy for kid’s age 6+. We settled on a short icon-based code for kids to create and remember, as a nice intro to the world of passwords. As you can see, even this small detail has gone through several significant design changes.

We also rebuilt some of the opening screens that outline the Pigzbe concept to our small customers. Our initial design for this had been quite text heavy, but taking inspiration from works like Design for Kids by Debra Levin Gelman we reconstructed these lessons using images, rather than text. We love the result.

And finally, as another little bonus, we have listened to parents who told us their kids love to create avatars for their in-game identities. We added that functionality into the setup stage of Pigzbe.

Pigzbe People latest

We’ve added even more people to our excellent team at Pigzbe HQ. In addition to our superstar developers, we’ve been joined by Simon and Anna on the business development side.

With huge knowledge of the worlds of fintech and blockchain, these are the guys who will ensure we build the right partnerships to take Pigzbe to the Moon! Bigger team update coming soon, but here is a nice snap of our growing piggy family. Can you spot the new faces?

The Pigzbe World Tour Continues – Next Stop: NYC

From the 13 to the 18 of May, our CEO Filippo and our new Head of Growth and Business Development Anna Frankowska will be in New York for the Consensus — the world’s biggest blockchain event. If you want to catch up with them, talk Pigzbe, and even get hands-on with one of our units — all you need to do is drop a calendar request here — we’re excited to say hello!

Stay tuned — Pigzbe is coming…