DIMO Hardware Update
- 😀 Good news: We have been braving the global supply chain bottlenecks, Covid shutdowns in Shenzen, and have come out with a plan that should see very little impact on delivery of units.
- 😕 Bad news: We’ve had to postpone the first non-tester deliveries to accommodate a hardware change that will take effect in May. This means that delivery dates for fully-ready production units will slide by about 1 month. However…
- 😀 Good news: Once we have the latest devices in May and the pairing software experience is really strong, we can catch up on shipments by July with the help of our first US and EU-based distributors (to be officially announced soon.)
- 🤩 Great news: The core team has voted to provide rewards from the date you ordered your AutoPi. If your order is delayed a bit, your earnings will not be impacted as long as you connect your device, and keep it connected for 3 months continuously to a compatible vehicle!
Everything above and below are still based on estimates, and estimates almost always change, sometimes more than once.
200 devices are leaving AutoPi’s offices on Friday (4/1) and Monday (4/4) en route from Denmark to the US. This will bring our total number of Alpha devices in the states to 300, including ~75 deployed units.
We shipped the first 75 units to learn quickly about the installation process, but we’ve intentionally slowed down shipping units in the last few weeks to incorporate feedback from initial installs into the app and documentation.
We’re going to wait on further shipping until we have the software pairing ready for testing.
There’s also something different about the coming units and the ones that are already here: they are not coming with the secure element that we intend to use in the long run for the security of the DIMO Network.
This leads to some changes in the shipping timelines and order.
What is a secure element?
A secure element is a kind of chip that contains the private keys stored in a hardware element, similar to a crypto hardware wallet (e.g., Trezor). This is critical for any DIMO compatible device, since the data in the DIMO network needs to be trusted for it to be useful for any of the applications we have imagined. The secure element is used to sign the data, and allows the network to authenticate all the data sent from the car.
The 300 first devices have a ATECC108A chip, and future devices, including any manufactured by 3rd party manufacturers, will have a NXP SE050 chip.
The reason for the change is twofold. First, the ATECC108A does not support the SECP256K1 curve, and second, it has supply constraints. By switching to the SE050 chip, we are able to support ethereum cryptographic identity protocols natively and get more devices to you and the rest of the future DIMO Network!
Integrating the new chip is no easy engineering feat. We’ve worked really closely with our partners at AutoPi and suppliers around the globe to secure the right supply and test the integrations that will ensure we can scale DIMO efficiently and securely.
Without the secure element, it is easier for a bad actor to send fake data to DIMO, which we cannot allow in the long-run. No secure element on the device, no baseline rewards.
How does this impact orders and timelines?
The lack of the correct secure element and risk of receiving fake data means that the first 300 devices cannot go out in the regularly scheduled order. The devices already in hand or in the field plus the next 200 devices will only go out to trusted parties as further test devices.
We have a plan to convert these test devices into fully operational connected devices, but we have to mitigate the lack of security on them, hence the selectivity on where these devices go. None of these trusted parties will receive any advantage in rewards since we will look at your order date, not the date you connected.
The devices will go testers, particularly on the fleets side, so that we can continue to hone the product. We’ll also provide some to pro-installers (see below).
We’ve updated the timeline in the table below. There is no difference between Alpha devices and Beta devices, so we’ll roll right into shipping Beta when we have fulfilled all the Alphas.
Any devices arriving starting in May will have the correct secure element and we can move on to shipping in the correct order from Shopify order.
As a reminder, we voted several weeks ago to base rewards off when the device was ordered, not when it is received. You will still have to plug in your device, but the reordering of these shipments will not affect your rewards.
Pro Installer Program
We’ve also been developing a program where DIMO early adopters can earn cash and $DIMO rewards for helping other users install their devices! Initially this will target our largest markets like LA, SF, New York, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Miami, and others.
If you have experience installing aftermarket electronics in vehicles, have an existing detailing, auto repair, or dealership business and are interested in learning more about this program - hit this link!
We’re on the exciting cusp of launching into the next wave here at DIMO. We’re excited to have you with us!
Alex Rawitz has spent 10 years in and around startups in the crypto and IoT world, and is always looking to put these technologies to work making people’s lives better. Prior to DIMO, Alex worked with exchanges, defi protocols, and fintechs at Chainalysis. Before that he worked in sales at Servato, an IoT company in the telecom space. He started his career at a startup accelerator, The Idea Village, in New Orleans.