This blog post was originally sent as an email update to our mailing list on 11/21/2021.
I'd like to thank you for your enduring enthusiasm for the Atompalm Hydrogen. To briefly answer the questions on the specifics of a launch date: I can assure you that there is no one on Earth who wants to see the Hydrogen released more than I do, and it will be released as soon as it's done.
Starting with this one, I will be sending out more frequent updates. For now, I have two topics to cover: packaging, and shipping.
Our packaging is finalized. If you're following us on Twitter, you may have already seen the teaser photo above. You might not be able to tell in the image, but the Hydrogen is sitting snugly in a block of custom die-cut foam.
I have personally tested the durability of the box. It has no trouble withstanding my weight, so you can be certain that no matter how angry your delivery driver is that day, your Hydrogen will arrive safe and sound :^)
Durability was an important factor in our cable choice. While our cable is resilient to this type of flexing, we still designed the box foam to minimize stress on the cable by routing it in a large oval around the body of the Hydrogen. The cable routing guide can be seen more clearly in this image of our foam template.
At launch, we will only be shipping to North America. We initially planned on covering North America and Europe, but unfortunately, the cost of regulatory compliance within Europe is prohibitive at the moment.
Well, it's all because of this little mark. This is the WEEE mark, or the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive mark. It's a mandatory mark for most electronics being sold in Europe, including the Hydrogen.
WEEE is a regulation imposed by the European Union, but it is also adopted by the UK, Switzerland, and Norway. Its purpose is to "contribute to sustainable production and consumption." Its real effect, however, is to stifle innovation by creating a towering barrier to entry for businesses like Atompalm.
In order to comply and be legally permitted to sell the Hydrogen in Europe, Atompalm has to:
- Register with the responsible national authorities in each country where the Hydrogen would be sold.
- File a regular report on the number of units sold. This report can be annual, quarterly, or even monthly depending on the country.
- Finance the collection and recycling of the Hydrogen at its end of life.
- Provide a take-back service, so our customers can return the Hydrogen at its end of life free of charge.
Since we're required to register with each country, but only an authorized representative is able to register, we have to rely on WEEE compliance businesses to register on behalf of Atompalm. The cost for registration is approximately €1,200 - €1,500 per country initially -- a cost which increases as products are sold.
In summary, Atompalm is barred from selling the Hydrogen in Europe until we hand over ~€40,000 per year in regulatory fees. Unfortunately, what this means for everyone excited for us in Europe is that it will take longer for the Hydrogen to be available there. The price in Europe will likely be higher in order to cover the increased operational cost. Additionally, the initial European launch of the Hydrogen will be limited to a small subset of countries.
While it pains me to be the bearer of this news, I want to reassure you that I will be working hard to get the Hydrogen into Europe and into the hand of everyone who wants one. I also want to express my appreciation for your patience while I work on this issue, and ask a favor of you.
This issue affects all businesses selling electronics in Europe, limiting the products available to you, and increasing how much you have to pay for them. If you live in Europe, please contact your elected representatives and make your opinion known, or at least spread the word by sharing this blog post with a friend.
ThanksgivingFinally, I want to wish you a happy Thanksgiving. My vision for Atompalm was to build the perfect mouse, and I'm very proud to say that the Hydrogen fulfills that vision. It embodies everything I have ever wanted in a mouse. I am very thankful for all of your patience and enthusiasm, and I'm sure you won't regret the wait.
As of this writing, there are no foreseeable production delays. Moving forward, I will be providing more frequent updates as we approach the product launch, and I will be more transparent about any issues that may come up.
Thanks for spending the time to read all of this!
Happy Thanksgiving --