GMMK PRO Post-Launch Report

Glorious HQ

August 25, 2021

July 6th, 2021 marked the official in-stock launch of GMMK PRO. We truly appreciate the entire Glorious community's support (and patience) throughout the GMMK PRO reservation process. We’re thrilled with the huge amount of positive response we’ve already seen from this release.

Throughout the PRO's rollout, we've received invaluable feedback from our community which we’ve used to implement some optimizations and changes to the board and software. Here’s a brief recap about the launch and changes that have already been made or are still in the process of being implemented.

Reservation Fulfillment Recap

As with just about every company in the world, 2020 & 2021 presented Glorious with a seemingly endless stream of ever-shifting hurdles to overcome. Producing a board like the PRO at a large scale was already an extremely complicated endeavor, and, between major port shutdowns, freight backups, raw materials shortages, and local shipping delays, being able to release GMMK PRO (with a full suite of accessories) this year was a huge feat for our team to pull off.

Our primary goal with the PRO was to offer an enthusiast-worthy, highly customizable board, which would be widely available for anybody to buy and sold at an affordable price. We wanted it to meet the standards of existing hobbyists and hoped that it would unlock the world of custom mechanical keyboards for a huge number of people in need of an accessible “next step” into the hobby.

In the early planning stages of this launch, our initial fulfillment target was to get the keyboard into the hands of every customer who wanted one as fast as possible. However, with great uncertainty in the global supply chain, the relatively high production time to make each board, and the extraordinary level of demand for this release, we knew it would be nearly impossible to fully stock the PRO before mid-late 2021.

Enabling a batched reservation system allowed us to ramp up production on-demand and begin shipping GMMK PRO boards as soon as we received them in stock. This system had the additional benefit of not indefinitely locking up the full purchase price for customers like some traditional group buys do.

We began taking reservations for the GMMK PRO in November 2020. Batch 1 quickly sold out within a few hours and we switched to the “Flex Batch” system, which ran until full launch.

We initially set a target for Batch 1 order emails to be sent by the end of Q1 (March) 2021 and all “Flex Batch” orders to be sent out by the end of Q2 (June), followed by the full global release. We’re very fortunate that we were able to achieve those goals under the circumstances.

We understand the batch reservation process wasn’t the most straightforward way to launch a product, so we really appreciate you all bearing with us! Rest assured that at this time we don’t plan to follow this same procedure for future launches (excluding extreme circumstances).

With tens of thousands of GMMK PROs already shipped, both to existing enthusiasts and newcomers to the community, we’re overall very happy with this launch and are excited to continue releasing accessories for the PRO.


Hardware Updates

Quality Control

Over 2021, we’ve been making some major improvements to our manufacturing and QC processes across all product lines, and as a result, GMMK PRO has been one of our best launches yet from a QC standpoint. The number of support tickets submitted regarding the GMMK PRO is well below expectations and so far there have been no major defects found.

As for tickets we have received, some of the most commonly reported issues to customer support team thus far have been:

• Tight or Stripped Screws - In the majority of cases we’ve found this was caused by user error (typically the use of incorrectly sized tool heads or lack of torque). However, some production issues were found. Our team has identified a solution to help prevent this problem and will be implementing it in future production batches.

• Excess Stabilizer Lube - Some boards from one production run had an issue with excess lube pre-applied to the outer housing of the stabs, causing a “mushy” feeling key press. This issue is fairly easily remedied by wiping off the excess lube. If you’ve experienced this issue, we released an optimization guide here.

We've since fixed the primary issue causing this in later production units which are already in inventory. However, with any factory lubricating process, it is still possible some units will have excess lubricant due to production variances. We're continuing to work with our manufacturer to further fine-tune this process to reduce the chances of it happening. If you have any problems with over-lubed stabs (and you've tried the optimization guide), please reach out for support.

• Plate Flex - We received a handful of tickets regarding flexing of the polycarbonate plate. After investigating these reports, we found that the majority of these cases were caused by over-tightening during the installation process or natural flex in the material. We posted an installation guide here, which addresses the issue for most users. That said, both the polycarbonate plate and the board's PCB are made from flexible materials, so a nominal amount of plate flex is normal and will not affect the board's function.

• Dead Keys - A handful of boards had a few dead keys caused by a bad diode on the PCB. Those boards were RMA’d by our customer support team.

In total, these issues amounted to only a handful of tickets out of tens of thousands of boards shipped. We’ll continue to monitor any potentially recurring issues and implement further improvements as necessary.

If you are experiencing any sort of QC issue on your keyboard, don't hesitate to get in touch with our customer support team here so they can help you out!

GOAT Stabilizers

IT'S THE GOAT! Okay, maybe not quite yet. After receiving feedback from the community, our product team has been working on improving our stabilizers to ensure they live up to their "GOAT" name. As is, the V1 GOAT stabs function perfectly well for most users, however, our goal is for them to be among the best stabilizers on the market. We've already implemented a couple of short-term changes to improve them within the PRO while our product development and QC teams continue researching and testing long-term optimizations.

3rd Party Stabilizer Compatibility

Early production runs of the GMMK PRO's aluminum and brass plates were not fully compatible with some 3rd party stabilizers (such as Durock). After receiving customer feedback about this, we reworked the metal switch plates to better accommodate these 3rd party stabs and these new plates have already begun rolling out. The polycarbonate plate is more flexible and was already compatible with most 3rd party stabs, so our team made no adjustments to that plate material.

As with all Glorious products, we'll continuously improve the PRO's hardware as we continue to gather feedback.


Software/Firmware Updates

Glorious Core

Glorious Core released with admittedly a few early hiccups, but is now fully functional with the GMMK PRO. Our development team is continuously working on improvements on this tool to better optimize UI/UX and include new features. If you haven't done so already, we recommend downloading the latest version of Core here, and make sure you update your board to the latest firmware version.

Latency

We have noted concerns from the community regarding the GMMK PRO's high latency. In CORE v1.0.22, we included the option for users to adjust the latency via a firmware update and by utilizing hotkeys found in the GMMK PRO product guide (found here). Users can now lower the default 16ms latency to 8ms or 2ms. We are planning to include the ability to adjust the latency directly in CORE in the next update.

QMK Support

Prior to the GMMK PRO’s release, we collaborated with members of the QMK team to ensure that the board was compatible with QMK firmware. When GMMK PRO began shipping, QMK did function on the board, but it was not fully compatible with the board’s LED lighting.

The QMK development community was able to implement a fix for this, while our own development team also worked on a solution. We believed there were still some improvements that could be made to the community solution which may better support further optimization and scalability. Our dev team submitted a pull request and listed further details about the differences to the community version here.

QMK is an open-sourced project and the community firmware was chosen as the version to be used in the main branch. As a result, we decided to close our pull request as our devs confirmed this version works as intended.

To reiterate, the GMMK PRO currently has full QMK functionality, including LED lighting.

Going forward, the QMK development community will make all further contributions to the GMMK PRO QMK functionality. Glorious will continue to provide support so far as ensuring QMK remains compatible with the current board and any future QMK-compatible products we may release.

Thank you to Drashna and Jack Humbert from QMK, as well as the rest of the QMK community for your help!

VIA Support

The GMMK PRO also has full VIA functionality. We are listed as a compatible board and the firmware files for the PRO are officially live on their Firmware Downloads page, here. The download is titled “gmmk_pro_via.bin.”

Thank you to the VIA team and all the community members who helped get this firmware developed!

New Chip Rollout

Several months ago, we announced that there was the possibility we would have to switch our ARM microcontroller to a new chip. The reason for this potential switch was primarily because the ST32 microcontrollers in our boards are very difficult to source at scale right now given the current state of the supply chain. In the event we had to switch over the chip, this would have potentially resulted in a temporary loss of compatibility with QMK/VIA until we were able to complete the firmware development.

Since then, we have been able to source enough ST32 chips to continue production with them for the foreseeable future. Fortunately, this has given us plenty of time to finalize the development of QMK/VIA compatibility for the new chip if we have to switch over sometime next year, so there should not be any loss of compatibility on production units.


In summary, we no longer expect any outages of QMK/VIA compatibility in new boards.

Development Roadmap

During this release, we recognized that we were not always able to provide the level of transparency we typically like to put out - especially when it comes to the development process.

To easily keep track of our development team’s progress, check out our Development Roadmap tool. Here, you can find all firmware and software updates we are working on and can leave valuable feedback regarding potential future projects.


ISO and 3rd Party Availability

The GMMK PRO ISO version is currently available via our distributors and partners around the world and we will continue to fulfill B2B orders as we get enough stock. We will soon be releasing ISO compatible brass & polycarbonate switch plates and ISO GPBT keycap sets. Initial languages supported in these sets will include Nordic, German (DE), Spanish (ES), and UK English.


In Conclusion

From design phase to release, the community has played a huge role in the GMMK PRO’s creation. Our product and software teams will continue working to ensure your expectations are not only matched but exceeded. We are proud of what we have accomplished and are excited to continue improving and expanding upon the PRO platform. Once again, we value your feedback immensely and appreciate your patience.

If you haven't seen it already, we've recently updated our User Guide for the GMMK PRO, which includes full instructions for your board, hot keys, warranty support, and several video tutorials. Anything else, as always feel free to reach out to support!

 

- Stay Glorious

Comments

Rick:

Do you plan to issue a solder PCB or sell replacement PCBs?

August 26, 2021

Bagel:

Love the transparency! Keep up the good work Glorious team :)

August 26, 2021

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