Hey, I’m Nick and I’m making my own pair of custom hearing-enhancing wearables in my bedroom. I’m actually quite close to having our first working prototype. We’ve got our anonymous helper in south America who is putting some electronics inside our 3D printed shell. However, this is where we’re running into a couple of problems that I did not anticipate when I started this project. And that is, we need a couple of electronic parts to make sure this thing actually works and there is currently a worldwide shortage of electronic components.
I wasn’t really aware of this and I feel like I probably should have been!
So what does this actually mean? Well, I’ve been doing some reading on this is what I understand: Inside all of the products that we use from our phones to our electronic toothbrush, to our fridge, to our car , there are plenty of electronic parts. So resistors, transistors, capacitors, semiconductors, basically all of those little blocks that go on the green circuit board. There’s not enough of those being manufactured for all of the products that everyone in the world wants to buy. Over the last few years, demand for electronic products in general has just been increasing and already putting some pressure on the supply of these components.
And then the pandemic comes along and factories have closed. There were labor shortages or shipping issues. There were some just really unlucky events like fires and storms, which caused a couple of really important factories to close and halt production for a period of time. And at the same time in the pandemic, everyone’s in lockdown, buying home office equipment, PlayStations, other consumer electronics and demand just rocketed.
So now there’s a massive queue to buy these components as manufacturers are trying to catch up with the demand. So what does this mean for this project, for Butterfly Audio? I think it basically means we just need to wait a little bit longer until the components that we need become available. And I really hope that won’t be too much longer, but this is really given me a taste of what it’s like to actually build hardware products.