Horizontal Dock Progress Update Part 3

This is the third post in our series of blog updates on the development progress for the Horizontal Dock (click here to read the first and second posts). It still won’t make your Horizontal Dock appear any faster, but hopefully there will be some comfort in knowing why we’re taking extra time to bring them to market.   Docking stations have historically been regarded as solutions to hardware problems, but our experience with Henge Docks led us down another line of thinking. We looked at methods of further reducing users’ friction with their environment, eliminating those little repetitive hitches that occur when transitioning from mobile to desktop. From that understanding, the Horizontal Dock was conceived as a set three of elements that come together to blur the line between the hardware and software for a seamless user experience.   Those elements are hardware, which we’ve focused on extensively in the first two posts, firmware and software, which we’re about to explore.  

Horizontal Dock  

Firmware – The Horizontal Dock was envisioned as a smart device from the very beginning, allowing for an unprecedented level of versatility and usability while being as simple as possible to operate. In addition to onboard memory and processors, the Horizontal Dock runs a sophisticated bit of updatable firmware.   The firmware controls all of the dock functions and acts as a communication bridge to the MacBook itself. It uses information from the dock's various sensors and switches to seamlessly handle tasks for the user. For example, the firmware can detect when a MacBook is placed in the dock and automatically dock the ports.   The firmware enables the Horizontal Dock to act a security device, prevent accidental undocking of the ports, diagnose errors and dismount external drives before undocking. Last week, the first full version of the firmware was flashed to our testing docks' memory at our factory.   

SoftwareSoftware – Earlier this year, Henge Docks began working on an optional OS X application for the Horizontal Docks called DockApp. DockApp runs in the menu bar and enables everything from the management of dock settings to automatic window positioning.   The application allows the user to setup “Locations” for hardware settings and window layouts. DockApp detects when the computer has been placed in a specific Henge Dock and loads in the corresponding location profile. This means users no longer have to manually reposition their windows and audio settings when connecting to a multiple monitor setup.   DockApp also creates several layers of security options for users. When the Horizontal Dock is secured with a Kensington Lock, the software can prevent undocking if a screen saver is running or the computer is powered down. For an IT Administrator running a computer lab, the software can be setup to prompt for an admin password before undocking.   As with all Henge Docks, the Horizontal Dock can be used with the MacBook in factory configuration and without the software installed. Conversely, DockApp can be installed on any MacBook and many of its features can be used with Henge Docks’ Vertical Docking Stations, past and present. DockApp will be made available at no cost to all Henge Docks customers through the MacApp store by the end of 2013.   We’ll be posting more details about the DockApp release over the next few weeks.   

Matthew Vroom

CEO, Henge Docks

  • Henge Docks says...

    @Jason – we know, we’re tired of waiting too! The Horizontal Dock will be released very soon, in conjunction with CES 2015.

    On December 29, 2014

  • Jason says...

    I can understand and appreciate the problems you have been managing. However, as I said in earlier posts – transparency is the key. As previous posters have stated, you keep giving false promises of when it will come. Be more detailed about your progress and we would probably not be so upset. At this point though, I am moving on. Been holding out for a year…I laugh when I think about that. A YEAR. Its really too bad, this product appeared to have everything I wanted. But sick of waiting.

    On December 19, 2014

  • Henge Docks says...

    @Mauricio B – We are working on updating the site, but we’ve got a lot on our plate!

    @jason – We admit it hasn’t been the smoothest ride, we have experienced many bumps along the way. This is the most complex product that we have brought to market, and we’ve experienced many technical difficulties. We try to prepare for anything, but as I’m sure you know, sometimes things happen that you can’t plan for. We’re staying on top of everything best we can, and will be releasing this dock in January.

    @Rio – We have provided updates, but given everything that is going on, we didn’t want to make another announcement or update until the actual release date. We thank you for your enthusiasm, and your patience!

    On December 09, 2014

  • Mauricio B says...

    What is going on with this product? I see the Update 2 mentions a change in the ports, and layout. But the website shows the “old?” layout? I know Henge Docks isprobably working hard on the horizontal dock (for over 2 years?)… but is it “that hard” to update an image and website to have the correct information?

    On December 09, 2014

  • jason says...

    I purchased my MPBR as soon as they came out and found the horizontal dock link and watched it with great hope and interest. But frankly as others have said I’m stunned at the way your company treats its “valued customers” you’re frankly just lying or totally over your heads. Even in the most recent posts you have, you say that it WILL be available late 2014 and then in the next statement say look for it early 2015. Is this the new Rickrolling? Its an ongoing joke and each potential customer you turn off on this project you turn off for any of your further products. I have never seen such an arrogant company with such a comfort level in stringing along potential customers and generating a pattern of mistruth. The generations of Mac products that have rolled out since you first started talking about this is numerous, if this vaporware ever materializes the layout will soon be obsolete for the next MPBR iteration. Absolutely pathetic.

    On November 24, 2014

  • Rio says...

    I am excited :)

    How come everything is so hush hush though? Would love some behind the scenes look.

    Granted no one else is attempting to do what you are, I can see why you guys might not want to reveal it. But we all want to know

    On November 22, 2014

  • Henge Docks says...

    The Horizontal Dock will be available around CES 2015, so early January. Once we have the exact date, we will announce it to everyone. It’s definitely coming!

    On November 18, 2014

  • Jamie says...

    Seriously, Henge Docks, remove the Horizontal Dock from your main page, or at least remove the button that has said “Coming Soon!” for two plus years. This is a joke. I’m done. I’m closing the tab I’ve had open for your site since I got my MacBook Pro Retina at the end of 2012 and I’m never returning. I mean, what’s the point? You’re never going to release this thing, in fact, you never even talk about it unless somebody takes you to task on your lies about when it will come out. Good luck to all of you who are hoping against hope that this unicorn will ever be lassoed. Every other competitor is refreshing their second or third dock and this thing rots on a shelf somewhere. Do yourselves a favor and look elsewhere. Companies like this don’t deserve your business.

    On November 11, 2014

  • TJ says...

    Coming soon for two years, no update in almost a year and no details about magsafe connectors.
    I think it’s safe to say this product will not be released.

    On October 31, 2014

  • Henge Docks says...

    @Jamie – we’re not deleting comments, we just have to sift through spam to find them. Our apologies! As for the Horizontal Dock, it is on schedule for release late this year. We want to have an exact date before we make any more announcements.

    On October 27, 2014

  • Jamie says...

    Yes, here it is, fall. If you’re waiting for an announcement on the horizontal unicorn, it will no doubt be a disappointing one stating that the dock will be available in early 2015. Then they’ll say spring 2015. Seriously, this is just a damn joke any more. No new blog postings, no real news, why in the hell don’t you remove all traces of it from your website until it moves from unicorn to actual product?

    On October 23, 2014

  • Henge Docks says...

    Once we have a date, we will let you know!

    On October 14, 2014

  • Ryan says...

    And here we are in October… What gives?

    On October 03, 2014

  • Jason says...

    And here we are mid-September, not a single piece of news. Very disappointing.

    On September 17, 2014

  • Jason says...

    So It is “later in the summer”. Almost September! ;) Any information?

    On August 18, 2014

  • Henge Docks says...

    These docks are on schedule to be released this fall! We will have more information out later this summer.

    On July 03, 2014

  • Jason says...

    Communication is key Henge Docks. All we are looking for is information! Any updates at all?

    On July 02, 2014

  • Rioch says...

    Can we have an Update Part 4?

    Perhaps more info on specs and if it is still set for launch in the fall?

    On June 23, 2014

  • Henge Docks says...

    The Horizontal Dock is on schedule to be released this fall!

    On May 16, 2014

  • Rioch says...

    Does there happen to be any updates? I am sure those who have not been to CES would love to see a video of the dock working. A Part 4 perhaps :)

    On May 15, 2014

  • Henge Docks says...

    Jon, there will be a Thunderbolt passthrough, no worries! As well as Mini DisplayPort and HDMI!

    On May 06, 2014

  • Jon says...

    I see the horizontal dock page is now a bit updated. Looks like FW800 is back, nice! I’m curious though, it only says 3 video…and nothing about thunderbolt pass through. What’s the deal there, will we indeed get thunderbolt passthrough? Or is this the last/only peripheral in the chain? Obviously people with thunderbolt macs will ultimately have thunderbolt peripherals…heck, even a thunderbolt monitor is one. Please clarify, thanks!

    On May 02, 2014

  • Kristin Junk says...

    We don’t have an official release date yet, but we hope to soon!

    On March 17, 2014

  • Courtney says...

    I was kinda looking forward to 3 mini display/thunderbolt ports. But given the change, What HDMI standard will this support?

    On March 17, 2014

  • Rioch says...

    I am very eager for this release, it looks and feel like it will be an outstanding product.
    It is the ultimate solution to my desk. It will save me close to 10mins of plugging and unplugging everything. Not to mention clean up the mess of cables.

    I just have one question that has not been addressed. How does the dock/Macbook take power? Does the dock power the MacBook? Or do we need to route an apple power cable?

    On March 17, 2014

  • B0rax says...

    Looks very good. I especially like the option “run..” when docking and undocking, making custom action very easy.

    software release at end of 2013 means hardware release at the same date?

    On March 17, 2014

  • Alex says...

    Thank-you for your update. I feel like I am speaking on everyones behalf when I say that this is exactly the type of information we have been craving for this product.

    It’s interesting to see the “DockApp” application – I can’t wait to see how this integrates into my workflow.

    On March 17, 2014

  • Kristin Junk says...

    Send us an email at info@hengedocks.com to inquire about making bulk purchases.

    On March 17, 2014

  • SImon says...

    This really does look like a great piece of kit. As long as this is as good as it looks, I plan to issue one of these to all of our current and future Retina Mac users. I’ll need around 40 next year and I suspect this will just be the beginning. I want to get my hands on one as soon as possible for testing.

    On March 17, 2014

  • Tim says...

    Disappointing that this won’t be available before Christmas as I think that rules me out completely. I’ve already put the money I’d allocated to this dock towards other office equipment so a gift was the final option.
    It’s fantastic on paper and I’m sure it’ll be a great product if it ever sees the light of day but 1.5 years is far too late to be arriving at the party no matter what the reason.
    You might as well wait until Q3 2014 as who’s to say that Apple won’t modify the rMBP design slightly for the next major release?

    On March 17, 2014

  • Kristin Junk says...

    The docking station will pass through the same HDMI capability that your MacBook will support. You can find the exact specs for the graphics and video support for the MacBook Pros with Retina Display at http://www.apple.com/macbook-pro/specs-retina/

    On March 17, 2014

  • Kristin Junk says...

    We plan to release the final specs soon with details about the power supply.

    On March 17, 2014

  • Matt Cheek says...

    I’m sorry to pile on, but do you have any updates on delivery?

    I’m also looking at the “LandingZone DOCK for MacBook Pro with Retina display”. Frankly, I’m probably going with whichever product ships first. The Horizontal Dock appears to be a slicker product, however I need a dock for my MBP-R 15 asap.

    On March 17, 2014

  • John says...

    Given the extended development time for the horizontal dock and the current availability of Thunderbolt 2 on late 2013 rMBPs, what is the likelihood that the horizontal dock will support TB2?

    On March 17, 2014

  • Theon Wier says...

    Three weeks and no new updates, what gives? Hope you are not slipping back into old habits. Please provide an update, since we know you are not going to hit the Q4 2013, at least give us a realistic time frame.
    The product seems like a great idea, but really, who puts an SD card in the back, it would serve us better located in the front so we can slide the card in and out easily. Plus the added space would allow for further TB or FW ports.

    On March 17, 2014

  • Andrew Fear says...

    I have been waiting patiently for this dock now for almost a year. I do appreciate the product updates, but seriously give us a real launch date.

    I accept the fact that Apple unveils a product then says its shipping soon. I may not have an exact date, but their track record is good and it does ship soon.

    Please give us a target date for when we can order it. I anticipate buying two and really want it now.

    On March 17, 2014

  • Jeff Diamond says...

    Thank you for designing such an awesome product. If you ever manage to release it, you will all have such high sales everyone in the company will never have to work again. Seriously.

    I’d like to put a different twist on the people asking for a timeframe. I understand that you can’t control or even predict when the product would be ready to ship. What would be very helpful to me, and perhaps many others, is that you can probably say with > 90% confidence when the product WON’T be able to ship. For example, “We are nearly positive that this product won’t be shipping before March 2014”. That would be HUGELY useful.

    You have to understand that your product is so good that many of us will come back and buy it whenever it’s ready, so there’s little risk in honesty, but you’re not being helpful stringing along customers who may really need to get a dock in a given time frame.

    Thanks for considering such a reveal,
    - Jeff

    On March 17, 2014

  • Andrew says...

    I think we can assume this means more delays since we have no response. Oh well, I had so much hope!

    On March 17, 2014

  • Henge Docks says...

    There will be more information about this when we have the final spec.

    On March 17, 2014

  • David Loesch says...

    Since we’re nearing the end of 2013 and there hasn’t been any comments for a while, is there any update on a product release date?

    On March 17, 2014

  • Philipp says...

    SD-Card slot in the back might not be a good idea.
    And I hope I can switch off the automatic docking funktion. I want to enable it myself with a button.

    Everything else: Great product!

    On March 17, 2014

  • Sancus says...

    By the time this product comes out, Apple will have changed the chassis for the 2014 macbook pro and it will be back to the drawing board. Kind of insane considering this product was conceived over a year ago. If you guys can’t build a dock faster than Apple can revise their entire laptop, you may want to rethink the whole concept of this product.

    On March 17, 2014

  • smitty says...

    Will this work with the non-retina 15 inch? I have a late 2011 model that I use for work that I’d like to use this dock with.

    On March 17, 2014

  • nwdrift says...

    Just a suggestion…

    While I know you and your company has spent so much time and money on this new horizontal dock design… you may have overlooked the reason why your original product was so appealing, simplicity + affordability. Yes, there may be consumers that are just itching for you the horizontal dock to come out, and will pay $200+ for it.

    But you may have outpriced yourselves to most of your customers/followers. So, I present to you this solution: Make some minor adjustments to your original design, to fit the current retina MacBook pros (13" and 15"), it should not cost to much to open the molds, and you would only need to make some minor adjustments to the current non-retina design.

    On March 17, 2014

  • Larry says...

    Well, it looks like Christmas is out of the question.

    Valentines day perhaps?

    On March 17, 2014

  • Padde says...

    Yeah the information policy is quite bad. I wish they would keep us in the loop about the dock and a ETA would be
    nice too. But due to the last comment from Henge Docks on 11.12.13 “There will be more information about this when we have the final spec.” my guess is we are looking at weeks or even months if there isnt even a finalized spec :(

    On March 17, 2014

  • Chelsea A says...

    Great question, Walder. The remote functionality won’t work on the native iPhone headphones, but the audio and the mic capabilities will.

    On March 17, 2014

  • Walder says...

    Looks really cool for me, I have short question regarding audio connection, Will it be possible to connect 3.5" headphones with mic (like native apple headphones of iPhone)?

    I am Really waiting the product to order.

    On March 17, 2014

  • very disappointed says...

    Every deadline/primise you make has been missed. WHEN WILL IT BE READY FOR SALE; I want yo decide to wait or choose a competitor. We all want to know I think!

    On March 17, 2014

  • Henge Docks says...

    Hi Smitty – the first horizontal docks will be compatible with the Retina display laptops only. Sorry for any inconvenience.

    On March 17, 2014

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