We are grateful for your continued support and we are all very eager to ship! This update gives an overview of the optics issues we have faced, including our plan to implement the final fixes, the updated schedule expectations based on our progress, a few notable updates on production preparation, the headlines we made in the startup world, and a demo video showing a SPUD/compute stick setup.
A lot has happened over the past few months as we have battled this complex lens issue, so to remind everyone of the progress so far, here’s a quick recap: When we began testing the units we built in the Production Validation Test (PVT) phase in January, we discovered some image quality issues: the image edges and corners appeared out of focus, and some units had additional out-of-focus areas across the screen. After lots of additional debugging and testing, we determined that the image issues were caused by multiple factors:
These issues were not only difficult to detect on their own, they were also difficult to identify as separate root causes. We have made significant progress in attacking all three factors, with the major improvements including:
While our lens supplier focuses on continuing to improve the lens quality, we have spent the last few weeks coming up with a solution for the projection offset. We cannot compensate for all possible shift variations with changing/altering/moving/redesigning/enlarging a single lens alone based on our testing to date. Working alongside our optics manufacturer, we have determined that the optimal solution is to make the lens mount adjustable to center the projector beam on the short range lens.
To date, we have prototyped the new lens mount and confirmed that the image can be corrected across a range of different projection shifts. The new mount design drawing is currently in work, and we expect to receive a mount sample in the next 2 weeks for validation.
Like our last update, our remaining schedule is completely driven by the resolution of the optics issue(s) we have been tackling. Given our current progress, the best case for finalizing the optics is 6 weeks, at which point we would ship to our contract manufacturer for an additional 2-4 weeks of final production. We will continue to drive the schedule as aggressively as possible.
As we approach the start of production, we will be emailing each of you individually to confirm the address we have for you on file. We will also send out the individual package tracking info once we ship out the SPUDs.
As we have mentioned before, even through our focus has been on resolving the lens issue, there is a lot that we have to do in parallel to prep for final production. Some of the major accomplishments include:
Alex presented at the Texas A&M New Ventures Competition in College Station, TX last week. We won first place, and brought home a $50k prize for Arovia! Read more about it in the news!
This week’s demo shows SPUD working with a compute stick (this one) to create a portable desktop system that runs completely off the SPUD battery.
Working through these final production stages, it has been refreshing to see just how engaged our manufacturing partners have been. They have put in those long hours right beside us! ALL of us are committed to releasing as soon as possible, and we are very excited to send you your SPUD!
Thank you for your continued support!
-Leonard, George, Justin, Alex