SPUD Update: Production and Pilot Testing Status

September 12, 2017

Dear SPUD Backer Community,

We continue to get closer to getting you your SPUD! Since the last update, we completed the initial assembly of the first DVT/PVT units (i.e. pre-production). This update includes a video preview of an early SPUD production unit sample, manufacturing progress updates, including a behind the scenes look, and some other news.

Let's start with the video! Alex shows a demo of an early production sample. Note that it is difficult (impossible?) to accurately capture image quality using our smartphone camera, but we wanted to show SPUD working without any screen simulation. You can actually see the camera darken to compensate for the SPUD screen brightness:

In our last update, we set a target date to send out early “pilot” units to test customers in the area for early September. We received the initial pilot unit from our factory and determined that the quality of the shroud (the black/titanium fabric on the back that blocks ambient light) did not meet our quality standards. We have put a hold on sending out the test units out until we understand and fix this issue. George, Leonard, and Alex are continuing to work directly with our supply chain and our contract manufacturers to expedite getting the test units out, and to ultimately get you your SPUD. We have already made some great progress!

    Schedule Impact:
    • As of now, we are keeping our shipping target of October 24th.
    • Pilot tests are now rescheduled tentatively for early October.
    • We are working everyday to recover the schedule and keep as close to the October 24th shipping target as possible. This depends on the progress we can make over the next two weeks.

    We will continue to keep you updated as the status changes and if we need to adjust our shipping target. In the meantime, we are still doing all the prep work needed to release next month. Here are some behind the scenes shots from our manufacturing site:

    One of our ODM's SPUD Testing Stations

    SPUD Box: Getting ready to ship!
     
     

    Getting excited about boxes and power adapters!
     

    Other News:

    We are proud to announce that we were selected to join HAX Growth, the first and most prominent hardware startup accelerator in the world, rated one of the best startup accelerators of 2017 by Forbes. Accelerators are often described as a “bootcamp for startups,” combining mentorship, resources, and a well-connected network with the goal of putting a startup on the right track to quickly achieve sustainable growth. We have already gained some invaluable connections and insights while working with the HAX team, and we are confident that Arovia will be a much stronger company having gone through the program!

     

    Finally, we want to send well wishes to everyone in our hometown of Houston after the devastation of hurricane Harvey. It has been heartening to see the local, national, and international support Houston has received. Our team was fortunately only minorly affected, with only one tough loss -- Alex’s car :(. However, others were not as fortunate, and there are still lots of folks in need. Visit the Red Cross website to find out how you can help!

     

    Thank you for your continued support!
    - George, Leonard, Justin, and Alex