We've been hard at work getting SPUD ready to ship... it's time for an update! This is a long one, so we'll start with the summary:
We get asked the “When will I get my SPUD?” question the most, so we’ll start there. We’re happy to report that we’re still estimating an August 2017 release, and we’ve been working closely with our manufacturer to stay on target. Of course, this comes with the standard disclaimer that this is still an estimate and subject to change as we go through the manufacturing process. If anything does impact our schedule moving forward, we will send out another update as soon as possible!
The SPUD manufacturing process follows the standard product development schedule. Our next major milestone is our manufacturing Engineering Validation Test (EVT), scheduled to complete by late June. The EVT is a critical step for any manufactured product, as it will be the first manufacturing build that uses production-ready materials and goes through the manufacturing process. This will allow us to analyze specification variations across multiple SPUD samples and verify device functionality. In short, the EVT confirms we can build them, they work as expected, and we haven’t missed any major design flaws across our numerous prototypes. We’ve been working up to this milestone for months now, and we are super excited that we’re only a few weeks away!
Click the image below for a great in-depth explanation of the full product development process from www.bolt.io:
Image source: http://blog.bolt.io
Last update we asked you to tell us if MHL support is important to you. Thank you everyone who responded to our survey! Since MHL is a technology that appears to be fading out (it was common in 4+ year old smartphones), we weren’t surprised to see the vast majority you did not need MHL support:
MHL, or Mobile High-Definition Link, is a standard for a mobile audio/video interface commonly used to connect a mobile device to an HDMI input. MHL source devices connect to display devices either directly through MHL-enabled HDMI inputs, or through an MHL-to-HDMI adapter to standard HDMI inputs. While our original SPUD prototype did have an MHL-enabled HDMI input, changing to a standard HDMI input will allow us to support display scaling, which we believe (and our survey appears to confirm) is a much more important feature.
For users who absolutely need MHL support, you can still connect an MHL device to SPUD, but you will need to connect through an MHL-to-HDMI adapter. Please let us know if you are one of these users by completing the survey (if you have already done so, then we have your info, no need to resubmit!). We’ll make sure that each and every one of our backers gets set up correctly! Not sure if your mobile device supports MHL? Check the list of mobile devices that support MHL on the MHL website.
Here’s a sneak peek at our two SPUD cover samples, and the first glimpse of the real-life titanium color. We’re still making some tweaks, but these samples give a great view of the overall SPUD look and feel with the Arovia logo on it. Another step closer to release!!
Finally, Alex was a special guest on the “What Will You Creaate” podcast, “Kickstarting a Kickstarter” episode. It explores 3 different successful Kickstarter campaigns (including SPUD, of course) and gives a great overview of the thought/prep process behind these campaigns. Check it out here:
We will continue to keep you updated, and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. Please share our website (http://arovia.io) to anyone you think might be interested in a pre-order discount! We are grateful for all your help in bringing SPUD to life and are very excited to get you yours!
Justin, George, Alex