Project Update: July 2017
(3 min read)
I will keep this update brief as I am short on time but a lot good developments have happened recently. So here’s about one paragraph on each.
Lenses for alpha rev 1 and experiment 2: Things are looking much, much better...
I have recently reviewed the latest set of lenses and I am pleased to say that images in our Phantom Display are more crisp and quickly approaching theoretical limit of clarity we can produce in any near-to-eye display system. As mentioned previously, these lenses are a little bit different from those we will be shipping in beta and the later revs of alpha. As such, everyone who gets a device with this lens in it will receive it free of charge (as these are evaluation units). For those of your who are international, we will declare the value of these items at $0, since they are of no commercial value to the company. Additionally, we are able to produce these lenses at the rate of one per day and will be working over the next several weeks to increase that rate to about 4 per day and then shortly thereafter 10 per day. Tonight I will be writing up a summary of notes to one of the Asia teams to make some final adjustments before sending me some new samples. If I like those, I will order about 100 lenses so we can shortly thereafter ship the first alpha units to the earliest supporters so they can begin doing experiments.
Lenses for later alpha revs and beta
LAFORGE will be working with a team of precision machining experts to help push the lenses for beta and later revs of alpha to completion. Once commenced, this project should take us about 2 months to complete. Early parts from this activity will find their way into demo units that will be made available for certain members of the press we have waiting to reviews them. The molds from this project will be tested by the Asia teams and they will monitor how many casted parts we can pull off of these molds before the molds are out of spec. After completion of this, the team will attempt to get production up to 100 units per day in preparation for the upcoming beta release.
New LAFORGE Website
We have been listening to feedback from individuals concerning the current LAFORGE website and will be rolling out a host of improvements, as well as cleaning up and further modernizing the site. These changes will help our small team focus on shipments and product development and provide more automation of data transfers. The new site (4th-gen) should launch sometime this weekend and you will be required to re-register your account to access your existing pre-order. As a precaution we have already backed up all of the user data before attempting to move the nearly 10,000 accounts over to the new system. We have come a long way from what started as a WordPress blog with about 8 subscribers.
Screenshot of new LAFORGE Optical website
The focus groups for the socialFLO companion app have been on-going. It was a great opportunity for me meet some of our earliest supporters, some of whom have been helping advance my vision since it was just an idea on white paper.
A couple weeks ago I did a "what we learned" blog post on LAFORGE XD. Focus groups for Experiment 1 ended last week. I will write another blog post about what changed (a lot). We will invite those who participated in the focus groups back for more action as we begin to focus on how socialFLO will be used to configure mods and panes. If all goes to plan development of the socialFLO app may commence as early as September with v0.4.0 getting its public release several weeks later.
The company is also working on an SDK for socialFLO and our line of digital eyewear. It will more than likely be based on JSFiddle (but perhaps may be based on glitch). Like everything else we do at LAFORGE, the first version will be “OK” and the second version will be “significantly improved”. We will commence with focus groups on the SDK in August or September to make sure we are building something that developers "want" to use. We will provide more details on this in the coming weeks on our Facebook page.
Rendering of proposed simulator in SDK
A one week break
Starting on Monday at 2PM, I will be taking a one week break as I have been working non-stop for pretty much the last 3 months and need to recharge my brain’s and spirit’s 'batteries'. Any urgent concerns such as account issues with the new system, refund requests, product changes, etc should go to my assistant firstname.lastname@example.org. I will return in the second week of August to nudge the alphas over the finish line and begin overseeing development of the Shima beta and product2B (we are not releasing the actual name of the product until it is ready to be shipped).
Also, alpha pre-orders will be coming to an end before the end of the year. There will be no pre-orders for beta, we are just going to announce and start shipments that day. Please don't ask when we will release pre-orders (there will be an official announcement).
CEO & Head of Design