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Unlock the potential of your DSLR or mirrorless camera and capture amazing images in any conditions.
Unlock the potential of your DSLR or mirrorless camera and capture amazing images in any conditions.
Unlock the potential of your DSLR or mirrorless camera and capture amazing images in any conditions.
15,766 backers pledged $2,650,310 to help bring this project to life.

Update #11

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Hey everyone, Ryan again. First off, I wanted to let everyone know that things are going well and we’re on track with the April shipping timeframe! I know that’s the #1 question on everyone’s minds and we’re excited things remain on track. As promised we’ll be sending out emails in the coming weeks to confirm your cable selection and shipping address.

Also, I know it’s been a while since our last update. It has been challenging to balance wanting to give you all thorough updates as well as focusing on getting Arsenal out the door with great quality. We’ll aim to be better at that going forward, and Nate from our Marketing team will be helping to drive more updates and more content.

While we wait on a few last things, the team and I have been hard at work improving the product. Here’s an overview of the things we’ve been working on.

UI/Design

At the risk of sounding like a marketer, Arsenal’s app interface is really important to us. Arsenal provides a lot of technology, but that is only useful if we can find a good way to present and manage it. We’ve been putting a lot of work into user testing lately to make sure the app is as easy and intuitive as possible. This has lead to some redesigns on the timelapse screen, and a rethinking of how focusing is handled in the app. Between now and April, we will continue to make improvements to the interface. As a reminder, the app will be in the Google/Apple stores right before launch.

Software

In the past I’ve worked on software teams that did “continuous deployment.” On one app in particular, we would be pushing out code updates at often as once a day. In the hardware world, updates aren’t nearly as common. (Though we would like them to be) We have a long list of features we want to add to Arsenal after we ship, and making sure our build process, testing process, and firmware deployment process is solid is crucial to allow us to easily develop and push new features.

To that end, Ben and Jack have continued to improve the firmware updater. We decided to switch from a mirrored partition setup to a recovery partition and main partition setup. This allows us to dedicate more disk space to caching, while keeping the same resiliency as before. We’ve also been expanding our build/deployment process to allow for more variants of the code. The idea here is to allow various beta/feature releases so individual features can be tested on certain units before they go out in the main release.

Flash/Test Rig

As mentioned in previous updates, at our manufacturer Arsenal units will be flashed and automatically tested by our “test rig” that we’ve developed. The test rig runs a set of automated tests to exercise every system on the PCB, so we can be sure no units go out with issue. During assembly, an Arsenal unit is connected to the test rig via USB. The test rig automatically boots a small version of linux over USB, runs our test software, and flashes the firmware. If any tests fail, that Arsenal won’t make it to customers.

Since the last update, we’ve made a lot of improvements to our test suite, improved the performance and reliability of the test rig, and built out enough test rigs that they won’t be the bottleneck on the production line. This has been a major effort that will pay great dividends in quality and speed.

Along with the test suite, we’ve improved our unit tracking system. (Not the most exciting part of the process) The unit tracking tags the hardware with serial numbers associated back to production lines and dates. This information is useful in making sure any production issues can be easily tracked back to units before they go out. Part of this process also involves printing custom labels for each box that contains the serial tracking info as well. The label software also lists which cables are included with each box for easier fulfillment in the future.

Embedded

Jack, our embedded/linux developer has been crucial in getting everything running on our custom hardware. Recently he’s been working on our bluetooth/wifi drivers to help support better power management and some previously unsupported network configurations. These new changes should make Arsenal more resilient in areas with a lot of wifi/bluetooth congestion.

Since we previously pushed our ship date back we’ve also taken time to bring Arsenal’s linux version up to date with the latest linux kernel. Part of that pull brought in security updates and driver improvements.

Hardware

Arsenal has a dedicated power management chip on board. The chip controls things like charging, USB power negotiation, and providing regulated power lines to the processor and other Arsenal systems. There are literally hundreds of options that can be configured on the power management. Phillip has been working his way through these software configurable parameters to help improve things like power management and battery life. Some of these options also control how the power button behaves for entering handheld mode, recovery mode, etc...

Enclosures

The enclosures have been through a lot more iterations than we expected. We’ve been squeezing in a few last minute improvements before enclosure production starts next week. Currently the molds are out having the outside textured. This involves hitting the molds with a high powered laser to etch the external texture into the mold. Once those are back, we’ll start making enclosures for the production runs.

Machine Learning/Constraint System

As we get more reports back from field testing, we’ve identified a few areas of the suggestion/constraint system that could be improved. We decided to make some changes to the vibration detection code to make it more robust. The vibration detection constraint is used to determine a minimum shutter speed needed to prevent blur from camera shake.

We’ve also been working on improving our auto-exposure algorithm used in the holy grail timelapse section. We recently built a new data set used to train this model. We’re still working with the new dataset, but we expect a good improvement over the previous model.

Support

Launching Arsenal is really just step one. Part of making Arsenal a success is having a good support team and documentation to get questions answered, improvements made, etc.. To that end, we’ve started expanding our customer support team by bringing on two new associates, Matt and Mike, who will augment our existing team of Kristen, Rachael, Meg, and Nate. Both Matt and Mike have a BA in photography, extensive background in the field, and really know the industry well.

We’ve also started working on building out the rest of the support infrastructure. We envision that to include online video tutorials, help guides/manuals, and perhaps forums in addition to the online support the team will offer. These will all be available closer to our launch in April.

App Walkthrough Video

Lastly, I put together a walk-through video for Arsenal. We’ve been really heads down getting ready for production, and I apologize for not having more content ready right now. We have a trip scheduled in a few weeks to go shoot some more demo footage in the field, and the plan is to include handheld mode, some outside portraits, and more comparisons between Arsenal’s results and what you could get with Auto mode. Look for that video mid March.

The video ended up a bit long, but I figured a detailed dive into the app would be good for those who are interested.

A few things I forgot to show in the video: 

- I forgot to show handheld mode (sorry), we’ll get that in the next video
- You can single point tap to focus on any liveview screen, not just the focus screen.
- You can adjust the sliders on the smart screen after it suggests settings
- Everything in the settings screen works in both the Smart and Manual screen
- We’re still need to add a progress bar for the thumbnail preview
- The distance indicator on the focus screen isn’t complete
- I’ll do some night demos soon also


So many things need to come together for a first large production run. Thanks to the Arsenal team for the extremely hard work they’ve put in getting everything ready for production. It’s been amazing to see the progression of Arsenal from Kickstarter through to near launch. I believe that Arsenal is going to absolutely delight customers and that’s very exciting.

I’m also very excited for the future. Initially that’s because we’ll be launching Arsenal soon and I can’t wait to get Arsenal in more people’s hands and see how they use it. The future also excites me because we have so many great features, enhancements, support for new cameras, etc. planned that we’ll be working on after launch and rolling out in future firmware updates.

2018 is off to a great start and I’m very optimistic it’s going to be a great year for Arsenal users. Thanks to everyone for the patience and support.

- Ryan

Nate, Eric Nyaribo, and 209 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Ryan Stout 2-time creator on

      @Hector You will receive your Arsenal next month. We are scheduled to begin shipping May 14. Thanks!

    2. Missing avatar

      Hector on

      I followed the link (as I never received an email) and purchase an extra cable for my second camera to further tests. When would be getting Arsenal in Los Angeles area?

    3. Ryan Stout 2-time creator on

      @Kridsadar Sanyear No problem, I resent the email. You can also check it here: https://app.crowdox.com/retrieve/2092430307/arsenal-the-intelligent-camera-assistant-0 Be sure to close the survey when you're done if you make changes. Thanks!

    4. Ryan Stout 2-time creator on

      @Joe Polecheck No problem, I resent the email. You can also check it here: https://app.crowdox.com/retrieve/2092430307/arsenal-the-intelligent-camera-assistant-0 Be sure to close the survey when you're done if you make changes. Thanks!

    5. Kridsadar Sanyear on

      Hi Ryan. I'm not sure that I received the e-mail for shipping... Is it possible to resend it?

    6. Joe Polecheck on

      Hello. I don't believe I received the email for camera/cable selection... Is it possible to resend it? Thanks.

    7. Ryan Stout 2-time creator on

      @Roland Reed Hey Reed, I'll be posting another update soon and those emails should be going out shortly after. The email is to confirm the addresses/cable selection before we ship. You should have already gotten an email for the crowdox survey where you could fill out your address and camera/cable selection. The confirmation is just to make sure everyone's information is still accurate. We're still on track for April. I'm really sorry about the delays. We can do a full refund if you would rather not wait. Thanks for the patience.

    8. Roland Reed on

      So on February 28 you sent out an update. It said in a couple of weeks you would be sending out emails. Still no email so I guess it’s delayed again. Just dissapinting. Waiting patiently but patience is growing thin. When can we expect that email????????

    9. Ryan Stout 2-time creator on

      @Luis Fernando Franco We're wrapping up a few last things, then we'll be posting an another update. Still looking good for April! We're still getting through the last few details/production issues before they start rolling out the door. Thanks!

    10. Missing avatar

      Luis Fernando Franco on

      So... last update was about a month ago. Nothing new? Is there any update on when you'll be shipping?

    11. Ryan Stout 2-time creator on

      @Edwin Chung No problem. You can update your camera/cable selection here: https://app.crowdox.com/retrieve/2092430307/arsenal-the-intelligent-camera-assistant-0 Be sure to close the "survey" when you're done. Thanks!

    12. Ryan Stout 2-time creator on

      @Juan Proano The emails to get addresses and cables went out a while ago. (But we're going to be doing a final email to verify everything before the Arsenals go out) You can update your address or cable selection here: https://app.crowdox.com/retrieve/2092430307/arsenal-the-intelligent-camera-assistant-0 Be sure to close the "survey" when you're done. Thanks!

    13. Ryan Stout 2-time creator on

      @Hiroshi Takahashi and @ravivarma I'm going to be posting another update pretty soon. We've got just a few more little things we need to work through then we should have a pretty firm schedule. With ship time, it will probably be closer to the end of April before it shows up on your door. (Sorry) The Arsenals will go out in a pretty small window, but your order time will also play a role in exactly when. (We'll be sending them in the order of when people preordered) Thanks for the patience on things. We're almost there :-)

    14. Missing avatar

      ravivarma on

      what is the estimated shipping date in april. have travel plans abroad. would like to take it with me.

    15. Edwin Chung on

      Thanks for the update. I recently got a new camera - the Sony A6500 - can I change my reward to be compatible with this camera instead of the one I preciously filled in? Thanks!

    16. Juan Proano on

      Ryan,

      Has the email to confirm shipping details been sent? I purchased a new camera so I want update the cable that comes with my unit if possible. Any direction would be greatly appreciated.

      Thank You,

      Juan

    17. Missing avatar

      Hiroshi Takahashi on

      I am looking forward to seeing when the product will arrive.
      Actually, in Japan there is a large consecutive holiday called Golden Week from the end of April to the beginning of May.
      Is it best to send the perfect product, but is there any chance that it will arrive by this consecutive holiday?

    18. Ryan Stout 2-time creator on

      @John Stephenson Yea, no problem. Would you mind emailing help (at) witharsenal.com and ask for Nate. I told him the issue, he can get that handled for you. Thanks!

    19. Missing avatar

      John Stephenson on

      Hi Ryan and team - I've ordered 2 of the units via kick starter. They're both planned to be delivered to my address. When it was due for Feb that was fine as one was planned to be given to my dad who was visiting from another country. Unfortunately with the push back he won't be here when they're shipped. Is it possible to split my order so that I can set two different shipping addresses so that it can go direct to him?

      Thanks in advance

      John

    20. Ricky Cheung on

      Yes ,i mean the range sliders on holy grail

    21. Ryan Stout 2-time creator on

      @Juan Proano On most cameras Arsenal can switch the mode for you (even though the mode dial might be on something else) On a few we have to prompt a switch, but that doesn't happen much. We have an auto-exposure algorithm for day to night timelapses, but on our general purpose auto-exposure algorithm is still in the works. Once that's out Arsenal will run in manual most of the time. Currently it runs in AP or SP depending on the amount of subject movement. The nice thing is on almost all of the cameras we support, you don't have to think about it, since Arsenal can change the mode. Thanks!

    22. Ryan Stout 2-time creator on

      @Philip Ashmore Thanks!

    23. Ryan Stout 2-time creator on

      @Jim Berman So there's a few things in the current codebase that we need to re-integrate into the new UI. There's the night focus stuff, which still needs a little more work, but does an autofocus algorithm at night using longer exposures. (Takes a few minutes, but you can be sure you got focus) We also have some code that does a night auto-exposure. I think as we add more night specific features, we may end up adding a night screen specifically. Probably a little ways down the road though. (future firmware update) Thanks!

    24. Juan Proano on

      Ryan, two Questions for you:

      1) what mode do you the camera when using Arsenal? I did not see that in the video. I image it’s manual. Can you confirm?

      2) Can you only press the shutter on the app? What if I am using the camera in a hand-held mode? Will that Work?

      Looking forward to the final product.

    25. Philip Ashmore on

      Hi Ryan.
      Thanks for the update. Just watched the video right through. Awesome! Much better than I first envisaged. I am disabled with limited mobility so Arsenal is going to be an unbelievable boon to my photography.
      My grateful thanks. Can't wait.
      Phil Ashmore.

    26. Missing avatar

      Jim Berman on

      Ryan...Thanks for the walkthrough! I wonder if you might be able to experiment & report back on Arsenal's capabilities with respect to astrophotography/night time long exposures etc. Both with stills and time lapse/video. Will there be a menu dedicated to this?

      Thanks!

      -Jim

    27. Ryan Stout 2-time creator on

      @Daver Sorry, maybe I didn't understand the question. Here's the list of supported cameras (updated as we add more) https://witharsenal.com/supported-cameras Thanks!

    28. Missing avatar

      Daver
      Superbacker
      on

      Hmm. Try again. What Canon cameras are being supported ?

    29. Ryan Stout 2-time creator on

      @Udit Rathore Thanks!

    30. Ryan Stout 2-time creator on

      @Mark den Hartog Yea, I wanted right angle USB connectors actually, but after we dug into it, they are a lot harder to make correctly that you would think. (I seriously though, how hard could it be, but it's more complicated than I expected) The cables we have now are really good, I'll probably revisit doing right angle cables at some point later this year. Sorry we don't have them right now.

    31. Ryan Stout 2-time creator on

      @Kenichi Takaishi Kickstarter orders are on track to ship in April. We can do a full refund if you would rather not wait, just let us know at help (at) witharsenal (dot) com if you want a refund. Thanks!

    32. Ryan Stout 2-time creator on

      @Ricky Cheung Yea, we should have some demo footage of that soon. Sorry it's taking so long. When you say "drag down", do you mean the range sliders on holy grail? Thanks

    33. Ryan Stout 2-time creator on

      @Dr Mel Selwood Thanks!

    34. Ryan Stout 2-time creator on

      @Robert Reid Thanks! Yea, it's amazing how much work there is that's not really product development, but needs to happen to get a hardware product out the door.

    35. Ryan Stout 2-time creator on

      @Isabel Chiquita Spiker Thanks!

    36. Ryan Stout 2-time creator on

      @James Kelly Yea, tablet support is the first todo after we ship. Thanks!

    37. Ryan Stout 2-time creator on

      @Bob Peticolas Yep, the original files are left on the card as well. Thanks!

    38. Ryan Stout 2-time creator on

      @JC Thanks!

    39. Ryan Stout 2-time creator on

      @Ying Kit It might be close with ship time, depending on where you are. We'll work hard to get it out in time.

    40. Ryan Stout 2-time creator on

      @Erik Owens Thanks!

    41. Ryan Stout 2-time creator on

      @Paul Wong Thanks!

    42. Ryan Stout 2-time creator on

      @Bill Akins In the future we would like to add a way to "personalize" the machine learning. In order to personalize to peoples preferred styles, we would need to send small versions of photos you take and settings through the phone app to our servers to train a new model, then send the trained model back to Arsenal. This is possible, but it's a ways off, and unfortunately not something we'll get to before we ship. But yea, that is something we would really like to do in a future firmware update. The tricky part is the hardware doesn't support training new machine learning models directly. (Since most training is done on large servers, then the models are copied to devices) Thanks!

    43. Ryan Stout 2-time creator on

      @Daver The D850 and A7Riii are now supported. Sorry, I thought we had that in the last update. Maybe not. Thanks!

    44. Ryan Stout 2-time creator on

      @Steve Forbes Thanks!

    45. Ryan Stout 2-time creator on

      @Cleve Parker Really sorry, but Arsenal only runs on iOS 9 or newer. I believe the iPhone 4s only runs iOS 8 right? We can do a full refund if you need. Tablet support is one of the first things we'll work on after we ship.

    46. Ryan Stout 2-time creator on

      @Steven McGovern Thanks!

    47. Ryan Stout 2-time creator on

      @Ahmad Zaki Abdullah Sorry, but I'm not sure with the ship time if it will make it early enough in April. When do you leave?

    48. Udit Rathore on

      We’re really excited about the progress! This was a great update. Keep up the hardwork!

    49. Missing avatar

      Mark den Hartog on

      About the USB cable.
      it would be so cool if there was an option for angled cables!
      Using an L-bracket it would give the possibility to keep the camera on it's side as well without putting it to much on an edge.

      I found them for my canon, but not for the sony.

      Best,
      Mark

    50. Missing avatar

      Kenichi Takaishi on

      when can I get my ordered last year, already I payed