We are (and have been) working hard to get you all your very own ZapBox (or pack of ZapBoxes) just as fast as we can. Things are moving pretty quickly in every aspect of the project now that we're getting excruciatingly close to having a final version of ZapBoxin our hands.
Next on the agenda is the much anticipated beta we promised you (and that all of you who pledged for it are hotly anticipating). We are in the final stages of preparing the beta app for submission to stores and still aim to get this to you by the end of January.
Right now, we're concerned with preparing the surveys that will be sent out to collect the information we need so you can gain access to the beta. We intend to send these at the end of the week (for those of you who pledged for access to the beta, that is) so if you're worried you missed it, you didn't. We'll announce here when we send them so no-one misses it.
One last point is we'd just like to make a quick apology for the longer delays between these updates. The reason for these delays is because we are quite busy making sure that ZapBox will exist and be as wonderful as we all want it to be. Rest assured, we are working as fast as we can and aiming to be as transparent as possible.
Thanks for the patience, ZapBoxers! Right, ZapBox is calling. Back to work ;)
We had a tremendous end to the year here at our offices (which we rounded off with some festive karaoke - naturally) thanks to the whopping success of the ZapBox campaign. After a nice restful break we're back in action.
We've actually been back for the past few days but we have a fair bit of information to share and wanted to wait until we had everything together before posting.
What happens next?
There was a rather lovely deposit made into our bank account this week so the good news is that the funds have been received! There were a small number of you who hadn't updated your payment information and weren't charged, but rest assured that if you pledged during the campaign then you'll be able to get what you pledged for and we'll be in touch about collecting payment.
We'll be sending out backer surveys to collect all the information we need from you such as a shipping address. We intend to send these out in batches, beginning with Beta access pledges. We need to get the Beta information sooner which is why we'll be collecting this information first. We'll also send out the surveys for multipack level pledges at the same time, as there's a number of you who have expressed an interest in adding the developer bundle extras to your pledge. For any multipack backers that want to add-on the developer bundle extras but didn’t pledge extra during the campaign you'll be able to do so in the survey providing you're quick as there's only a limited number available.
Friendly neighbourhood BackerKit
We're delighted to be using BackerKit to manage the surveys. Using BackerKit helps us save lots of time by streamlining the survey process, automating data organization, and providing us with pledge management software to make it easy to process your pledge reward shipments. They're also the helpful bunch who will collect any outstanding payments for those of you whose cards weren't changed correctly at the end of the campaign.
You'll receive an email to the address you provided for your Kickstarter account with an invite to the survey. We'll give you a heads-up before these go out so you know to look for them. The invitation email will contain a link to your personal survey. Please submit your responses as quickly as you can since we need this information to process your rewards. Oh, and you won't need to create a BackerKit account to answer your survey either - just click on the link and you're good to go! It's all good news :-)
If you used Facebook to log into your Kickstarter account, the BackerKit survey link will be sent to the email you used for your Facebook account.
Can I upgrade my pledge in the survey?
Yes. You'll be able to swap for a multipack pledge or any higher level pledge that's still available and you pay for the difference in BackerKit.
Would you look at that, it's January already. As mentioned above, you guys will be getting your surveys first so that we can collect your operating system of choice, among other things. Your surveys will likely be going out around the end of next week, but stay tuned.
Once we have the information we need, we'll send everyone an invite to the Beta app and a PDF that includes some DIY controllers and just one world pointcode to start with. We’re on track to deliver these elements and the first beta app build by the end of this month so you'll be able to start playing around with the tools as soon as possible whilst we finalize the code needed for in-app camera calibration and map building. We’re currently aiming to have that second milestone beta build out in February, at which point we'll send out a second PDF that includes a full set of world pointcodes.
More on this next week.
And now for something completely different
We’ve just received a sample of our final lens adapter from the factory, complete with lovely screen-printed ZapBox logo. The order for the production run has now been placed :)
In other product news we’re continuing to iterate on the cardboard elements and are close to finalizing the die cuts for all of these components. At this point we’re still on track for the delivery dates mentioned in the pledges.
We hope you're all having a lovely start to the year.
Thank you so much for supporting ZapBoxes bright future. With the campaign finished it's time for us to sink our teeth into getting you all your bundles of cardboard goodness.
We'll continue to update you with any important (or just plain cool) information as the project develops. It's going to get very exciting from here on out.
I really want a ZapBox but the campaign is over. Can I still get one?
We're looking into post campaign pledge managers right now to determine the best way to make everyone happy. The short answer is yes, you'll be able to pre-order a ZapBox (somehow) but you'll need to pay for the cost of shipping. Free shipping was a gift from us to all of our beautiful (yes, you) backers.
We're also investigating options for backers to upgrade to multipacks pledges or add-on additional kits. More on this next week.
The end of the beginning
And so, here we are - the bottom of the update heralding the end of the funding period of the campaign. We smashed it, didn't we?
Don't fret though, for it's also the beginning of the more exciting portion of the campaign. The part where things start to come together. The part where machining tools are made. Where prototypes are played with. Where artists create beautiful illustrations. Where models are sculpted. The part where experiences are designed and tested to make sure they're excellent. Where cardboard is purchased by the ton and sailed around the world on a boat. Where awesome packages arrive to mix up your realities.
Well, if we were worried at all that the final stretch goal unlock was going to be close it's safe to say that we were well off.
With this goal unlocked we're confident that ZapBox is going to be a whole lot better, and judging from the comments and support we can tell you all agree.
So what's next?
From this point onwards we won't be adding any new stretch goals to the campaign. We've now reached a point where we're overjoyed with the ZapBox offering and are still fully in control of the logistics surrounding getting everything designed, produced and shipped to you on time. Were we to add further goals at this stage they could jeopardise the development roadmap and cause delays in getting you your kits.
That doesn't mean that we won't be improving ZapBox anymore, though. In fact, quite the opposite is true. We are consistently improving things behind the scenes and rest assured the full kit is shaping up to be very special indeed. We may share some of these improvements with you over the coming months or we may just surprise you when the box is delivered next year!
You'll have to wait and see ;)
Just a small update today. Onwards to tomorrow andto the campaign being successfully funded!
With this goal unlocked every single ZapBox user will be able to upload 3D models to be viewed in MR via a simple web interface. This will allow everyone to view 3D models of their choice through ZapBox - even if they have zero scripting experience.
Still going strong
There's slightly less than a week remaining of the campaign and all but our final super-secret-best-till-last stretch goal have been successfully unlocked. We're so close to that next goal we can almost taste it - just have a look at ALL THAT GREEN.
We're honestly completely blown away by how much love you've all shown ZapBox so far, and we're positive we can hit that last stretch goal and make the entire offering better for everyone. If you want to know more about why the $70k stretch goal is so great you can read about it in our previous update.
There's a couple of things that we want to draw your attention to in this update.
Developer bundle add-ons
The first is that the Developer Bundle extras can be added to any of the multipack pledge levels by simply tacking-on an extra $10 to your total pledge amount. This has been at the top of our FAQ section since we first realised that our pledges didn't quite offer the à la carte selection that many of you would like, and we wanted to spread the good news that you can in fact have it all.
Local multi-user support
We also want to provide a few more details about how multiple users will be able to share the same physical space if we hit that $70k stretch goal.
Multiple users will be able to share the same world pointcodes without any issues. We’ll also share the map over the network so only one of the users will need to go through the map-building process.
Where things get a little more complicated is when it comes to the controllers. If all ZapBox kits used the same pointcodes on the controllers then the app would have no way of knowing the difference between the left controller of user A and the left controller of user B. We could try to associate controllers with users based on the one nearest to each device but that isn’t guaranteed to work, especially if users are physically close together.
The best solution is to use different pointcodes on the controllers for different users so the app can always tell the difference. We can’t print completely unique codes for every user but we have been chatting to our manufacturing partners about this and have committed to making four distinct ZapBox kits which will all have different pointcodes (both for world markers and controllers).
So what does all this mean?
Let's call these kits A, B, C, and D. You can think of them a bit like the channels of radio-controlled cars - there’s a few channels available and as long as you use different channels you can race against each other without interference.
Quartet backers will receive one each of A, B, C, and D
Duo backers will get either A & B, or C & D
ZapBox backers will get one of the four at random
Pledges of more than four kits such as The Educator will get some repeats, but we’ll build them out of multipacks so you’ll be guaranteed to have sets of four that can operate without issues in the same space.
In short, if you want to guarantee a great experience with multiple ZapBoxes in the same physical space, you should pledge at a multipack level! And remember if you also want the developer bundle benefits, just add $10 to the pledge.
Oh, and one other advantage of the multipacks: the set of world pointcodes will also be different in each kit, so you’ll be able to build maps of larger spaces.
That's all for now. As ever, thanks for the incredible support and for believing in ZapBox along with us. Onwards to $70k and to unlocking the final stretch goal :-)