Greg here with the update from China. Overall things are moving along quite well. Pulse testing with the roughly 100 Beta Backers has been extremely helpful. The app and firmware are proving quite robust and we are releasing more features for beta testing early next week. Manufacturing has had several small delays but through some creative problem solving and a lot of extra hours, we are still currently expecting to ship in July! To get the full report, please read below (or just check out the photos!).
Pulse Beta and Software Development
Three weeks ago, Pulse Beta shipped to ~100 of you that had selected the Beta Backer tier. It has been great to get your feedback and help in clearing out bugs, and fortunately there haven’t been too many of them!
The V1 software had access to Camera Settings and the Photo, Timelapse, and Photo Booth features. Thanks to the stability of the first release, we have been able to focus on filling in more features and the next firmware release will include both Video and Long Exposure control.
We’ve also been working on speeding up Image Preview. In the V1 app, transfer speed was about 6 seconds. We’ve now reduced that time to 3.5 seconds, which includes the ~2 seconds your camera takes to save a photo. This means the main bottleneck is the speed of the camera as we cannot grab the photo until it saved. Regardless, we’ll continue to work on this and keep you posted as we speed things up!
We want to get Pulse to you as fast as possible while simultaneously giving you an amazing product. Collectively, our team and yourselves as backers are creating something completely new - and this is never easy. While we have hit some delays, we have yet to run into something we can't fix. Due to a delayed component and unexpected issues with the light pipe we have been pushed back about two weeks from where we were hoping to be when we left for China. Despite these delays, Pulse itself is shaping up to be a beautiful product, and we are really excited about how it is coming together.
We are in the process of making several changes to the injection molds that are used to make the plastic parts of Pulse. The major difficulty here has been that the blue light pipe behaves differently in production because it is made of a different material than the rest of the enclosure. The updated molds may be finished by next week but it is also possible we will need to do another revision which will add another week to our timeline. Either way, once the tool is done, we can start final assembly of Pulse within a couple of days. The timelines below reflect the more conservative (read: later) date.
One of the components that goes onto the printed circuit board of Pulse arrived late. Because of this, we got bumped off of the circuit board assembly line until this week. To remedy this and speed up later testing we have increased the number of test fixtures and workers that we’ll have on the line once parts are coming through. Given the issues we’ve seen with the light pipe, this won’t actually delay our overall timelines. Yesterday we started making the first 1000 production circuit boards and are scheduled to finish all of them by mid next week.
Assembly and Delivery:
Once the injection mold is done, we can produce 2-3 thousand Pulses per day. Given this we conservatively expect to have all Pulses assembled, tested, and packaged by ~July 13th. They will immediately be moved to our US warehouse and then will ship to you after that.
Pulse in the Wild
It has been exhilarating to see a few Pulses being used as well as get outside ourselves and test out the latest features. Here are a few photos from the field. We can’t wait to see all the places you’ll go!
Well that’s all for now. We’re excited for how Pulse is coming together, and we’ll let you all know as soon as the first production units start making their way into shipping boxes! We can’t wait to get them into your hands!
-Greg and the Alpine Team