in our last update, we wrote that we were waiting for the electronics arriving right before Chinese new year.
Frustration and relief
A lot of electronics companies want to have larger production batches made before Chinese New Year, so our printed circuit boards (PCB) arrived too late to have the electronic components fitted to the PCB. Very annoying to have finished prints and not being able to get hold of them.
We were massively frustrated, but it turned out, that we'd been lucky. Through our testing, we found 3 modifications on dimensioning of electronic components, that we needed to implement.
Design Verification Hardware
We will receive the optimised electronics on Monday next week (Thursday back in Munich), so we can proceed with wireless performance testing and design verification of the electronics. Wireless performance testing is now the most critical element of the design of The Dash. As told before, if we will not reach the performance we wanted, we have to spin the design once more.
We have been performing a lot of tests on the biometric sensor implementation (heart rate and oxygen saturation). We have very good results, and Friedrich has signed of the solution. We need to modify tools to implement the changes needed.
The touch surface on The Dash uses infrared light and optical sensors. The outer housing (3 different layers of plastic) of The Dash caused unintended reflections, that reduced the sensitivity. We need to modify tools to implement the changes needed.
We have finalised the design of the acoustic chambers, membranes and interconnects. It is remarkable fine mechanics. When we get the final plastic parts, we will fine tune The Dash. Josef and Dan are quite proud of the solution, and we think that it sounds awesome.
The light guide of the breathing half moon light on The Dash needed optimisation. Josef and Arne have redefined material and light pipes, and need to finalise discussions with our suppliers.
In order to speed up the process, Josef, Daniel, Arne and Karin jumped on a plane to Hong Kong last Friday. Josef and Arne were focusing on discussing and implementing modifications on our injection moulding tools and will return from China next Friday after another review.
Daniel and Karin are working on the new product introduction (NPI) process in China supported by the team back in Munich. We are implementing the exact manufacturing, assembly, testing, quality assurance processes along with our contract manufacturer, when going from prototype to production. All of that has to be in place before being able to starting production. Below video is from inspecting the injection moulds for the silicone sleeves.
Design Verification Software
As told before, our software team has written a BRAGI operating system. It was necessary to enable the product, but it has been a very challenging and time consuming task. The BRAGI OS seems stable (more testing needed), and we are now focusing on ironing out some of the remaining challenges associated with code that we have received from our chip suppliers.
Things are getting solved, but due to the sheer mass of challenges we have not been as fast as intended. The delay of the electronics (due to Chinese new year) was actually very good for the software team. They got the opportunity to focus on details in the deeper parts of the software.
The charging Case
The charging Case was finished a few weeks back. Tooling is being made as we speak. We made a fast visualisation of The Case for you to enjoy. The charging Case aluminium cover slides (towards the right) to expose The Dash. It will recharge The Dash up to 5 times while on the go.
After our successful investment round, we have been able to add 7 more people to our team. 5 of them have started in our software and hardware development team. The added resources were much needed.
Will BRAGI finish The Dash?
In Barcelona at the Mobile World Convention I met the President of a huge tech company. He is a tech geek at heart, and he confessed that they had tried to build something like The Dash, but with much less functionality. They had failed. Not just on one, but on multiple challenges.
When I look at the patent applications we are about to file, I'm utterly astonished by the sheer amount of challenges we have overcome in the last 2 years. I must admit that there were times, where I doubted that we would make it. Now it is a matter of time, not a matter of physical impossibility or intellectual shortcomings.
We have the financial means to finish, we have the technical knowledge to finish, we have the team to finish, and we will finish. We are trying to make something completely new in a very challenging form factor. Some of the things we do have never been done before.
Looking at your response from previous updates, we are incredibly impressed by your understanding for this challenging process.
The timeline is pending finalising design verification late March:
Development backers mid April 2015
October shipments in late April/early May 2015
November shipments 1st half May 2015
January shipments 2nd half May 2015
Pre-Orders from our website in June 2015
We are VERY sorry about the delays. The critical path is now to verify the wireless performance and entire system. Until the entire system is verified, we cannot go from prototype stage to production stage. It is all about having a solid product.
The BRAGI team and Nikolaj wishes all of you a great weekend.
Let us know by email or in the comments if there is anything we can do for you (except finishing The Dash of cause).