The iWinks team has been doing a tremendous job of ironing out all the final kinks in manufacturing the Aurora Dreamband. We are very excited to share that we have just received our first large batch of over 300 hundredunits from our factories! This is up from only 20 last time.
Once these units clear our quality control tests we will have them on their way to our next batch of testers. Backers in our Developer's Apprentice Tiers should expect to receive their units first, with other tiers given next priority.
We will be collecting shipping addresses very soon and are working to build this feature into our website. While we are still shipping in waves, we will be notifying each customer where they stand relative to other backers in the queue after most user accounts have been collected. Our next update will have a link to create a user account and submit your shipping information!
We are making great strides to put Aurora Dreamband in a package and get it on its way to you!
While working closely with our team of Early Access testers we've noticed that users absolutely LOVE reviewing their sleep performance each morning and learning from our knowledge base of sleep and dreaming! With new user testing going on all the time we thought we would share just a few testimonials we've collected thus far. As more units go into circulation we will be able to learn more from our users.
"I went to sleep earlier than I normally would and slept longer because I was so excited to see my sleep data the next morning. I am curious about my sleep and cant wait to buy this device and use it more often to learn about my sleep patterns." - Nick
"I woke up in the middle of the night to use the restroom. On my way back to bed the lights were flashing vibrant multi colors. I thought, “This shouldn’t happen when I’m awake.” When I later learned that the device was programmed for one color setting, I realized that I had never actually woken up. The stimulus found its way into my dream and my dreaming brain embellished colors and patterns that were never programmed into the Aurora!! This is so cool! " - Tommy
We are working hard to get the next wave of units out and appreciate your patience as we continue delivering on our backer rewards! Thanks again for all your support and dedication! This has been a group effort from the beginning and we are so happy to be where we are today because of you!!
iWinks is proud to announce that we have received our first batch of mass-produced Aurora Dreamband devices!!
We have been working diligently with our factories over the last 6 months and have finally done it - our build process is fully automated!! We are so happy to be able to share this news!!!
This new lot of 20 sample units will be going to great use - backers in our Developer's Apprentice tier as well as select influencers will receive these production units for testing and evaluation. These users are testing the lucid dreaming features while learning about their sleep health and habits. Their data gets incorporated into our library, allowing our algorithms to learn what works and what doesnt for our users.
Our manufacturing partners are in China and Mexico, and the devices are currently being assembled in California. Our current lead times for a full mass production order is about 4 weeks per batch. And while we can't guarantee your exact ship date today, we will be prioritizing order fulfillment in the following order:
500 -> All remaining kickstarter and preorder customers, repeated until all orders are fulfilled
Shipping in waves has allowed us to keep a watchful eye on new issues that arise when bringing a new wearable tech device to market. The last thing we want is to spend all of your funds to manufacture and ship a device that will break, or that wont work for you. We will continue to do this until all preventable issues are ironed out. The above schedule may be amended to better serve this progress.
We are now working towards delivering the product in a nice package. A clean box and user guide are being developed to ensure you have a great experience beginning on your first night. (Please be advised that this effort is not holding back our progress in fulfilling orders; should we receive confirmed batches before our packaging arrives, we will ship your devices without packaging.)
So far we have had great success learning from our closed beta testers, and they have done a great job as our first external test subjects - all thanks to the magic of kickstarter!
As we grow this test group from a closed beta into an open beta, software updates will become available more quickly and the platform will continue to become more robust and stable. Our new desktop app version allows our users to more fully explore their sleep performance and habits, while simultaneously opening the doors to new sleep studies and of course - unlocking the incrediblepower of lucid dreaming!!
And finally, the transition to a fully open beta will be marked by providing testers with early access to our iOS app, in full development. With the release of the app we will mark the transition from a closed beta into an open beta, and will make an official announcement when this happens.
Our profile system allows users to choose from many custom iWinks experiences for the perfect night of sleep, and our beta users are already having great fun testing out this service.
Thanks for your patience and support and we cant wait to share this revolutionary device with you!
Our customer support team gets swamped each week by thousands of customers asking to know when they will receive their device. Unfortunately, we can only afford a limited number of customer support hours each week, and this is the same team that prepares these kickstarter updates - so sometimes this service can prevent us from getting updates delivered to you in a timely manner. We love talking with you all and are happy to keep in close personal touch as we have since we launched our campaign, but please keep this in mind. We are always working hard to finish the job and please be patient as we continue to focus on getting theses devices into your hands!
Once again thanks for all of your support and we look forward to sharing the Aurora Dreamband experience with you!
and thank you for supporting Aurora Dreamband - the world's first sleep sensing headband designed to influence dreams! We started as a kickstarter project to build the most advanced lucid dreaming device out there but ended up with a platform capable of so much more! While our partners have been busy with manufacturing, we've developed a cutting-edge platform capable of aiding doctors, researchers and hackers in creating their own sleep studies!
We are excited to report that mass production is seeing great progress! A few days ago we received the final samples for our smart-textile headbands - the last set of final samples we had been waiting on. They look and feel GREAT and have let us verify that the molds are now ready for mass production! We are working with the manufacturer on sourcing and protocol for the headbands to keep quality control high as we expand production into the hundreds and thousands.
Meanwhile, our first mass-production order for the plastic cases have arrived and we are beginning to assemble the first mass-production batch of electronics in our lab!
While we will build the first batch ourselves, we're working with our MFG partners to automate this build process at our factories while keeping costs down and quality control high.
At this point, our top priority is to hand-build the first batch of units in the lab and immediately automate this process with our partners to ramp up production. We've identified a minor issue with installing our snap buttons - affecting one out of every 5 units - and are working with our factories to machine a tool to fix the issue.
We are also working to have our packaging, fulfillment and shipping logistics ready to facilitate the balance of your orders, and to create inventory for future orders.
Live Updates Every Weekend!
If you've been joining us for our live chats (Sundays at 3pm hosted on our twitter channel), you've seen the progress we’ve been making each week, from the day we got our embedded platform online, to the day we received our final plastic and electronics samples... all the way to today. You’ve seen the trials and tribulations from receiving samples, identifying issues, and working with the factories to get it right. Most of all, you've seen a committed and dedicated team who will stop at nothing to get the job done!
We are embarking into unknown territory - building a product that has never existed before and its been many weekends and late nights in the lab. If you’re happy that we've continued to press forward on our original promises and pleased with our recent progress, please buy us a pizza! Few things boost moral in the lab like a hot pie!
We hope that the next time we provide an update, we will have a few of the first batch of devices ready to ship!
We are excited to announce a collaboration with tech giant INTEL and UC Berkley's Entrepreneurship center! Working closely with these groups, iWinks recently participated in a one-of-a-kind tech accelerator program (and graduated with a prestigious award); the program took place over the last few months and will air on NATIONAL TELEVISION soon! Full announcement coming next week!
Lets Talk iWinks Tech
It's been 2 months since our first beta units made their way into the hands of our most adamant supporters - and boy have we learned a lot! These brave and patient souls have helped us identify all sorts of bugs and usability issues; this has been instrumental in getting Aurora Dreamband ready for prime time. We owe them a big thank you - its because of them that all of our backers will receive a fully tested, streamlined product with a great user experience! Today we will be sharing what that process has been like, and featuring the incredible software we've developed to perform these critical tasks!
Firmware (Or, Delivering a Great User Experience!)
Now that our manufacturing partners are pushing manufacturing forward semi-independently, our team efforts are focused on finalizing the finished product as soon as we receive them so we can immediately begin fulfilling orders!
Towards that end, our beta testers have been testing our latest 6 firmware builds as beta releases and each new release has improved and stabilized the Aurora Dreamband user experience. The firmware is the magical machine code that allows our device to deliver a great user experience and will be installed by our team on the final products when we receive, package and begin shipping them to you!
Early on, several of our beta testers experienced over-stimulation - the LEDs were too bright and flashed too often. Since then we've focused on designing our default REM-stim settings (including the minimum amount of time between stimulation as well as the default brightness of the LEDs) and collected lots of sleep data - which has directly improved the accuracy of our sleep staging algorithms.
We're happy to report that together these changes have greatly improved our tester's nightly experiences and we are already receiving some incredible testimonials - and for the first time ever we are happy to report that users that have no professional affiliation with our team have been experiencing Aurora-Dreamband-Enhanced-Dream-Experiences (ADEDEs)! While the field is still so young, these early promising results mean that we are ready to start shipping a great product to you now, and to build on our success moving forward!
The iWinks App
Codenamed Borealis, our cross-platform desktop application is providing users with a way to get the full Aurora Dreamband experience tonight. Our first release is for the desktop - and we are supporting both OS X and Windows machines!
Our beta users are already using this tool to configure and update their Aurora Dreamband - helping us collect sleep data and rapidly experiment with new features in the field! The past 2 months has been dedicated to working out the kinks for this software and we are excited to announce the current list of features!
Firmware Updating - With a click of a button, Aurora Dreamband firmware is downloaded directly to users devices! This means our user experience is constantly evolving as we learn from our beta testers!
User Accounts - Access your sleep data on any computer. Simply log in with your account information and voila!
See Your Sleep Data - Syncing your Aurora Dreamband data to your computer is a breeze. View important statistics about your sleep, including a hypnogram showing your actual sleep stage progression through the night. Most sleep trackers fail to do this reliably and we've not only solved this challenging technical problem but have embedded it within the device itself (smartphone NOT required)!
Share your data - The app allows you to seamlessly upload your raw data to the cloud, enabling us to anonymously retrieve data from the field to help improve and monitor our algorithm's performance.
Automatic-Updates - The app updates itself automatically each time it is opened!
We are celebrating this major milestone since this platform enables us to test the core value proposition for Aurora Dreamband while opening the door to new possibilities.
The next features we'll be tackling will help our lucid "power" users get more out of the device by providing enhanced configuration settings to take greater control of their REM dream stimuli!
But what about the mobile app?
This desktop app will be serving as a user experience testbed for our first batch of shipments. Because mobile development can be timely and costly, and after rebuilding several versions of our prototype iPhone app, we decided to focus our efforts on building a great standalone device first before layering in the app experience. Our progress with the desktop app has already provided us with great knowledge that just wouldnt have been possible from a smartphone app. We plan to release iOS and Android apps after we begin shipping the first finalized devices to backers and preorder customers.
When Can I Expect My Device??
You can expect an official dedicated update regarding production very soon but we have some very good news today! We have resolved all the remaining issues with the manufacturing and are simply waiting for our partners to finalize the production schedule. We are preparing to place the down payment for the first large batch of units and will update you once that is done (we expect this to happen sometime in the next week or two)! At that point, we will be only 45 days away from having the first batch of units in stock, ready to be shipped!
Check in with us today!
The truth is, things are happening so fast now that when we sit down to write an update, things have already changed by the time it's finished! So instead we've been hosting weekly Periscope live chats (link on our twitter feed) to provide regular updates on our weekly progress. The live chat is held every Sunday at 2pm PST (notice earlier time due to Easter Sunday) and we encourage you to join us and ask your questions to get answers in real time! We look forward to seeing you all at 2pm!
Last Sunday, during our live Periscope chat, we promised a more in-depth KS update. Here it is! If you missed the chat, please join us every Sunday at 3pm for iWinks Live on periscope! Follow us on twitter to learn more about dreams and sleep, stay current on progress through our beta testing and receive event notifications for iWinks LIVE! If you can't join us, you can always watch the video for 24 hours on our twitter feed after each live event!
To recap our video chat from Sunday, our plastic mass-production samples have arrived and we've assembled the first few in the lab. We are happy with the final production quality! There are just a few minor tweaks to make and then we will be placing our full production order. We have already sent the requests to our manufacturing partners and await a final delivery schedule!
In the meantime we are working with our textile partners to receive the final samples for the headband:
We expect to have all final samples in our office by middle of next month. Our overall lead times are still the same as we've always stated (2-3 months), so all we can do is hurry up and wait for the final samples.
Until then we will be hand-assembling as many units as possible in the lab and shipping a few more beta units to our select Kickstarter backers. Also, remember that as we get closer to full production, the beta units will more closely resemble the final product! We're not there yet, but soon we will be expanding our beta test group - so stay active in the conversation with us!
Borealis Launches Today!
We are so happy to finally announce the beta release of our Borealis software platform. The counterpart to Aurora, Borealis will do all our heavy lifting - data collection, firmware updates and helping us test new value propositions with our growing beta group!
The first release is focused on supporting USB-firmware flashing, and with it we are so excited to release a new firmware build featuring major REM-identification improvements! Our betas already have access to the tool and we will be working round the clock to release the new firmware build over the next few days.
This tool will keep our beta testers up-to-date with the latest build so that we can test which features we will import into our smartphone app. We've already learned so much from our beta testers and Borealis is going to revolutionize the way we make new discoveries about sleep and dreams!
iWinks LIVE - Every Sunday 3pm PST
Every Sunday check in with iWinks LIVE - we are hosting weekly live video chats to share our progress for the week, show off any new goodies and talk about what's still to come. This week Andrew will host the first ever Tech Chat! If you are a developer, hacker, or just plain interested in what will be possible with the Aurora platform we encourage you to join us!
If you can't join us during that time remember you can always watch the video session for up to 24 hours after the session on our twitter feed!
We Love Pizza!
Finally, we want to express our sincerest gratitude to you all for your support to keep this dream alive! If you like what we are doing and the progress we are making every week, we really like pizza and would so appreciate if you would help us keep moral high as we finish up this project! Please, if you love what we are doing - show your love by buying us a pizza!!
If you're like us - strapped for cash but working hard, we rely on word of mouth. Just telling your friends about iWinks and sharing our posts to social media goes a very long way in furthering our cause!
Thank you all again so deeply for supporting us - we are almost home!