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The Aurora headband plays lights and sounds for lucid dreaming with a smart alarm clock to help you sleep better.
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iWinks LLC

1,428 backers pledged $239,094 to help bring this project to life.

Aurora Production Underway, LAST CHANCE to Preorder at Discounted Rate, Mobile App Progress and More!

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 Dear loyal backers,  

Today we are closer than ever to shipping Aurora. We have finished our final circuit design and sent it off to be printed. The last design had a few minor bugs including poor signal quality and we knew we couldn't ship the design in that state. Our final design solves these problems and improves on Aurora's functionality while delivering on all of the additional features we promised during our kickstarter campaign

new iwinks website is in development
new iwinks website is in development

Design Update

Smallest & Lightest formfactor ever!  

As you know Aurora's headband snaps onto the enclosure using conductive snap buttons to enable easy cleaning. We decided to move the snaps from the PCB to the enclosure as they introduced too much noise into our signal. This change means more precise onboard sleep tracking and a lighter, smaller formfactor less likely to impede sleep comfort.

Longer life-cycle!

Our battery life is now longer than ever with enhanced power savings features.

Brick-proofing!

We have employed preventative measures to make sure that our firmware updates and tinkering developers will never brick the device.

Aurora's final design is on its way to being printed.
Aurora's final design is on its way to being printed.

This final iteration has led to increased delays and costs, but we knew it would be worth it. The good news is that we've never been more confident in our design. In fact we are so confident that we’ve already placed the full manufacturing order for our embedded biosensor solution.

Manufacturing Update

We are now in the process of handing over our designs to our manufacturing partners to prepare for the final manufacturing run. They will be creating the final production prototypes while also implementing what is known as design for manufacturing - or modifying the prototype designs to make them easier to build in mass quantities.  

That's right – at this point, the engineering work is done and the complete design is on its way to production. You heard us right, the design is officially out of our hands and entering production. Our manufacturing group is taking the latest design iteration and making the necessary changes to make it work with our final PCB, while preparing the (d)esign (f)or (m)anufacturing. 

This is known as DFM and is best left to the experts. Meanwhile we are prototyping the latest circuit design to ensure all the fixes are good to go. This is now the final step in pre-production, and are excited to plow ahead into production.

Aurora in DFM now
Aurora in DFM now

App Progress

Meanwhile, we are working diligently with our design team to develop the iwinks Web Service and App. As previously mentioned the free iwinks app will provide the following features:

  • Friendly Alarm Clock Wakes You Gently  
  • Dream Journal Designed to Increase Dream Recall  
  • And More!!!
the free iwinks app will be the de-facto lucid dreaming service
the free iwinks app will be the de-facto lucid dreaming service

Aurora users will enjoy the following upgraded features:

  • Seamless Control of Aurora's Settings  
  • Aurora Stimulus Creation  
  • Clinic-Validated Sleep Pattern Graphs  
  • And More!!!

Below is a sneak peak of the stimulus creation screen. We plan to nurture a community of oneironauts experimenting with new stimuli and this feature will fuel that effort.

Create your own dream stimulus using the iwinks app!
Create your own dream stimulus using the iwinks app!

Last Chance to Pre-Order Aurora at the Current Price!

As we roll out the final Aurora production design, iwinks mobile app and new website we will be raising our retail Aurora price to cover the resulting increasing costs. If you haven't already, this is officially your last chance to pre-order Aurora at the current price. We appreciate all of our kickstarter and preorder customers immensely and truly wouldn't have been able to do this without your help. Thanks for making our dream a reality.

On the blog

If you haven't yet, check out guest blogger and expert lucid dreaming author Robert Waggoner weigh in on how to use light stimulus for lucid dream induction. We plan to put his advice to use as we begin our alpha tests in the next few weeks!

iwinks

~~

In loving memory Robert K. Hunt  

Three weeks ago the iwinks family suffered a tragic event when we lost our consulting circuit designer. Robert K Hunt was a pro engineer responsible for bringing many electronic devices to market including the first prototype for the Microsoft Band. His genius influenced many of Aurora's important design decisions. Robert had been helping us lay out our electronic design and we had nearly finished the job when he passed away unexpectedly. It was a tragic loss to his family, the San Diego tech community and the Aurora/iwinks team. He will be dearly missed. This update is dedicated to his memory.

In loving memory, Robert K. Hunt
In loving memory, Robert K. Hunt

Stay connected with iwinks:

on Facebook
on Facebook
On Twitter
On Twitter
On Google Plus
On Google Plus

Aurora Manufacturing Progress & Announcing The iWinks Service!!

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Hello backers,

its been a long couple of weeks here at iwinks HQ and we are very excited to report our progress today ;) Aurora is well on its way to production, and below is a sneak peak of Aurora's look and feel. For a more thorough production plan, see our previous update #28

The Brand-New Aurora
The Brand-New Aurora

Manufacturing Progress Update

When we sent out our last update, we had a nearly-functional Aurora PCB plagued by a couple of problems (bugs). Our team has worked hard all week long to identify those issues and have successfully identified those bugs and implemented hotfixes on one of our prototype boards. in the meantime we have been running baseline tests with our small batch of (mostly) functional boards!

Say Hello to our project manager Nisha seen here running some baseline headband tests
Say Hello to our project manager Nisha seen here running some baseline headband tests

Our diligence and commitment has paid off providing us with confidence to re-design a %100 working PCB, having all the functionality Aurora requires. Our team is working hard right now to send that design off to be printed and assembled!! Once submitted, will take 2-3 weeks to produce and deliver to us. We will let you know when we have started that countdown. 

Andrew working with our circuit tech Jerry to modify and power up a new pcb
Andrew working with our circuit tech Jerry to modify and power up a new pcb

Chances are high that it will come back to us bug-free, at which point we will be able to lock-in our PCB design and we are on our way to shipping Aurora!

The iwinks Service

Meanwhile, as our engineers, coders and technicians are working hard on Aurora, our creative team is in heavy development of a new website and mobile app; our existing website is receiving a complete overhaul and our app service is nearing completion of the initial UX design phase. The iwinks service is already taking shape as the de-facto lucid dreaming service. Neither are fully developed but our core functionality is beginning to look really promising!

Our app will be cornerstone of our platform by connecting iwinks users to their dreams and eventually, to each other. The app will train users to be better lucid dreamers in a fun, natural and engaging way. We plan to offer a basic version for free so that everyone - regardless of income level - can experience awesome dreams! Since most of our backers use iOS we are building the app prototype for that platform. Here is a sneak peak of our app progress (much will change). 

Basic App Features Include:

  • Friendly Alarm Clock Wakes You Gently
  • Dream Journal Designed to Increase Dream Recall
  • And More!!!
Wake Up in Your Dreams with our Free App!
Wake Up in Your Dreams with our Free App!

Aurora Users Will Enjoy Additional App Features:

  • Seamless Control of Aurora's Settings 
  • Aurora Stimulus Creation 
  • Clinic-Validated Sleep Pattern Graphs
  • And More!!!

Our SDK/API is also in development which will allow our developer community to leverage Aurora for nearly any creative means they can dream up! You can expect more on that soon ;)

Last Chance to PreOrder Aurora at Reduced Price!

To fund our continuing efforts to release the best lucid dreaming service available, we will be raising Aurora's price soon, so GET YOUR PREORDERS IN NOW before its too late!! Remember, Aurora is ahead of its time; a clinic-validated, intelligent, BLE-ready sleep tracking device that measures brainwaves and movements throughout the night to help you direct dream mood and content! 

We need your help!

If you love what we're doing we encourage you to support our continued efforts to create a lucid dreaming service rooted in real science and technology. Our core team of expert engineers, software developers and neuroscientists have worked for years without a paycheck and your contributions make it possible for us to design and release a ground-breaking disruptive product like Aurora. Now lets finish building it together and get it to you ASAP! Please connect with us on social media and share our posts, preorder our headband, or make a donation to our paypal account (@  admin@iwinks.org). 

Thanks and stay lucid!

iwinks

The Aurora Production Schedule

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Hello again backers

We recognize that it is now March and apologize for not yet providing any new information on your Aurora shipment yet. Therefore this update is focused on production, and illuminating just how little there is left to do before we can ship your Aurora! (As a quick reminder we will be sending out surveys closer to launch-day to gather your updated shipping info and to get to know our customers even better)

Over the last few months we have hosted a vibrant conversation with our most committed backers on the iwinks message boards. Listening to them has taught us that we need to change our communication strategy to keep our community better informed on our progress. So as the first order of business we apologize for the delay of this update and hereby commit to, at the very least, monthly updates from now until we ship Aurora

A New, Informed Production Schedule

We are very proud of the progress we've made towards the completion of Aurora’s design and are in the early stages of preparing for mass-production. We couldn't be more excited to be moving this quickly! We have just a few outstanding issues left to resolve with our designs before we can place our final order with our manufacturing partners, which would put us at 3 months before Aurora would be in a box and on its way to you! We anticipate 2-3 weeks to solve these issues, then 3-4 weeks maximum to print out any necessary new designs, put it all together and LOCK IT IN ;)

Therefore we are targeting the end of June for shipment of Aurora beta units and July for shipment of all Aurora preorder units, for both kickstarter and webstore customers. This gives us about one month to lock-in our designs, a goal we believe attainable if we continue working as hard as we have for the last year and a half ;)

With all of this going on, we've managed to advance the iWinks Service. Our user experience is under heavy construction, featuring a mobile app, new website and new logos all in the works! More on that in our next update!

New Year, New Look.
New Year, New Look.

Designing For Manufacturing

Our groundbreaking wearable device has certainly come a long way since our inception – it tracks your sleep progress and can help trigger and track your level of dream awareness. The Aurora manufacturing design is made up of 3 parts:

I) A Comfy & Adjustable Headstrap with Built-In Research-Grade Sensors 

After our past week of testing we are proud to share that the new Aurora design is our most comfortable design ever! Made from soft and pliable conductive fabrics, our brainwave sensors are built directly into our fully adjustable headband strap.

iWinks' Soft Fabric Brainwave Sensors
iWinks' Soft Fabric Brainwave Sensors

We are proud today to share that our sensors also satisfy our insanely high expectations for brainwave signal quality. When we decided to drop out of our graduate programs to pursue iWinks, we promised ourselves that our contributions would aid the dream research community by providing a simple monitoring tool for the dreaming frontal lobe. Our practicality further influenced the design to promote proper care by making the electronics detachable from the strap, thanks to our highly conductive snap button connectors.  

Snap-On, Snap-Off.
Snap-On, Snap-Off.

II) Circuit Board (PCBs) Our circuit board features a powerful computer on-board running our patent-pending REM and lucid-tracking algorithms while also allowing for future remote updates. Our tests have verified that these boards deliver all the features we promised for Aurora. However there are a few last bugs (one major and one minor) left to resolve before we send it off for production - a minor setback in our ever-accelerating progress!

Color your dreams!
Color your dreams!

III) Enclosure Our plastic enclosure is the cherry-on-top, and the final piece of the Aurora puzzle. As soon as this design is locked-in, our longest manufacturing lead-time countdown will begin. We have gone through many designs (and designers) over the years and learned a lot about what Aurora needs to be. 

For our final enclosure, we're partnering with a firm with over 30 years' experience in the medical device industry. We are working closely with them to keep Aurora comfortable and promoting good sleep while ensuring our LED's full color spectrum engages each eye independently while also staying clear of your field of view. We plan to present our final enclosure design - and the final look and feel of The Aurora - in our next update!

The enclosure will direct a full color spectrum independently into each pupil.
The enclosure will direct a full color spectrum independently into each pupil.

This type of injection-molded design calls for a hard tool to be created (30 days) and used as the mold to shoot our plastic pieces (30 days). The end result is a safe enclosure ready for us to snap together around our electronics (30 days). 

Aurora early enclosure concept
Aurora early enclosure concept

The Home Stretch

All of this great progress has come at a cost -  nearly all of the funding raised so far has gone directly into acquiring the finest parts, materials and services for The Aurora design. Our core team has happily worked without a steady paycheck for over a year and a half, and continued upcoming costs for app development and other services are forcing us to raise our purchase price to $299. So get your orders in now! As a special thank-you to our beloved kickstarter and existing webstore customers, you will receive the same high-quality product as future customers!

GO TEAM LUCID

We are working around round the clock, losing sleep and valuable dream-time to resolve these final issues. Our team dropped out of Neuroscience and Computer Science graduate programs at top-tier research Universities to bring this disruptive invention to market and we remain focused on creating the most incredible consumer dream technology available! We've put our hearts and souls into this incredible project and feel very fortunate for the jobs you've helped us create in the process. As we continue working hard, we ask that you keep talking about iWinks and spreading the good word about lucid dreaming! 

;)

iwinks

New Year, New Energy!!

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The iWinks Team wishes you a happy and healthy New Year. We hope you are enjoying a smooth transition back to ‘reality’ – we know we sure have! We're back in the office with new gusto this year; our one-year Kickstarter anniversary coinciding with the holidays really allowed us to reflect on the project and gauge our progress. We are happy with the state of production and after countless meetings with our team over the past few weeks we are pleased to have a better grasp on production today than ever!

The New and Improved Team iWinks
The New and Improved Team iWinks

iWinks’ new year’s resolution is to maintain better communication until production. We don’t want to delay any longer and will do our very best to stay transparent until then. Upcoming changes to our website will reflect that commitment, although priority number one remains placing our manufacturing order for your Auroras.

Our Prototypes are Looking GREAT!

With all the delays we want you to know that we stay committed to making Aurora the best it can be. Towards the end of last year we completely redesigned and printed out new PCBs for The Aurora. These new PCBS contained a faster on-board computer (to reduce dependence on external devices), improved USB interfacing capabilities (to allow our developer community to take greater advantage of our hardware), featured improved LED placement (to ensure effective light therapy and dream stimulation), added brand new conductive snap buttons (for easy attachment of our electrodes, making cleaning the headbands safer) and reduced the overall form-factor of our design! 

Unfortunately, all of this new hardware meant changes to our software. Our firmware – or the code that gives our hardware LIFE – must be verified before we can “lock in” on our final electronic design for manufacturing. Unfortunately the current PCB contained a few technical issues/bugs that prevented us from manufacturing that design. We made the necessary hardware changes on our 3 printed and assembled boards and are giving ourselves until the end of the week to complete verification. Meanwhile we have our engineering team working on a new PCB layout that, pending verification, will be BUG-FREE and ready to produce! As soon as we have completely verified the required PCB functionality we will release a confident production schedule for Aurora. Given the 3-month factory lead time for our existing build we are still on track for a Q2 release!  

Smaller and Smarter Than Ever
Smaller and Smarter Than Ever

 The Aurora Headband Straps have arrived! Our factories in China have delivered the final samples for our production-ready headband designs. They are comfortable to the touch and adjust to varying head sizes and shapes while supporting our sensor needs and holding Aurora gently in place. So as we push towards a stable firmware build for our 3 fully capable in-house prototypes we are closer than ever to beginning our public alpha tester program! 

One year ago we set out to build the greatest dream enhancement wearable. Meanwhile academic dream research is moving faster than ever – with new science coming out each month with implications for new sleep enhancement capabilities. To maintain flexibility for ourselves and our backers we judiciously added an electronic expansion port to the device – allowing us to continue developing around Aurora’s production-ready design without having to print and assemble costly new PCBs.

Looking Ahead

One year ago we simply had a Bluetooth transmitter attached to a biosensor chip. Today Aurora contains the most advanced artificial intelligence capabilities in wearable sleep enhancement. We recognize that we have delayed the launch significantly and apologize for that, but we have a really exciting product being refined here in the lab and it’s due directly to support from backers like YOU.

Finally, we know that some of you have been aggravated by the delays – and rightfully so! We want you to know that our top priority is to get Aurora built and shipped as soon as possible. And if you feel strongly about what we’re doing we would love to hear from you! Although we have had hundred-email days we still do our best to respond to sincere messages. Feel free to reach out to us at any of our many channels – facebook, kickstarter, email etc. and we will try our hardest to respond to you.

One year ago we simply had a Bluetooth transmitter attached to a biosensor chip. Today Aurora contains the most advanced artificial intelligence capabilities in wearable sleep enhancement. We recognize that we have delayed the launch significantly and apologize for that, but we have a really exciting product being refined here in the lab and it’s due directly to support from backers like YOU.

Until next time, happy new year and we can’t wait to share what happens next!

;)

iWinks

The Aurora - Better, Faster, Smaller. Now with MicroSD Card!

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Hey gang!

We've been working hard to design a system that operates on its own and our focus has been consumed by that goal over the last few months. Now, finally, with our prototypes fully functional, we've been gathering critical user feedback and learning about what makes The Aurora great.

The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and many dreams have been augmented thanks to our light stimuli. One particular user reported a passive dream about a life-sized Candy Cane World that may have been influenced by our alternating red/white light effects!

We were testing old design (below, codename: Robocop) which has served our internal purposes quite well, This design senses REM and presents stimuli quite well, however it is far from perfect. It only lasts one night per charge/syncing, LED light is inefficiently directed towards much of the users face (rather than just the eyes) and the enclosure is just too bulky for unobstructed sleep. We felt we could do better.

Old Aurora design.
Old Aurora design.

We believe wearables should make life better without getting in the way.

So with a fit of courage we went back to the drawing board and redesigned the entire circuit and enclosure! We are excited to announce that we not only upgraded the on-board circuitry, but, with a little engineering magic, made it smaller and faster!

Upgrades

Reduced Size The new layout/enclosure is now over 50% smaller than before.  

Upgraded On-Board Computer. We've upgraded our microprocessor, meaning Aurora now lasts longer on a single charge, runs our research-grade sleep tracking algorithms more quickly, is far less dependent on synching to an external device and allows for more seamless firmware updates post-launch!

Added a MicroSD card. Aurora now stores many nights of sleep data, stimulus libraries, user profiles & custom preferences without requiring syncing! 

The New Aurora PCB has an upgraded computer and a microSD card on board! I.E. it is now faster and has tons more memory!
The New Aurora PCB has an upgraded computer and a microSD card on board! I.E. it is now faster and has tons more memory!

Expansion Port. As we bring this design towards production we will be testing other stimulus options that could prove effective. We aren't promising any further upgrades from here, but aren't ruling anything out either ;)

Our new Aurora design (bottom) is MUCH smaller than the old design (top).
Our new Aurora design (bottom) is MUCH smaller than the old design (top).

We have placed a small batch order with our manufacturing partners to test our production channel. If all goes well we will move into our alpha program and effortlessly scale up production!

Mobile Development  

We believe our mobile app should support Aurora, not detract from its simplicity. Luckily we designed Aurora with its intelligence already on board and are quite pleased with its autonomy. However there was just no way we could cram all the promised features onboard without over-complicating the design.

We are pleased to announce that we have begun choosing a look and feel for our app with the help of new partners. We are creating an elegant and simple user experience that leverages the simplicity and autonomy of The Aurora while simultaneously expanding its possibilities. We don't have a firm app release date yet, though its safe to say that at the very latest its release would coincide with our headband launch.

Thanks for your continued support!

As you might imagine there is lots going on behind the scenes and we cant wait to share with you! You can expect to hear more from us soon!    

Happy Thanksgiving from iWinks!

Stay lucid!  

;)

iWinks