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The Aurora headband plays lights and sounds for lucid dreaming with a smart alarm clock to help you sleep better.
The world's most powerful sleep-sensing headband designed to influence REM dreams.
The world's most powerful sleep-sensing headband designed to influence REM dreams.
1,428 backers pledged $239,094 to help bring this project to life.

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The BIG BETA Update

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Attention Backers!!

We are happy to announce that we have shipped out the first Aurora Dreamband beta units to our Master-Developer kickstarter backers! 

The first beta units shipped to our kickstarter backers!
The first beta units shipped to our kickstarter backers!

You read that right! We are shipping units to the first backers! These lucky supporters will get to test out our fully-functional prototype units! While this is not yet full-blown production (update coming on that soon), this is a first pivotal step towards satisfying all of our kickstarter rewards!

Beta testers assemble!
Beta testers assemble!

Aurora Dreambands are now on their way to our MVBs (Most Valuable Backers) all over the world!

A beta unit disconnected from our pre-production sensors
A beta unit disconnected from our pre-production sensors
All packed up and ready to go!
All packed up and ready to go!
The first betas are on their way!
The first betas are on their way!
Andrew dropping off the first batch at the post office!
Andrew dropping off the first batch at the post office!

Lets Dream Together!

So far, people have really enjoyed testing Aurora Dreamband and have shared some exciting dreams with us experienced while wearing it! One subject reported having much more clarity during his dreams when testing Aurora - more than he has had in years! Another reported the ability to fly (although we are are mystified by the fact that no stimulus was even presented that night..)

Given all of our early success we are excited to open up our testing to the public and to introduce our distributed testing utility - Borealis

One of the beta units being updated with the latest firmware!
One of the beta units being updated with the latest firmware!

As we finalize our smartphone app, borealis will let us rapidly deploy new solutions to our growing user base and collect valuable feedback automatically. This utility is critical because:

(1) USB firmware updates means testers can seamlessly stay up to date with the latest and greatest builds from our engineering team with a single click. 

(2) Dreams are very personal and unique to each individual as are everyone's brainwaves. The more users we have testing our platform and contributing data to our algorithms the better our dream and sleep-enhancing solutions will become. 

Aurora Dreamband Full Production

Sneak peak of the final production version of Aurora Dreamband!
Sneak peak of the final production version of Aurora Dreamband!

Our manufacturing partners have been making great progress in getting the Aurora Dreambands built and assembled! 

We have already received the first large batch of fully assembled circuits, batteries and SD cards. We are now waiting to receive the plastic case samples built using our rapid injection mold tool, and the final headband production samples. The most recent headband samples came out really great and are much more comfortable than our pre-production models, so the hold up remains to be the plastic cases. We are scheduled to receive the plastic case samples by the end next week.

Our circuit boards are fully assembled and read to get stuffed into the plastic cases!
Our circuit boards are fully assembled and read to get stuffed into the plastic cases!
Boxes full of Aurora PCBs
Boxes full of Aurora PCBs

Since we are working exclusively with local domestic manufacturing partners now, we are keeping a close eye on production while developing the quality assurance tests for the final Aurora units. 

Reality Check

Today we are setting out on a journey together - a journey into a very personal space. Therefore it is important to us that you - our stakeholders - stay happy!

While we will always cherish our beloved lucid dreamer community without whom we would not be where we are today, there have been many recent comments from backers and preorder customers who are understandably upset about the production delays. 

So we would like to host a live conversation about iwinks - covering production, Aurora Dreamband, dreaming, sleeping or anything else you'd like to discuss regarding this kickstarter campaign and/or your webstore preorder. 

We will be announcing the time and date for our Livestream(s) on our facebook page. We will try to host a few of these sessions over this weekend so keep an eye out for the link! We invite all of you to join in on the discussion over there. 

We are so close to finishing this project and we want to thank you all so much for your commitment and patience during the course of this project. Even after everybody receives their Aurora, the journey will only be just beginning. We'll have more good news for you soon!

Stay lucid!

iWinks 

Mass Production Update #2

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Hello Dreamers!

We hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season! Given that it is now the middle of December we have a few important updates about the Aurora Dreamband production timeline!! 

Mass Production Update

There have been 2 minor issues delaying mass production - one due to our plastic design which we have now solved. 

injection mold design - back of case (issue with the placement of hooks)
injection mold design - back of case (issue with the placement of hooks)

The other was due to a small oversight on our circuit board layout while preparing it for mass production. 

These issues took a few weeks to solve and we are happy to have put them behind us. We are still awaiting the final production samples for the essential components: the headband, plastic case and electronics. 

Plastic - Our plastics were most heavily effected by the delays, and are now a few weeks behind schedule. Our 3D printed and hand-finished units look great (see below). Now we are just awaiting the first production-ready samples made by our injection molding tool. 

3D printed cases
3D printed cases

Headbands - We've received lots of useful feedback on Aurora Dreamband wearability and we've discovered that our previous headband strap design was a little too flimsy. In some cases it caused headaches around the temples and would either shift or fall off the head during sleep so we worked with our manufacturing partners to identify a solution that wouldn't slow us down. Luckily it wasn't too late to swap out some of the materials for better choices to make the overall construction more sturdy while also increasing comfort. The updated headbands should still be delivered before January. 

Electronics - The final electronics are arriving later this week. We are currently working on software that will enable easy quality control tests. It's important that each of Aurora's many features be tested individually on every unit to make sure no faulty Auroras ever get shipped.

Timelines - We are still looking at an early 2016 launch, although the above minor issues have shifted our production timeline back by about one month; now we expect to receive the assembled production samples sometime in January. Using the same lead-time assumptions as before, this puts full production and shipping somewhere in March. 

Beta Program Update

Last week the team spent a day assembling the beta prototype units and they are being tested now. All beta prototypes are now fully assembled and we will be running a few internal tests before we prepare to ship them off to our beta backers!

Beta units assembled!
Beta units assembled!

We will be contacting our beta backers to arrange for shipment next week. So be on the lookout if you're one of these lucky folks!

Thats all for now, more coming soon on our app and user testing progress!

happy holidays!

the iwinks team

Aurora Mass Production Officially Begins!

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Hello dreamers!

We are overwhelmed with excitement to announce that we've begun mass production of the Aurora Dreamband!! We've placed our down payment and now the injection molds for the case are being created! Meanwhile the circuits are getting printed and assembled, and all of the final production samples will be put together next month by our manufacturing partners in California! You read that right, we are finally in production of Aurora, with final ship dates in sight, and there's no turning back! 

Things have been moving very quickly recently and will continue to speed up as we prepare to ship your Auroras. Since the entire case is now locked in, our focus is on quality control and ensuring our software is ready to support your device! On that end we will release a new tech update very soon with progress on our app(s).

We are committed to shipping beta units to our Master Developer backers by Christmas. Those users will help us test our platform and iron out any last-minute bugs while the rest of the units are finalized, packaged and prepped for shipping!!

We want to thank you all for bearing with us as we complete this final crucial step the right way. 

The production samples in December will verify our manufacturing process and make sure we have smooth sailing as we move forward. At that point we expect a 45 day lead time for full production. Our manufacturing partners can't provide concrete ship dates quite yet, but once our entire production pipeline has been verified, we'll receive that information and share it with you the moment we can. 

stay lucid!

team iwinks

Technical Post #1 - Testing & Firmware Updates

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This week we eagerly await the confirmation of our final Aurora designs. Meanwhile we are finalizing production-level purchase orders with our manufacturing partners. We want to thank all of you, our backers, for your patience as we paid careful attention to the important details for this bold new wearable device. We promise that your patience will be rewarded and we look forward to fulfilling that promise we made to you all nearly 2 years ago.

Thank you for Preordering Aurora!!

Aurora is the world's first fully-connected sleep-sensing wearable device that improves sleep every night. 

We decided to start with dream augmentation - or lucid dream induction. Our inspiration truly came from necessity, as 2 years ago we thought to ourselves "well if no one else is going to build it, we will!"

After years of R&D, our engineers and neuroscientists discovered that, while successfully inspiring makers like ourselves, prior lucid dreaming platforms had failed in at least one of 6 key categories:

1) Accurate sleep tracking (most important) 

2) Configurable dream stimuli 

3) Fully connected solution 

4) Educating users on techniques for best results 

5) Adaptive algorithms that improve and reward for repeated use

6) Light Therapy for improving sleep quality

When we were designing Aurora we looked at this list of "dream" features (that never gets old for us) and literally asked ourselves "how can we build the best lucid dreaming device ever?"

And so we decided to implement all of these features. Aurora is truly the device we wished had existed when we first discovered this field 8 years ago - a platform for sleep enhancement and personal improvement. Since much of our recent focus has been spent on production, we are getting excited again about diverting attention towards testing and user experience. 

Prototype Testing

As we veer into production, testing is extremely important to ensure our user experience is superb. We been lab-testing 10 fully assembled circuit boards and are very pleased with that performance. We also recently received 10 sensor-headband samples:

10 headband samples
10 headband samples

From those materials we hand-built 2 working prototypes and have been diligently testing them with great success! We are now ready to ramp up the number of tester units in circulation.

One of our Aurora tester units charging
One of our Aurora tester units charging

Lacking the final plastic case designs, we had no easy way to put the rest of the samples to use, and no simple way to provide firmware updates to our testers without micro-managing. So we ordered more semi-custom off-the-shelf plastic cases for our beta test program (expected next week). If we receive these materials before mass production then we will hand-build more tester units. We have our sights set on fulfilling the early Master Developer backers rewards.

The iwinks Platform - Firmware Updates

During our development phase, new firmware updates were a time-consuming process and something we did not look forward to. That struggle is now a thing of the past.

Aurora OS
Aurora OS

We are so pleased to share that we have created software enabling users to quickly and easily update the firmware onboard Aurora - letting us distribute new builds instantly and seamlessly!

Today we are proud to support updates over USB!Our new desktop application supports this essential core software; users just click "update", then sit back and watch our latest firmware magically delivered from our servers straight to their device.

Cross-Platform Desktop App
Cross-Platform Desktop App

Our new desktop solution ensures that immediate support will be provided to all our customers immediately after we ship regardless of whether they have a smartphone.

Thanks for reading and look out for the next technical update soon talking about our open sleep platform. 

As always,

stay lucid 

iwinks

Where's My Thing?

23 likes

Greetings and apologies for this long overdue update,

Thanks for checking in on our progress with Aurora: the Dream-Enhancing Headband - we are very proud to share that although things have been quiet the last few weeks we've been extremely productive!

Production 

Last time, we were awaiting 3D printouts of Aurora's plastic designs for final assembly & verification. We received those designs and everything looked great when we first assembled them:

Aurora 3D printed case (unpainted)
Aurora 3D printed case (unpainted)

The screwless design allows the case to be opened and closed relatively easily while remaining secure. Nearly all the specs were on point: our PCB mounting holes were aligned, USB port fit in place and the battery fit snugly inside. its been challenging to get here - from designing the pushbutton just right:

Aurora Pushbutton
Aurora Pushbutton

to figuring out how to route our LED light effectively:

RED LEDs
RED LEDs

But we figured those things out and were happy to see this revision come in nearly perfect. Unfortunately there were just a few minor issues that prevented us from moving ahead and locking in our plastic mold for full production: 

The Issues

1) Our conductive snap buttons install correctly and make good contact with the sensor bands, carrying your brainwave signals directly to our circuitry:

Snap Fits
Snap Fits

Unfortunately the layout of the snaps was just slightly off from those in our headband, preventing a flush fit with the headband. 

Button Layout Slightly Off
Button Layout Slightly Off

2) SD card not accessible without unscrewing the PCB.

SD card reader (on top) needed better clearance
SD card reader (on top) needed better clearance

3) Small hidden defect near usb port which only became visible once we printed out the design:

USB cutout defect (was hidden in the software)
USB cutout defect (was hidden in the software)

Otherwise the entire package looks and functions beautifully:

All together now
All together now

The Fix

The necessary design modifications have already been made and the iwinks team eagerly awaits assembly of the final 3D printouts. We expect for this to be the final design revision before we can begin mass production :) Meanwhile we've been preparing our final purchase orders with our manufacturing partners. 

We had hoped to be entering full manufacturing by this point, thereby beginning our 3-month countdown to shipment and meeting a December deadline. Unfortunately it looks like we will have just one final minor delay in our timeline. Fortunately, we will be able to afford all costs for full production with room left over for a nice inventory. The challenge will be to stay lean so that proper care can be given to the iwinks cross-platform app, infrastructure and future products.

Thank You 

2 years ago we set out to build the worlds most powerful lucid dreaming wearable device and that is exactly what we have done here. No pivots, no last-minute changes of heart, only exactly what we promised! 

We'd like to thank you all once again for your patience as we complete our first product. As you read our updates we hope you keep in mind that none of this would have been possible without support from backers like you, and although we are 2 whole years in to this project, we are more pumped and grateful than ever for the opportunity you have provided us! 

Look out for another update in the coming days detailing the technical specifications of the iwinks Sleep Enhancement Platform ;)

Until then,

Stay Lucid!

iwinks