Shipping, reviews and other updates
It's been a pretty exciting couple of weeks at the LIFX office. As more and more backers start to receive their bulbs and share some (awesome) pics of how they are being used, its really heartening to hear good reviews coming back.
We have 7,000 bulbs on a plane to the US at the moment with an ETA from our logistics partner that these will leave the US distribution warehouse around the 10th of Dec. We have upgraded everything to air freight (at a painful cost increase) to get these to you as fast as possible. We have had a few questions around time frames on the logistics side so let me do my best to explain (if you get bored reading about logistics over your morning coffee feel free to skip the next paragraph).
After a bulb is manufactured it is packaged up and loaded onto a pallet to be picked up by our logistics partner. At this stage the pallet is freighted to either our US distribution facility (for orders in the Americas) or our Hong Kong distribution facility (for orders shipped to the rest of the world). Once the bulbs pass through customs these are then loaded in to the distribution facility and start shipping out to backers. Global logistics operations are something that even the big guys struggle with from time to time, luckily we have had Mike (pictured below) stationed in China for the past 6 weeks keeping everything moving. After 6 weeks of hotel food and not being able to sleep in his own bed, trust me when I say he is doing everything possible to speed up shipping.
The current estimate (and I say "estimate" as we are relying on quite a few 3rd party companies, customs, postal services, etc) is that 90-95% of kickstarter bulbs will be shipped out prior to Christmas. On the up side, China doesn't really break for Christmas so if you are one of the unlucky few that do not get yours in time, it won't be far away.
Version 1 of the Android app went live on the Google Play store this week. In an ideal world we would have liked this this to go out with a few more features but hopefully this will tide Android users over till we can roll out the next app update. We are aware of some bugs in the current release and these are being worked on as I speak.
Regarding programmatic access, some of you have rightly estimated that we use a (custom) binary protocol on the LAN (in the interest of speed and reducing fragmentation). We're working towards releasing a Ruby and C implementation as a reference to this, and to initially make things easier for our developer friends. Cloud is to follow, which will feature an authenticated REST interface to what is essentially an open TCP connection to the nominated gateway bulb.
GU10 is progressing well and at this stage we are still on track to deliver these in Q1 of next year. For those of you who are waiting on GU10's we appreciate your patience but think you'll be satisfied with the end result.
Also, here is a little video of 50 bulbs we setup in the office for testing. As you can see, it's quite feasible to run a whole house on LIFX- a milestone we've worked towards from the start.