Welcome to another Vue update! With each passing month the product continues to come together, and we’re feeling more and more excited as we get closer to shipping. We’ve got lots of details to share with you. Let’s get started!
Some backers have commented that they want to see more images of the Trendy units! Check out some of the latest prototypes below!
Once tooling is complete, we'll be able to start showing you the various colors of each frame as well! It should be an exciting period as we start to transition from CNC pre-production prototypes to actual production units.
As we mentioned in the previous update, we’re doing a lot of review prior to tooling. The idea is to catch as many problems before tooling, as finding them afterward would be costly and time consuming. We are wrapping up some of this work, and wanted to give everyone some insight into what specifically this work looks like.
Many electronic devices sold within the US require approval by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Specifically, products that transmit certain signals, like Bluetooth, must pass tests that certify their electromagnetic interference emitted from the device is under limits approved by the FCC. You can read the wiki here (you’ll probably recognize the logo on many/most of your products!).
We historically have had problems maintaining a solid connection via our antenna, but as we covered in our last update, we came up with a robust design that seems to have solved those problems. Now that we’ve landed on a final antenna design, we are conducting preliminary FCC tests to catch any problems.
FCC testing is expensive, and it is very common for products to fail their initial tests. After failing, small changes to the electronics are required, and then you can re-test your product until it passes. We’re running FCC analogous tests prior to paying for full FCC tests so that we can catch any huge red flags before committing to the expense.
With that being said, we are pleased to announce that we PASSED these preliminary tests! See some of our results below.
Vue's performance is graphed in blue. As you can see, we stayed below the mandated threshold (red) throughout the test. This is a great indication that we'll pass FCC tests with production units, although it's not necessarily guaranteed. After our many antenna redesigns, this is a great confirmation that the steps we took were right for the product.
We’ve done a lot of work on our hinge. In previous updates we’ve outlined some design changes in order to make sure the hinge can withstand daily use. With normal glasses, the hinge simply needs to open and close repeatedly without failing. With Vue, it must be able to do this in addition to not damaging or interfering with the electronics inside.
We can design and discuss this aspect all we want, but ultimately, there is no substitute for testing the motion the hinge will be subjected to over the years. So what does this look like? Check out the video below!
What you are seeing is a device at our assembly factory that literally cycles the hinge through the motion you all will put the arms through each and every day. And we don’t just cycle it a few times...we cycle it a lot. And by a lot we mean 30,000 times.
Our tests show that the hinge withstood 30,000 cycles without failing. If you spread that out over a period of 2 years, that would mean you can open and close the hinges 41 times a day without breaking it.
Unfortunately, the FPC fatigued and broke at around 10,000 cycles. That would reduce the number from 41 times a day to about 14 times a day. We’re glad we found this during this test, as we still have time to implement solutions.
The good news is that this won’t impact tooling or any upcoming priorities—and we already have a solution! Read on to see more.
As we noted above, the FPC was the first component to fatigue when the hinge flexed. One solution for this is to utilize something called a strain relief. To summarize, a strain relief helps protect flexible components from damage due to excessive bending. A strain relief you are most familiar with is on your headphones. Find where the cables meet your earbuds, or where the cable meets the audio jack, and you’ll notice a thicker, flexible section of material that prevents the cable from taking too sharp of a bend. You can see some example images on the Internet here.
There are various methods to employ strain reliefs for our product, but one such simple method can be seen below.
By sliding a small fabric or rubber sleeve over the corner of the FPC, it can act as a strain relief to protect against bending. We’re also having our PCB manufacturer increase the curvature of the FPC's corner. Together, we think these will be solid solutions to help protect against fatigue. This will be something we’ll test again during production.
Bone Conduction Tests
We wanted to give you some insight into all the testing we’ve been doing on bone conduction. As outlined in our previous updates, we’ve been doing both quantitative and qualitative leakage evaluations. But part of this work has been doing a huge evaluation on a lot of different materials and methods for mounting.
Leakage is something backers have expressed concerns about, and it’s something we want to try to mitigate as much as possible. Leakage is primarily caused by vibrations translating to the surrounding materials in the glasses, which then start to vibrate and act as a speaker. To better study our designs, we’ve developed a simple way to quantify vibrations.
The setup involves mounting an accelerometer onto the glasses. Accelerometers are most commonly known for their use in tracking steps. But here we’ve repurposed it to tell us which transducer and mounting design is causing too many vibrations to travel down the frames.
The lines you see on the computer represent vibrations being detected by the accelerometer. This is just another quantitative method that is helping us narrow in on final materials to be used in mounting transducers during production.
We don’t get too many opportunities to talk about the lenses, but that’s also a huge component of this product for many backers! We’ve been evaluating samples from our lens partner to ensure quality, and we’re quite pleased! Check out some demos of some of the technical lenses below.
1. Blue Light Filtering: In the video, we shine a UV/blue light laser through a standard lens first and then through a blue light filtering lens. Watch for the light on the table—the BLF lenses significantly reduce the light that travels through.
2. Photochromic: The laser can also be used to demonstrate how the lenses shift from clear to tinted! Note: do not ever test this by shining lasers into your eyes through the lenses.
Below you’ll see a more practical demo of the photochromic lenses. We take them from inside the office (where they are clear) to outside (where they begin to tint).
No updates here. We’re forging ahead!
Vigo = Vue on your credit card
We got a lot of emails on the charges that we ran on September 8th, 2017. Note that the description on your credit card statement may have said Vigo (our corporate entity) instead of Vue. If you see that on your statement (or some variation of Vigo Technologies, Vigo-SF, Vigo-CA, etc)—don’t dispute it or report it as fraud! That is a legitimate charge from us.
We apologize for the confusion. We’ve changed our statement descriptor so that any future charges will show up as Vue Glasses. And please, before contacting your credit card carrier, please email us! We are happy to work with you to resolve anything that you think is incorrect.
Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, and remember the following before emailing:
- Use BackerKit's survey recovery tool to look up your order.
- The quickest way for us to help is by reaching out to email@example.com.
- If you have questions regarding your prescription, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time!
the Vue team