PrioVR Development Update
We would like to apologize to you, our backers, for our recent lack of updates. You have been asking about production updates and timelines, and rightly so. In May we announced that we would not hit the original June shipping date. At the time, we didn’t have a specific shipping date, but indicated it would be close to the end of the year. We came to the realization, following the Kickstarter, that there was more to getting the suit to market than we had first calculated. How did we not know this in advance you may ask? The simple truth is we were naive and despite having years of experience selling high-tech sensor solutions to our existing customer base, PrioVR required a radically different approach. When we set our initial ship date we were unaware of many of the additional complications that would arise.
Over the past few months, we have been iterating on the final suit design to make it more manufacturable, more durable and to accommodate a large variety of body shapes and sizes. This last point in particular has sent us back to the drawing board numerous times to find a good trade-off between comfort and adjustability. This is our first time with large-scale manufacturing involving diverse components including textiles. As a small company, we’ve come a long way from manufacturing limited hand-crafted suits in our basement and we’re excited to see the progress we’ve made taking shape in the final product.
The PrioVR prototype used 3rd party Wii nunchucks for the hand controllers but, as promised in our stretch goals, we will be shipping with custom PrioVR hand controllers. This has required an entirely new system to be developed as well as new firmware, a full industrial design from concept to manufacturing specification and component sourcing. Once this decision was made, there was no turning back as we had to remove the original connectors for the Wii controllers from the suit. This has added substantial time over the past few months, but we feel confident the end result will be worth the effort.
We have been pushing hard to make our end-of-year commitment, but we have to acknowledge now that this is unrealistic. We don’t want to incrementally push out our dates knowing that we will have to revise as new complications come long. Our goal remains to deliver a high-quality product as soon as we possibly can. Given what we’ve learned, early 2015 is our realistic estimate. We will absolutely get them done and every one of you will receive your suit. We said we would and we will. Period.
Our community of supporters is incredibly important to us. We thank you deeply for your continued patience and for keeping us accountable. You have provided us with the means to make this product a reality and we want PrioVR to give you the experience you deserve.
Are you going to produce a glove?
We do plan on producing a glove for PrioVR. Our first priority is to ship suits to our Kickstarter backers and pre-order customers and that is our primary focus right now. Any glove that we design will be completely compatible with the PrioVR suit model that we ship to our backers and will be available as an upgrade. We don’t have any further details on the project at this stage that we can share.
Are you going to support Gear VR?
Supporting VR input on a variety of platforms, including Gear VR, is certainly something that is very important to us, and we are investigating this, but right now we're focusing our energy on getting the first version of the suits made.