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SOLOSHOT3 Updates

Mass Production Underway

We’ve made tons of progress in the month of May, and now that we’ve been able to crunch the numbers and assess testing data, we are excited to provide you with the latest update for this past month. 

We have some good news (mass production has finally kicked off!!) and some not-so-good news (we’re going to need just a little bit more time) to share with you. We apologize for sending the update after the holiday weekend. Much of our team worked straight through it, and we wanted to make sure you had the most up-to-date and accurate information as possible. 
The Not-So-Good News
Hardware:
 
After doing everything we could to meet the shipping estimations outlined, we are very sorry to announce that the first pallet of units did not ship out this past weekend and is delayed an additional 14 days. This is due to the implementation of several final quality checks we’ve added to our end-of-line testing procedures in response to beta test results. Specifically, we had a concern on radio performance, which is now corrected. 

The testing requirements are now in place and have been implemented for mass quantities of hardware. While this delay is inconvenient, it’s critical to ensure quality and performance of all units. These enhancements include fully automated checks of all electronic systems and sensors, optics, cosmetic, and functional properties of each and every unit.
SOLOSHOT3 | Mass Production Underway
Software:

In addition to the hardware checks, there are 2 software milestones that we must complete to get units finally out the door and into the world.  We truly thought they would be finished by now but need a few more weeks to ensure the following:

1. First Boot Mode = Ship to Fulfillment Center

When turning on your SOLOSHOT system for the first time your Base will guide you through initial connection to the SOLOSHOT cloud via WiFi and download of the latest 1.0.0 version of the SOLOSHOT3 software suite – similar to the experience of getting a new smartphone. This process was initially tested over the holiday weekend, and the plan is to push into the production line. Once implemented, this will allow hardware to begin shipping from our factory to our fulfillment center in California. We will be air freighting the first pallets and expect transportation and customs clearances to take up to 10 business days. This unfortunately puts us outside the shipping window targeted for pre-orders, but we’re hoping by a matter of only a few weeks. As production continues we will also continue to make hardware shipments to our fulfillment center every week while pushing for software readiness.

The successful implementation of this system will also allow us to provide ongoing system and software upgrades, even well after you’ve received your SOLOSHOT3, which is something we plan to be doing routinely.
 
2. Software Readiness = Ship to Customers

While the cloud team is hyper focused on making sure the update process is reliable, our software team is making sure the initial functionality of 1.0.0 is ready for mass consumption. We want to make sure your out-of-the-box experience is amazing and believe it will make these last few delays worthwhile. We are almost there (currently testing the 0.9.8 release) and beta testing/debugging is ongoing. More importantly, we continue to improve the user interface by making the menu options more intuitive to get the best performance out of your SOLOSHOT3 for the applications you’ve shared with us.

Please be confident as we are systematically resolving the last remaining blockers so we can soon provide you with exact shipping dates. Our fulfillment center will begin regularly receiving units in the next couple of weeks and be standing by for completion of our 1.0.0 software release.  Once ready, units will begin shipping from our fulfillment center to your doorsteps. As we have been overly optimistic on exact dates in the past, we will instead start providing weekly updates going forward as we reach each of these milestones. Be on the lookout for these updates on our website and social media.

SOLOSHOT3 is on the verge of shipping, no doubt about it, and that fact has energized the team in a way that makes us all appreciate the magnitude of what we all, including you, went through together this past year. So, thank you for sticking with us!

The Good News
Hardware:

On the brighter side of things, mass production for all four components of Camera Bundle hardware have now kicked off. The Base and Optic65 Cameras started about 3 weeks ago, the Tags kicked off last week, as did smaller production runs of the Optic25 Cameras. With the numerous challenges we’ve experienced with the hardware manufacturing process early on, this was a milestone that had us literally jumping for joy.
 

Software:

OpticX Cameras.

  • Zoom & Focus tracking Improvements: Many of you expressed that you thought the camera was zooming too much so we reduced the amount of distracting zooms that can occur. 
  • Optical Image Stabilization Tuning: This is an on-going process that will continue even after shipping. Since some of you will be filming from bleachers (where there’s a lot of foot traffic) or filming in windy areas, we are working to meet those needs for image stability.
  • Auto White Balance/Auto Exposure Smoothness.

Indoor Accessory:

Now that some of our hardware team’s focus has been freed up, the Indoor Accessory has also seen major strides. We completely re-designed both the circuit boards and the form factor due to limitations with the original design. We have been working directly with the radio chip manufacturers in recent months to make sure that the board design is both efficient in power consumption, and reliable in tracking accuracy. The first run of Design Validation Testing for the new Indoor Accessory kicks off in June and we plan on introduction to our manufacturing line in July.

Base:
  • Tracking: General debugging has been ongoing as we continue to test the system in an increasing number of activities and environments.  
  • SOLOSHOTlive Integration: The UI/UX will allow you to both track and go live at the touch of a button.
  • Motion Time Lapse: For our artsy customers, this app is going to make it super simple to capture motion time lapses, and play back for all to see.
SOLOSHOT3pro
The mechanical team continues to develop the heavier-duty drive trains for the Pro Base, putting to practice all the things we learned designing and bringing the SOLOSHOT3 drive trains to mass production. The Pro will transition to a production area adjacent to the SOLOSHOT3 Base and OpticX cameras so that we can maximize everything we have built so far, including shared printed circuit boards, supply chain and build strategies. Now that the SOLOSHOT3 Base has transitioned into mass production, we are excited to apply everything we learned as we bring the Pro to the production environment.
Customer Support
These updates are not meant to be excuses for the continued delays, by any means. We hope they serve only as an explanation - one for which we sincerely apologize. We have had the opportunity to get to know a great many of you over the course of the pre-order, and that has been the most enjoyable part for the team! Nothing means more to us during this critical time than you.

Thank you so much for pushing us to get an amazing product out into the world. Please give us a call at 866-347-0869, M-F, from 8 am to 7 pm CST, or reply to this email with any questions, concerns, criticisms or compliments you may have for us. We hear you and are here to help as best we can!

Sincerely,
Everybody at Team SOLOSHOT

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