OCTOBER 2017: MIC ISOLATION SOLVED & PVT ASSEMBLY RESUMES!
Hope everyone had a terrific October! We know this month’s update is a few days late and we really appreciate your patience. We encourage everyone to keep up with our weekly wall updates to stay connected and tuned into our ongoing progress. We’ve made many positive advancements this month and we’re happy to report that PVT has resumed and assembly of the pre-production units is well underway. Read on to learn more!
- BackerKit Surveys: For those who have not yet filled out your surveys, please do so as soon as possible. We are unable to deliver your individual orders without having the surveys complete. We have been and will continue to lock in your responses on a weekly basis.
- Mobile App: As mentioned in our last update, the Android app has been privately released in “Closed Beta” form, allowing us to conduct further QA testing. So far, we’ve been able to catch and correct some visual discrepancies and layering issues to ensure that the app is optimized for varying phone models and screen sizes.
- Earphone Packaging: We have finalized our packaging and are about to complete the mass production of our sleeves, boxes and accessory wraps. We anticipate all packaging prints being complete and shipped to our Shenzhen factory by mid November. See below for some images of the final look!
- Mic Isolation: After weeks of testing, we have made the necessary modifications to the earphone assembly to solve the mic isolation issue we were having. We have succeeded at consistently reaching the optimal level of isolation and can now shift our focus back onto PVT assembly and testing.
- Adjustable Soundscape: As mentioned above, the mic isolation challenge has been fixed and there is no longer a feedback problem between the earphone mics and speakers. Though the final tuning is not yet complete, preliminary results with our soundscape feature are very promising!
- Molding Tips: The thinner molding tips made with the modified tip tool are showing enhanced definition once molded. We’re happy with these results and believe these thinner tips will provide an even better fit than before.
- PVT & Timeline: This week we shifted our focus back onto PVT and have resumed the assembly process. We will continue to assemble and test these units next week. Once this process is complete, we will be able to provide a detailed production & shipping schedule. The plan is to kick off mass production soon after PVT is complete - stay tuned!
This month we gathered a group of beta testers to help us conduct final QA app testing and debugging. These testers vary from tech-savvy engineers to everyday users in order to confirm that our app not only functions well, but also accommodates many different types of users. We found these tests particularly necessary for the Android app since there are many more phone models and screen sizes to work with. In a month of testing, we’ve successfully caught and corrected a few compatibility problems that were causing visual discrepancies and layering issues. Other than that, no major software issues have been uncovered (which is great news)!
After our last update, some of you expressed concern that the Android app would simply be a copy of the iOS app with no Android-specific integration. Rest assured, this is not the case at all. We worked with an experienced 3rd party app firm that has designated software developers specializing in the different operating systems.
Here’s a sneak peek of the Android app (note the Android phone in the animation):
We’re excited to be at the final stages with our packaging. All digital design files have been approved and we’ve gone through the printing press process. One of our team members spent the day at the printing factory in China, approving the different print elements and making any necessary final tweaks.
Here are some photos & a video from the day spent at the printing factory:
We anticipate that all printing and assembly will be completed by mid November. Everything will then be shipped to our Shenzhen factory where final earphone assembly will be taking place. Once the earphones are mass produced and packed in their respective packaging, the boxes will get shrink wrapped and sent off to our fulfillment partners in Hong Kong. From there they will be pick and packed, individually labeled and sent out directly to each of you.
We’re so proud to be unveiling our final earphone packaging. We wanted this packaging to evoke the same premium look as our earphones, so that the customer journey is truly revolutionary from beginning to end - we hope you like it!
For all of you who ordered the white/silver or the exclusive Kickstarter green colorways, stay tuned for images of your packaging coming soon!
Consistency in Assembly:
Before tackling the mic isolation challenge, we wanted to confirm that the factory was following our standard operating procedures and ensure that the units coming off the line were consistent. Early in the month we had fixed the inconsistency issue and had a successful test-run of 5 units identically assembled and showing a reliable curve range. From there, we were able to work with a consistent baseline that would help us identify what needed to be done to achieve the optimal level of mic isolation in our PVT units.
We started by opening up the new PVT units and adding a modified gasket around the mic. We then closed up the units, retested them and noticed some isolation improvement. However, we still weren’t reaching the mic isolation level needed for the Adjustable Soundscape feature.
From there, we spent a couple of weeks making additional tweaks and modifications to the headset assembly in hopes of achieving that optimal level. Once we were able to confirm exactly what was causing the feedback problems, we were able to make the necessary adjustments to the assembly. Once that was done, we focused on repeating this assembly to ensure that the optimal level of isolation can be consistently reached. Finally, the assembly was repeatedly tested and deemed consistent with 10 earphone units coming off the production line showing the identical optimal level of isolation.
As of last week, the mic isolation challenge was officially solved allowing us to shift our focus back onto PVT. We had to wait on one last production line tool to be delivered this week before we could really start. This final component is called an anechoic box, a helpful tool that allows us to measure the level of isolation between the mic and speaker for our PVT and Mass Production units.
We were so excited with the latest progress on the isolation front and we couldn’t wait to test the Adjustable Soundscape feature. Even before final tuning, the soundscape feature was showing very promising preliminary results. It was awesome to be able to control the level of outside noise played back over the audio and toggle between the different soundscape app settings. The last step is to simply optimize the firmware parameters so that the Adjustable Soundscape works optimally at all settings (0% to 100% isolation).
THINNER MOLDING TIPS
As we mentioned last month, the modified tip tool was completed right before the Chinese autumn festival and so we were very eager to get back to the factory and start testing once the factory reopened.
Here’s a comparison of the old (thicker) tips and the new (thinner) ones:
*Note: These tips haven’t gone through the tumbling process yet which impacts the overall look and feel of them. Tumbling improves visual and tactile things like the split lines (rubber seam) and softens the outside material to be smoother and less shiny.
As you can see from the video above, the sample parts that came off the production line of the new, modified tip tool are thinner and allow for a more precise and defined mold. We’re happy with the results and believe that this modification will further enhance the comfort and secure fit of our customized molding tips.
In addition to the simple molding testing, these new tips also passed a number of reliability tests such as: puncture, pressure and pinch tests.
PVT & TIMELINE
Now that the mic isolation challenge has been fixed, we are able to advance in the pre-production process and resume the assembly and testing of our PVT units.
The final component to our assembly line (the custom-designed anechoic box) arrived earlier this week allowing us to fully set up, test every station and kick-off PVT. 50 units were assembled this week and the remaining 100 units will be completed next week. We anticipate the testing and final certification process taking approximately 3-4 weeks. Again, we are waiting to confirm the assembly and testing of our PVT units prior to announcing a revised production and delivery schedule. The reason for this is that we need to measure our ability to scale up during mass production based on the results uncovered during PVT. As previously announced, once PVT assembly and testing is complete we will be able to kick off mass production and the simultaneous delivery of your earphones!
Here are some images from the PVT assembly line:
As you can see, this month has been filled with tons of progress and exciting advancements. We’re back on track and have resumed PVT assembly and testing and we intend on kicking off mass production soon after! Your continued support is awesome and sincerely appreciated. It’s been great updating you on all the latest progress made and we look forward to the exciting weeks to come! We really are getting there and we couldn’t have done it without you.
Have a great weekend,
The Revols Team
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