After discussing with the whole team and considering the upcoming tasks, we decided that we needed more time before shipping SmartHalo. We realized we need to further test and tweak SmartHalo to make it as good as we promised. There have also been unexpected delays in production and with suppliers/manufacturers due to summertime vacations.
Thus, we have to announce that units will start shipping in December, barring any major hiccup. The delay is only announced today because some things have cleared up in the last days and we just reconfirmed our production timelines.
We are 100% confident that we will ship SmartHalo to you and we want to thank you for your support and patience!
Where we are at and what’s causing the delay
Let’s recap where we currently stand in regards to production, what’s done and what required some extra time:
- Electronics: Our pre-release circuit boards are behaving well in our tests but we did run into some challenges. The sound output is still non-stable and can damage the battery and supply circuit in the long term. We’re investigating this in depth and are working with an analog electronic design expert for the final version of the circuit board. In other news, every chip and component have been received and are ready to be assembled by our manufacturing partner as soon as we have our final version of the circuit board
- Casing: Most plastic moulds are done but we’ve had big delays with development of our main SmartHalo casing. First, we’ve had issues of heat dissipation which is critical since we need to make sure the product won’t overheat. This issue has been dealt with in the last months with the help of Creaform, an engineering consultants firm; they’ve made several heat analysis you can see below and confirmed the components wouldn’t overheat. We’ve also needed to work extra time to make sure the device would resist thunderstorms: our partners Tak Design have helped us refine our front lens to make it waterproof – the rest of the casing was already waterproof.
- Firmware: SmartHalo’s brain is taking shape. We’re testing the pre-release code and tweaking details, the turn signal timings in particular require lots of attention.
- Software: The SmartHalo app has all main features working well. We’ve started integrating some design tweaks and will further work on the secure device pairing as well as the introduction tutorials. The extra time will also help us refine Fitness features. We recorded a tour of the application that you can see below (note that this is not the final version of the app but what it looks like at the moment.)
Quality of the product (really) matters
As you may know, SmartHalo was initially funded on Kickstarter. There, we were asked to enter an Estimated Delivery Date, based on our best guess. It can be too early on the process to guess correctly, and very often, companies are too optimistic on the delivery date, which was our case (and we are not alone: a research project showed that 71.4% of projects delivered late).
Product development means unforeseen bugs and uncertain timelines but we don’t want to take any shortcuts because we will all agree that the quality of the product matters. As game designer Shigeru Miyamoto said “A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad”.
We know the disappointment this news will bring and we are sorry that you won’t be able to use our device this fall. We are as impatient as all of you to finally put our hands on SmartHalo and we ask you to bear with us for the few months left.
To give you a glimpse of the overall progress, we thought we’d show you a trip with SmartHalo filmed with a GoPro (sorry for the quality, it’s quite bouncy…). We’re pretty thrilled to be navigating Montreal’s streets with SmartHalo and can’t wait for you guys to try it.
We’ll be back soon with the rest of our testing updates!