Here we are going into November after hoping to be shipping our Alpha product by December… So will we make it? If you have been following the development posts on http://dev.holoseat.com (click the News link at the top) then you know the answer. If not, it can be summed up in a single word, and it isn’t the one we wanted — no. We’ve tried, but we massively underestimated how much work their was to do along with overestimating our ability to complete it. So if we’re not done, then where are we?
Alpha Prototype Progress
First, we’ve got our prototyping done for most of our design changes. And, we have some nice pictures so you can see for yourself how we are coming along.
The article picture shows our updated prototype setup on a breadboard using the new TRRS cable to connect the controller to the sensor and the new Cherry MX key switch for enabling Holoseat. Using a network jack (look in the upper right corner) we connected it to the existing setup from one of our SyndCon demo units and I used it for a few hours. Worked just as smooth as our assembled units, so we know these changes didn’t mess with a good thing.
Speaking of the key switch, did we happen to mention that we’re doing a custom keycap with the holoseat h? Here’s what it looks like lit up on our couple of test key switches we were trying out:
That covers the main electronics review. But what about the little bit of magic that pushed our accuracy up to the point where everything smoothed out? The tone ring has gotten a bit of a makeover too. We have split it into two pieces.
Why’d we split it? We wanted to have a cover over the magnets so they couldn’t come out. It wasn’t an issue during the demos, but we felt that was a poor choice to have them pressure fitted like they were long term. These are straight 3D prints from the drawings, so they’re still a little rough looking. But you can get an idea for how the final tone ring will work.
Next Steps & Getting Involved in the Alpha
So that covers our progress so far. But it still leaves quite a bit left to do. And the majority of the remaining work is less about hardware development and more about getting ready to take on testers, getting our redesigned desktop software into shape, and sorting out a few things on the business side.
Moving forward what we need from those of you who follow this blog is some help. Here’s a few spots where can make a difference for Holoseat:
- Do you have some ideas for questions we should be asking our Alpha testing users during the test program? Post them here <link to google form for submitting questions>.
- Enjoy 3D modeling? We could use your help porting our mechanical designs from Solidworks to Autodesk Fusion 360. Our volunteer mCAD modeler prefers Solidworks, but it is not an open platform, so we need to move our mCAD models. If this sounds like something you would like to help out with, please fill out the volunteer form indicating you want to help with mCAD <form link>.
- Do you have a knack for python and enjoy development? Consider volunteering to help with the desktop application. Again, the volunteer link is here.
- In the DC or Blacksburg, VA area and want to help with final assembly and shipping? We’ll take volunteers for that too! I’m guessing you know where this is going.
We’re behind (no Holoseats for Christmas), but we’re moving forward at a good pace. We would rather be a couple of months late with a Holoseat you will love than ship something substandard on schedule.
Looking at the novel I’ve just written, it’s time to get back to work.