It turns out my last update was nine months ago. Oops! The reasons for this include the fact that the nearly complete V0.2 prototype worked so well that I completely forgot to keep working on the design (and the little issue of my wrapping up my dissertation). The good news is there has been some progress, and I would like to share it with you (and while I’m at it, give you a preview of what is to come in the next few months).

So, what has been going on over the last nine months? I am very happy to announce the project has a second developer, Bryan. Bryan and I play Star Wars: The Old Republic together several times per week, and his interest in the Holoseat is a large part of the reason why I got the project organized on Open Design Engine. Some months ago, Bryan replicated the V0.2 prototype and has been using it routinely to play a couple of games. Between the two of us, we have logged countless hours on Holoseat. The results of all this “testing” is we are very confident in its core features and have identified the principle concern in the current design (namely the sensitivity of the reed switch – which we will be working on in the next version).

Bryan is helping with updating the documentation, and most recently he proposed a very promising design change. This design change is the inclusion of a companion desktop application to control the various settings of the Holoseat, eliminating the need for the slide potentiometer to control the “walking rate” and giving users access to other configuration details including the walk command character. Having a desktop tool also enables new features such as reporting statistics (just how many steps have you taken this week?) and automated firmware upgrades.

Bryan has also been integral in securing our first public demonstration of the Holoseat at The Syndicate’s annual convention this August. We are planning to set up the Holoseat in LAN hall and present the project to the whole guild at one of the plenary sessions. In preparation for this demo we are focusing on wrapping up the features we have and working out a couple of bugs, and getting our demo materials ready.

After the convention we will return to development with the hope of having an improved prototype done by the end of the year. Check out the Roadmap link at the top for all the details and watch this space for more news as we get ready for our demo and push ahead with v0.3.