Hello Backers and Fans,
We appreciate your patience while we endeavor to get this project completed and rewards delivered to you. We continue to work on Sabertron every day and continue to make consistent progress towards the goal. We apologize for the long delay getting a new update to all of you, but we’d hoped we could complete the items listed below by early January and could provide everything at once. However, due to various delays at the end of the year, things pushed back a bit so we wanted to give you a mid-January status update.
We have selected a manufacturer, negotiated the details, and just need to pull the trigger. However, the business requires that before we can start manufacturing, we must finish the firmware, which is the final remaining detail of the design that is unfinished, so that we can be sure that everything works before we embark on manufacturing. We have learned the hard way that rushing things because we are late is a good way to get further behind. Finishing the firmware is now our complete focus, and we are extremely close. Once we have the firmware complete, we can finally begin manufacturing.
Here is a timeline of what you can expect to see going forward:
- We have recently received samples of our production mechanical CAD designs. They were 3D-printed in nylon to allow near full-speed gameplay. Pictures are below.
- Next week, we will receive manufacturing samples of the final production (rev D) Printed Circuit Board (PCB) for assembly.
- By the end of January, we will have the final rev D PCB’s populated with parts.
- In mid February, our firmware is expected to be feature complete and ready for production, and running on the new rev D hardware. This step will ensure that we are clear to order the PCB’s in volume.
Once we assemble the nylon handles, new PCB’s and firmware together into demo swords, we will finally be able to create videos and pictures showing off all of our hard work. We can’t wait to get this out to everyone. This will be the unveiling of exactly how Sabertron is meant to operate.
We plan to use these production-ready demo units to complete all the media needed for the backer surveys. We have a backer survey tool that is currently ready to accept your reward selections, but it only has placeholder pictures that describe the rewards. We have been waiting for the final product photos to send the surveys to you because it makes more sense to show you exactly what you are selecting for your reward.
Please keep in mind that this timeline is an estimate to get to manufacturing. Once manufacturing begins, we will be able to update everyone with specific details on that process.
Here are pictures of the production CAD model nylon handles:
Here are some pictures of work-in-progress on the LCD touchscreen display, which now supports all of the five Sabertron game modes and settings screens. It is also more dynamic than before, allowing us to more quickly add new screens and graphics. We are still adding some polish, but this is the final layout of the screens.
We also have made progress on better sound effects, wireless firmware updates, better battery charge indication, dynamic detection of LCD and Lightsword/Medieval audio profiles, foam blade fabrication, and a few game play improvements.
We want you to know that we know exactly how late we are on this project and that it is very painful to us to be so late. The campaign ended in June of 2014, with an estimated delivery of the holidays of 2014. It is now the beginning of 2016, which means that we are just over a year late on delivery. We know that this is unacceptable to you, and to us.
We are a small team with many responsibilities and we are doing the best job that we can do. The good news is that the product is almost done and it is looking really awesome. We are proud of its performance, stability, and look and feel and we think you will be too. We have not cut any corners. We are still planning to deliver the quality product that everyone wants.
Please know that our early backers mean a lot to us. By way of example, look at what Oculus Rift did for their Kickstarter backers recently (giving all original backers a consumer version of the Rift for their early support). We fully agree with that kind of commitment to early backers, and that’s the kind of thing you can expect from the Sabertron Team down the road. We will not forget our early backers. Thanks again for your continued patience and support.
Sincerely, David Lynch – Inventor, Sabertron