SPUD Update: Schedule, Manufacturing, and Color Samples

Hello SPUD Supporters!

We've been hard at work getting SPUD ready to ship... it's time for an update! This is a long one, so we'll start with the summary:

Summary

  • Still targeting August 2017 release
  • Major milestone coming up: EVT complete by late June
  • MHL survey results posted
  • New cover samples give you a sneak peek at the black/titanium color options
  • Listen to Alex discuss Kickster on the "What Will You Creaate" podcast

Schedule

We get asked the “When will I get my SPUD?” question the most, so we’ll start there. We’re happy to report that we’re still estimating an August 2017 release, and we’ve been working closely with our manufacturer to stay on target. Of course, this comes with the standard disclaimer that this is still an estimate and subject to change as we go through the manufacturing process. If anything does impact our schedule moving forward, we will send out another update as soon as possible! 

Manufacturing

The SPUD manufacturing process follows the standard product development schedule. Our next major milestone is our manufacturing Engineering Validation Test (EVT), scheduled to complete by late June. The EVT is a critical step for any manufactured product, as it will be the first manufacturing build that uses production-ready materials and goes through the manufacturing process. This will allow us to analyze specification variations across multiple SPUD samples and verify device functionality. In short, the EVT confirms we can build them, they work as expected, and we haven’t missed any major design flaws across our numerous prototypes. We’ve been working up to this milestone for months now, and we are super excited that we’re only a few weeks away! 

Click the image below for a great in-depth explanation of the full product development process from www.bolt.io:

 
Image source: http://blog.bolt.io

Image source: http://blog.bolt.io

 

MHL Update

Last update we asked you to tell us if MHL support is important to you. Thank you everyone who responded to our survey! Since MHL is a technology that appears to be fading out (it was common in 4+ year old smartphones), we weren’t surprised to see the vast majority you did not need MHL support: 

 
 

MHL, or Mobile High-Definition Link, is a standard for a mobile audio/video interface commonly used to connect a mobile device to an HDMI input. MHL source devices connect to display devices either directly through MHL-enabled HDMI inputs, or through an MHL-to-HDMI adapter to standard HDMI inputs. While our original SPUD prototype did have an MHL-enabled HDMI input, changing to a standard HDMI input will allow us to support display scaling, which we believe (and our survey appears to confirm) is a much more important feature. 

For users who absolutely need MHL support, you can still connect an MHL device to SPUD, but you will need to connect through an MHL-to-HDMI adapter. Please let us know if you are one of these users by completing the survey (if you have already done so, then we have your info, no need to resubmit!). We’ll make sure that each and every one of our backers gets set up correctly! Not sure if your mobile device supports MHL? Check the list of mobile devices that support MHL on the MHL website. 

First Color Samples

Here’s a sneak peek at our two SPUD cover samples, and the first glimpse of the real-life titanium color. We’re still making some tweaks, but these samples give a great view of the overall SPUD look and feel with the Arovia logo on it. Another step closer to release!! 

 
 

Podcast Fame! 

Finally, Alex was a special guest on the “What Will You Creaate” podcast, “Kickstarting a Kickstarter” episode. It explores 3 different successful Kickstarter campaigns (including SPUD, of course) and gives a great overview of the thought/prep process behind these campaigns. Check it out here: 

 
http://creaate.co/will-creaate-3-kickstarting-kickstarter/

http://creaate.co/will-creaate-3-kickstarting-kickstarter/

 

We will continue to keep you updated, and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. Please share our website (http://arovia.io) to anyone you think might be interested in a pre-order discount! We are grateful for all your help in bringing SPUD to life and are very excited to get you yours! 

Sincerely, 

 
Justin

Justin

George

George

Alex

Alex

 

SPUD Manufacturing, MHL, and Schedule Update

Dear SPUD Kickstarter Family,

We are continually grateful for your support! Everyday we are getting closer to getting you your SPUD. We are going to continue to be as responsive and transparent as possible, and feel free to continue to message or comment if you have any feedback/questions.

Manufacturing Design Update (Feedback Requested!) 

Our manufacturing team has suggested a different HDMI receiver than the one we originally designed. The suggested component does not support MHL, however it does support display scaling (which the original receiver did not). For those of you who are unfamiliar, MHL is a standard to output an Android phone’s display to HDMI. The standard has largely been depreciated and has not been implemented on a major phone released in the last 4 years (see list of mobile devices that support MHL). How important is MHL support important to you? Let us know here!

Schedule Update

We are still on target for an August 2017 release! Keep in mind that for a new product category with completely new components like SPUD, it is very difficult to have a deterministic schedule, so it might still be earlier or later than this. We will, of course, continue to update all of you as we get closer to release!   

New Addition to the Team

We added a very experienced supply manager, Leonard Wong, to our team to help make sure the supply chain runs smoothly. Leonard has over 30 years of supply chain management experience beginning in the floppy disk industry, through single-use cameras, and, most recently, in LED lighting. He has extensive experience conducting business in China and Hong Kong. Leonard has been focused on SPUD’s soft goods (protective cover and shroud) since January, and his responsibilities will expand to managing the entire supply chain within the next 3 months.  

I was on CNBC! 

Check out my CNBC interview! I refuse to watch myself, but George and Justin assured me that it was okay to share :).

We are going to push to get you your SPUD as soon as possible, and we will continue to keep you updated. Don’t hesitate to share this campaign with anyone you think might be interested! We are grateful for all your help in bringing SPUD to life and are very excited to get you yours! 

-Thanks,  

 
Alex CEO, Arovia, Inc.

Alex CEO, Arovia, Inc.

 

SPUD Update: CES, NBC, and More!

Hello SPUD Supporters!

Since the end of our Kickstarter campaign, we’ve been hard at work finalizing our manufacturers and kicking off the production process. Wanted to give you a quick update on some of the highlights this past month: 

Manufacturing

  • Manufacturing has been our main focus, and it will continue to be until you get your SPUD! We have finalized our list of manufacturers, and we’re currently in the middle of the RFQ process. We’re very happy with how our supply chain is shaping up! Over the next few weeks, Alex and George will be flying out to the different manufacturing locations to finalize the agreements. Thanks to all of you out there that have helped us make these valuable manufacturing connections!

CES 2017

  • We were lucky enough to exhibit this year at CES. While we did spend a lot of the time meeting with suppliers and manufacturers, we also had a great time showing off the prototype to TONS of interested folks (including a few of you!). It was really great seeing the “WOW” expression on people’s faces when they saw SPUD pop-up for the first time :)
 
Alex nails one of his many on-the-spot interviews.

Alex nails one of his many on-the-spot interviews.

 

In the News

  • We’re super excited that NBC’s the Today Show named SPUD one of the top “Tech Trends” for 2017! Plus, it was awesome to see SPUD on national television! Click the picture below to see the entire segment: 
 
SPUD on NBC's the Today Show!

SPUD on NBC's the Today Show!

 

SPUD Pre-sales

As always, thank you for your support! Don’t hesitate to send us a message if you have any questions!

- Warm Regards,

 
George

George

Justin

Justin

Alex

Alex