Recent Developments in XTND
about 1 year ago
– Tue, Oct 03, 2017 at 07:15:52 PM
We hope you’ve all had time to take a look at the BackerKit survey over the last week. Besides very few exceptions, everyone seems to be navigating through BackerKit without any difficulty and though we’re still waiting for a few answers, most of you already managed to complete it successfully.
In the meantime, let us bring you up to speed on what we’ve been up to beside the surveys and how the product development is going, along with a few behind the scenes pictures of our workshop.
As we already mentioned a couple of times in the comments and the previous update, we had a few issues with the bank due to a failure of their system. Basically, this means that though we had received the money from the pledges, we couldn’t do anything with it. It put a damper on a lot of things, but everything is well now and coming along.
Since our last update, we’ve spent a significant amount of time dealing with all the key suppliers and manufacturers. Unfortunately, we had to reconsider working with some of them as they did not meet our requirements in terms of quality in mass production, but we are already in the process of replacing them. This primarily had to do with the manufacturer responsible for making our motors.
Another major task we’ve been tackling is engineering and software specification, which means describing functionality of the whole XTND Board to the last detail and with pinpoint accuracy. Though the whole process is demanding and takes quite some time to complete, it is absolutely essential in order to make sure the product will work reliably and be cost effective to manufacture.
The XTND Board is divided into several large parts that are developed independently and consist of further parts and components. First, there is hardware, such as the board, trucks, wheels or lights. We’re drawing up a document we call Master Specification in which we describe all the dimensions, requirements, material structures or production methods.
The second very significant part is electronics, which also includes the sensors we use to measure and analyze all necessary data. Right now we’re drawing diagrams of the entire system in order to make sure everything is where it is supposed to be. We’re also considering how big the PCBs should be, what the requirements are for the processor so that it can process the data, what size and type of batteries we’ll use, and what conditions, temperatures and humidity we’ll work with.
The third part, as we like to call it internally “the brain”, is the software. Structured into firmware responsible for controlling of all the components, sensors data processors to record, preprocess, package and forward the data and our secret sauce - the “AI link”. Currently the software and electronics teams are busy to setup development environments that will mimic the board - the test beds. We are going to use them for development and debugging of all features. In one of our next updates we will share a few more details on the “AI link”.
At the same time, this results in the final bill of materials (BOM) of all the components with their detailed specification and requirements.
Naturally, design is also inherently subject to this scrutiny. Right now, we’re working on improving the remote’s design. We’ll share the result with you once it’s done so that you can give us your thoughts on how you like it.
Marketing and Sales
We’re devoting a lot of time to finalizing the XTND brand, which includes defining our long-term vision, objectives, and values that constitute the core of our brand. We’re also preparing a series of photos and videos that we’ll share with you through social media.
Moreover, in a couple of days, we’re going to make the XTND Board available to pre-order again so everyone who missed the campaign will get a chance to reserve a board, too. The pre-orders will be managed through BackerKit similarly to the Kickstarter pledges and the link for the pre-orders can be found at the top of our campaign page or on our website.
Joining forces with other companies that share the same vision is a great opportunity to make sure our customers have access to everything they need to make their riding experience even more enjoyable, safe and worthwhile. We’ve been working on establishing partnerships with top brands that we love and whose products could be great accessories to our board. We’ve received many offers for cooperation, but we take good care to choose only those that are in line with our vision and offer top quality products. For the moment, it’s helmets and backpacks that we’re considering. We’ll update you on its development.
Events and Glamor of the Tech World
We took part in a few worldwide prestigious events. The first was Future Port Prague, which is the largest international visionary and futuristic conference in Central Europe. Mirek was there as one of the guest speakers and experts on AI, robotics, IoT, and new materials to talk about the future of urban mobility. He also shared his experience with life in Silicon Valley and running a Kickstarter campaign.
In September, we also participated in TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco. Though we didn’t present our product there this time, we used this opportunity to network with a great number of important people, partners, and investors that could play an important part in the future of XTND.
Anyway, that’s it for now, but we’ll be in touch again soon with updates on our progress so stay tuned! And please don’t forget to complete your surveys before the deadline, which is October 15. If there is anything we can help you with, don’t hesitate to get in touch!
- Your XTND team