Samples Are In
Updated: Jun 30, 2020
Dear Backers & Supporters,
There's been a lot going on since we left Shenzhen in August and I wanted to give you some quick updates.
Manufacturing: We interviewed and received quotes from several manufacturers throughout South-East Asia: China, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan and South Korea. We then conducted a couple factory tours of the most promising manufacturers in China and Indonesia. Biggest thing we were looking for was access to "The Boss". This being our first production of BruxRelief we wanted to make sure it would be done right and that if there were any problems / things that needed to change we'd have access to a decision maker to make sure potential problems could be fixed fast.
Access like this is hard to find. As a startup we're making a relatively small order of devices and most factories are not organized to work with startups. If they do, generally their pricing is really high to offset the potential risks in working with startups. So, it took a lot of work but we found a great factory in China to work with and we have a direct line to the owner which is a great thing to have as we move forward.
We now have our tooling completed (steel molds fabricated) for the injection molding process of plastics and we just received samples of the plastics to inspect their function and durability. We'll be performing several tests over the next few weeks to make sure everything is perfect before we commit to a full manufacturing run.
The headbands (the soft-goods portion of our device / the fabric) are being manufactured in Indonesia and those are nearly complete. We are just waiting for the plastics to be produced in China and once those are produced and shipped the manufacturer here will affix them to the headband material.
Hardware: Back in August we discovered a problem with the device disconnecting randomly during use. At first we believed this was a problem in the firmware (instruction codes that run the device). We looked through every line of code, researched, but we were stumped to find the problem. We tried to recreate the problem in tested but couldn't find a pattern in why it was disconnecting. Finally we found that while the device it sending data to the app, when the battery was about halfway drained it would disconnect. The small change in voltage that occurs during transmission was just enough to cause the device to reset itself. Once we had this figured out, the solution was incredibly simple and Trevor whipped up some new circuit boards for testing... long story short, after much testing, the problem is solved and no more disconnection issues.
Software: While we've been working on manufacturing Andrei, Trevor and I have also been testing the devices along with some volunteers and dentists. We've made several small changes to the app to make different features more intuitive and easier to use. Additionally, we've made a rather big move that has given us more ability to finely tune processing of the sensor signal. Before we were processing much of the signal on the firmware of the device (code that runs the device) and now we've moved all data collected from the sensor to be processed through the app. We made this change to give us greater insight into the data the road and to make changes to the functionality easier in the future.
Packaging: I'll admit, I'm excited to finally be talking about packaging. What will BruxRelief look like when it arrives. It's such a small detail in comparison to the seemingly monumental tasks / problems we've already had to perform / solve, but what it means is so powerful... "finally, we're now producing BruxRelief that will go in this box!!!"
Timeline: Finding the right manufacturer took much more time than I expected. Although time was not wasted and we made many improvements to the device's ability, functionality, ease-of-use since my last update, still, I'm frustrated to inform you that we are delayed a few weeks in meeting our production goal.
I believed last announcement that we would most likely be able to deliver in November but now I know that won't be possible. All I can say is that I'm sorry, this is my first time manufacturing hardware, I've learned a lot, learning from others as fast as I can, working as hard as I can and I'm making decisions as methodically as I can. I want to bring you a great device, so I spent more time in selecting a manufacturer than I anticipated, this is the right move I believe, but I did delay things and that I apologize for.
I believe we will have all the plastics by the end of November and we will start assembly right away. For roughly 300 units it will take around 2/3 for weeks to assemble and ship BruxRelief to our backers. It's still possible to that we could get this out to you by end of the year, but more than likely it will be January 2020. I do not expect it will be longer than that and if there is any change to plans faster or slower I will let you know.
Thank you all for your support. Seeing the packaging truly filled me with such excitement I can not express. I am so proud of my team and so thankful for how supportive every one of our backers has been. Your patience and encouragement have meant the world to me, us. Thank you.