As we are getting close to the expected amount of pre-order to start a production, we had to come up with a real plan to go from a prototype to a real end product.
With the prototypes, we validated that the technology we are using is working as we expected to. But now we have to build a full-proof solution. This is the end to the breadboard era and let’s go PCB and real production !
Here are the 4 parts we need to develop :
First we need to find which micro computer we want to use. The system has been tested with Raspberry Pi 2 and it works well, but if we keep using a Raspberry Pi 2 we can sell it under 200$, and our goal is to make it as inexpensive as possible !
Soon enough I might receive a C.H.I.P computer so we can test that, but it is currently on hold because of Canada Post Lock Out….
We will try other micro computer, if you happen to know about a good alternative, let us know !
Once we have the gateway, we have to fit it in a nice case. It take to design the CAD, run some iterations with the 3D printer and then we are in business, well depending the method we choose for production !
That’s the big part ! The Gateway contains all the intelligence of VR Tracker. A first version had been developed in Python, but now we want something robust and we will up our game to C++. We are currently defining the program architecture with Alex 🙂
For the camera we have been working with the PixyCam, which is fully Open Source, but we would also like to try the new OpenMV. Sadly, it’s out of order. But we have all the files required to make it ourselves and that’s what we are going to try before giving a final call on the camera electronic.
We also have to add the Wifi chip to the camera board.
Of course the camera need a case too !
We will have to update the camera’s software to make it even better for use with VR Tracker, and there is also a piece of software to write for the Wifi chips (90% done).
The Tag have only been on breadboard so far… So we have the circuit schematic in our heads but we have to put it on a board !
We would like to improve the design of the Tag, make it smaller and sexier. We don’t know yet if the first dev packs will ship with 3D printed Tag or not. That would be much easier for us. I guess it will depend on the release date and number of preorder.
The software is very light for the Tag, and almost entirely written. We will just bring some minor updates.
Packaging & Distribution
We often forget about it when starting a project, but this is a big deal. We have to design a package so everything fit nicely in the box, we have to write an instruction manual for installation… And we have to find way to ship it to our customers. Easier said than done ! That will be the last part we will work on before we can ship 🙂