Hello <<First Name>>,
Production lenses require more development
Earlier in the year we indicated that we would start production of Shima by LAFORGE in May after we went through some pre-production trials. The first shipments would trickle out at the end of May and early June with the bulk of the orders going out in August. A few weeks ago we discovered a couple of design errors in our lens casting process that will delay the start of production to sometime in the 4th quarter of this year. No one is more frustrated by this than me.
Fortunately we do have a fix for this and we have shifted the bulk of the work to Orange County, CA rather than managing it in Korea. The first series of new lenses from this process will be cast in approximately two weeks. It will take us an additional 3 months after that, to get this new process ready for production.
The gist of the problem we encountered is that the process we were using to make the molds simply wasn’t accurate or precise enough to go into production. I want to be clear and state that this delay, while incredibly frustrating, is a good thing, because it is a major problem that we caught and certainly one you won’t be experiencing when you receive the device. Had we missed this error, you would have found the display blurry and some of the pixels would have been cut off. We are now using a combination of diamond turned molds and electroformed molds to create the Phantom Display lenses, which ensures a higher level of precision, accuracy and repeatability.
Concurrently, we will continue work on the other parts of the website and software, which means that from a software perspective, the alpha will be a bit less buggy on your first use. If you want to vent or talk to me about anything, feel free to email me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LAFORGE Technical Center
Laforge is currently in process to raise a very large sum of money (I legally can’t state the amount or anticipated closing date due to concerns that it may be conceived as a ‘public offering’). To date, we have raised around $2 Million from investors and have an additional $400K R&D development commitment from one of the companies that will be manufacturing our lenses overseas. The $2 Million has yielded us an electronics hardware platform, a frame manufacturing platform, a one of a kind eCommerce site, dozens of pending patent applications, and hundreds of prototype lenses.
Please note that we do not include pre-orders in the $2 Million raised figure.
Our Series-A will be many times larger than amount of funds we have raised to date and will go towards us establishing a proper headquarters and technical center in Los Angeles. We want to be able to quickly respond to any software or production issues, as well as be able to more quickly create prototypes of some radically ambitious devices we are going to be doing in the future.
LAFORGE Videos are ready
A couple of weeks ago we finished the final edits on the 3 LAFORGE Optical videos. They took a little bit longer to finish as some of the on-screen graphics were hard to read on mobile platforms. We will give you all a preview of these videos very soon, to ensure that all of you are among the first to view them.
Clarification on Prescription confirmation
We have received numerous emails from you surrounding prescription confirmations. Prescription confirmation, is simply us confirming that your prescription is legible and can be produced. The strength of your prescription is a factor of wait time. If the prescription for your right eye is less than -5 or greater than +3 you may have to wait a little longer. Also, polishing your prescription on to the back of the lens is one of the last steps of production. In short, your prescriptions being unconfirmed does not mean that something is wrong, it merely means we haven’t processed it. If something is wrong we will let you know.
Hiring this Summer and Fall
If you are very passionate about changing the future of communication and eyewear, we may be interested in bringing you on-board. We will be increasing our full time and part time American staff from 6 to about 23. This will take our global headcount to about 51. We will be hiring some admins, industrial designers, software developers, a data scientist and wide variety of engineers. In the meantime, please do not flood our email boxes with resumés we will let you know how to apply once the time gets closer.
Live Q&A Sessions
We have also purchased some equipment that will enable us to do Live Q&A sessions on YouTube. This was supposed to start last month but the issue with lenses took precedence. We will do an unaired practice show next week to see what minor changes we need to pursue. We do not have a name for this show, so if you come up with a good name and we use it, we will give you a free online eye exam. The show will be very simple and its format will evolve over time. We will be taking questions over YouTube and Twitter. This should be fun.
The long and short of this email is that with exception to one component, things are going to plan and we do believe creating the technical center will go a long way into accelerating our plans.
Thanks for your continued patience and support!
CEO & Head of Design