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Vue: Your Everyday Smart Glasses

Created by Vue Smart Glasses

Vue is the world's first pair of smart glasses that are designed for everyday use. Offered in prescription, plano, and sunglasses. Pre-Order Below.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

October Update: Refining The Process
over 5 years ago – Thu, Nov 01, 2018 at 02:28:04 AM

Hey Backers! 

Welcome to another monthly update! Last time we left off we were covering production, the hurdles associated with this first batch, and the remaining work left to be done. This month has been more of the same work, so let’s dive into what we’ve been up to.

Production 

Production work continued throughout October for the first 1000 units. The process has been slower than we want it to be, and we’ve had to make additional updates to our fixtures on the assembly line to help facilitate the process. The training and practice sessions have been a great learning experience and the process has been improving each time. Due to the small dimensions of the product, some assembly steps can be tricky. Though the team has grown accustomed to assembling devices ourselves, it’s taken more time than we would have hoped to train the factory staff on those procedures. Moreover, scaling up such assembly processes has been tedious, though we are still making good progress.

Much of the work we’ll cover in this update will be similar to the last update, which is to be expected. For the most part, production prep has been going well, as much of the assembly process is straightforward, like leg assembly. 

The first steps in the process—assembling the legs
The first steps in the process—assembling the legs

Other steps have proven to be more difficult, such as gluing components together. One of the challenges of using an adhesive is ensuring that enough material is dispensed to properly fix the parts together while also ensuring that the adhesive doesn’t seep through the seams in the part. We have a quality standard defined to ensure that the glue is precisely dispensed to necessary locations to ensure a strong bond, while also not dripping onto any external parts of the device and drying there.

This process is controlled through automated equipment, a defined procedure, as well as quality inspections after the process is completed. Setting these specifications, training the staff, and assembling the components is all part of the validation process for the finished device. Because this particular step involves a lot of handling, it’s taken more time to get right.

Frames drying after the adhesive has been applied
Frames drying after the adhesive has been applied

During the assembly process, the device changes hands many times. One risk associated with such handling is an electrostatic discharge (ESD). We won’t go into a lot of technical detail about ESD, but it’s essentially a static shock. Those frustrating little shocks you get when you touch a metal object in dry weather might occur on an assembly line too, and those can actually break the circuitry in our electronics. You’ll notice in some of our footage and pictures that assembly operators have a wristband connected to a cable. This wristband connects the operator to an electrical ground, which prevents them from generating an ESD while handling the components, thus preventing any components from breaking. These are some of the controls that are put in place during assembly to help ensure quality.

An example of an ESD wristband
An example of an ESD wristband

We’ve also been working to make sure all our quality requirements are clearly established and articulated through our SOPs, and that all assembly staff are sufficiently trained. A lot of time this involves looking at reject units which don’t meet our standards, and comparing them directly with a unit that meets our standard. During our practice assembly runs, we’re constantly taking units off the line to evaluate them and use them as examples to bolster our various standards. 

Assessing the quality of a leg assembly
Looking over full assemblies

We’ve also been carefully documenting mistakes that we’ve found so we can clarify quality standards, or create new ones where needed. One such example was the touch pad’s adherence to the inside of the arms of the glasses. If the component wasn’t placed correctly, the edge of the panel would lift up, thus affecting the responsiveness of the touch panel.

Touch panel lifting from the wall of the arms
Touch panel lifting from the wall of the arms

We’ve created several feedback documents for our factory where we compile these issues and help train the staff against any new quality standards. Though often times the fixes that need to be implemented are straightforward, it can take a lot of time to properly document them and articulate them in a way that enables clear and thorough training.

A recent compilation of quality control images
A recent compilation of quality control images

Beyond the inspections and quality standards, we’ve also been working to create new or improve existing fixtures that assist the production process. Below, you will see a new fixture that helps to speed up the inspection of assembled units.

A demo of a new production fixture

After a unit is fully assembled, the glasses are placed over the device as seen in the video. The device then connects to the glasses over Bluetooth to ensure that connectivity is working. It then runs a series of checks to ensure the various sensors are functioning properly. After passing these QC checks, the device assigns a unique serial number to the glasses. This is one of several full-system tests that are performed that helps ensure functionality after assembly. This fixture now has a permanent home on the assembly line and enables quick testing of firmware on the devices.

Other than process improvements like the ones described above, the production line continues to hum along as it prepares for first units to ship out. The work we’ve put in thus far is starting to shape up. Though not quite as fast as we (and certainly all our backers) would have hoped, this will help ensure product stability in the long run, which will better prepare Vue and all of you awesome backers for our post-Kickstarter future together.

Timelines 

Unfortunately, given that training has gone slower than expected, we weren’t able to hit the October goal we set for ourselves. Judging by the pace of production work, we anticipate needing 1-2 additional practice runs before units are ready. Based on the current rate of assembly, the issues we’ve encountered, and the availability of our factory, our best estimate is that this will take a matter of weeks, thereby enabling us to get first units out the door in November. However, the challenge with setting timelines is that even small hiccups take many days to rework. Not only do we have to halt the assembly line in order to resolve issues, but we then have to reschedule training and practice runs around the factory’s existing schedule. We chose a quality factory that we trust, but this also means they have higher-volume clients and we are not always their first priority.

We’ll keep working diligently to get the units out as soon as possible. With this latest round of production work, we believe most major issues are now out of the way.

Updates 

We want to acknowledge that we see some of you asking for more frequent updates. We’ll work on seeing how feasible this is. More frequent updates would likely be shorter on content as they are focused on a smaller window of time. Updates take a lot of time to write, and when we are so focused on production, taking time out to post more frequent updates would mean deviating our schedules and focus.

We understand that it’s frustrating to have to wait an entire month before getting a comprehensive update, so we’ll look at the month of November to try to see if there is a way to post more frequently.

Support

Reach us at [email protected] with any questions, and remember the following before emailing: 

  • The quickest way for us to help is by reaching out to [email protected].
  • We are no longer accepting changes to frame styles, colors, or lens types.
  • We are still accepting last minute prescription changes at [email protected]
  • If you are emailing us to ask about your pledge, you must send the email using the email that you originally used to make the pledge. For example, we cannot provide account access if you originally used “[email protected]” but now you email us from “[email protected]”. 
  • If you were charged for upgrades, it may have shown up on your statement as our company name "Vigo" instead of "Vue Glasses". Please do not dispute this with your credit card company. Please email us to verify the charge. 

We receive hundreds more emails than normal immediately after posting updates, so we apologize if it takes longer than expected for us to get back to you! 

Until next time! 

With love, 

the Vue team

September Update: Factory Days
over 5 years ago – Mon, Oct 01, 2018 at 12:22:27 AM

Hey backers!

It’s been our busiest month of production work yet! Most of our day-to-day work has shifted substantially into supporting production. This involves everything from training assembly staff at our factories, modifying assembly instruction documents, and performing quality inspections on finished units. Let’s dive in!

Production Training

The first true production batch is always the most time-consuming. Since it is the first time our factory will be attempting to assemble thousands upon thousands of units, there is a lot of work that has to be done to ensure production is efficient and delivers quality units. We wanted to walk you through the work behind-the-scenes so backers have a better understanding of how their rewards are being created.

As we mentioned in previous updates, we’ve prepared instructions that will be used on the assembly line. Now that we've finalized those documents, we had a big meeting with our factory where we poured over the documents, ensuring they were clear, aligned with the factory’s practices, and accurately represented the product itself. This meeting took up an entire day at our factory where we collected feedback and made modifications to our procedures.

Production planning meeting
Production planning meeting

Throughout the development process, we’ve also engaged with our factory for smaller, practice assembly runs in order to get feedback on the design and assembly process. These runs are typically done with a few members of the assembly staff and without highly specialized equipment that would be required during mass production.

Now that we’re in the production phase, our assembly lines are fully set up with both assembly staff and production equipment. This means our factory has designed and built a custom assembly line and installed fixtures that are tailor-made for Vue.

Custom fixture made just for Vue, used to add glue to precise locations during assembly

After inspecting the assembly line to make sure everything was in place—including our assembly instructions, fixtures, and components—we performed practice assembly runs using the complete production environment.

Many stations on the line have a receiving area where batches of components are delivered and documented. Toward the beginning of the line, the PCBs are delivered to a receiving station. 

A batch of 36 PCBs delivered to the assembly area
A batch of 36 PCBs delivered to the assembly area

Here, the production staff scan the barcodes affixed to the boards, thereby recording their use in production. This triggers the printing of a new barcode which travels with the product through the entire production process. Barcodes are often used for traceability purposes, and often contain important information including date of manufacture, batch number, and more.

Scanning PCBs and printing their production barcodes
Printed barcodes from a PCB batch
Printed barcodes from a PCB batch

Once a barcode is printed, it is placed into a tray that will travel with the unique set of frames for the entire assembly process. Assembly workers put various components along with any barcodes into the tray and pass it down the assembly line to various assembly stations. 

Assembly staff preparing a tray after printing barcodes
Assembly staff preparing a tray after printing barcodes
Assembly tray that travels with each pair
Assembly tray that travels with each pair

On an assembly line, there are typically various stations where either a set of steps or a single step are performed. These steps are often broken up in such a way that makes the overall process faster and more efficient than having them be performed at a single station.

Classic frames waiting at an assembly station
Classic frames waiting at an assembly station
Various legs at a staging area
Various legs at a staging area

The bulk of our work recently has been performed in conjunction with our factory to smooth out all of the production processes. While designing a product, it is impossible to have a complete grasp on the most efficient way to perform assembly. Often times, what seems like a good idea initially can be problematic for a factory, and often times their facilities may have better or alternative methods for any given assembly step.

These practice production runs help to align our plans with what is most efficient at the factory. One of the most enjoyable parts is working with the staff and collaborating to come up with creative solutions when things aren't as efficient or easy to perform as they should be. 

Talking through a particular assembly step with the factory staff
Talking through a particular assembly step with the factory staff
Yibin (left) watching as the assembly staff work on leg assembly
Yibin (left) watching as the assembly staff work on leg assembly

As the product moves farther down the production line, everything starts to come together. One of the most rewarding parts about production is seeing all the design details working as expected and in such a way that let's our factory easily assemble the final product. 

Front frame assembly
Front frame assembly
A Classic pair near the final stages of assembly
A Classic pair near the final stages of assembly

After the product is fully assembled, and a variety of functional, electrical, and quality inspections are performed, the product finally reaches the packaging area. Here, the glasses are packaged up along with their accessories and instruction booklets, affixed with a packaging label, and then prepared for handoff to our courier for shipment!

Packaging area of the assembly line
Packaging area of the assembly line

Up next, we'll be performing more practice runs like this until the units coming off the line meet our quality standards. After that—shipping! We'll cover a bit more below. 

App & Packaging

We've haven't shared a lot of details regarding the packaging or the app, and we know folks are eager to see. We've been working on a brand refresh that we'll be pushing live as we begin shipping, and our backers will be the first to see and experience it. The first place you'll notice this is in the app and in the packaging. Things like fonts, colors, and icons have been meticulously updated, and together they form a new visual identity for Vue. 

As far as a status update goes, the packaging is done, the manuals are printed, and they're waiting for finished units. The apps are in their final stages of fixing bugs, and they'll be published to their respective app stores soon. 

Timelines

We haven't finished the first 1000 units, but we'll get there soon. We know that it feels like Zeno's Dichotomy Paradox, where we seem to get infinitely close but never quite there, and we apologize for that. At this stage, we're working with our factory on process improvements to the assembly line so that we can ensure that every product coming off the line meets our quality standards. We appreciate all our backers being supportive and hanging in there, and we empathize with backers that are frustrated that their rewards are taking so long to get to them. 

We get a lot of questions about why we can't set an exact date, and why we always mention shipping "sometime" within a given period. The honest answer is because the remaining work is dynamic. For example, we've finished a practice assembly run and identified areas that need improvement. Now we're revising our assembly instructions with the goal of re-training staff next week. We'll then perform another practice run, assess the quality and improvements, and repeat the process. In a perfect world, everything will go smoothly on the next run, and we'll realize we're ready to go to full production. But manufacturing is never this simple, especially on the first run, so we anticipate a few iterations. 

That being said, we have a great factory who is highly collaborative and constructive, and who is working closely with us to keep as tight a schedule as possible. We're aiming to run practice runs nearly every week until we reach our quality targets, then it's full steam ahead. We’re targeting to begin shipping the first 1000 units in October. As mentioned previously, this does not mean we'll only ship 1000 per month—we will ramp our manufacturing volume considerably thereafter. 

Reward Updates 

While production continues, we remind everyone to contact [email protected] with any updates to your rewards, including to your address or prescription. Our lens partner has already begun making lenses, so not everyone will be able to update prescriptions anymore. If you believe there is any chance you are changing your prescription soon, you need to plan ahead and contact us. We can’t guarantee changes can be made while production ramps up.

Support 

Reach us at [email protected] with any questions, and remember the following before emailing: 

  • Please email us instead of messaging us on Kickstarter. Kickstarter's messaging system is not well-suited for support, and we check it less frequently than [email protected]
  • We are no longer accepting changes to frame styles, frame colors, or lens types. 
  • We are still accepting last minute prescription changes at [email protected].
  • If you are emailing us to ask about your pledge, you must send the email using the email that you originally used to make the pledge. For example, we cannot assist you if you originally used “[email protected]” but now you email us from “[email protected]”. 

We receive hundreds more emails than normal immediately after posting updates, so we apologize if it takes longer than expected for us to get back to you! 

Until next time! 

With love, 

the Vue team

August Update: Reliability Testing
almost 6 years ago – Sat, Sep 01, 2018 at 01:40:49 AM

Hey Backers! 

Welcome to Vue’s monthly update! It’s been another packed month as we work to support production and move toward getting everyone’s rewards shipped! Let’s dive in!

FCC & CE

As we’ve mentioned in previous updates, FCC and CE testing are both required prior to shipping, and are important certifications that ensure your glasses function properly without interfering with devices around you. We’ve previously conducted preliminary testing on our prototypes in order to make sure there was nothing off with the design of our electronics. We then provided an FCC and CE testing facility with production units of Vue and are pleased to announce that we’ve passed all requirements! This is an important milestone for shipping, as customs agencies will check for these certifications as units cross the border.

Pair of Trendy frames during recent FCC tests
Pair of Trendy frames during recent FCC tests

Now that we’ve passed these formal tests, we’ve been issued our FCC ID and can affix the CE mark to our product. These are points that we’ve been discussing for the entirety of the project, and now we can cross them off the official list of milestones!

Packaging

Packaging production has been going smoothly! We’re making the packaging for all units concurrently, instead of doing them in batches, as the process is more straightforward. We also wanted to take a brief moment to talk about the tiny details that go into the packaging, specifically as it relates to logistics.

Corner guards in the packaging
Corner guards in the packaging

Once your Vue is placed in its product packaging and is ready for shipment, it will be packed up in a shipping box and handed off to the courier. From there, the journey can cause some wear and tear on the packaging. In order to maintain packaging integrity, we’ve consulted with our factory to add features like corner guards in the shipping box that help to cushion the product from falls or sharp blows during travel.

Preventing damage during shipment not only protects the product, but also better ensures that backers have a great unboxing experience. We worked hard on some of the details and we hope you’ll enjoy them!

Lenses

Lens production has been going smoothly and they are looking great! The lenses are packaged individually according to a unique identifier, and are further segmented by frame choice and lens type.

Finished lenses ready for assembly (all identifying info removed)
Finished lenses ready for assembly (all identifying info removed)

The team has already been using these lenses for a while now, and we are quite pleased with the quality. You might recall that all the lenses come with anti-glare coating—you can see how that looks below.

Anti-glare lens coating

We’ll keep you posted on how things continue to progress!

Electronics 

Electronics production went a little slower than we would have liked, but it was mainly so that we could ensure the scale-up from the previous 100 units to the current 1000 units went smoothly. 

Post-SMT boards coming off the PCB production line
Post-SMT boards coming off the PCB production line

They’ve now finished production, have undergone SMT to place their components, and are having the firmware loaded as we type! These units will then be shipped to the assembly factory where they’ll wait for the frames so they can be assembled into the final product. 

Fatigue Tests

Another bump in the road that slowed us down a bit in August had to do with our reliability tests. As many of you will recall from previous updates, we run tests on samples of our components to ensure quality. Many of these tests are either 100% inspection rates (meaning that every single component is checked for quality), whereas other tests use random sampling, where a small number of pieces are taken out of a larger batch for testing. We had a batch of frames fail our fatigue tests, which caused a slight hiccup in production. Rather than risk shipping out our first batch with frames that have failed fatigue tests, we immediately went into troubleshooting mode with our factories to determine the cause.

One of the biggest challenges with Vue has been to make the glasses sufficiently small. Often times, the smaller or thinner the parts, the weaker they are. We’ve had to carefully design the product with these constraints in mind. It would have been easy to simply double the thickness of the glasses to strengthen the product, but we know backers don’t want to wear something that large. Moreover, the entire purpose and vision of Vue is to show that simple, lightweight smart glasses are possible. We believe this is an important standard to set in the market, which is why we’ve tried so hard to keep the glasses as thin as possible. 

Additionally, we aren’t able to use material common in standard eyewear, as it is often too flexible and could pose a risk to the electronics by allowing excessive bending. Instead, we’ve had to use material that is both rigid enough to hold the electronics, yet flexible enough to conform to the shape of a user's head. This has been an added challenge for the project.

With these constraints in mind, we used a variety of tools to design Vue, including simulations. With software, we are able to simulate the stress the product feels during certain actions, such as when a user takes the product on and off.

Stress diagram of the nose bridge on the frames
Stress diagram of the nose bridge on the frames

The legend on the right indicates the amount of stress felt by the frames. We won’t go into too much technical detail here, but in general the higher the color on the color scale, the more stressed the material is from that particular movement. In the image above, you can see that the area of the frame that feels the most stress is the nose bridge.

Though the stress is highest there, the simulation also shows that under normal usage, it’s theoretically not enough to damage the material. We confirmed that this was the case in part by conducting bend tests.

Example of proper bend behavior on frames

These tests measure the force/pressure required to bend the frames. The expected behavior is that the frames can bend through an extreme angle (one that would not happen during normal wear) without cracking. This is demonstrated in the above video. However, our recent batch was not meeting this specification.

Example of a brittle failure

In the above video, you can see that the material cracks, thereby failing the test. Often times these types of issues are really difficult to solve. Why do some units crack, and not others? Can this be solved by changing materials, or does it require changing the mold? Is this happening with just the first units out of the mold, or is it happening to all of them? These are some of the questions we’ve worked through in conjunction with our factories and material suppliers.

After our investigation, we ended up making small adjustments to the mold as well as evaluating two new materials with better material properties. We worked with various material suppliers to have new materials sent to our facilities. In order to ensure quality, the material is shipped in vacuum-sealed bags.

Two 5kg bags of polymer material for injection molding. Vue for reference.
Two 5kg bags of polymer material for injection molding. Vue for reference.

After running additional fatigue tests, we settled on one of the new materials. The material is more flexible and less prone to fatigue failures.

Bend test: Material A = red, Material B = green
Bend test: Material A = red, Material B = green

In the graph above, the red lines (Material A) represent samples of our previous material. The near-vertical drop in one of the curves represents a failed unit. The green lines (Material B) represent the new material. These units passed the stress test, our fatigue test, and in general exhibit superior material properties.

Though the failure we saw in the recent batch seemed rare, the fact that it could occur at all was worrying. Glasses go through a lot of bending during use, and due to their small dimensions require the right material properties. The new material is better suited for this application, and is actually 3x more expensive. Though this means more costs have to be allocated to the manufacturing process, it’s a smart decision in the long run to ensure product quality.

We've spent recent weeks putting the frames through a suite of fatigue tests, including custom ones that we've built in-house. 

GIF of a hinge stress fixture
GIF of a hinge stress fixture

The fixtures help us to test everything from hinge fatigue, to nose bridge fatigue, to bend strength. They are pretty powerful tools for developing and setting specifications, and many of them will help us monitor quality moving forward. 

Designing, programming, and running a frame flex test

We're now wrapping up our testing on the new material, procuring larger quantities for production, and will begin injection molding shortly.

Timelines 

After wrapping up a few more fatigue tests, we’ll begin injection molding. It will only take 1-2 days to produce the first 1000 units with the molds, after which they’ll go straight to the assembly factory where the full assembly process will begin. This means we’ve missed our late August target date for this first batch, shifting our timeline into September. We know each new issue is frustrating, but problems like these are essential to solve so that your frames don’t crack during normal use.

We also wanted to clarify that our batch shipping will not just be 1000 per month. Each subsequent batch will be larger. The goal is for batches to increase to a point where shipping will be completed in about two months.

Support 

Reach us at [email protected] with any questions, and remember the following before emailing: 

  • We are no longer accepting changes to frame styles, colors, or lens types. The deadline, as outlined in the previous update, has passed. 
  • We are still accepting last minute prescription changes at [email protected].
  • The quickest way for us to help is by reaching out to [email protected]. If you are emailing us to ask about your pledge, you must send the email using the email that you originally used to make the pledge. For example, we cannot provide account access if you originally used “[email protected]” but now you email us from “[email protected]”. 
  • If you were charged for upgrades, it may have shown up on your statement as our company name "Vigo" instead of "Vue Glasses". Please do not dispute this with your credit card company. Please email us to verify the charge. 

We receive hundreds more emails than normal immediately after posting updates, so we apologize if it takes longer than expected for us to get back to you! 

Until next time! 

With love, 

the Vue team

July Update: Off To The Races!
almost 6 years ago – Wed, Jul 25, 2018 at 11:06:45 PM

Hey backers! 

Another month, another update! This update contains important guidelines for backers to be aware of as we approach shipment, so after we get through the technical portion, please be sure to read the other sections! It’s been an exciting month—let’s dive in!

Production

As mentioned in the previous update, our plan has been to work with our factories on pre-production, boost our yield rate, and then move onto our first official production batch of 1000 units. We’re excited to say—production on the first 1000 units is under way! To say we are excited to be entering this phase is an understatement. It’s been a lot of work, and we’ve certainly encountered our fair share of obstacles, but we’re excited to finally be creating the first mass-produced units of Vue!

Thanks to everyone for your continued support and patience—we couldn’t have done it without you! For logistics, we’ll be reaching out independently to the first 1000 backers to make sure their addresses and prescriptions are up to date. We've also provided general guidelines below for all backers as we work on batch production. The speed at which we can produce these 1000 units will help us project timelines for the next few batches, which will each be increasing in volume beyond 1000.

We wish we could send every unit out at the same time, but doing production in batches helps to ensure that mistakes can be caught and mitigated along the way. Doing them all at once risks having a mistake carrying through to tens of thousands of units. We appreciate everyone hanging in there!

Preparing for production has involved a lot of time training staff at our factories, writing assembly instructions, and collaborating with floor managers to determine how best to use automation to facilitate efficient and accurate assembly. There is also a considerable amount of logistics that must occur within a factory during production. For example, the factory must receive our shipment of PCBAs (printed circuit board assemblies, which are PCBs that have undergone SMT), deliver them to the correct assembly line, record various pieces of information including lot numbers to ensure traceability, and more. 

PCBAs waiting in trays to be assembled into frames
PCBAs waiting in trays to be assembled into frames

From there, the PCBAs and various other components are assembled in a very specific order. Below is a look at the assembly line where we’ve been training factory staff.

Front frames moving down the assembly line
Front frames moving down the assembly line

Working with operators on the assembly line has been a great way to see where things can go wrong during production. Here at Vue, we know the product inside and out, so it’s easy for us to assemble the perfect pair.

Timelapse of assembly in our office

But what’s more important than our ability to assemble glasses is our factory’s ability to do the same. When someone is new to the product, subtle differences in how they put pieces together might have big impacts on product quality. To mitigate this, we’ve created a series of assembly instructions to help make the process clear.

Working on assembly instructions for the factory
Working on assembly instructions for the factory

Assembly instructions are often quite detailed, and include pictures to help clarify exactly how the product should look as it moves down the assembly line. Everything from specific angles, colors, or shapes are included to help factory operators differentiate between a good and bad product.

Assembled Vue legs making their way down the assembly line. From top to bottom: Carbon Fiber, Kickstarter Exclusive, and Ink Black.
Assembled Vue legs making their way down the assembly line. From top to bottom: Carbon Fiber, Kickstarter Exclusive, and Ink Black.

Many steps within modern-day manufacturing processes are still done by hand. However, factories are increasingly able to use automation and robotics to help facilitate assembly. For example, machines are used to dispense glue on various components.

Glue machine on the assembly line

Unique fixtures had to be created for our product which match the exact shape of the part to be glued. The part is then dropped into the fixture, and the machine traces the exact path on the product where the glue needs to go.

Another gluing fixture is also used for the front frames
Another gluing fixture is also used for the front frames

This is just one example of how automation is used, but there are automated steps in every aspect of production, from assembly to packaging. Long term, we’ll always be looking for ways to automate processes or reduce complexity to help aid manufacturing.

In addition to the frames, the charging case has gone through extensive testing as well, and all systems are looking great! Production has already been completed on the cables, and work on the case itself is being run in parallel with the frames.

GIF of plugging in the USB-C
GIF of plugging in the USB-C

Below is a quick video of what it looks like to use the case. As you all know, it’s designed to work with either frame style of Classic or Trendy, and is light and portable enough to take with you on the go if you so choose!

Video walkthrough of charging case

From here on out, we’ll be spending a lot of time with our factories as we work on these first 1000 units. Our biggest priority is ensuring quality across the entire batch so that we can continue to increase the volume thereafter and get everyone's Vue in their hands quickly! We’re so excited to see these things come off the assembly line. Stay tuned! 

Next Steps 

We’ll reach out to the first 1000 backers independently over email to lock down final pledge and prescription information. For now, everyone should follow the guidelines below:

  • July 30th, 2018 11:59 PM PST: last chance to make any changes to frame style, color, or lens type. You must email [email protected] to articulate this change, as backers can’t make this change themselves. Use vue.backerkit.com to review your pledge information.
  • August 3rd, 2018 11:59 PM PST: any upgrades that have not been paid for will be charged using the information entered in BackerKit. You can check if you have any outstanding upgrades by visiting vue.backerkit.com. Please use this as an opportunity to update your credit card if it is outdated.

We’ll still accept prescription updates on a rolling basis, so if you know you need to update your prescription in the near future, please do either of the following: 

  • If you already have new prescription values, email [email protected] and let us know so we can provide you with an update link. 
  • If you do not have new prescription values but you plan to get new ones before we ship, email [email protected] and ask us to put your lenses on hold. Once you get new values, just email us again and we’ll send you a link to update it, which will bump your lenses back into the manufacturing queue. 

Please read the above instructions carefully and remember them when you email us! Doing so will help ensure that we can get to everyone's support request in a timely manner! 

Timelines 

We estimate that these first 1000 units will go out toward the end of August. Once we start getting these first units off the manufacturing line, and after we've smoothed out any kinks that may arise in the production and assembly process, we'll be able to have a better estimate of how soon we can finish assembling and shipping the remaining units. It's also likely that batches will overlap, meaning production for the next batch of PCBs will start during assembly for the first, which will help rein in the delivery time for the remaining units. 

Support

Reach us at [email protected] with any questions, and remember the following before emailing: 

  • The quickest way for us to help is by reaching out to [email protected]
  • To change your shipping address go to vue.backerkit.com and enter the email address used with your pledge. 
  • If you are emailing us to ask about your pledge, you must send the email using the email that you originally used to make the pledge. For example, we cannot provide account access if you originally used “[email protected]” but now you email us from “[email protected]”. 
  • If you were charged for upgrades, it may have shown up on your statement as our company name "Vigo" instead of "Vue Glasses". Please do not dispute this with your credit card company. Please email us to verify the charge. 

We receive hundreds more emails than normal immediately after posting updates, so we apologize if it takes longer than expected for us to get back to you! 

Until next time! 

With love, 

the Vue team

June Update: Upping The (Manufacturing) Volume
almost 6 years ago – Sun, Jul 01, 2018 at 01:12:37 AM

Hey backers!

It’s been a busy and exciting month! Last time we left off, we were performing another pre-production run of 100 units and were working diligently with our partners to solve problems and boost our electronics yield rate toward 90%. As we march toward shipping, the work certainly does not get any less busy! Let’s dive in!

Electronics

For our latest batch of boards, we ended up producing a total of 104 boards. We had 2 that failed, meaning our effective yield rate was 98%! We are super excited to hit this milestone. It took us a while to get here, but we’re happy to see the process stabilize to a point where we can reliably produce such small and complex electronics. 

As we mentioned before, the work here required some redesign work on the PCB itself, as well as working with our manufacturer to make sure proper procedures were followed when performing SMT. For example, we mentioned in the previous update that the boards were not properly aligned in the SMT machines. To resolve this, we used a more robust fixture, which you can see in the image below. 

PCBs without components mounted in the fixture
PCBs without components mounted in the fixture

The boards are mounted into the fixture which in turn helps keep the boards from moving during the SMT process. The fixture also properly aligns the boards with the X and Y axis of the machine. The previous fixtures were not as robust, meaning the boards would move as the machine operated, resulting in misaligned components. 

Gaps in the fixture where components are placed
Gaps in the fixture where components are placed

The fixture also covers everything except the areas that require components, as seen in the above photo. This was just one of many steps taken to help boost the reliability of our process. The PCB for the glasses case also benefited from these measures, and the latest batch had a stable yield rate of 100%. 

Latest version of the charging PCB
Latest version of the charging PCB

While we managed to achieve a 98% yield rate for this batch of 104 boards, it may not remain the same as we move onto higher quantities. When manufacturing in larger volumes, new problems may arise that require unique solutions. We’ll just need to continue monitoring while we ramp up to production so that we can continue to maintain our yield rate.

Charging Accessories

While the charging case electronics and tools prepare for production, we are happy to announce that we have already started production for the charging cables! This is only a small part of the project, but nevertheless it is exciting to see these begin an actual mass production run! 

A glimpse at the branding on the USB cables
A glimpse at the branding on the USB cables

We decided to include some branding on the cables too. Our design thesis for Vue is making connected eyewear that is comfortable, fashionable, and something you can enjoy every day. That approach doesn’t stop at the glasses, and we’ve tried to extend that philosophy to everything that we do within the product’s ecosystem. 

A USB cable being placed in our packaging
A USB cable being placed in our packaging

As with all other parts of the product, we wanted to give backers a brief glimpse into the manufacturing process. Below you will see the equipment used to wind the USB cables so that they can be placed into packaging. 

Winding USB-C cables

We’ll soon be done with mass production for these components. They’ll be stored and ready for when the glasses roll off the assembly line! 

Certifications

There are many regulatory requirements that we need to meet before being able to ship out Vue to our backers. We are using units from the batch of 104 boards for testing related to these requirements. Below is a list of what we’re pursuing: 

  • FCC: This test governs the electromagnetic radiation from a product and certifies that it is under applicable limits.  
  • CE: This mark indicates conformity with health, safety, and environmental protection standards for products sold within the European Economic Area (EEA).  
  • RoHS: This is often referred to as the "lead-free directive" but the requirement also restricts the use of other substances that can cause health and environmental damage.  
  • WEEE: A European directive aimed at reducing electronic waste and improving rates of recycle.  
  • FDA: Registering our facilities and paying the annual fee. 

If you look at your own devices, you’ll likely see some of these logos (along with others) somewhere on them! Our list is not exhaustive, and there will be other tests we will perform. When you receive your pair of Vue, you’ll notice symbols, serial numbers, and more on the packaging which helps indicate which tests we’ve performed and passed. 

Pledges & Charges 

As we approach our first true production batch, we will need to close off all changes to your pledges so that we can create our master list that will be provided to our manufacturers. This means that you will no longer be able to change your style, color, or lens type. 

We’ll be posting a series of updates soon that will lay out exact deadlines, but for now, we encourage anyone who wants to make a change to their pledge to contact us at [email protected] to get this done ASAP. 

Many backers have also upgraded their pledges which required more money than they originally were charged for. We will be processing these payments soon, and again, we will post another update before doing so. 

Please read carefully: To check whether or not you might owe additional money, use vue.backerkit.com to look up your pledge. If you email us and ask us to look this up for you, it will clog our support system while our staff answers many more emails than normal. This will significantly reduce our ability to respond to everyone in a timely manner. 

So remember, please use vue.backerkit.com to look this up on your own. If you have any questions after doing so, then please send us an email. Upgrade charges only occur for people who added new items or who asked us to upgrade them to more expensive lenses. If you simply changed your frame style or frame color, there will be no charges. For the vast majority of our backers, there will be no new charges.

Bone Conduction

We’ve also been finishing our inspections for our bone conduction transducers. We’ve modified our transducers in ways that helps reduce leakage and preserve audio clarity. After modifying them, we’ve needed to perform final inspections before they can be sent to our suppliers. To date, we’ve inspected 12,000 transducers and identified just 11 defects. The defective units have been removed, and we’ll be providing this batch to our manufacturing partners for production. 

Inspecting bone conduction transducers
Inspecting bone conduction transducers

Keep in mind that just because components pass inspections before production doesn’t mean they won’t have problems after. Mass manufacturing is still prone to errors, and we expect that even after all these inspections, some of our units won’t work after assembly. As we find errors, we’ll correct them and work to prevent similar things from occurring in the future.

Timelines

Now that we’ve hit our goal yield rate, we will proceed to our next batch. As mentioned in the previous update, our next target is finishing 1000 units, ideally by July. The goal is to ship these next units to backers! A lot of things will need to align in order to hit this goal. Here is a brief outline of other work that needs to be completed prior to shipping:

  • Perform certification tests for FCC, CE, RoHS, and WEEE.  
  • Perform reliability tests including drop and temperature cycling.  
  • Perform assembly trials with assembly factory to improve assembly rate.  

We’ll do our best to communicate updates and timelines as we work through everything. Stay tuned!

Instagram 

Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram! We post content to our story throughout the week, giving everyone a behind-the-scenes look at some of our daily activities. It’s a great way to stay connected in between our big, monthly progress updates.

To see our stories, click our logo on the top left of our profile (check out Instagram’s tutorials here).

Head over to Instagram and follow us at @vue_glasses
Head over to Instagram and follow us at @vue_glasses

Support 

Reach us at [email protected] with any questions, and remember the following before emailing: 

  • The quickest way for us to help is by reaching out to [email protected]
  • To change your shipping address go to vue.backerkit.com and enter the email address used with your pledge. 
  • If you are emailing us to ask about your pledge, you must send the email using the email that you originally used to make the pledge. For example, we cannot provide account access if you originally used “[email protected]” but you now email us from “[email protected]”. 
  • If you were charged for upgrades, it may have shown up on your statement as our company name "Vigo" instead of "Vue Glasses". Please do not dispute this with your credit card company. Please email us to verify the charge. 

We receive hundreds more emails than normal immediately after posting updates, so we apologize if it takes longer than expected for us to get back to you! 

Until next time! 

 With love, 

 the Vue team