We continue to work around the clock at Vantage to get you your Snaps and continue to battle new challenges. Our contract manufacturer (“CM”) has had one SMT line down (the tool that puts the components on the circuit board of your Snap), which has delayed the completion of some of our boards. Our CM tells us that all boards will be complete on May 30th at the latest, which pushes out the first shipments to June 9th. We are building up subassemblies as we wait for the final assembled circuit boards, so we can minimize lost time in our overall production schedule from this delay.
Our software team is making ongoing improvements on all of the details needed to make flying Snap an awesome experience. Here is some of our most recent progress:
- We’re steadily improving the reliability of our video and control data stream and the speed of reconnect on signal drops. We’re currently adding a number of fancy tricks to combine data packets, measure and adapt to latency issues in real time, and eek every last drop of performance we can out of our data link.
- We’ve added exponential control for both the app controls and the bluetooth two stick controller (we’re overdue on sharing more on both of these!). Exponential control makes it possible to have very fine grained control for subtle slow movements without limiting top end speed.
- Gimbal pitch control wasn’t as smooth as we wanted. We changed design of the communication link to send rotation rates instead of target angles and added exponential control to the app interface so now Snap does buttery smooth gimbal pitch angle adjustments.
- The Return To Home now varies behavior to match the circumstance, so Snap returns home slowly at lower altitude from close distances and more quickly at higher altitude when further away. We find this strikes a better balance of avoiding distant obstacles and keeping the experience mellow when Snap is close.
- We’re working on improving the image sharpness in 1080p mode, which currently is not quite to spec.
- Snap occasionally didn’t stay in place perfectly during both hand and ground takeoffs. We’ve found the bug and fixed it.
We’re keeping busy steadily improving every aspect of Snap as we wait for these final components to be assembled.
We know Snap has required way more patience than from all of you than you hoped (it has for us as well!). And we aren’t the only ones in the world offering flying cameras that take good video. Given that we’re asking you to wait just a bit longer, this seems like a good time to remind you what makes Snap special in the world:
- Safety: Imagine if your SLR camera said, “DANGER: DO NOT USE NEAR PEOPLE!” Think about how that would limit your photo albums. There is not a single high performance flying camera available today that can be used responsibly near people. This massively limits the range of places that you can fly your open bladed models, the type of shots you can get, and the amount that you will end up flying. Snap is the only high performance flying camera in the world designed to make you and everyone around feel at ease and safe.
- Ease of Use: We’ve designed Snap to be the easiest to use high performance flying camera in the world. Snap’s interface enables you to set up shots based on high level goals and let software do the work instead of relying primarily on complex two stick controllers (although you can do that with Snap too!). Snap has more options for tracking shots and easier interfaces for beautiful pre-planned shots than anything else available. These automated shots are only really possible with a safe flying camera, as letting software take control is massively irresponsible in most settings with drones that don’t consider safety.
- Extensibility: Snap is the only flying camera that allows you to extend capabilities over time. We are developing rotor sets specifically designed for amazing tracking shots, silent operation, 1-hour flight times, and a range of other super-powers that let you extend what you can do with your Snap.
- Portability: Our friends in China are giving us a good run for our money here, but Snap remains the only high performance flying camera that you can take and use anywhere. The ability to take Snap with us all the time and use it as inspiration strikes continues to change how we see the world and light our creative fire.
Of course, what excites us most, is seeing what you will do with these capabilities. And that is very very close for both you and us. If you are in the first batch of orders, you will be receiving an email from us this week to confirm your address and other important details. We’ll keep you in the loop as we work through these final steps.
Thank you as always for sticking with us through this journey.
– Tobin, Joe, and the rest of the team at Vantage