Beta and shipping update

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Beta and shipping update

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Greetings Vantage Community –

We wanted to update everyone on our progress towards getting Snap into your hands. Vantage has been manufacturing and shipping beta units since our last update, albeit less quickly than we would like. We will be continuing to expand our beta test and ramp up production over the course of at least the next 3 weeks before we will begin production shipments. We know many of you were hoping to get your Snap by Christmas and we’re sorry to make you wait.

Here’s a summary of some of the latest challenges we’ve been working through:

  • Camera firmware stability: There is an intermittent bug that causes our camera firmware to crash due to a kernel panic. This held up initial beta shipments. We now have a patch that addresses the primary issue, although it isn’t 100% solved.
  • Manufacturing yield: Scaling up production on a product this complex has been challenging. We are currently working
    through yield issues that have been delaying production ramp. Our extensive use of high performance adhesives and large number of complex PCBAs have been especially challenging. We are moving faster every day and expect to continue to accelerate here.
  • Fixing issues found by beta customers: Beta testing is exposing issues, especially around ease of use. We hate to make any of our customers feel anything less than brilliantly smart, so we’re working to dial in the experience to fix these issues.
  • FCC Approval: We had a few unintentional emissions that were slightly above allowable limits for FCC approval (this is quite common). This required a few additional electronics iterations to ensure that Snap is 100% legit.

And here’s some exciting progress:

  • Our Beta testers are happy!: While we certainly have more bugs to address, the basics are working well enough to satisfy our first users. Here’s a quote from one of our beta testers, “This thing is so f***ing cool that it’s making me almost giddy. Nice work.”
  • Hand launch experience: We’ve been continuing to refine the experience of launching Snap from your hand and it’s getting solid. We’ve got some exciting features we’ll be announcing soon that extend this functionality for a number of cool automated shots you can get without ever touching your phone.
  • PCBA IQC Functional Testers: We acknowledge these are more exciting to us than they may be to you. These testers do automated testing and flashing of our electronic circuits, which helps identify yield issues further up stream and has been massively accelerating our production rates, which we all can get excited about.
  • Over the air firmware update: Snap has 7 microprocessors, all running custom firmware, which makes updating code tricky. We just completed the functionality enabling this to be done from the app, making it way easier to keep the code up to date.
  • Android app progress: The Android app is coming together well and we expect it to be ready when we ship.

We know we’ve been pushing your patience in delivery here, but we’re getting really really close! There is nothing in the world like Snap and we know this extra effort we’ve had to put in will be worth it. While video capture and edit have not been our primary focus for the last month, a we’ve included a few recent videos below to whet your appetite.

From everyone at Vantage, we wish you a wonderful holidays and a great New Years.

Until soon,

Tobin and the Vantage Team

  • Eddiebo

    Reply

    Thanks a TON for a fantastic update! Keep at it!

  • Thor

    Reply

    Thanks very much for the update! Great to see a little bit of video, too. I am getting more excited all the time.

  • Tibor

    Reply

    Thanks for the detailed update. Merry Christmas to the Vantage team!

    Vr

    Tibor

  • Nick

    Reply

    Thanks for the long awaited update, shame for the secodn delay. But its always great news having a more concise expected due date. Keep it up

    Nick

  • Jim

    Reply

    Thanks for the update. Much appreciated.

  • Brent

    Reply

    Really appreciate the update and everything sounds like it’s coming together nicely! There are quite a few people who go through your social media pages, especially Facebook, so you should think about providing the update on there as well. While I understand everything is changing rapidly, your customers deserve an update sooner this time if you think there might be a delay. Keep up the great work and happy holidays to everyone at Vantage Robotics!

  • chuck peck

    Reply

    Big appreciation for the update and vids guys, i dew get to say i told ya so (on my est of mid Jan, however . . . new guess is in order: New guess will be that I’ll have my snap in my hands in thyme to take Valentines videos of my doggies…yep, Feb 14th is my new projection, thanks again guys, keep up the great work, hope you hired a good software person, and have a very Merry Christmas! ho ho ho ?

  • Gizmo2001

    Reply

    Tobin,
    I really appreciate the honest update,it’s refreshing to hear this instead of pretending everything is OK.
    I’m sure most of us understand these issues even though we would Love to have one under our tree this morning.

    Thanks for the teaser vidoes & hopefully you can sort out these little bugs & you can get into production in the New Year, so reading between the lines we are looking at Feb/March next year for pre-orders.
    Any chance of some more videos of the Snap itself flying, aswell as from the onbaord camera?.

    Team VR,
    Have a Great break & come back refreshed & working hard for us all!!.
    Many Thanks

    • Tobin Fisher Post author

      Reply

      Thanks. We’re working on a “how to” section of the website now that will include many videos of Snap in flight.

  • Chris

    Reply

    Thanks for the update VR.

    In regards to your new Orbit video: Between the times 0:55 and 1:05 Snap’s shadow can be seen; however, there is an extremely bright halo around it. What has caused this? I have never seen anything like it and the only explaination I can come up with is the video editor has tried to remove the shadow in post but gone a bit overboard.

    Also the colours (white balance?) Kept drastically changing thoughout the video. Is this something you will be addressing in beta?

    • Tobin Fisher Post author

      Reply

      Good eye Chris! The halo is a compression artifact. We are absolutely still working on image quality with regards to both details you point out.

  • Philip hartog

    Reply

    Thanks for the update. Scaling up s always more time consuming than the worst projections.
    But I prefer a stable beta or RC over a shaky alpha !
    Enjoy the holidays and keep it happening !

    PJH

  • Volker

    Reply

    Hi Tobin,

    thnaks for your information. I agree to do a great job often it needs time.
    Nevertheless I´m looking forward for Snap and the Android app.
    And agrre with Chris, brilliant pictures a the raeson for Snap.

    Wish you and your team a good an healthy start in 2017.
    Volker

  • Mehmet Erbudak

    Reply

    I teach physics in Zurich. Some of my students know that I am anxious to receive a SNAP as a New-Year’s present. Few days before Christmas, I have indeed received a huge parcel, yet not a heavy one, with a post mark from Geneva stating ‘model airplane’ as its content. I was sure my SNAP has arrived!! I already had talked my wife into lending me her iPhone until Android software will be available.
    It really took me about 10 minutes to remove several shock-absorbing plastics to reveal a big cardboard package. Inside was a model plastic airplane: Airbus Lufthansa A380-800 “Hamburg” scaled by 1:200. Now I have innumerable plastic parts in the box, and I can only guess who is responsible for this joke.
    This event made me even happier to read your last update. I thank you for it.
    Wish all of you a happy New Year.

  • Al

    Reply

    Thanks for the update guys. You’re making be believe that after all the delays to fix issues, this will be the super outstanding product that you have promised. I’m passing on the urge to buy one the competitive drones because the Snap has potentially so much more to offer. I sincerely trust that I’ll not be disappointed. I hope to be able to hold my head up and say, “Yeah, I had to wait a long time, but wow, it was certainly worth it.”

  • Paresh Desai

    Reply

    Looks awesome! Can’t wait to get mine! Thank you for sharing.

  • Kenny Yip

    Reply

    Thank you for the update! Yes, thought we could all have it for Xmas, alas, good things come to those who wait….anyway, would need to re-direct the shipping for my order, how do I go about it?
    I would need to re-address the delivery issue as looks like Malaysian government has banned drones flying.
    I would not take my chances, prefer to re-route the shipping instead.
    Please advice.

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Thanks Kenny. When you ordered Snap, we sent you a confirmation email. In that email, there is a transaction number. If you want to change your shipping address, please email us at contact@vantagerobotics.com, and include that transaction number with your new address.

  • Mark Bruto da Costa

    Reply

    Thanks for the update. I am still eagerly awaiting! My shipping address will be changing soon. How do I make sure you have my new address?

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Thanks Mark. When you ordered Snap, we sent you a confirmation email. In that email, there is a transaction number. If you want to change your shipping address, please email us at contact@vantagerobotics.com, and include that transaction number with your new address.

  • Buck Williamson

    Reply

    Love it! Looking forward to seeing more of the world from these views!

  • Dave

    Reply

    Can you please give recommendations on a DSM controller to purchase? I’d like to have one on hand when my Snap arrives. I know very little about them.

    • James Squires

      Reply

      In the last update, we mentioned that we are moving the DSM receiver outside the body, and that it will be an added accessory in the future. We recommend that pilots try flying Snap with their phone before buying more hardware, especially if they don’t have the DSM receiver yet. That being said, we have been testing with the Spektrum DX7i, and it has been working well.

  • Ben

    Reply

    Just to address Kenny Yip issue regarding ‘Malaysian’ government ‘banning’ drone; I am a Malaysian too and I used to order drones from Banggood, Xheli, Helipal and so on and I always received them in good condition and safely without any problems.

  • Gizmo2001

    Reply

    Tobin,
    Thanks for the reply and that is indeed great news that shortly you will be adding a “How To” section with video’s to your website as that says to me that you are not to far off production!!.
    Obviously I don’t mean this or next week etc but it is a good sign.
    Many Thanks

  • 777

    Reply

    When can we expect a IOS app demo?

  • 777

    Reply

    Thanks for your reply, I actually meant when can we see a showcase of the app. A couple of posts back you guys said that you’re gonna showcase the app in the next blogpost. But that has been a while now..

  • Lindsay

    Reply

    I’ve had a chance to play with a friend’s Inspire One. It’s a pretty impressive bit of kit, but I’m already seeing its limitations when compared to what Snap promises us.
    One of the more pressing things I’ve noticed with the Inspire One is its position holding. While it can counteract wind quite well, it does tend to “wander” when just left to hover. I’m guessing that this is an artefact of using GPS? Can we expect snap to do the same?

    Also, what are the chances of seeing a clip showing an actual launch, short flight and retrieval?

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Snap and Inspire both use GPS for position hold, and will have comparable stability in that field. There are many factors that can contribute to GPS based position control. If you are in an open space on a clear day, GPS position hold is rock solid. However, if you are in a canyon on a super cloudy day, it might wander more.

      We will be coming out with a bunch of ‘how to’ videos in the coming weeks. They will showcase the actual launch and retrieval.

  • Mehmet Erbudak

    Reply

    Hi everybody! I hope you had a good start into the New Year!
    On one of the published pictures of Snap (https://d3379u644ryb56.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/17105306/Snapclose.jpg) there is a wire hanging at the stern of Snap. Is it a kind of sensor?
    Best Regards

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Wow, we all just cringed after seeing this comment. That is the wifi antenna, but from a much older prototype. Our current antenna looks and works MUCH better.

  • Don

    Reply

    Will you guys be at CES?

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Vantage will not have a booth, but our co-founders will be there. Tobin will be around this evening. Then, on Saturday, he and Joe will be hanging around in the afternoon after presenting at the Extreme Tech Challenge. If you would like to meet with the guys, or see Snap in person, please let us know and we will try to coordinate a meetup (or check out the XTC presentation).

  • Tibor

    Reply

    Don,
    I just reviewed the entire exhibitor list. Vantage is not on it.
    V/r
    Tibor

  • Don

    Reply

    Tibor,
    Thanks. I just looked to. Nothing.

    Don

  • George

    Reply

    Hello James, just curious about VR’s absence from the biggest tech extravaganza on earth about to start in Las Vegas. From a marketing standpoint, would this not be a bonanza for Snap to showcase itself before the actual debut which we hope is just around the corner?

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Hi George,

      We were at CES last year, and our co-founders will be presenting at the Extreme Tech Challenge this Saturday. But, for the most part, we are in a crucial phase of development, and are really just focusing on filling our pre-sale orders. We want to make our existing customers happy first and foremost.

  • Gizmo2001

    Reply

    I realise that many will be disappointed that they won’t be able to visit VR at CES, but personally I’m happier that they are working their proverbial “arses off” in the office fixing any minor bugs that may have been found in the Beta phase & ramping up for full production.
    Fingers crossed!!.

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Tobin and Joe will be at CES. If you want to meet either of them, or get a first look at Snap, please drop us a line. We will do what we can to connect.

  • Tibor

    Reply

    Gizmo,
    I’m with you – I’m taking the stance that they have more important things to do than spend money to be visible at CES. This is day three though without even an answer to a concern on Facebook or their website, I got spoiled by reading all of James’ replies to peoples questions. So, I hope all is well at the VR homefront!

    V/r

    Tibor

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Sorry Tibor! A broken water heater at my house stole some of my attention this week, but I won’t leave you again 🙂

  • Paul

    Reply

    There’s a new post on Facebook about what’s happening with CES – it says Joe and Tobin are there for the Extreme Tech Challenge but the company isn’t exhibiting. There’s also a new video clip demonstrating how SNAP is launched and the twist to shut-down feature. The video clip is also on Instagram.

  • Don

    Reply

    Too bad they aren’t here. There is a lot of competition.

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Its true that there are a lot of new, cool drones out there. Nonetheless, we are confident that Snap will bring something unique and awesome to the market.

  • Tibor

    Reply

    Congratulations to the Vantage team for making to the final 3 companies at the Extreme Tech Challenge at CES!!! I hope the guys enjoy presenting at Necker Island on the 2nd of Feb! Sure would be huge W in the column to be shipping pre-orders by then! I know, you guys are working hard at “getting us flying” 😉

    V/r

    Tibor

  • Greg

    Reply

    James – Would love to get a date update if at all possible. Any chance of that happening, or is it too touch-and-go at this point?

  • Gizmo2001

    Reply

    Team VR.
    Well Done on getting into the top 3!!.
    Also very interesting news that you’ve been speaking to the FAA about a possible waiver for the Snap, this would be Amazing news if this happens!!!

  • Kevin Wickens

    Reply

    I’d love to hear more about the discussions surrounding the possible FAA waiver. This could have major ramifications in other jurisdictions as the FAA regulations are some of the most lenient of all countries in the world. If the FAA were to give a possible waiver or create a different set of regulations based on fully enclosed propeller quad copters, then people in other countries would have more of a leg to stand on in their fight for flying rights. Very interesting indeed.

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Thanks Kevin. Still a bit too preliminary to announce, but we will make sure to share as soon as we have something concrete here.

  • Ryan

    Reply

    I was just curious if you’ve given any units out to reviewers recently. It would be nice to read and independent review, especially now that the Mavic is out. It’s getting really tough to defend my decision to stick with Snap for so long as I watch all my friends (and competitors) test out their new drones!

    • James Squires

      Reply

      No. We are still in beta, and our testers have signed an NDA saying they will not publicly review Snap yet. We will get some units in the hands of reviewers as soon as we start filling pre-sale units.

  • Joe

    Reply

    I’m hoping this doesn’t happen to us: https://www.engadget.com/2017/01/12/lily-drone-is-dead-despite-34-million-in-pre-orders/ This worries me and I’m sure it is in the back of the mind of many others who have also pre-ordered the Snap drone.

    Based on Lily’s blog, it looks like they were also around the same stage of production as you were back in October: “we’re sprinting through the final stages of beta before heading into mass production.”

    I’m not sure what competitive intelligence you have on Lily but it would be nice to know how you differ from their model to increase our confidence that your product will go to market and be delivered.

    • James Squires

      Reply

      We’re sorry to hear about this. Its a sad day for the company, their customers, and the industry as a whole. While it might be easy to compare Vantage to Lily (Bay Area drone companies in pre-sale, cool product yet fighting some delays) from the outside, we are very different companies.

      Lily looked like a really cool product. But from our understanding, much of the difficulty there came from technical feasibility issues. Our technical hurdles have all been addressed. The only thing we are dealing with is logistical issues regarding mass production. While these issues are a pain, and can cause delays, they are much different than a fundamental design issue.

      You can also look to our recent success at the Extreme Tech Challenge as a metric for our viability. It shows that outsiders, who know the industry well, have taken a close look at Snap, and are excited with what they see. This year’s XTC had 1000+ applicants, and 30 were selected. From there, the top 10 were invited to present at CES just last weekend. We made the top three, and will be heading to Necker Island to present to Sir Richard Branson in the finals next month! We are quite excited and proud about this, and hope that is can instill some confidence in you.

  • Altan

    Reply

    So is it a fair assumption that y’all will have a full finalized version of snap to showcase for the finals of the XTC challenge Feb 2 ?

    • James Squires

      Reply

      That is a pretty complex question to answer Altan. The short answer is yes, we will have a really nice unit ready to show off.

      But my guess is that you are really interested in what that means for you. In terms of hardware, we have had a finalized version for some time now. The issues there all come around scaling for mass production. In terms of software, that is also really solid right now, but is never fully finalized. We will never stop improving our software.

  • Marcus Hawksley

    Reply

    For most who have been following your progress this announcement comes as no surprise. What is surprising is that you seem to be giving the impression that you will be shipping in the next week. I mentioned honesty, transparency and realism in my last response on your blog and you replied saying that you are trying your best.
    I am still a keen supporter of your product (and your progress in XTC seems to justify hanging around waiting), however I am fed up with the over optimism of your posts (as an optimist I dislike being driven to pessimism). So far you are on the timetable that I and chuck have both suggested (based on the information you have provided!) so I find it hard to believe that you are unwittingly misleading us. Please take the time to post a further update with the following:
    – A realistic schedule for shipping (including the order in which they will be shipped)
    – A more detailed idea of the DSM modules release as well as the other extensions we have been led to expect? (these were to start rolling out last autumn when I pre-ordered)
    – A schedule for the preview of the phone app (as promised)
    – More information on the development schedule of a Windows 10(tablet and mobile) app (as promised)
    – The many videos you have promised us that have yet to materialise
    – A comprehensive list of all the features that will be included with snap and more importantly all the features that have been talked about but will not be shipping with snap (and a timetable for their future release as well)

    I do genuinely want the best for you with finishing this product and I hope you understand that our expectations are high after all your hype! Waiting a year for a product from pre-order is not unusual, however if snap does not meet its expectations then it will be lost in what is already a very different market from September 2015 and us faithfuls will be justifiably pissed off…

    From a cold and snowy Finland (oh the pictures I could be taking!) I wish you the best with pulling this off and hope your coming year will be full of pleasant surprises for you all as well as us, your patient and hopeful customers.

    Marcus

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment Marcus. This we are really passionate about this project, and love hearing from similarly passionate customers. I will try to address all your questions here:

      -“you seem to be giving the impression that you will be shipping in the next week”
      Where or when did we give you the impression that we are shipping next week? We have tried to make it perfectly clear that we are still in beta. We have also mentioned more than once that units will be shipped sequentially based on when you ordered, so later orders will come after earlier ones.

      -“I am fed up with the over optimism of your posts ”
      Startups are by nature optimistic. For several years, we have invested an incredible amount of our lives into this project, and are just about there. We are very excited and optimistic about the product we have developed. But, as we have mentioned before, there are still some logistical issues we must tackle before you are flying. Please don’t confuse our excitement as some sort of misleading suggestion that you will see Snap in your mailbox tomorrow.

      -Shipping schedule
      It is impossible to give a timetable that is more precise than what we have already said. When it comes to software, finding and fixing bugs involves unknown variables that do not allow for a linear timetable. When it comes to hardware, we are working with many sources to get all of the required components. When dealing with hundreds of companies all around the world, we can be subjected to unforeseen changes in timetables that are out of our control. We have a lot of people working around the clock to solve all of these problems, and we are getting a lot done. At the same time, we want to respect our suppliers and partners here.

      -DSM and future accessories
      Right now, we are focusing on one thing, filling pre-sale orders. We recently decided that it was best to move the DSM module outside of the main body, so we announced that change right away. We have built early prototypes of all our accessories, and are confident that they will all work out great. However, we will not start development for mass production until our current objective is finished. There is no point in spending energy on an accessory to a device that is not yet in your hands.

      -Mobile App preview
      We get a lot of requests for shipping updates, and have invested most of our energy addressing those questions. This has pushed back other blog updates that we want to post, specifically the phone app preview update. This will come though. Sorry for the delay there and thanks for your patience.

      -Windows 10 development
      Where did we promise anything regarding Windows 10 app development? Right now, we are focusing on iOS and Android. We do plan to build out software for other devices in the future, but are not actively building that right now.

      -More video posts
      With regards to more video content, its similar to what we have mentioned before. Our main priority is filling pre-sale units. We love shooting and editing and posting video, and constantly talk about cool shots we should go take. But, at the end of the day, we think everyone would prefer us to spend more time in the office right now.

      -List of all features
      The ‘product details’ page of our website should have most of the features that Snap will have. But software is ever improving.

      We are really excited about Snap, and can’t wait to get it in your hands. However, if Snap doesn’t meet your expectations, we will have a return policy for any unhappy customers.

      Again, please keep the comments coming. We love the feedback! Have a great weekend.

  • Chris

    Reply

    James, a few months back you mentioned hiring a videographer. Based on the job title I assume his role is in the company is shooting editing and posting. Is he still working for VR?

  • Marcus Hawksley

    Reply

    Thankyou for your thorough reply and I appreciate the time raken to respond to each point in my comment. I am genuinely supportive of your concept and product as well as waiting with great frustration for delivery 😉

    To answer points raised in your response:

    “Where or when did we give you the impression that we are shipping next week?” Your statement on the 24th Dec saying ” We will be continuing to expand our beta test and ramp up production over the course of at least the next 3 weeks before we will begin production shipments” does suggest that in the best of circumstances you aim to prepare for shipping this week.

    As to optimism above realism, I am still concerned that your schedules seem to be based more on optimistic thinking than providing a genuine timescale. Surely you guys have realised by now that you need to be adding at least 25% to allow for new developments.
    Similarly, as in any process, all the different bodies involved take time to prepare and respond to developments, I get that a little hiccup for a single provider can result in a whole set of issues at your end and naming names does nothing to help. However you should have got used to this by now. Hence the minimum of 25% leeway in projecting schedules

    As for DSM and other extras, I appreciate that we were informed quickly of a small modification, however, I really want to hear a more solid time frame for the modularity aspect of snap to become a reality as currently there is little information about your overall goals other than shipping. After all, part of the investment in snap is the modularity.

    Thank you for understanding our desire to see a version of the mobile app, still looking forward to seeing it. As for windows mobile, you have responded in an earlier blog that you plan on developing a windows app at some point (no more, no less). Seeing as windows 10 is the latest OS and that tablets, pcs and mobiles can be incorporated into a single app, it is not unreasonable to ask for more info. As one of the few people clutching on to windows mobile, I would really like to know if you actually plan on supporting it, or should I just give up on the idea of seeing an app I want in the app store ?…

    As for the videos, again you have spoken about bringing a professional to produce some video, yet there has been no more information. I am not wanting to be on the attack, however you must understand that we have put up a lot of money and have yet to see a lot of video. Your own replies on earlier blogs promise a lot of video yet all we have is the odd bit here and there. I get the non disclosure agreement on beta as negative comments of a beta product could create an unreasonable adverse effect on the finished product sales, yet we are still waiting for more video as you have promised. What happed to the person you hired?

    Finally, I asked for a clear update on current specs as there has been reference to several features by vantage robotics that will not be available with initial release. From several comments in the blog there seems to be a certain level of confusion, (from my understanding, NOT exactly your fault) This regards not only dsm but tracking options (visual as well as gps), add on availability and image quality. I understand that you are all focusing on this one goal at the moment. However, a key aspect of snap is the whole range of addons. It is concerning that there is not one of your people have found the time to write a status update on these products development in a year.

    I wouldn’t put the effort into commenting on something I don’t care about. Snap is a drone that was truly unique, now is promoted as cutting edge, I am simply wondering what its place in the market will be when it actually reaches us and I am concerned wether the addons are going to materialise before snap is out of date. With current progress you surely have to understand these doubts are not unfounded.

    Thanks again for your response, and I wish you a good weekend too.

    Marcus

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Hi Marcus,

      Lots to talk about again so lets dive in:

      -“Where or when did we give you the impression that we are shipping next week?.”
      In the Dec. 24th post, we said that what we did know was that we would not be shipping for at least three weeks. People were asking if they would get something by xmas or by specific dates for their vacations in early January, so we wanted to make clear what we did know. We were not trying to imply anything beyond that. Sorry for any confusion there.

      -Over optimism.
      We certainly add buffer for stuff like this in our models, but there are many parts and many lead times and many potential places for delay. Please know that we invest a lot of time in planning, scheduling, and estimating our timetables. We hope for the best, but do prepare for setbacks in our estimates.

      -Future Accessories
      We understand that these mods are a big part of what makes Snap awesome, and will make sure to send out more information as we get it. As soon as pre-sale orders are filled, these will be our top goal. They also require much less than Snap in terms of development, so should come out pretty quick. However, until we have these pre-sale orders filled, we won’t have any solid dates for you.

      -Mobile app
      We have committed to getting iOS and Android apps ready right away. They are both looking really good, and we are excited to show them off soon. Thanks for your patience here. We have not committed to a Windows app at launch, but clearly see the benefit of building that out in the future. I would not expect it any time soon, but would not rule anything out either.

      -Video
      We have contracted a professional videographer, but he is not a full time employee. However, even with Snap in the hands of a professional videographer, producing lots of footage takes bandwidth away from development. We have really been jamming on development right now, and admit that the footage being posted has slowed for the time being. We hold firm that getting you a unit faster is the most important issue at this point, but do want to ramp up in posting footage as much as we can.

      -Current specs
      I see. You want to know exactly what will be ready at launch vs what will come in future updates. The problem is that software is much more dynamic. Software is never fully finished, and we will be pushing updates forever. There are just too many variables to give you a comprehensive list of exactly what will be ready at what time. There is a hierarchy of importance when it comes to features to work on, and finding new bugs means that the priorities of software features on this list is always changing. Further, fixing one bug might break a different feature, which will then need to be repaired. Finally, as our shipping estimates change, so does the amount of time we have to develop the software. If you have questions on specific features, feel free to ask. We can try to shed some light on how it is looking. But this also helps us know what is most important to our customers, so we love getting feedback.

      Thanks for continuing the dialogue here.
      -James

  • Eddiebo

    Reply

    Marcus,

    From a cold and snowy Colorado, fantastic post! Very well said!

    Thank you.

  • Paul E.

    Reply

    I am in concurrence with Marcus,

    “Where or when did we give you the impression that we are shipping next week?” Your statement on the 24th Dec saying ” We will be continuing to expand our beta test and ramp up production over the course of at least the next 3 weeks before we will begin production shipments” does suggest that in the best of circumstances you aim to prepare for shipping this week.

    This is concrete. Please confirm that the units start shipping this week.

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Sorry for any confusion here, but this is not at all concrete. We have been clear that we do not have a precise timetable yet. Our post said “at least the next 3 weeks”, and your understanding confirms that this is only under “the best of circumstances”. We will make sure to announce when we do have something more concrete.

  • chuck peck

    Reply

    tks marcus for putting down what a lot of us are no doubt thinking…wish i cud say i waz holding up well, but i keep hearing “soon” mentioned over an over as the days turn into weeks, no vids to keep us tantillized…just another “we’re going great guns and will have something your snap in your hands soon” im having that terrible thought of my prediction of Valentines Day showing up and im now im starting to feel like that might not be “soon” either. S i g h …..welp…it had best knock my socks off if “soon” ever shows up…there—-ive said a whole lot of stuff and have not really said anything at all, but i do feel a tad better for saying it “sooner” rather than later (place wry grin here)….-and, hit post

    • James Squires

      Reply

      We hear you Chuck. We live and breath every aspect of this product–constantly. Trust us, no one struggles with delays as much as we do, and no one wants to see you flying as much as us. If you need to vent, please do. But you do not need to doubt that Snap is coming, and it will be awesome. The closer we get, the harder it is to wait. “Soon” is not a word you want to hear again, so I won’t say it right now. But, when you think about the 3+ years spent on developing this vs. the matter weeks left until we fill orders, it Snap doesn’t seem as far away.

  • Growing Impatient

    Reply

    James, Tobin, Joe van Niekirk and the Vantage Team; as you can tell from some of the recent post that folks are getting anxious but concerned of the viability of getting SNAP in their hands, and for that matter, becoming a real product in the market place. So taking the gloves off. I have the same concern as one gentleman is that SNAP may end up being Lilly; a dead end product. If you think about it, why would we think differently? As most have said your key word is always “SOON” with no end definition what “SOON” means. You bring up XTC challenge. Well I don’t know about others, I could give one rats ass about XTC. I thought your total concentration was getting pre-orders shipped out? So If you would like happy customers I think I would concentrate more on the pre-orders than XTC because frankly until SNAP is in my hands I don’t care about XTC or any awards for that matter; they are only self indulging. The only award I thought Vantage would want is the praise of its patient and loyal costumers to date. In short get us our pre-orders that we have all so patiently been waiting for. NO MORE EXCUSES.

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Believe us that filling pre-sale orders IS our main focus. Joe was in the office the Friday of CES, back in the office on Monday, and working from Vegas while he was out there. The reason we mentioned XTC was not to gloat, but to try to ensure some confidence in Snap. A panel of investors and industry leaders took a close look at hundreds of companies, and liked what they saw with VantageRobotics last week. It is their business to find viable startups, and they decided that we were a good bet. It was our hope that, despite still being in beta, our customers would be more at ease after hearing this assessment from the XTC panel.

      As we have mentioned before, we understand why you might compare us to Lily. But we are not Lily. Snap is solid, and will come to market. Our timetable is in the scale of weeks.

      We understand your frustration here Tim, and know you have been patiently waiting. The fact is that bringing a new piece of technology is incredibly complicated, and delays happen. We try to keep our customers informed as best we can when they do. No one likes excuses, but we all like poorly developed products even less. Please know that we are working tirelessly to get you the best possible product as quickly as we can. Feel free to drop us a line any time.

  • Paul E.

    Reply

    Will we get our Snap before May?

  • Philip Hartog

    Reply

    But meanwhile – I am getting really curious as to when you will start shipping European orders dating back to 2015….

  • Paul E.

    Reply

    Will we get our Snap before April?

    • James Squires

      Reply

      We don’t have precise shipping dates here Paul. Its understandable that you want to know exactly when you will be flying, but there are just too many variables in play right now.

  • Anton

    Reply

    I hop so 🙂

  • Very disappointed and impatient

    Reply

    I have been patiently waiting since November 2015, and I agree with the last couple comments. It’s one promise after another. I don’t really care what award you are getting or not getting. I just want get my product delivered. I have learned my lesson now. I will never EVER pre-order anything else in my life. The “savings” for pre-ordering is out the door. I could have kept my $900 and invested in my business, and double it or more by now! I think that if products are not going to be delivered within the next month or so, I will be asking my money back, and I am sure a lot of the pre-ordered customers as well.

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Sorry to frustrate you here. It is true that others have commented similar frustrations. Those frustrations are understandable.

      But, despite the fact that Snap has not yet shipped, this is still very exciting, good news. Many of our supporters have requested that we keep them updated on the story of this company, and enjoy sharing this exciting moment with us.

      Snap is coming along very well, and we hope that you are willing to hang in there with us. If you are not, please let us know and we can cancel your order.

  • Paul E.

    Reply

    This is utter bull poop. Again you are a constant source of lies and disappointment.

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Sorry to disappoint you here Paul. That is a personal opinion that we will try to improve for you.

      We have not, however been ‘a constant source of lies’. That is objectively untrue.

  • Paul E.

    Reply

    That was hyperbole and I resend my comment.

  • HAYASHI

    Reply

    I HAVE NOT GET ANYTHING YET.WHEN I GET IT?

  • Max

    Reply

    It is March 2017, what is your update this month?

  • Bernard Shaw

    Reply

    I need to have the SNAP for May weddings. If ordered today when might I get it.

    dr. Berne Shaw

    • James Squires

      Reply

      It is very difficult to give precise dates like this right now. We are currently scheduled to begin filling pre-sale orders at the end of this month, but are expecting at least 6 weeks to fill all orders. While it is possible that an order today will be filled in May, it will be tight and we can’t promise anything.

  • Kevin Wickens

    Reply

    Bernard, I don’t work for Vantage but when you click on the “Pre-order” button on their website it says the following:

    “Orders placed today will ship Spring 2017”

    Spring runs from March 21 to June 21…..

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