Get Airborne Faster

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Get Airborne Faster

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We have a secret to share. Your Snap has had a feature for several months we haven’t told you about, as we wanted to give it some time in the field before fully utilizing it. You don’t actually have to remove the battery from Snap, as it will turn itself off automatically. To turn it back on, all you need to do is grab Snap by the battery, activating its capacitive touch sensor. This means that you can store Snap as just two parts in your bag – fuselage + battery and rotor set, reducing the time to launch. (For more on our smart battery, see our earlier blog post here.)

One of our goals at Vantage has been to make it possible for you to capture the moment without missing the memory. When you’re out skiing, mountain biking, or hanging with the family, we want to make sure your attention is where it matters, which isn’t on Snap. This feature is one of a few exciting tools we have in the works to make Snap the most effortless drone to get into the air, so you can focus on what matters.

iOS Updates

In addition to the battery feature, we also wanted to highlight a few of the many improvements we’ve been making to the Fly Snap iOS app to help keep you in the air:

  • Access the user manual anywhere: You can now access the in-app user manual while you are offline. When you access it while you have an internet connection, the app connects to our server and downloads the latest content, so you can make sure to be up to date.
  • Contact us from in the app: You can now reach Vantage customer service anytime from within the app, either by phone or email. If you are ever confused about a feature, have an idea for improvement, or just want to share some love, we’re here and excited to connect with you.
  • Advanced settings: We’ve made a few of our developer settings accessible for sophisticated users. You can now switch to numeric GPS strength, re-format the SD card, and recalibrate the inertial measurement unit (IMU) from within the app. Note that GPS strength shown is the EPH value, which is a single standard deviation of lateral position error in meters (we did say it was for sophisticated users…), so the value will get smaller as GPS accuracy improves. Anything less than 2.5 is good. And if you need to recalibrate the IMU, which should only be needed on the very unlikely chance that offsets get corrupted during a firmware update, make sure your Snap is level to within a degree or two and not moving (with great power, comes great responsibility…).
  • Bug fixes: We continue to squash bugs on every release. The latest release makes takeoff more reliable and fixes an issue where magnetic compass calibration errors would sometimes prevent takeoff without indicating the issue.

Android users – you have not been forgotten. We’ll share several Android improvements in future updates.

Manufacturing Update


As all of you who have received your Snap know, the list of customers awaiting delivery is now much much shorter. We continue to increase the size of our assembly team and the number of units we ship each week. So far in 2018, we have already shipped 3x as many units as we did in all of 2017. That said, we know not all of you have your unit yet, which we’re working around the clock to address as quickly as possible.

The road to ramping production for Snap continues to be bumpier than we anticipate, although the list of fixed issues is now massively longer than our list of to-dos. These fixes not only increase our rate of production, but also improve robustness and quality. Specifically, yields for the Wi-Fi modules are now well above 90% and field failures are down significantly. We are about to transition to an improved tail board to address yield problems and field failures with the magnetometer. The good news for those of you waiting is that this will include several other hardware improvements, including a significantly more advanced magnetometer, improved GPS accuracy, and a new feature we’ll announce shortly. Additionally, we are about to start shipping with an improved gimbal design, which fixes the most common failure points we’ve seen from crashes.

#shotonsnap

Nothing makes us happier than seeing all the great videos all of you are making with your Snap. Here are a few of our recent favorites. As always, adding the tag #shotonsnap is a big help for us to find your videos.

 

  • Seth Clemence

    Reply

    Cool trick if I had my Snap!

  • Paul C

    Reply

    What are yall going to do for the people that have older units? I don’t feel that it is fair that I paid for the same product, and others are getting a much more advanced design.

    • Tobin Fisher Post author

      Reply

      We understand your concern Paul. This is something we had intense discussions on internally, debating whether or not it was fair to upgrade the hardware during the shipment of the same batch of pre-orders. Ultimately, we decided that we should ship the best product we can at any given moment, instead of waiting to implement improvements until all of the pre-order products had shipped. We felt that the improvement in the product over time was fair, given that the customers getting the improved product have waited longer. That said, we do plan to implement a trade-in program for older customers to get the improved design at whatever our cost is, as we want to make sure to bend over backwards to take care of our first customers. We’ll share details on this plan at the same time we make the full announcement of the hardware improvement.

  • Nick Svaluto

    Reply

    Love to Have one, but 899; 998 with extra battery is not really in my budget unfortunately. Unless it is gifted to me oh well

  • Eugene

    Reply

    Is it possible to send in our earlier production Snap to get these upgrades?

    • James Squires

      Reply

      We haven’t hashed out all the details, but do plan to implement a trade-in program at whatever our cost is.

  • Adam

    Reply

    I am very surprised after all the delays that you had to come up with such update. You guys are smarts engineers, came up with beautiful idea and awesome product but lacking of business experience is very obvious here. You made lot of people so excited and lot of them now are very disappointed and lost interest. Now you decided to come up with 2 different drone under the same version number!! not only I never saw that before but also you will make your pre-order customers who were loyal and got their drone already to be very upset.
    I would really suggest to find a good business advisor to get you back on track. I really hate to see DJI the only leader in the market and I had high hopes that you will be the 1st American company to compete with them but with that kind of updates, I don’t feel this will happen. Anyways, I still wish you all the best.

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Thanks for the comment Adam. We certainly understand where you are coming from here. As Tobin mentioned in a previous comment, we decided that we should ship the best product we can at any given moment, instead of waiting to implement improvements until all of the pre-order products had shipped. We are not reinventing anything, but we are making improvements as we go. We have found that most users who are already flying are quite happy with their product, but will also do whatever we can to make sure everyone is treated fairly.

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