We’ve identified a number of technical challenges during the closed user trial that we are running. User trials are designed to weed out the bugs and issues, so we can fix them ahead of shipping a final product. In the last development sprint our team made good progress but some more complex issues will take time to resolve.
So, now let’s get into the detail with the latest Cocoon update.
The recent trial data showed that some customer’s Cocoon devices fail to, or have a delay in detecting users arriving back home. This causes Cocoon to generate false alarms, something that other home security products suffer from.
Cocoon uses the location data from your smartphone to know when the user is or is not at home. The reliability of location data depends on the quality of your GPS and internet connectivity. Of course in some circumstances these signals are not perfect and so neither is a phone’s knowledge of where it is.
We’ve developed proof of concepts that should work reliably to detect arrival home when location data is inaccurate, or the phone has lost its data connection. John’s team are exploring Wi-Fi and Bluetooth arrival detection options as well as mechanisms for improving the reliability of geo-location detection.
Excess heat when streaming continuously.
Some Cocoons forming part of the closed user trial generated excess heat when streaming video for long periods of time. The chart below shows the temperature of a Cocoon over a 14 day period. The temperature rises during the day when the customer has their central heating on.
There is an additional 10 degrees celsius increase on the days the Cocoon was constantly streaming video. This heat has the risk of damaging the Cocoon hardware over time. We have identified a possible cause as the main CPU having to copy the video frames into memory rather than this function being performed by the hardware image signal and video encoding chips.
Manufacturing partner change.
We’ve been forced to reexamine our production plans we learned that the methods planned by the original manufacturing partner for producing Cocoon’s metal ring had quality risks. Our new manufacturing partner is highly experienced, having produced hundred of thousands of products with similar properties to Cocoon, such as high-end speakers and sound systems. This has put our project plan a little behind schedule, but our focus is on delivering a quality product. We are evaluating the impact of this on our delivery date and will send you an update shortly.
Cocoon is growing.
To meet the demands of the software and hardware challenges we’re expanding the Cocoon development team. We’re now recruiting for team members to expand our capacity as we push Cocoon to launch readiness.
The software team have successfully completed the features development for adding more household members to Cocoon. What this means is that Cocoon can be added to all smartphones in the home, allowing your family to come and go without triggering an alert.
When selecting the right fabric to act as the cover for the Cocoon device it’s all about the details. This has been a challenging and lengthy process. Airflow, colour resilience in sunlight and consistency of weave are just some of the things to consider. Fitting the fabric reliability and consistently to Cocoon in production is another challenge. We are prototyping jigs designed to fit the fabric to Cocoon in high volume factory production.
Nick’s hardware team are mid-project on the test fixtures which will help approve Cocoon devices as they come off the production line.