Inside Update 2/16
Since the last update, we’ve posted a few new vlogs to our YouTube channel. Matt has been working hard to articulate the real value of Light Pong beyond what’s seen on the surface. This process has involved many conversations that he has included in this vlog (below) and the one before it conveying the value of Light Pong as a platform, not just as standalone device. It’s worth a watch to see if what you think Light Pong is matches up with what’s in the video. Of course, please be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel while you’re at it.
Our content has continued to lean towards being more the personalities and day to day lives behind the creation of Light Pong. We hope you’re enjoying it. Please let us know what you think in the comments, we love hearing from you!
Let’s Build Context
In all my previous updates, I’ve provided information about our activities, but I realized the other day that without big picture context the information may not be as helpful. To solve this problem, I’m including a timeline to help you see where we are at visually. As you can see, we’re currently in the development phase, and are on track to deliver Light Pong in the promised timeframe.
The development phase primarily comprises of four main activities:
- Hardware Development — comprised of electronic (internal) and mechanical (external) design.
- Firmware Development — comprised of writing low level software to run the electronic circuit we are designing, and the Operating System.
- Companion App Development — comprised of designing and programming the companion app.
As we move forward, I will try my best to provide updates within the framework of this context.
In the hardware development lifestyle, we are currently in the Design and Prototyping phase. This means that we are designing, redesigning, and verifying our custom PCB (printed circuit board). This is an iterative process and we’re in the last mile of it. Our PCB will include all the features we promised on the Kickstarter page such as game buttons, wireless and power buttons, and of course LED Strip; but we will also be including some surprise features not previously announced. Can you guess what else might be included? Reply to this update and let us know!
I mentioned this in a previous update, but we had paused our handle design iterations. We paused it because we got it to a point we were happy with wanted to get the electronics done before we finalize it just to make sure everything fits as it should. As of yesterday, we restarted that process back up again and are finishing up the handles too!
We performed a bunch of research on a new, more optimized method for driving the Light Strip. Graham tells me that we’ve decided on using an RMT based approach. We’re unsure what RMT stands for, but apparently the RMT driver in our microchip is meant for quickly & asynchronously outputting binary data to the light strip…so it’s better lol! We’re currently revising the internals of our input module so that it’s python interface can be more straightforward and future proof. If you plan to develop for Light Pong, then that’s for you!
Graham has stepped in and is working on the “operating system” level sections of firmware (which we’ve currently nicknamed LPOS, for Light Pong OS). LPOS will be responsible for managing a Light Pong Unit’s entire state, and ensuring that MicroPython is properly executed and sandboxed. We’re kicking off the development of the LPOS today and we expect it done by 2 weeks from now.
Next we’ll be focusing on the Audio module. Audio is something that has always been touchy on our old prototypes, so this will be an important time of firmware development for us.
The companion app team is in development on the parts of our backend that will handle our game marketplace, as well as actually uploading & downloading games correctly. Don has recently completed a large breadth of low to mid-fidelity prototypes of the app’s UI. His next tasks are running some user test with our current UI iteration, acting on user feedback, and afterwards making things look nicer. We’ve completed the low fidelity prototypes of our companion app. Soon, we will be testing them on potential users!
That’s all for today’s update. Let us know what you think in comments below, we love hearing from you!
— Aaqib & the Light Pong team.