Aaqib at Light Pong

Oh no, the scammers have found out about us!

Howdy Light Pongsters!

Did you notice that you have a new name: “Light Pongsters”!? Shout out to Justin Bessler for that suggestion! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. My parents are visiting from India and this was their first Thanksgiving ever; it was my first Thanksgiving with my OWN family (as opposed to being a +1 at someone else’s lol).

In my last update we had just received the funds from Kickstarter, and our new team members were getting up to speed on everything. Since then, we’ve put out two new VLOGS (yes two! Make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss out!). Here’s the very latest one:

Scammers

I was super worried about this and it’s finally happened. There are now multiple websites on the internet that have straight up stolen our content, created their own websites, and are using it to scam people out of their money. Needless to say I’m working on getting them taken down, but in the meanwhile if you know anyone who is looking to pre-order a Light Pong, the ONLY place you can do it right now is on https://www.playlightpong.com/store/ If you see anything otherwise, please report it to them and to us!

Microchip

There’s progress here, folks. We haven’t pulled the trigger yet, but we’re definitely going with Espressif!! We don’t have a decision on the exact chip yet, but we’ve completely eliminated Microchip’s ATSAMD51 and ATSAMD21 chips that we were considering. Of the two Espressif chips we are looking at, we’re heavily leaning towards the ESP32 (as opposed to the newer ESP32-S2). It’s got 2 cores, and both, Bluetooth and WiFi capability. We’ve validated this from a pricing, sourcing, and technically on paper; we want to validate this practically before we pull the trigger and Kyle is working towards making that happen.

Another thing that I really like about the ESP32 is that it’s very well documented and has a very active developer community on Reddit and Discord, and that’s going to make it easier for those of you who are developers!

Handles

Ooof, we’re now in our third handle iteration phase. David created 9 different handle revisions this week, all with slight variations from the original designs that we all liked, and we have anther 5 revisions in the works right now. Thank god for our 3D printer!

We’re deliberately keeping our handle designs under wraps because there are a few undisclosed features on them that our IP attorney recommend putting in our patent application. So if you feel like we’re a little vague on that, that’s the reason.

Companion App

Over the past two weeks, we’ve completely redesigned how the companion app works. One of our new team members, Raj, suggested that we take a look at Apple’s App Store Review Guidelines before we commit to the vision. This exercise led to a realization that the original way we wanted to develop the companion app would maybe not be allowed on the App Store. I say maybe because when we reached out to Apple asking for clarification and learned that they only provide feedback once the app has been submitted for review. Doesn’t that sound kinda backwards?

In our initial approach, we wanted to users to be able to download game packages from the marketplace directly on to their phones, and then wirelessly transfer it to their Light Pong units. In our new approach, games would instead be downloaded directly on to the Light Pong units without being downloaded on user devices first. As Graham put it, this approach is more “Internet-of-Things-centric”.

Network Protocol

With that in mind, we’re now working on architecting the network protocol for interacting with the Light Pong units so that other devices, such as cloud servers, can send secure commands to the Light Pong units. This is useful because it will provide the ability to adjust volume, brightness, and more, all wirelessly; and also lay the ground work for features like wireless multiplayer in the future. My personal favorite use of this is “sync mode” which will allow for many Light Pongs to be synced to each other. (Can you image a room full of Light Pongs all synced to each other in screensaver mode!? How cool would that be!?)

That’s all for this update folks. Till next time!!!! Oh and if you want to in more active communication with us, join our Discord server where you’ll get to meet some of our most loyal community members including dernoob, Sparkla, ButterAleks, Zoltan, and more!

— Aaqib & the Light Pong team

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