We know its been much too long since we last provided an update and for that we are sorry. We have been very busy pushing WÜF forward so it took us longer than usual to get the info together. This length of silence won't happen again, we promise! Below are the latest updates, the good, the bad, and the plans for what is to come ahead :)
We are pushing our expected ship date out to this fall :-( There’s no sugar coating it, our progress has been slower than anticipated. We could list a dozen reasons as to why, each of them being common obstacles that start-ups face when bringing new technology to market, but that doesn’t change the fact that we have missed our target and we do not excuse ourselves for this. But rest assured, we are doing everything within our power to get there with a product that we are confident you will love and will truly make WÜF the best dog tracking device on the market. Thanks for your continued support and for sticking with us, it is your belief in, and enthusiasm for WÜF that has kept us going because we are driven to provide all of you with a device that will improve your life, and your dog’s.
We’ve started beta testing – (What does it mean and when do I get to start testing?)
Our initial beta release was to a small handful of local backers. We knew there would be issues that needed hands-on attention so starting with a small local group was the best way to go in case of failures. In fact, we will have the initial group bring those devices in for a security enhancement upgrade in the very near future.
We have had productive feedback and success with these local tests and plan to begin expanding to a broader group in the near future. As we onboard more beta testers, we will likely start again with another small local group followed by those that were our earliest supporters if they meet the following criteria.
1. Must have an iOS device with a minimum requirement of an iPhone 5 and iOS 9.3.5 or later. Don’t worry, we will be providing an Android version of the app as we get further along with the development and will then bring on the Android users to the beta test.
2. Must be USA domestic customers. Although the WÜF device is designed to function internationally, at this time, we are only focusing our testing nationally.
Again, this will be another small, focused group and will expand further as the product matures. If you have signed up as a beta tester, you will get the opportunity to test and provide us with your valuable feedback as we build out our set of features.
As you can see from the above photos, the plastics are designed and tooled. All parts are from the production tools and have not had any reported issues from our beta testers. The mechanical design is considered frozen (or complete).
The beta electronics are designed and function. There are a handful of enhancements that will be made before building any new beta product. These are centered around GPS reception and reliability. There may be subsequent updates once we get into FCC and PTCRB testing later this year but these should be minimal.
Firmware development continues to progress nicely. GPS tracking is functioning well as are firmware updates and Bluetooth connectivity. Security of data at rest and in transit is and has been the most important aspect for us and this too is finally converging. In parallel, we are investigating how our accelerometer responds to your dog’s movements. This is key to determining your dog’s level of activity. It is also key to battery management - for example, if your dog is resting, we can put many functions into a sleep mode which will conserve battery for when it is needed most. When your dog is active, we need to be more diligent in determining location and activity. There are many additional features that we need to develop and test, with battery life being an overarching priority with them all.
The WÜF iOS app also now has a strong foundation beneath it, built with Apple’s Swift 3 and is fully integrated with our scaled infrastructure atop Amazon Web Services. We have been spending the most time optimizing the Locate screen functionality where you will be able to determine your dog’s location in near real-time with confidence and also view their recent locations. There have also been sizable efforts to ensure that our data services will work across regions, use cases and hardware versions going forward.
Additionally, we continue to expand access to the iOS app to beta testers and will be proceeding with additional functionality and enhancements like the robust Training section as well as wrap-up of user and account preferences that will get us closer to shipping v1.0 of the app to the App Store. A complete end-to-end design has been in-hand and we continue to iterate the app each and every week towards this vision.
While we have had some major setbacks in our timeline, we are making significant progress. In fact, while this update was being written, we solved our hurdle with implementation of security protocols within our firmware. This is a major milestone. Not only does it keep your data safe, it also frees up memory space in the device allowing us to move forward with development of other planned features!
Thanks again for your continued support and please stay tuned for future updates. We promise to do better at providing more frequent communication with all of you, and can’t wait to get WÜF onto your pups!
The WÜF Team