The folks at Kreyos recently dropped word that they are pushing their ship date for their Meteor smartwatch back to April due to an issue with microphone and speaker during voice calls. The problem has been identified and a fix is on the way, but unfortunately it means units won't be shipping as soon as they would like.
We reached out to Kreyos in hopes of clearing things up for everyone waiting on a Meteor and Co-Founder Steve Tan was kind enough to get back to us with some clarifications.
It's only been a few weeks since CES, we you aware at that time that you would have to push back?
We really were not. We were doing our demos in CES using early Meteor prototypes which, while not 100% complete, have key features working.
When did you decide to not go forward with the current model?
Just to clarify, we're not scrapping the entire production batch. The fix only involves implementing minor modifications to the hardware. We realized the need to do this after we subjected the entire batch to exhaustive testing specific to the Meteor's ability to make and take phone calls. We found a slight "echoing" issue which I will talk about in more detail in the next question.
What exactly is the issue you've found and how easy is the fix?
We found that when on a call using the Meteor, the person on the other end of the line hears a slight echo of himself. We have identified a fix and while it only entails a minor modification to the hardware, we'll need to not only implement them on the hardware but also make sure that the problem does not persist after the fix and make sure that the fix doesn't give rise to new, unforeseen issues. We posted more details on this on our blog: blog.kreyos.com/?p=27
Does this apply to all the units thus far? How costly is the error?
It does. And there is a significant cost attached to this fix but what's the fact that it will take additional time to fix and test this is more regrettable for us (moreso for our backers--something we apologize profusely for)
How confident are you for an April release?
Based on early tests, the fix we identified does permanently address the problem. We will continue to test as rigorously as possible but we are very optimistic at this point.
Are there any other potential setbacks at this point?
Not that we are aware of. The timeframe we gave for shipping already factors in a testing period that would identify any other potential issues but, as mentioned earlier, if the results from our early tests are any indication, we're very optimistic that we're not going to run into any other issues at this point.
How will you keep backers updated from here on out?
Admittedly, we did a very poor job in the past in keeping our backers apprised of development. We put resources in place to improve the turnaround time of the company's response to questions and concerns on social media and our helpdesk. We're also committing to posting updates more regularly. We're aiming to do bi-weekly updates moving forward.
So it does look like they've got a good plan going forward, and Mr. Tan assured me that he and the entire Kreyos team are committed to launching the "best smartwatch on the market" and appreciate the continued support from the community. We'll be sure to keep tabs on the process and Kreyos' says they'll be keeping us informed as well.