YEI Technology has confirmed that its PrioVR full body motion controller for virtual reality (VR) experiences will not be shipping in June 2014 as originally planned. Company VP Mike Sutherland revealed as much, reasoning that it needed more time to deliver on a satisfactory product. While a new shipping date was not given, it did suggest that the suit will still arrive for Kickstarter backers ‘a little later this year’.
“I know this will come as a disappointment to many of you,” said Sutherland, “and some of you may be saying, “great, another Kickstarter delaying their shipping.” Our decision didn’t come lightly, but more than anything, it’s because you deserve a quality product and we don’t believe the product we can ship next month will meet that level of quality. We have a strong engineering team and we hold our work to the same high technical standards that you expect, so rather than rush this out, we want to make sure it’s something we can stand behind.”
The company reasoned that it needed to reach three benchmarks before it was ready to ship the suit. The first is a solid set of development tools, including ‘seamless integration’ into the Unity and Unreal engines. It was also revealed that the company hopes to add its new Skeletal API to its Mocap suite, which works with the alpha suit. Finally, the company stated that it needed stable hardware that targeted ‘function over form’ at this stage.
YEI Technology did offer an extensive update of its progress to help reassure backers. The company noted that it had scaled up its production, moving into a larger space and aquiring updated machinery to help print circuit boards and other componenets faster. It was revealed that it still takes an entire day to produce just one of the hand-built alpha suits, but over 1,500 sensors can now be made within that time.
It was also revealed that the company has started working with offshore production houses to help design and produce the suit’s outer casings. It admitted that this was an area it had underestimated in terms of the amount of time it would take to design molds, prepare tooling and run test batches. There is also now a dedicated content team that is focussing on developing ‘examples, demos, and titles’ for the suit, like the software it teased during its Kickstarter campaign. The company hopes to have ‘a good set’ of these ready for shipping.
Currently YEI Technology is testing the alpha suit with a ‘small community’ on a invitational basis. Those interested in applying for the ‘very selective’ testing phase can contact firstname.lastname@example.org. VRFocus will continue to follow PrioVR and keep you up to date with the latest.