We are glad to write this post again! This time, we have rounded up the lastest Spectrum development news for our community.
New to the project?
If you just joined our journey of crowd-development, welcome! We summarized the Spectrum project’s critical milestones to quickly give you an idea of what has happened since we initiated it.
The big picture
Since we announced Project: Spectrum’s timeline, we have been working hard behind the scene to ensure we unlock Spectrum’s maximum potential while following our project schedule at the same time. In the past few weeks, as part of the design validation test (DVT) stage, we prepared Spectrum for the upcoming testing and studied and tweaked the machinery that will produce more advanced samples – and ultimately – mass production units.
Tooling kicked off
The above Spectrum tooling pictures are extracted from our tooling tracker, which our manufacturer uses to monitor our project’s tooling progress. We will use samples made from tooling for many of the tests conducted during the DVT phase. From tooling kick-off to valid samples get produced takes typically about a month to one and a half months for monitors; therefore, for our project timeline, we choose to kick-off tooling right after EVT, and we expect to obtain all DVT samples by the end of October.
Packaging under development
The initial concept of Spectrum packaging
We want Spectrum to stay nice and safe when it travels to its home; therefore, we are working on a dual-box solution which has a heavy, resilient outer box with a good cushion that soaks up any impact during handling, and a light, sleek inner box that is ready to show-off in retail stores and neatly packs essential Spectrum parts. We are aware that many of you are keen on sustainability; we do, too! We strive to ensure our packaging leaves as little harm to our environment as our time and budget allow. It is why we are exploring using expanded polyethylene (EPE) and molded pulp (paper mold) as the primary materials of our packaging, both of which are recyclable, with paper mold also being biodegradable. However, many challenges are yet to be evaluated, such as the material’s resilience, shipping cost, and user experience (UX). These materials will significantly impact the package’s volumetric weight, and UX is affected by their look and feel. The other material we are considering is expanded Polystyrene (EPS). While being cost-effective and exceptional at reducing product damage, it is hard to recycle and does not offer a premium look and feel to the end-user.
Our manufacturer has conducted several preliminary drop tests. The idea is that via testing a package similar to that we will likely use, we can study the resilience of the materials and structure we are exploring. (with a monitor inside to represent Spectrum, of course)
A good paint adds to the overall premium look and feel of Spectrum’s stand and body. One of our team’s main goals getting our hands on EVT samples was to evaluate our paint choices. We narrowed our selections down to two candidates and asked our manufacturer to paint half of our samples with each to compare the ‘full product.’ Although we have already compared the example pieces shown on the picture’s left-hand side, paint perception may differ between parts and a whole product.
We prefer the semi-matte paint at the bottom of the photo as it gets just the right amount of matte in it that looks better between the two, although it is the more expensive one.
Advanced samples must be accompanied by mature firmware to unleash more of Spectrum’s advertised performance. Since we entered the DVT stage, our team have never stopped studying and developing Spectrum’s firmware and OSD. We have provided them the Extended Display Identification Data (EDID) (a standard for the display to communicate their video capabilities to the source device), the test plan (all DVT tests we plan to conduct), and a new OSD document based on their feedback on our OSD design idea and its functionalities. All of these documents will work as a whole to help the DVT stage progress as planned.
The test list (left) & EDID (right)
As we have stated before, a prototype had been sent out some time ago. Because the reviewer is busy with product launches such as RTX 3000 series and Apple products, the review is yet to be made. We will continue to send out more early review units to more of your favorite journalists after the DVT samples are manufactured.
More to come
As our Spectrum development moves forward, we will have even more exciting news to discuss with you guys. Stay tuned!