The engineering team has been attacking some seriously interesting projects in the last couple of quarters – here are just a few that are in the works that have a direct impact on our users…

Elite Machine – We have been testing many different technologies that will check several boxes for a next-generation machine release.

  • Motor technology – We have some promising developments with a unique application that could accomplish the following:
    • Higher weight output (targeting 130-150 lbs per handle).
      • Currently, we are testing out a new firmware configuration that will allow the current machines to increase the maximum weight by another 10 lbs each handle for an extra 20 lbs total, all without any physical design changes. This is on track to be released before the end of the year! The current max weight is 105 lb/handle.
    • Lower system friction to reduce the minimum weight output (targeting 8-10 lbs per handle). The current min weight is 12 lbs/handle.
    • Quieter and smoother cable pull.
    • Easier to maintain and less maintenance required.
  • Cable handles – We have a new handle assembly prototype that has been heavily tested with just a few more verification steps before the final release. In addition, we have been working directly with manufacturers to specify a custom handle with the ideal dimensions and materials for our specific use case.

BENEFIT: More weight options open the door to others who may fall outside our current weight limits; plus it allows current members to progress even further using our system. Our members should experience a more enjoyable session due to the combination of a quieter and smoother workout, along with less downtime due to electromechanical failures.

VR System Reliability – As with any new technology, there are bound to be unforeseen opportunities that arise. We have been spending a lot of R&D hours on improving performance related to disturbances such as electromagnetic interference (EMI), software/firmware compatibility and updates, reflection/occlusion/vibrational effects, and VR hardware wear and tear. After discovering some culprits to some of our most reoccurring issues, many new design changes and processes have been created or modified which have proven to increase the reliability of our ecosystem.

*One major project this quarter is testing the Antilatency dev kit which is a new VR inside-out tracking technology that has a lot of promise! Fingers crossed that this is the next breakthrough technology we have all been waiting for.

BENEFIT: This should be obvious – the more stable our platform, the happier our customers are 😊

Gym support/troubleshooting – We pay close attention to the overall system performance of each gym, maintaining a log of events that disrupt a user’s experience. The gym staff is great at documenting these events but feel free to post on our Discord channel as they may not be able to catch everything. The log helps our team identify areas of focus – something we will continue to make a priority for the betterment of our users.

New KVM Display System – A new system will be implemented in the gyms soon, with testing almost complete in the Boise gym location, giving our Hero Trainers the ability to still view a user’s session without impacting the performance in the headset. By being able to view all booth simultaneously, our staff can be more proactive if they see something and check on the user instead of having the user stop their session to go get assistance.

BENEFIT: We will continue to do everything we can to create a more stable, enjoyable user experience. These ongoing and new implementations will help our staff provide better support for the foreseeable future.

Thank you for your continued support and please let us know if there are any specific features you would want to see integrated with the BBVR system. Keep up the grind!

 

Rich Reavis, P.E.
Director of Engineering, Hardware Systems
Black Box VR