Monday, May 14, 2007

initial preorder shipment sold out! (and other stuff)

Our initial shipment of Limited Edition Novint Falcons has sold out. Our next shipment will arrive July 23rd so, if you missed the first round, reserve your bundle today to get the special preorder pricing before they're gone.

All of the Novint elves (not to be confused with those cookie guys) are working around the clock getting ready for launch. We just returned from New York where we demoed the Falcon to members of the press, who continue to be wowed by the technology. Popular Mechanics is featuring a great video of the Falcon on their homepage (www.popularmechanics.com) and have named it their Gadget of the Week, suggesting that it "...could be Wii 2.0". We expect more press in the coming weeks and months, so keep your search engines honed in, or check the News section of our website.

Speaking of the website, we'll be launching a redesigned site soon, which will include a lot of great new features. We're also participating in a variety of events that will let (you) people experience the Falcon firsthand. September 27-30 we will be exhibiting at DigitalLife (www.digitallife.com) at Javits Center in New York (booth 1515). October 18-21 we'll be at the Los Angeles Convention Center at E for All (www.eforallexpo) in booth 502. We're planning a lot more events, and will keep you up to date on when and where we'll be. If there are events in your city that you think we should try and attend, please let us know. Stay tuned and keep posting.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am confused...

Originally you indicated that there would be 10,000 units available as Limited Edition models for $189, but had to be ordered prior to June 18th. These LE units, I believe you are indicating, are now sold out. But, you are also saying that people can still get the $189 price for units shipped on July 23rd. Are these July 23 units Limited Edition versions also? If so, does that mean there are more than 10,000 LEs? If not, then are you saying people who order prior to June 18th will get the $189 price for non-LE units that will ship on July 23rd?

SEE...I told you I was confused...

Novint said...

re: preorder numbers

There are 5000 Limited Edition Bundles available and the first shipment of these units from China, which will ship on June 18th, are sold out. We're receiving a second shipment of LE Bundles (part of the total 5000 units) on July 23rd. The discounted price for the Novint Falcon will only be available at the $189 price, for preorders.

Anonymous said...

launch is now a non event as they are still not available but by pre-order, and these will be in stores when? yeh right! you are losing credibility w/this strategy. i am a believer in this tech, but start acting like a real co.

Novint said...

re: launch

For launch, we are manufacturing as many Falcons as we can, but due to demand we have sold out all that we can manufacture for the 18th deadline. If demand continues to outpace our ability to manufacture the Falcons, then you are correct that you will only be able to get one by pre-ordering it. However, we plan to continue to ramp up manufacturing quickly, so that Novint Falcons will be available to be shipped right as they are ordered. One should keep in mind, though, that demand could continue to ramp up also, so the safest bet to get a Falcon earlier than later is to preorder it.

Again, to clarify, we start shipping June 18th (the launch date) - we are just letting people know that the first shipment from China is sold out. The next one will arrive for shipment July 23.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the previous poster. How can manufacturing be the limiting factor? V-Tech has huge manufacturing capacity and could probably put many thousands out a week. So far you are telling us that the first shipment is less than 5,000 units. If V-Tech can't pull that off then what are you going to do if this prodcut actually becomes popular and you need 100,000 units?

Anonymous said...

I echo the statements of the previous two posters as well. I have been behind this company from it's IPO and truly like the technology/etc. However it does boggle my mind that V-Tech could only produce 5,000 units. As an investor, I am starting to become skeptical.

Chris said...

Gentlemen
I am an investor too but I believe you guys are putting the cart before the horse. Firstly, you don't ramp up a product in an aggressive way until other variables are known. I am sure VTech does have tremendous manufacturing capability but although I believe the Falcon will become a monster we should observe what demand will be generated with the first delivery and additionally ramp up when we begin to advertise and market the product. If there is any kind of a shortfall it is product and consumer awareness.
Look at the way the stock is trading on such anemic volume. This is an indication that millions of people still need to find out what Haptics Tech is and what the Falcon is. We are not even at the tip of the iceburg yet.

Anonymous said...

Chris,

I agree with your comments regarding the tip of the iceberg, however, with the company's announcement that the "initial preorder shipment" was sold out, I could only presume that they meant all of the Limited Edition versions (meaning 5,000). They clarified in this blog that all 5,000 units have NOT been sold. Further, upon review of their 10-Q I come to learn that as of March 31, 2007 they only sold approximately 166 units (31,374/189). So, I am wondering, was it really a matter of being "sold out" or was it a matter of them having to close the window on further rpomises of June 18 shipments becasue the units pre-ordered (somewhere between 166 and "less than 5,000") are already on the slow boat from China? If that was in fact the case they shouldn't be bragging because they should have ensured that all 5,000 were sold prior to the boat leaving the dock. I could sell 5,000 anything within 6 months time.

signed: Seriously invested.

Novint said...

We appreciate the comments on our announcement of our first shipment selling out, which is the point of the blog, and we would like to clear up some misconceptions. The number of units we are putting out on June 18th (which itself is only a subset of the 5000 Limited Edition units) is no indication of VTech's overall manufacturing capabilities for the Novint Falcon. Rather, it is simply the very first step of our ramping up of the manufacturing. It represents one line with one shift over a short amount of time. We can then replicate the line and double shifts as much as is needed, which we will do. As one blog entry said, "VTech has huge manufacturing capacity" -- that is true, and as we ramp up we will have the capability to manufacture significant volumes on the order of, and well above, what that blog entry described if the demand is there (why else would we go with such a quality company like VTech, who for the record is doing an amazing job for us, and why else would they be willing to do the manufacturing). Our goal, and the vision of the company, is to sell millions of Falcons over time, and our designs and manufacturing have been put in place to support that, understanding that no one has a crystal ball to tell how quickly it could happen. We simply have to walk before we run, and manage our growth appropriately, making sure we have a quality product across all aspects of a customer's experience. As our first retail production run goes out, we will already be increasing the production rate.

The point of the announcement on our web site was to tell our customers that if you want to wait until Novint Falcons are in stock to buy one, there is no guarantee of what that date will be. We feel that is a point we wanted to let customers understand early. For example, if someone waits until June 18th to order one, and only then realizes that they will only be able to get one in July or later, they might be upset. Instead, we are letting people know that we are ramping up our manufacturing, and letting people know ahead of time that as we get the word out, the issue could persist. Whatever our ability to ramp up, it is possible that people will get as excited about the Falcon as we have seen in trade shows, and that excitement could translate to demand that outpaces our manufacturing ramp up. We also have to assure customer support, fulfillment, quality game content, etc. Overall we need to make sure we can do everything we will need to do to assure good customer experiences. It is also of course possible that since we will be increasing manufacturing, that there will be plenty in stock - it is hard to know with a fundamentally changing technology like the Novint Falcon. We are letting our customers know the situation right now - so far demand has outpaced our beginning manufacturing capability. The only way to guarantee you can get a Falcon by a specific date right now is to pre-order one. Another reason to order sooner than later is that the Limited Edition is, as the name implies, limited (although it is unrelated to the rate we ramp our manufacturing). If sales ramp up as we begin our marketing push, and as we announce our games and they are reviewed, then you should order early to make sure to get a Limited Edition Novint Falcon, if you want one.

Also, as a general statement, things are progressing well. The number of units we are initially selling are on schedule. We have spent only a very tiny percentage of our overall marketing budget to get the word out. We have not fully announced or described, or had reviewed, our games, which we feel are progressing well and which we feel will be a big driver for sales. In the weeks and months to come, many more people will have a chance to try a Falcon, see our library of titles, and be presented with what we feel is a very compelling purchase. They’ll also then have the chance to tell friends what they tried. As awareness grows, manufacturing will be ramping up as well to meet the demand we expect and hope for.

As another general statement, Novint very much appreciates people that preorder the Falcon - pre-orders get a significant discount, plus there will be other benefits that we will announce. A Pre-order, from a customer's point of view, lets them get an early Falcon, get a discount, and get a number of other benefits (free games, plus more when they actually get their Falcon to show our appreciation) which a lot of customers want. Pre-orders from Novint's point of view help us better gauge how quickly to ramp up. We see it, therefore, as a win-win approach.

Anonymous said...

Well stated Novint-blogger.

The Cromwell Family said...

What you should do is turn this unit so it sits vertically, and your hand rests on top of it. Do this so you can use it as a replacement to a standard mouse. Partner with somone like World of Warcraft. They can provide content for their millions of suscribers for an extra fee compatable with your equipment. It would be a win-win situation.

Anonymous said...

This is an excellent comment and one that was ecohed by my 50 year-old dad that thinks the placement of the grip sets the wrist at an uncomfortable angle. But something like this must already be planned, right? Otherwise the name of the company would be Novint Falcon!

Anonymous said...

The rotated grip does appear to be an idea worth looking at. I wouldn't rotate the entire unit.

The World of Warcraft comment has been made many times on this blog. Hopefully the folks at Novint are pursuing this.

Anonymous said...

You guys obviously don't understand how the Falcon works. It is a 3D mouse. You can't have the unit located below the grip, or have the grip rest on the surface of anything, etc. Placing anything below the grip, would only serve to increase the distance between the tabletop and the grip. The way Novint has designed it is far superior to your suggestions. It enables the grip to be located as close to the surface of the table as possible.

You first have to comprehend that the grip must move in 3 Dimensions. Because of this,you have to keep the grip a distance above the tabletop equal to (if not slightly more than), the operable movable three dimensional space you wish to have control over. If you want it to move 3 inches in any direction then the grip must be located at least 3 inches away from any object in every direction (give or take for magnification properties between the grip and the object being controlled on the screen).

Novint said...

Currently, the Falcon is oriented so that its workspace is a small area right in front of the Falcon that is comfortably reachable with your arm resting on the desk or your elbow resting on an armrest. A variety of new grips can add other ergonomic forms. On trying it, I think it becomes more clear how comfortable it is.

All of that being said, we also designed the base to be interchangeable with other bases, so one could envision having a Falcon that would sit on your lap with a different type of base, with a grip that would be held above the Falcon for games and applications that would work well with that type of setup.

Anonymous said...

It seems that 3D is destined for livingrooms, can haptics be far behind?? See attached article. Well, I suppose the folks at Novint think haptics will be in livingrooms before a 3D TV is there. My my my.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/27/business/yourmoney/27frenzy.html

Anonymous said...

Novint's haptics capabilities could also be invaluable to Microsoft's new Suface concept.

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/18928656

Anonymous said...

What's up with the stock price? It is now under $1.00 and appears to be headed even lower.

Novint said...

re: stock

As a general rule, we cannot discuss our stock price on the blog. Your guess is as good as ours as to what it will do in the short term.

What is more important, however, is that in the long term, our goal is to create significant lasting value for the company. Things are moving forward well on both the hardware and on our games. We have finished two production runs in China already, and are in the process of our third. We have continually honed the design throughout the process, and have worked towards an impressive feat by any measure - getting a 3D touch device like the Falcon to a consumer price point, with the quality, fidelity, and robustness it has. This is a significant step in the evolution of an entirely new field of computing, that few people have even heard of.

The effort on the games side of things is equally impressive. When I look at the incredible number of games that our small Novint team has created for Launch and shortly after (including a lot of help from our development partners), I am sincerely impressed. Of course we don't have the resources of Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo, but we are often compared favorably to them, and we believe we have a platform that is equally powerful. One of the big advantages we have had in creating our games, is that with a relatively small amount of money we can take an existing or back-catalogue game and greatly enhance its gameplay, creating a new experience for a tiny fraction of the cost it would take to develop the game from the ground up. Like the big platforms, we have a lot of projects in the works and will be continually coming out with more games and content. We will be announcing our games line-up soon.

As you might imagine, it is pretty hectic right now getting ready for launch. At 2:00 AM each night there are many Novint employees still on instant messenger, working hard to get ready. Although everyone is working so hard and there is a lot of pressure to get things done, there are no arguments, no one is complaining, and spirits are high. We've had our nose to the grindstone, so we haven't had as much focus on press releases the last couple of months. Like any new product launch, I'm sure there will be some unforeseen hiccups, which no doubt we will work through, but the big pieces are there. This is the fun part of a young company, despite the long hours. Everyone knows where we are headed, everyone knows what they need to do, everyone knows what we all feel we are part of and the potential Novint has, and everyone is getting their job done.

cybereality said...

Congratulations on the preorder sell-out. I bought mine when they first became available, it seemed like so long ago. Now its almost here. I can hardly wait.

On the topic of customization: I am interested in a glossy black / brushed metal color scheme for my falcon. Do you think it would be possible for me to dismantle the unit to paint the white segments. Is the unit constructed in a way that it can be easily opened (ie with screws) or is it a solid shell? I really want it to match with the gaming rig I'm building and its all black.

Anonymous said...

Re: Hardware
Can you speak more of the uniqueness of your hardware. Will others be able to make knock-offs for much lower prices. Will patents be enforcable. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Have you guys ever heard of a game called "The New Touch"tm? It is exactly what you think it is. It is a traditional style boardgame where you place a bunch of objects into a container and then try to "beat the clock" by finding by touch the items identified on a card you pull from the deck. The toy is getting TONS of press and awards from all kinds of parents/educators groups.

www.thetouchgame.com

This would be a great game for NVNT to partner with. While the boardgame does offer expansion packs, for when you master the objects that come with the standard version, CAN YOU IMAGINE the variety of objects that could be sensed and "guessed" virtually through use of the Falcon?!?! There could literally be millions of objects! Also, wouldn't it be that much more exciting to feel a lifesize object than the minituarized ones that come with the board game? Some of the expansion packs include Farm Animals, Sea Creatures and Dinosaurs!! Imagine "reaching in" and feeling the taught rough hide of a creature, one that moves a little as it breathes, then reaching up and feeling 18" teeth of a...a...what is that?!?!

The game could also of course still offer the miniature sized versions...but why bother?

Anonymous said...

Previously NVNT said....

"Novint is not releasing sales numbers publicly. We can say that we envision the potential to sell out before launch (especially as we get closer to launch), as we announce more of our game and content plans (which we are excited about), and as more reviews come out.

Additionally, we believe the demand could increase significantly by word of mouth as people start receiving their Falcons after launch, and if we are able to get units in stores for people to try. It is possible that demand could exceed our ability to produce the Novint Falcon, so pre-ordering is the best way to ensure you can get one. This also helps us to get a better feel for demand for the Falcon, in order to match demand with our production volume."

Any regrets, now that launch is rapidly approaching and it does not appear you will sell out prior to the June 18th date? (based on the fact you still have Limited Edition units left and have needed to extend the period they are available at $189)

Novint said...

Thank you for your post. We said that we can envision that we may sell out quickly as we release our game and content plans, and as reviews come out. Neither of those things has happened yet. We will be shipping out our games for reviews shortly. We will be announcing our summer game line-up shortly as well. Additionally we have not begun marketing the product, other than Trade Shows, which has been only a tiny fraction of our overall marketing budget. As we have gotten closer to launch, and we sold out of what we could manufacture in our first run before the 18th (which we described in another post as just the beginning of our manufacturing ramp up), we felt that it is best to push our demand and awareness creation efforts back a bit to better match our hardware ramp-up, so no regrets, no. Also, we did not need to extend the $189 pricing. For many early adopters, the discount probably won't make a difference on the decision to purchase or not. Rather, we extended the $189 preorder pricing, based on the philosophy that we want to encourage pre-orders as they help us to gauge our manufacturing ramp up needs (probably more so, as we begin our marketing in earnest), and given that fact, we want to reward early supporters of the company. Our original statement was based on the ways that we have seen people react to the Falcon, and we stand by it. We are very confident that as people experience the Falcon and our games, they will want to buy it. Exact timeframes are the part that is is difficult to predict.

Novint said...

re: Customization of Falcon colors (to cybereality)

First, thank you for your purchase! After launch we will have our customer support up and running (you will get contact info with your Falcon), and can work with you then to customize your Falcon. It should be possible.

Along these lines, we would like to hear from others on color schemes they would like to see. If there is demand, we can come out with varying color models.

Novint said...

re: uniqueness of the Falcon

We are confident about the uniqueness of the Novint Falcon, and that it will be difficult to copy. Other devices and mechanical designs we looked into in 2004 could not be optimized across all 3 critical factors: cost, fidelity, and robustness. This is a difficult triad to put into one package. Also, Intellectual Property (IP) has been a core focus of Novint, so we believe that we will have strong IP protection on not only hardware, but software as well. One indication of the strength of our hardware design is that other devices that are comparable are orders of magnitude more expensive.

Anonymous said...

Surfing:
Has that been mentioned as a sport type application. I've never surfed but I'd sure like to feel that feeling, if that is possible. eom

Anonymous said...

Hello,

Could you tell me what is the weight of the Novint Falcon?

What is the original factory box dimensions?

Once the original box is placed in another box for packing and awaiting delivery, what is the dimensions of that box?

If you could please answer those questions?

many thanks

Novint said...

re: measurements of the Falcon box

The weight of the final package is - 6 kgs/13.2 lbs

The dimensions of the inner box are - 17.32"l x 11.5"w x 17.5"h

The dimensions of the outer box are - 17.8"l x 11.6"w x 18.5"h

Anonymous said...

once the falcon is connected via usb to a pc, can it replace the mouse, so can you use it in any PC game, without the force feedback?

If a game does use force feedback, will the falcon have force feed back, but just not haptic feedback, the only games that have the haptic feedback are the ones that you write library's for, is that right?

Novint said...

re: Falcon replacing the mouse

The Falcon does not replace the mouse in all applications, at least not at the present time. If there is a demand for general mouse drivers, we would consider implementing them, which would allow you to use the Falcon as a 2D mouse replacement.

In games where Novint has incorporated touch, the Falcon does replace the mouse, not only during gameplay, but for the navigation of in-game menus as well. At the present time, however, the Falcon will not function (not even as a traditional mouse) with games that have not had touch effects added.

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

I am the guy that asked you about the box dimensions, i think you may of got the dimensions wrong or misunderstood what i meant:

I can't see the outer box dimensions as being 17.8"l x 11.6"w x 18.5"h

I mean what is the actually size of the box in which you pack the novint falcon in for shipping, obviously with padding and bubble wrap that must make the box a lot bigger?

because right now from the inner and outer dimensions you have given there seems to be no padding in there.

Novint said...

re: measurements of the Falcon box

The Falcon is packed in a super-glossy and nice gift box with a custom-tooled poly foam padding to protect the unit inside it.
The smaller box size incorporates the padding already INSIDE.
That box is then placed in an outer shipping carton which is only slightly larger, just enough to accommodate the inner box snugly.

Anonymous said...

and this outer shipping carton is the general brown color right?

Novint said...

Yes, the outer box is a natural cardboard brown.

Anonymous said...

I just read that comment about the novint falcons dimensions and packaging. I don't live in the USA but i am going to order one and get it delivered to my friend in the USA and then ask him to deliver it to me. Can i ask, the novint falcons packaging is it good enough to take international delivery? As you know when it's on a plane it gets knocked about and goes through transit and customs, can the packaging take that kind of abuse?

Novint said...

re: packaging for int'l shipment

Yes, these boxes are prepared for US domestic and international transport. We have developed custom packaging for the Falcon and have already shipped many test Falcons from overseas to the USA and vice versa, successfully.