Happy holidays, everyone! It’s been a while, so this is going to be a long update.
We will start with the sour: the chip shortages haven’t been generous to us, much like everyone else. A few days ago we received an update from our IMU supplier and manufacturer. Due to their suppliers imposing price increases and not allocating enough for Q1 and Q2 of 2022, they had to move the bulk of SlimeVR’s chips order back to the end of September 2022, as well as increase the price of the chips. Thankfully, the price increase won’t affect the project, because it was budgeted with this possibility in mind, but the chips shipment date change will.
If the supplier’s schedule is to be believed:
This timeline may change because of further changes from the supplier and chip manufacturer, but they are reassuring us that this is unlikely. We are sincerely sorry we couldn’t do more.
As a result, the shipment date of most SlimeVR sets will have to be moved to November 2022. This includes all sets ordered now, all sets ordered after campaign end, and most of the sets ordered during the campaign. We updated all past and future orders to show shipment on November 2022. If earlier shipments happen, we will issue an update about it.
All other chips (not IMUs) have much shorter lead times, and we are currently ordering them too, to prevent possible shortages or price increases. They are better off sitting in the warehouse, than increase in price to the point where the project becomes unsustainable.
It’s still possible to preorder SlimeVR on the campaign page, if you haven’t done so yet. Thanks to the help of Crowd Supply, we have ordered components for sales after the campaign, and you can order while this batch lasts. All orders made after the campaign are also expected to ship in November 2022.
If the new schedule doesn’t work for you, please contact Crowd Supply to change or cancel your order. We understand that it can be a long wait.
If you want something faster, you can try DIY-ing your trackers! There has been a lot of progress in this regard lately. Our docs site has been improved significantly with friendly guides and schematics to get you started. The firmware and software is actively being made friendly to work with, and set up for all skill levels, for both DIY and production Slimes. Sadly, prices of BNO085 breakout boards (an IMU production Slimes use) also increased an absurd amount in the last couple months, so the cost of ideal DIY tracker have increased many-fold. We are working on adding support for a lot of other IMUs, and right now MPU-6050 is a viable option for a cheap start, even though it drifts quite a bit more. If you’re interested in new hardware support we are working on, you can join the development channels in our Discord server.
Samples of different plastics; SlimeVR DEV PCB’s versions 5 and 6 (with some components not soldered).
Because of the long shipping time for the chips, we decided this time after the campaign is the best opportunity for us to solve some of the personal problems that have been piling up, which have kept us busy (moving to another country close to the end of the year is "fun", if you were wondering.) Yet, development didn’t halt completely, here’s what has been done after the last update:
Since the personal stuff is over finally, next year will for sure be more fun :D
Our plans haven’t changed since we posted them earlier, but they had to be adjusted based on what we managed to finish this year, and the chip delay. It’s also more refined for the next few months.
That’s the magic, hopefully! Of course, the main one is correct the plan according to the situation. We will send biggest updates and changes though Crowd Supply, but if you like lots of updates, join our Discord server where we post weekly development updates, as well as smaller in-between updates as they happen.
See you next year! Stay safe ^^