Bird Buddy October Update 1/3

Bird Buddy October Update 1/3

We have to start by saying that, for us, this has been the most exciting as well as the most daunting two weeks in the last 2 years; in the last 10 days, the first two batches of Bird Buddy orders have been shipped to our backers, and the very first version of our companion Bird Buddy mobile app has been released.

The entire team has had their eyes glued to our Facebook group, where we are monitoring the steady stream of the first users' photos and feedback. If you're curious and willing to join in on the fun, we kindly invite you to do so!

Everything has been building up to this moment, and we're thrilled to see people's reactions to receiving their first devices; pairing the Bird Buddies, connecting them to Wi-Fi, updating the firmware, and setting them up in your homes are all pieces of a complex process that ensures the experience goes exactly as intended. It's absolutely amazing seeing so many of you report that this was a largely seamless experience so far. A few screengrabs of testimonials from our Facebook group can be seen below. Thank you for letting us share them!

It was crucial for us to get this type of insight with the first 50 units. We'll keep actively monitoring the same data for the next shipment of 100 orders that were dispatched this past Friday to ensure that it remains stable and will not be an issue when we scale to thousands of shipments per week throughout the rest of October and November. So far, so good, and this is excellent news!

Now that the first Bird Buddies are connected, out there, and starting to get bird visitors, our next goal is to monitor our decision-making logic. Together with our AI, this logic determines when the device sends you postcards of a bird visit. This process is designed to deliver beautiful photos of birds and filter out those where the bird is too close to the camera, is in motion, is hard to recognize or otherwise just wouldn't result in a good photo.

With their fleeting nature, taking nice photos of birds is hard and looking at initial feedback the system that we’ve designed seems to work pretty well. Having said that, we’re still learning from your feedback and from monitoring performance so we’ll keep improving on this as well. It might occasionally seem that Bird Buddy is not detecting birds in front of your feeder, while, in reality, the photos it is taking are just not meeting the criteria of being worthy of your time.

In the interest of learning as much as possible about the behavior of birds in your area and the general performance of the device in your environmental conditions, Bird Buddy is right now tuned up to collect data about all bird visits all of the time which has a significant impact on the battery life of your Bird Buddy. As soon as we end this learning period which is planned to take a few more weeks we’ll remotely update all feeders and start enabling the battery saving features for everyone.

To make sure your devices stay up for as long as possible during this time, we’ve disabled video capture for your postcards. This too will come with an update in the following weeks.

In terms of what’s next, we’ll of course be scaling fulfillment and delivering more units each week until we have cleared the backlog of existing pre-orders. We’ll be contacting the backers and customers from each outbound batch at least a week before their units are scheduled for shipment; we want to make sure that you all get a chance to check your shipping information and update it if necessary to ensure smooth delivery for your orders. Make sure you keep an eye out on your email inbox so you don’t miss the notification!

We are still dealing with some necessary paperwork that will enable us to operate from our European and Australian fulfillment centers as well. We fully realize and understand that this additional wait time has been disappointing to backers that are not based in the US, Canada, or South America. That said, we’d like to reassure you that we’re still on track with our estimation that European and rest-of-world orders will start being shipped out in the second half of October.

These next stages will also be spent listening to your feedback, learning from the data coming in, and making improvements and fixes as regularly as possible. Like a fine wine, Bird Buddy is going to only get better with age!

We’re incredibly grateful to everyone for sticking with us to this point. Without you, Bird Buddy would not have happened and the millions of beautiful pictures of birds that are about to be taken by all of your feeders would not exist.

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