Improvements and structure
It’s been a real busy few weeks as we sprint towards our goal of releasing the devices out in public release and we’ve made some great strides in a real short space of time. The team has grown by 50% since the end of the year with additions throughout the dev team to more than double our existing resources within a short period.
The additional manpower means that we’ve been able to do some really awesome things that we’ve been wanting to do for a while – one such thing is that we’ve built an entirely new tray (the software you download for your desktop) from scratch under one unified platform using node.js within the past month. Since our last update we’ve managed to overhaul the entire underlying structure in that time. Under the new platform we’ve also unified the desktop operating systems. The previous platform (QT framework) had to have separate builds for each operating system, and meant that any features we wanted to release had to be built separately each time. It’s a big improvement that is much more stable and makes it easier and faster for us to include and release new features across all of the platforms at once, as opposed to having to build entirely separate features for each individual platform. This basically means that we’re able to more effectively roll out new features and will enable us to focus on delivering smaller updates on a frequent basis from now on.
With the move to the new platform, we’re also happy to announce that we’ll be able to provide full Linux support from v0.1.6 onwards! Our long suffering Linux users have had to use patchy early versions, and had (very) limited support – but not any longer. From today, you’ll also be able to get the new linux tray directly from downloads
The new version of the PC software also come in a stand alone version that means that AIRTAME can run without the need to go through an installation process. For organisations (or anyone for that matter!) that have guests that instantly want to use AIRTAME without previously having the software installed, can simply run a .exe file that will launch a basic version of AIRTAME that enables them to stream – and when finished, nothing is left on the computer / device. This not only dramatically decreases the time on a PC to start the first stream, but also opens up the possibility of allowing non-admin users access to AIRTAME quickly and effectively.
For the firmware running on AIRTAME, we’ve also released v0.1.6 which also includes a big improvement in a module we have been working on since the end of last year. It’s the module that handles the video stream from the computer and “Decode module” (basically the part that receives the stream from the dongle, so it can be seen on the screen). Until now we have been using the standard module provided by Freescale, the manufacturer of our processor chips. Whilst it would have been great (and much easier!) to continue using this, the module provided had some bugs that meant we simply didn’t (and couldn’t) have full control over how the video stream that was being handled.With our new shiny module that we’ve crafted in-house, we’re able to control all aspects of the video stream.
In terms of features, this means that the 1080p output resolution is out of “extreme experimental version” to be made available as standard. This will give a much sharper resolution for text and graphics, without having to compromise on the stream.
There are also some small (but great) improvements such as improving the WiFi scanning module (which means that we can find local AIRTAMEs much more effectively), and fixing cases of the missing cursor for Mac 10.10 (Yosemite) users.
The final announcement is that we will also be launching publicBETA with v0.1.6 – so as soon as we receive the new devices from the manufacturer, we will commence shipping to those waiting ASAP. We’re shipping another 4.750 devices that will increase our BETA community to +7.500 members across the globe preparing us for the public launch in Q2.
This will be done with our new master distributor after the lessons learnt from the initial early release (up to 10-12 weeks delivery time & multiple devices going MIA). We’ll be able to offer much more efficient shipping options, but there will be more info on this at the end of the week :) We’re looking forward to your feedback on the differences & also welcoming those waiting members to our ever growing BETA community at forum