AR startup Tilt Five confirmed in a backer update sent out recently that the coronavirus may impact the shipment of some early kits which were scheduled to be sent to backers this month.
Tilt Five is a tabletop, consumer AR system which finished its Kickstarter fully funded in October 2019. The majority of kits were scheduled to be sent to backers in the summer, however, one tier of the campaign included shipment of early backer kits sent out in February of this year.
Startup representatives wrote in a backer update that the coronavirus may impact the product of some of these early backer kits. The statement is as follows:
“As you may have read in the news, concerns about the potential spread of the coronavirus has led to quarantines, transportation disruptions, and mandatory extended New Year’s holidays for businesses in several regions of China. The truth is that businesses and factories in China are, understandably, taking precautions by stopping factory operations and having their workers stay at home safe. Obviously this was unforeseen, and it will have some impact on your timeline and ability to get some of the parts that we need. The good news is we have enough parts on hand to continue forward with our refinement of the assembly process.
Until this health crisis abroad is resolved, we won’t have every part that we need to assemble all of the Beta units. We’re hoping the situation will be resolved soon, and we can quickly get back on track.”
We reached out to Tilt Five Co-founder and CEO Jeri Ellsworth for comment, who added “I’ve never seen a supply chain situation like this before,” she wrote in a direct message. “I suspect almost every industry is going to be impacted because of the manufacturing reliance on China.” She also wrote that they are working on ways to deliver the promised units with only limited delays.
Facebook recently confirmed that they expect coronavirus to impact Oculus Quest production and just yesterday Mobile World Congress was cancelled due to coronavirus concerns.
The World Health Organization offers advice to the public to protect themselves and others from the “Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)” including washing your hands frequently, covering your mouth with a flexed elbow or tissue and maintaining space of around 1 meter between yourself and people who are coughing.
It is unclear whether there will be any further impact on Tilt Five shipments beyond the early backer kits but the virus is an ongoing and unexpected situation, so anything is possible. Keep an eye out for future updates.
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