On the performance of our third generation sofi pods (S3)

We are incredibly grateful to this awesome community for all the feedback and perseverance on the new generation sofi pod and app. I can tell you that in May we had an incredble amount of feedback and data generated on sofi - in fact - we had more data generated through our ecosystem in May than the entire Pioneer Programs of last year with Valerian and Passiflora … so our sofi is really beginning to take shape and all thx to our incredibly patient and diligent Pioneers.

We had a detailed update in reference to a few performance challenges we have seen with the third generation sofi pods (S3) and I wanted to share this internal development update with you here and also ask your continued feedback especially as we begin to roll out improvements to the operating system of our sofi pods.

Key Observation

The pod unexpectedly draws much more power than expected. A firmware upgrade is available, but not yet widely tested, that should improve the situation.

Current Symptoms
These are based on feedback that we have received. If there are others, please post below

  1. Battery charge only lasting a day, coupled with blue light flashing most of the time.

  2. Overcounting sprays, more specifically overcounting sprays that happened when the pod was off-line

  3. Undercounting sprays

  4. Sprays being reported randomly, for example in the middle of the night
    Taking each of these in turn, this is what we think is causing them.

  5. Battery not lasting - This is due to the software detecting a change in the magnetic field of the rfid antenna, thinking that the user has changed the bottle and turning the very power hungry rfid full on, as well as the blue light, and searching for the tag. Then as soon as it finds that the rfid hasn’t changed it detects another change in the magnetic field and so-on.

Why it does this is good question. We have seen reports of where it doesn’t happen for a week or so (certainly was the case for me on the first two formulations) and then starts showing this behaviour (I have seen this a lot on my third capsule – I’m a little ahead of most pioneers on my capsule count as I started a little bit earlier). One working theory we have is that it’s something to do with the warm weather causing the magnetic field to change around the sofi brain.

  1. Overcounting sprays - We think that this is the phone reading multiple logs on the pod before the firmware has a chance to update the log. We believe that we can address this by updating the app.

  2. Undercounting sprays - our best guess for this one is that the battery has died, so the sprays are not being counted. Then when the pod is recharged and connected to the App no sprays are recorded to the app. Addressing the life of the battery through firmware optimisation can help mitigate this to a large extent. As can regular charging.

  3. Random sprays being reported - this is a bit of a mystery and we have a few working theories here. Our best guess is as follows. When the pod is recharged the time on the module stops. Then when charging has finished it starts again. Later when the pod is connected to the App there may be some sprays with time recorded before the charging, some sprays with time recorded after the charging. So we think there may be something going on between charge times, sofi pod and app connects, and sprays. We are going to investigate this further.

New firmware version changes

The main change is that the pod does not look for the rfid tag on the bottle if it is not connected to the App. The exception to this if is when a Pioneer presses the button, in which case the sofi pod does a read to make sure that the spray is associated with the correct formula. When the pod is connected to the App it now has an algorithm that adjusts the level of magnetic field that causes it to wake up and read the tag. This means that once a bottle is inserted or extracted it reads for a few seconds, say 10-30s and then quietens down once the algorithm has adjusted. This should improve issues 1 and 3.

Issue 2 should be improved with a new App release.
Issue 4 cannot really be improved with s3 changes. We have added an extra chip for the next generation of the sofi pod which should help reduce the time that the module is reset so reducing this effect to a few seconds difference.

There are various other changes that are intended for the fourth generation of the sofi pod (S4) so will not really affect the performance of the current generation of sofi pods in your hands but these include:
• transport mode to be set when the pod is being transported by air
• battery voltage is reported (on S4 only)
• low power indication is improved to indicate that the battery needs recharging (on S4 only)
• Bluetooth MAC address has extended randomised numbers
• software version changed from 3 to 4
• Ability to reset the threshold that causes the pod to look for a new bottle. This will require a change to the App so hopefully not needed.

Hope this helps explain what some of our Pioneers have been seeing. We are super keen that this new firmware version is tested as much as possible, so we will begin to re-program any returns and any remaining sofi pods, but we certainly encourage everyone to continue giving us this incredible feedback on how the changes affect performance. We are in the home stretch of preparing our sofi for the world and we began this as a team a couple of dozen folks but we will get to the starting line with our sofi as a community of hundreds of Pioneers who have helped shape our sofi, preparing her for the world, and our mission to help as quickly as possible one million folks to feel and sleep better – for good – with our incredible power plants.

What can be done without a firmware upgrade.
We can ask to charge the pod before use and connecting to the App as soon as possible afterwards. I have started doing this with my third sofi pod!
Soemthing I haven’t tried, but taking the bottle out of the pod when not being used normally helps save power – we would love to see if your experience reflect that.
Recharge the pod if the light is rapidly flashing green

Eternally in your debt.

Your sofi


:heart: :pray:


For those experiencing troublesome battery/charge issues, and a malfunctioning spray count as a result, please don’t hesitate to message us.

We are thinking to arrange for prepaid collection of the affected pods, at your convenience, so that they can be sent to Stephen - our incredible in-house electronics engineers for a firmware update. :blush: :pray: