Headset Headache: Vitex Rescues Important Military Project

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CHALLENGE

Our client has been a respected global aerospace and defense company for more than seven decades. The company offers a broad portfolio of products and services in business aviation, combat vehicles, military weapon systems, technology, military intelligence, submarines and shipbuilding. Their clients include the US Department of Defense. They reported more than $ 39 billion in revenue in 2019, a staff of 100,000 people or more worldwide and report growth of 20-33% each year over the last few years. While we have a long-standing relationship with this client, a division we had not worked with previously reached out to us with a time-sensitive problem.

They urgently needed a video-over-fiber extender for a virtual reality headset that was slated for use in simulated military training. But their other vendor’s video extender did not work with the virtual reality headsets. The virtual reality headset was for a high-priority project; they needed to demo the headset for an internal client within a few days.

SOLUTION

On the same day we received their request, we identified the type of cable they needed, defined its technical specifications including resolution requirements, and overnighted a sample LightBolt DisplayPort extender for them to test.

When they plugged in the cable to their Oculus headset, the cable worked. They had resolved the issue in time to demo the headset for their internal customer. They were delighted and quickly placed an order.

As the project rolled out, they ordered additional video extenders for this virtual reality project and others requiring video-over-fiber technology. Issues came up – the extenders did not work on some of the headsets. Some of this was due to compatibility with the component products of other vendors involved or technology updates that must be performed.

DisplayPort issues of this nature are common. Often the monitor resolutions are different and/or the monitor does not detect the cables. An electronic handshake needs to happen between the source and the display which is known in the industry as an EDID handshake. We immediately reached out to our manufacturing team and did some internal testing. A firmware update solved the issue.

Compatibility issues are common in the electronics industry. Many electronics manufacturers do not completely adhere to form factor requirements and engineering specifications and provide products that are not 100% compatible with other vendors’ products. Some manufacturers don’t adhere to tight tolerances.  Moreover, products in the video extenders industry are not heavily regulated. Vitex staff has extensive experience with different fiber optics manufacturers and deep knowledge of engineering.  Our engineers and product manager are aware of these shortcomings, know the respective reputations of suppliers and manufacturers. That helps them resolve problems quickly. In this specific case, our DisplayPort video extender component needed to work with the technology of many other vendors to be successful.

OUTCOME

Our client was able to use Lightbolt video extender AOC (LightboltLBV-O1TD400001) for the virtual reality headset demonstration they urgently needed it for.

As the project changed scope, they retained some samples to test for compatibility with other vendors’ technology brought in. We provided continuous technical support throughout testing and project completion. These ultimately resulted in the client placing quite a few orders as they defined the scope and parameters required for their ongoing projects.

The virtual reality-based simulated military training was a success.

In short, we stood by a long-standing client by thoroughly researching, supporting and servicing their needs. According to Craig Polk, Vitex Product Manager, “We are interested in building long-term relationships and working with business partners, not just selling products.”

Vitex, based in northern New Jersey, has been providing high quality fiber optics transceivers and other products to our US-based clients in multiple industries since 2003.  In addition to products, we offer engineering expertise, technical support, and customized solutions to meet business needs. For more information about our products or services, visit our website (vitextech.com) or contact us at info@vitextech.com.

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