ZionEyez becomes Zeyez, wants you to know it's still watching

When ZionEyez launched its Kickstarter campaign this summer, the company promised a "Winter 2011" ship timeframe for its Eyez video recording glasses. And when that deadline came and went, many backers were understandably frustrated, requesting refunds and even emailing us for a status update after attempts to contact the design team were unsuccessful. We've been in touch with the company on a consistent basis since we first covered its Eyez project, and we even had an opportunity to test out a prototype in December. Now, ZionEyez (now simply "Zeyez") executives have provided several explanations for the unexpected delays, including an enormous number of project backers, broader market appeal and a desire to partner with a top-tier manufacturer in order to produce a higher-quality product. Jump past the break for the unabridged appeal.

Dear Engadget writers, contributors, and fans,

We would like to thank you for your continued support and take a moment to inform you in more detail of the progress that our engineering and business development teams have made with Zeyez. If you're curious about the new name, our trademark attorneys and PR advisors have counseled us to rebrand the company for maximum protection and visibility. With your help, we hope to make Zeyez a household name!

After our Kickstarter campaign, we were left with a choice. Either we manufacture the lower quality prototypes that we had created from our "basement lab" with a lower tier manufacturer and ship them to our backers (with our tail between our legs) OR we could focus and hone our efforts into engineering the best product imaginable and create strategic partnerships with top tier manufacturers such that the pair of Zeyez will exceed our backers' expectations.

We opted for the second choice for the following reasons:

· The success of our Kickstarter campaign proved that there was a huge demand for Zeyez. We are convinced that Zeyez has the potential to profoundly transform the way people record, share, and communicate their experiences. We want to lead this revolution and to bring our innovative products to the mass market. Rest assured that our Kickstarter backers will be the first consumers to get their hands on the first pair of Zeyez glasses and will be the frontrunners in this revolution.

· Zeyez was and continues to be approached by a large amount of fans and potential partners from all backgrounds. We are working with doctors, security agents, police officers, surgeons, construction workers, professors and NGOs who want to use Zeyez to transform their industries. Several of those NGOs are spearheading technological developments that would utilize Zeyez to assist blind persons in their daily activities and/or to enable blind persons to see the world through Zeyez. Serving these goals requires a much longer development timeline than we initially anticipated.

· Production-wise, the volume of pledges that we received on Kickstarter meant that we had to partner with a manufacturer to produce Zeyez, rather than assemble them ourselves. In deciding which manufacturing partners to use, we were presented with a plethora of options ranging from lower tier manufacturers to the biggest manufacturers in the world. Only top tier manufacturers could deliver the product quality that our backers expect from Zeyez. The simple fact is that working with a top tier manufacturer takes more time and financing (tooling, certification, and standardization of processes) than originally estimated. However, the end result is that our customers' satisfaction with the product will be increased through this investment of time.

· Raising additional funds to accomplish the aforementioned goals will allow Zeyez to engineer a product that is as technically-advanced as it is elegant. This additional time and resources will allow Zeyez to develop a product that is far better in terms of battery life, image quality, wearability, ease of use, and connection speed. We know that our Kickstarter backers believe in our vision and our product, and we appreciate that they have been so supportive throughout this process. Rewards for their patience are forthcoming!

The Zeyez team has been working hard to engineer Zeyez and develop strategic partnerships that will allow Zeyez to achieve its vision. As for raising additional capital, the investors are as excited about Zeyez as we are, and they all see its potential to change the social media landscape along with other important industries. At this moment we are very far along in our conversations with several different investor groups, but closing financing is a time intensive process. However, in light of these tough economic times, we are moving along at rocket speed and have made more progress in the last few months than many start-up companies ever make.

We ask that you continue to be as patient and understanding as you have in the past, and we assure you that this delay is only the result of our desire to deliver you the best product possible. Please know that our immense appreciation for our number one supporters (our Kickstarter backers and Zeyez fans!) and our commitment to engineer a high-quality pair of Zeyez at the earliest date feasible remains intact.

Next stop: RevolutionZeyez.

Your Zeyez Team