REFLECTION – Qu

What are the strengths of our concept?

 

  1. Uniqueness: Our product Handle-pal is very unique. During the process of searching for Competitors, we didn’t find any company that produces the same product as us.
  2. Potential: The way our product works is by sending data from Handle-pal to the smartphone. Then the phone decides what to do with those data. In the later on development, this concept can be Expanded to other functions that are useful while biking such as control the lighting, electrical horn and monitoring the distance the user has traveled.
  3. Safety: Listen to music while riding bike can be dangerous, but we can’t force those people who do to change their behavior, which means that they can’t listen to music while biking. Our approach to this is to reduce the possibility of causing those accidents by placing Handle-Pal on the handle, this way the biker doesn’t need to lift their hand off the handle, but they still have full control over the songs and volumes etc.
  4. Price: The potential consumer for this product are young adults, the majority of them doesn’t have too much money to spend on leisure products, such as our product. The solution we have for them is to create a device to connect with their smartphone, which they already have one. This way the consumer doesn’t have to spend extra money for the overlapping function that’s already provided by the smartphone. The physical product can be produced within 5 EUR / piece (everything included) by outsourcing to china. which means our target group would be able to get that product with a very Low price.
  5. Sound Quality: Fact is cable headphone has better sound quality than Bluetooth. Bluetooth is more flexible than cable headphones. With handle-pal, the user will be able to have the sound quality of cable headphone and the flexibility of Bluetooth headphone while biking.
  6. Save touch screen: In some cases, the touch screen does not work as we want it to. For example, It’s raining and you don’t want the phone to get wet and cause water damage to the smartphone. There is where Handle pal comes in handy, It gives the user full control of the smartphones by acting as a remote to you smartphone.

 

 

What are the weaknesses of our concept?

  1. Placement: The placement of handle-pal is right next to the bell on the handle. The downside of this is it can be hard to reach with the bell in between the hand and the handle pal. In the later on development, we will improve this issue by redesigning the handle-pal to make it easier and more natural for the user to interact with.
  2. Waterproof: This version of our product does not have waterproof material, but that is on our development plan, to make handle pal waterproof.
  3. Battery slot: Our product handle-pal needs a coin cell battery, This version of handle pal does not include a battery slot. If the user would like to change the battery, They will have to open the case and put it on the board.
  4. production: The case of handle pal is made by 3D printing. It’s exciting new technology but in the production perspective, it takes too much time to print one case. In the future, if we proceed to mass production module injection would be a better and faster solution.
  5. Material: This version of handle pal need a component called light blue bean, this component costs too much in the production process. On our development plan, we will find the alternative to replace light blue bean with normal BLE that’s imported from china. this way we can reduce 80% of the production cost. This will give us a much bigger profit margin.
  6. Technical: This current version of handle pal connects to the app our team developed, which means that the user can only access the songs in this app. The better option for the develop in the future would connect the handle pal to existing apps such as Spotify or Soundcloud. this way the user will be able to access their own playlist without installing an extra application on their phone.

 

What went well regarding to the process ? 

  1. Concept: In the beginning of the project, we had some difficult time with coming up with ideas that fit everyone’s interest and at the same time it should be a concept that can fit the market’s needs. In the end of brainstorming, we come up with an idea that all of us like and we stick to it even when the process gets more and more difficult in the development stage.
  2. Planning: We planned out when should the technical development be done, when should the design process be finished, same goes with marketing and research process. With a little bit of delay but we more or less deliveries the work in time. The other positive thing is that we come up with a plan B when the process seems to be impossible to achieve. The overall development more or less matches with our planning.
  3. Teamwork: We have a team of five, which is quite a big group. Every one of us has a main focus area of this project. For example, rob’s focus is on visual development and product design, Paul’s focus is on 3D design and 3D printing etc. One of reason is that it helps all of us to build up our portfolio towards the profession we want to do in the future. All the tasks connect with others. For example, rob made the sketch of product design and give it to Paul make 3D model and print. For me, my focus was on visual development, but due to the technical difficulty of this concept, I helped our programmer to do some technical work to make sure the development move on smoothly. It’s also mentioned on the blog.
  4. Team relationship: Over the past eight weeks of the project, our teammates did not have any real negative feeling toward each other. We are able to communicate with each other calmly when there is some unexpected situation happened during the development. The team maintained a healthy working relation from the beginning to the end.
  5. Passionate: After the brainstorming process we had the concept of handle-pal. All the team members liked the concept and we are all passionate about it. We believe this concept is something useful and awesome and ready to put energy to it and make it happen. In the end, we did make it happen, the passion for the concept is one of the key element that we make this concept coming all together.
  6. Adapt feedback: Every week we will go to the lessons and ask feedback from the teacher. We adjusted our team plan and development direction base on the feedback the teachers gave us. Do work that the teacher mentioned to us that we didn’t think of ourselves, for example, the league issues of listening to music while biking in holland. The Profit margin and control the finance input of mass production etc.

 

What could be better regarding to the process ? 

  1. Delivery tasks: We all had times that didn’t deliver the tasks we suppose to delivery from time to time, some people had more of that delay than some people had less. Which caused the delay of the overall development process. In the perspective, we could improve ourselves and put the team on the top of our list. think about the consequence if we don’t deliver the things we supposed to deliver, How important is that task? can that task wait or not. Also, we should inform the teammates if the task can not be delivered in time. Ask help from another team member.
  2. Team meeting: For the team meeting, We mostly see it as a place to discuss what we should do for next week and share the work we did from last week. What we could improve is that prepare some question before the meeting and discuss it with the team. Also this way we could get help from the teacher more effectively.
  3. Stress management: I will take myself as an example for stress management. When I was developing the technical part of handle pal, I had some difficult time with the coding and no one seems to be able to help me with the task. My stress level went very high and in a way make the development process a bit slow. what I could have done is to take one day off without thinking about it and then come back to the work I left. This way I can see the mistakes I made earlier.

 

The value I provided to the team

My original personal learning goal is visual development & concept art. Due to the technical difficulty of the project I switched my focus on the technical aspect instead to help the development move along smoother. Here is the main work I have been working on for the past 8 weeks.

  1. Make the connection between a light blue bean and the smartphone
  2. Design the User interface of the mobile app
  3. Designing the webpage of Kickstarter  link

UI

Testing

What methods are suitable for the concept test?

Based on the target audience of our product, we have the following options for  concept testing methods

  •   Interview — interview people on the street using cameras and microphones
  •   Online – survey
  •   Physical  product testing
  •   Use 360 video camera to record the use of our product

We will interview around 10 people in Enschede center which suit our target group. They need to be traveling by bike and be between 18 and 25 years old.

Link to the target group post

Link to the questionnaire:

What prototype is suitable for the concept test?

3D printed model

For the prototype testing we need to have a physical product, this makes it easier to show the concept to the target group and find potential problems. Using this methods we found problems with our first prototype and came with a new design.

Link to the 3D modeling post:

App prototype

To show the functionality of our product we made an app prototype that responds to the LightBlue bean signal. The app controls the music player and is designed in an easy to use, simplistic way that fits with the style of our product.

link to the app prototype post:

Illustration

To demonstrate possible uses and to attract the target group we used the basic prototype as a basis to design a new, aesthetically pleasing design. This illustration will be used to promote the product and make the usage clear.

Link to the illustration post:

What test persons will be selected for the test?

  • youngsters aged between 18 -25
  • Bikers on the street
  • People who are wearing earphones on the street

 

What conclusions will you draw from the test?

Things that people like
  • Design. :  It’s small and portable, can be carried around easily.  //
  • functionalities : It’s easy to understand what to do with the product .//
Things that people dislike
  • Design. :    The edges are too shape , maybe it can cut my hands when i use it . //.   the surface of the product can be a little more smooth.

 

functionalities :  Not enough functions for the price of the product .

 

What are the consequences of the conclusions of the concept?

This product has potential because a lot of people had mostly positive feedback from the interview and survey. However, for the product to be successful in the market we need to change certain aspects, like the shape, corners and add extra functionality to make it fit with the price.

KNOWLEDGE ANALYSIS -Qu

Q: On what topics do you need information to develop the final concept?

A: I will be doing research on UI Interface for the app.

Q: What sources will you use?

A: I will be using Pinterest for research.

Background information

At this point of the development, we have established the connection between the light blue bean and our demo app as the first draft of our concept. Now it’s time to put the time in designing the user interface of the app, later on, I can give this designer to our teammate(Tudor) to do the coding according to this UI.

Functions

Before I start to design the UI, I need to know what function should be included in the interface, and what function should not be included in there.In this UI design, we will keep the interface as simple as possible. The reason for that is while the user is on the bike they don’t have the attention to handling too many functions.The following functions are included in the UI.
Play/ pause
Prev/ next
Volume +/-

Design Research

I have some visual research on Pinterest the result can be seen under this paragraph.

 

UI Final Result

UI

DEVELOPMENT CONCEPT – CONTINUED -Qu

overview

After I finish the music player app for ios in Xcode using swift. I have documented all the process of me making the ios music player in the last post. Now it’s time to make a connection between the app and light blue bean.

Difficulties

During the process of making the connection between Xcode and light blue bean, there are some problems showed up which is too much of a problem to solve under the time limit of this project, I will explain the problem briefly and some links to that problem. No worries, I have found an alternative to this problem which will be explained in the next paragraph

Basically, the problem is problem is that light blue bean isn’t fully compatible with Xcode yet. the development team of the light blue bean is still working on it.

Link to the official light blue bean announcement about this issue: http://beantalk.punchthrough.com/t/building-an-app-example-code-errors/3861http://beantalk.punchthrough.com/t/building-an-app-example-code-errors/3861

Alternative

Since I found out this is a known issue of light blue bean, I started to find other solutions to establish the connection between a light blue bean and mobile app. The solution I found is from a third party application called Evothings.
Evothings provides a simple solution for “internet of things” before I confuse you with all the terminology let me explain it to you what light blue bean does and why I can use Evothings as an alternative solution

Light blue bean
light blue bean sends data through the Bluetooth connection. Any device that supports BLE can receive the data.

Evothings
Evothings provides a simple solution to make a connection between mobile app and devices such as Arduino, light blue bean, Bluefruit LE UART or another device that can send or receive data through wifi, Bluetooth or cables etc.

The Demo app

Evothings uses javascript for coding.
To make connection for the demo app I need to get a key from evothings workbench, edit the javascript code
In the later on development of this product, we also have the option to publish the app to the apple store or google play. Here is how the app works, when I press the button on LBB the app receives the data. on the app’s side, it handles the data to change the state of the music between play and pause.

DEVELOPMENT CONCEPT – Qu

Overview

After the research I have done last week, I am now applying that information to make a product for testing. what am focusing on is the “#4: Searching for possible solution – Build an APP that talks with LBB”

Step #1 – Tutorials on lynda.com

Course link 1: https://www.lynda.com/Swift-tutorials/Next-steps/504182/542014-4.html?autoplay=true

Course link 2: https://www.lynda.com/Swift-tutorials/Next-steps/518763/543326-4.html?autoplay=true

With that introduction to Xcode, i started to make the application for later on to communicate with the Light blue bean. I took some notes from those tutorials which are shown below

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Screen Shot 2017-03-12 at 6.36.55 PMScreen Shot 2017-03-12 at 6.37.54 PM

Step #2 – Step up project

Before I start to making the app I first set up the working environment which includes the following subjects (For detailed information check the photo reference below)
Identity
Singing
Development info
Etc

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Step #3 – Code

For the coding part of this testing app, i will show you the code in the format of an image below. Basically, i made some simple function with Xcode. To see the result of that app connect to part 4

code of test1

Step #4- result